On Loss


it has been a sad weekend here in budejovice. and washington. and michigan for that matter. one of the coolest chicks i’ve ever met, candice bailey, passed away saturday morning in seattle. she had been diagnosed with stage four breast cancer the year before i met her, but you would never know it because of how full of life, energy, and spirit she always was.

alex met her in high school and they had been good friends since then (fourteen years!). in 2009, candice (who with her husband had recently bought a fixer-upper house in the madison/capitol hill area) invited alex to move into the basement apartment and help fix it up. at the time alex was living near portland and was out of a job, so it seemed like a no brainer. this is what brought alex to seattle. when he was unemployed, she encouraged him to apply at starbucks, which he eventually did and he soon found himself hired at 7th & pike– the store i worked at. if not for candice, i surely would never have met alex. and because of candice, alex was able to get his feet on the ground after possibly the hardest year or so of his life.

the day i met her in spring of 2011 when alex introduced us, i was completely intimidated at her coolness. she was one of those rare women who just exuded intelligence, confidence and wit. AND she had a sewing machine set up in her living room with half finished crafts and sewing projects scattered on every available surface. i know NO other girl who has a sewing machine in her living room. later upon getting to know her over the past two years i found her to be incredibly kind, warm, and generous. and so many other good qualities. she and her husband joe were hilarious together, and any time we spent with them was full of jokes and laughter. from camping trips to parties to strolls downtown to watching tv, there was never a dull moment around her.


(candice and sarah: bro-ing out in snuggies)

what always baffled me is that she had stage four breast cancer but NEVER behaved like  someone who ever has stage one cancer. never would she rant or complain about her illness. she was so positive and full of spirit. always planning trips, events, parties, right up until the very end when she had just returned from a road trip in california and was planning what tattoo to get. i thought there is no way cancer could keep this lady down.

the last time we saw her was almost a year ago, mid-august in michigan at a bonfire party alex’s family was having. candice was in the area to attend a wedding and fortunately had the time to spend the evening with us. i was so happy to have another girl to talk to, as before that it was all dudes and gross guy jokes. okay, honestly, the gross guy jokes continued through the night, but what can you do. we sat together and chatted about plans and recent happenings, normal stuff. she had lost so much weight from chemo but still, she looked healthy and sporty at the time. there was no way i would’ve believed that was the last time we would see her.

it is hard to be away from home when a loved one passes. it really makes me homesick and want to at least be in the area. what good it would do, i don’t know. probably nothing. it all came as such a shock to me– since we haven’t been in seattle for a year we hadn’t seen the continued weight loss or heard of any negative happenings. i thought for sure this girl would have maybe even ten good years left. i take comfort in the fact that she was happy we were traveling and on this adventure and that she would have wanted to travel too.

soon, am planning to go grab a beer in honor of candice– sort of a memorial for her here in the czech republic… remembering the good times! she was truly one of the most inspiring people i’ve ever had the honor of meeting. i just only wish we had crossed paths sooner.

it’s so strange to post all these happy photos while talking about something sad. also, she was sooo not a sad type of person. so, i hope the sadness will soon subside and the thinking about happy times will now begin. it’s impossible to be sad thinking about those.

this evening it stormed after days of temps in the high 90’s or 100’s. the weather cooled, and then we saw the most beautiful peach colored sunset coupled with incredible clouds. it seemed like a fitting and hopeful end to this most tumultuous weekend.