Wherever you are, you have just been touched by a brave mamacita warrior who, as I write this, is living her final days with cancer in a hospice on Canada’s west coast. Her name is Mary Jardine.
You will never meet her, or hear her voice, at least not in this world. Nevertheless, she may change your life in some small or big way by virtue of the fact you are reading this.
And if it weren’t for Mary, there wouldn’t be anything here to read.
Sometime in October 2009, a few months after the AWR Facebook page was launched, Mary Jardine found Amazing Women Rock and me. Since then, she has been one of the AWR FB page’s (and the website’s) staunchest and most loyal supporters, an active participant right from the start.
In early November 2009, she posted an AWR tribute to her daughter Cherelle, who, together with her own daughter Ajaye (Mary’s granddaughter), are the singing core of The Jardines, a Canadian country music act in a similar vein to The Judds.
Besides contributing, Mary celebrated milestones with me. When the AWR page reached 1,000 fans on December 4, 2009, Mary offered congratulations and appreciation. She “liked” or commented on almost every post on the AWR FB page for close to three years. It made me smile to see her presence on the page, my constant companion and cheerleader.
Come rain or shine, I could always count on Mary for a caustic, comforting or sometimes even coarse comment. When I despaired (which happened regularly) she was there with a pat on the back, a round of applause, an encouraging word, or a kick in the ass. Honestly, without her unflagging support, I would have quit many times over, and this page wouldn’t be here.
In view of the role Mary has played in the life of AWR, I know surprisingly little about her. In fact, I had no idea what she looked like until today, when I went to her Facebook page and searched through her photo albums to find a suitable image to accompany this piece.
While I know little about Mary, what I do know is important: she suffered great violence, but did not let it destroy her; she faced challenges bravely and won many battles; she created abiding love in her life and shared it widely. She is deeply devoted to and immensely proud of her children Cindy (and her partner Joanne), Cherelle (and her partner Marc), and Cliff, and her grandchildren Ajaye, Michael and Matthew, as well as her extended family. She is also a vocal and passionate advocate in the fight to stop violence against women.
Although I have expressed my gratitude to Mary on a whole host of occasions, I want to thank her again with this tribute while she is still alive to read it:
Mary, thank you for your support these past years, it has meant the world to me. Without you Amazing Women Rock wouldn’t be the success it is today, it probably wouldn’t even be here. Thank you so much for everything and most especially for a life courageously lived. You are an amazing woman who leaves a joyful legacy in this world. Now you will continue your destiny as a heavenly advocate and guardian angel. I don’t know if you will be able to see them, but I’m sending you a bouquet of 24 summer flowers to enjoy.
I invite all AWR friends, fans and followers to send prayers and positive energy to our friend Mary Jardine as she travels the last leg on her road home.