It’s been a hard couple of days. On Monday morning a dear friend of mine, Sayaka, lost her battle to cancer. She fought cancer with a vengeance and didn’t give up on her battle. Her struggle and pain are over on this earth and I know that she has been healed and is celebrating and laughing with her Lord. I also know that she will continue to watch out for her husband, Thomas, and her little girl, Chloe.
Ben and I first met Thomas and Sayaka when they began coming to Awaken. Awaken was a small church plant and we were excited to have a new couple join us. Little did we know that they were pregnant with a little girl.
I think we found out a little over a month before Sayaka was due that she was actually pregnant and the ladies of Awaken all got together to throw her a baby shower. Sayaka is from Japan and I remember her telling us how excited that her sister was that we were throwing her a shower and that it was going to be just like in the American movies. lol I don’t know if it was like in the movies, but we did have a really good time.
Sayaka was such a proud momma. You could tell just by the way that she looked at Chloe how much she loved her. I got to know Sayaka really well through our ladies bible study and driving her to and from it. She couldn’t believe that I didn’t want to have kids and she told me that she never thought she’d be mom and then one day it hit her and that’s all she wanted. She was so thankful for Chloe and that she got be her mom.
Since a lot of us at Awaken aren’t initially from the New York area, Awaken has become our family. We did life together with Thomas, Sayaka and Chloe and really got to seem them become a beautiful little family.
Sayaka loved any opportunity to get the girls together like when we had a girls night at my old apartment. She thought it was good for Chloe and Thomas to get daddy-daughter time together. Plus we always had a good time : )
Sayaka loved Hawaii, she studied abroad there and loved to go back and visit. With the help of our friend Kate, Thomas and Sayaka threw Chloe an aloha-themed first birthday.
As hard as it was to go back through all of these pictures, my favorites are of Sayaka admiring Chloe.
I’m so glad I was able to capture this family picture at Chloe’s birthday.
I cannot express how much Sayaka will be missed. Her fun and care-free spirit put everyone she knew at ease. She was one of the strongest, loyal, and loving woman I knew. Even through the suffering we would text and she was still positive. She would text me pictures of Chloe because she was just so darn proud of her and how adorable she is. My prayers and deepest sympathies are with Thomas and Chloe. While Sayaka is finally pain-free, Thomas & Chloe have a new reality and my heart aches for them. I’m sure any prayers would be welcomed in this very difficult time.
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