Lecretia is no stranger to supporting others in dealing with loss, and helping them find a way forward. Here is a very special story from Lecretia’s friend Angela, who Lecretia grew up with in Tauranga.
My friendship with Lecretia began around the time of my twelfth birthday, when I invited a mutual friend to my sleepover party and she brought Lecretia along with her. Thirty years and many blocks of chocolate later, Lecretia remains a very special friend.
There are so many stories I could tell about Lecretia, and a few Lecretia would prefer I did not! There is one story that keeps coming to mind. It’s a very personal story, but it really illustrates the depth of friendship Lecretia has shown me.
When we were in our last year of high school, my boyfriend died suddenly. It was six weeks before our bursary exams, and my life was in pieces.
Lecretia understood that even though I was broken, it was crucial that I got through my bursary exams if I was to hold on to my future. I was a good student, and like Lecretia, planned to become a lawyer. Each morning Lecretia would come to my house and collect me for school, whether I wanted to go or not, often with our good friend Hilary as second in command. Lecretia bossed me about, which was exactly what I needed, and pushed me to focus on my exams and my future, supporting me with the maturity of an adult. I did get the bursary I needed to get into first year law, and a few months later, headed off to Canterbury University.
I will be forever grateful for the love and wisdom that Lecretia bestowed on me, not just through those first months, but over the next couple of years while I slowly came to terms with what had happened.
It was so very difficult to be out on my own, away from home and still grieving. Lecretia understood that I was struggling without me needing to explain myself. Lecretia became my rock; my ‘go-to girl’. Often I could draw strength from her just with a phone call, but when things were really tough, I would jump on a plane to Wellington and visit her. It was always a spur of the moment decision so I never gave Lecretia much notice that I was coming, but she never hesitated in welcoming me, in sharing her new life and friends, and giving me such comfort. She made me feel cherished.
After a few years, I transferred to Victoria University, joining Lecretia and other friends at law school there. I married a lovely man Lecretia was friends with, as things transpired, and I am grateful to have had the career I wanted.
Lecretia was an outstanding friend in helping me through what was the toughest experience of my life, that is, until Lecretia was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Over the years that Lecretia has battled her illness, I have been inspired, heartbroken, proud, and devastated in equal measure, as have all her many and wonderful friends. I truly hope I have been able to return the unconditional love Lecretia so willingly gave me all those years ago, and in the many years since. I could not have asked for a better friend to journey through life with.