The Journey Continues...

The Journey Continues...

A promise kept to a friend who lost her battle with breast cancer

Candiece Knight

Monday, October 26, 2020

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THOUGH Marie Demetrius Baker passed away during her second fight with breast cancer two years ago, the woman's courageous fight and indomitable spirit have been immortalised through her journal entries during the last three years of her journey. Before she died, her best friend Marsha Norman, made her a promise that her dream of using those entries to inspire and motivate others would be fulfilled, and the promise has been kept.

“This book, The Journey Continues, chronicles Marie's experience as she battled cancer a second time. She named it herself,” the best friend explained to All Woman. “Marie kept a journal from 2013 to 2015 based on the recommendation of her sister Kay. The book also contains information gleaned from Marie's e-mails dating back to 2005, and church programme planning notebooks.”

Marie and Marsha had been inseparable since they were teenagers, and that friendship endured Marie's first round in the ring with breast cancer in 2006. They remained close through her five years of treatment, and celebrated together when she was declared cancer-free. They were still best buds when in 2013 Marie started feeling a pain in her left side, which signalled the return of the cancer.

“This book is a fulfilment of a promise to Marie, who wanted her experience to be shared to a world-wide audience,” Norman says in the introduction. “Marie had the gift of encouragement and helping others. The lives of others are still being impacted by her.”

The book, while chronicling Marie's experience with breast cancer in her own words, is narrated by Norman, who also adds encouraging words and scriptures that are relevant to each chapter. It tells the beautiful tale of a praying woman who kept hope alive even in the face of death. The support and joy that she felt from her husband, daughter, relatives and church family are also a recurrent theme in her entries.

“One conclusion I have come to is that I did not do this, or went through this period of my life only for myself but for others around me,” Marie wrote in one of her early entries. “Not boasting, but it has drawn me closer to God, it has taught me how to depend on God. During this time I allowed God to bear my burdens. I went through this for you all. Why am I saying this? I am saying this so that when you have a problem or are going through a rough time, you must let it be a testimony in your life.”

The book, which will be available for purchase on Amazon this week, is written in two colours — one for each writer — so it is easy to follow in their distinct voices. It also includes photographs of treasured memories from Marie's walk on earth.

“Marie's story is not one of defeat but one of victory,” Norman writes in the final chapter. “You may question the nature of this victory since she passed away, but during her sickness and eventually her passing she touched many lives.”

She continues: “Marie led a tremendous life as a Christian, wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend. One day Marie's mom told her to hold on to the last 'thread of hope' and she did exactly that. Her story embodies praise over pain, worship over worry and triumph through tears. No matter what you are going through Marie would want you to know that the journey continues!”

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