The Risa Tribute I’ll never make it through.
On September 23rd our charity will hold its biggest fundraiser. Our 7th Annual Golf Tournament.
And its going to be both beautiful and tough this year. As they are always bittersweet…this year will be especially emotional. And as any of you who have ever seen me give any public address knows…I tend to get a little emotional.
This past week… I lost an amazing person in my life. An amazing woman. Her name was Risa Becker.
If I could get up and speak without falling to pieces… this is what I would say.
Risa, you were the toughest, most amazing, loving, scary, warm, generous, outrageous, exciting, bold, Brain Cancer Biatch I knew. And Biatch is pronounced (Bee-yaaa-tch) for those of you not familiar with street slang for Bitch!
I was proud to call he my fellow Brain Tumor Biatch!
I’ve known her as one of my parents friends for well over 25 years. From the day I was diagnosed until September 10, 2013, she was a permanent fixture in my “Brain Tumor” life. Between meals, loving support, not only for me but for my entire family, even down to the wedding rings that Greg and I wear…she’s been family.
And for The Connecticut Brain Tumor Alliance…there are no words to express the gratitude and loving memories. She was at every event. Even planned one almost all by herself…The Ladies Card Party of 200??? I forget the year…maybe 2009? Sorry Risa…I have the damn Brain Tumor and I can’t remember!
I understood Risa. I got her…and I really liked her. At every golf tournament she would stand at the end of the line to sell raffle tickets to everyone who came. And if you said no to Risa Becker…well Hell hath no fury like Risa Becker scorned!
And if any guy she knew didn’t buy enough tickets, she would truly reach into the mans’ wallet, lovingly but very forcefully, and take out their money…count it…and exclaim, “Oh good…I found more. You can buy another $100 worth!”
I shit you not. That was Risa…and I will miss that. And so will everyone buying a raffle ticket this year…Guys…fork it over…she’s still watching!
She donated literally thousands of dollars worth of jewelry to our auctions. Even went out and canvased all her friends to donate too. Every year, she would sit on golf holes, or set up auction tables. She was always there to give 127% when we needed her!
But when her own Cancer became Brain Cancer…I flew into superhero Brain Cancer action! Made sure she got to the right doctors, explained all her symptoms to her, talked about medications and procedures she would have…I brought her Bridgewater chocolates because she loved them. I talked to her on the phone…countless times about how to keep breathing…keep going…to go out…see friends…see movies…see her family. Keep living. I held her hand and cried with her. I held her hand and laughed with her. I held her hair and cried and laughed with her! As she did with mine years ago.
Risa continued to work and travel, entertain and exercise. She even got a puppy! That was the Risa that …well that was Risa. Plain and Simple.
I had lunch with her 3 weeks ago. We sat outside and told her that The CTBTA wanted to throw her a “Volunteer of the ???” party…but we weren’t sure what to call it. Not “volunteer of the Year”…because she’s been so much more. Not “Volunteer Super Hero”…because I suggested that one and I think everyone thought I was joking.
She was so much more. She believed in us. She believed in me. And when I was doing doing poorly over the last 6 months…she was there. She was at my wedding. She was even planning her own CTBTA fundraising party at her store, Becker’s jeweler’s, in October. Which, I think, may still go on.
I mean…even in death she’s still fundraising for us!
I still can’t believe you’re gone! Say hi to Daddy!
We will all miss you Brain Tumor Biatch…The world will never be the same without Risa Becker!