About eighteen months ago I met Ann, a Navy wife new to our base. Ann attended a 'dessert & coffee' I host for spouses new to the military or to our base. At this event Ann heard that another Navy wife was starting a home business. Ann quickly offered to host a party to help her get started. And that is Ann - quick to help others.
Ann is the devoted mother of two adorable daughters and proud wife of her Seabee. She was active in her church, a volunteer in her daughter's kindergarten classroom, an active member and volunteer in her command FRG and amazing friend to many. Ann was always helping others. She was known for organizing 'play days' for the children and events for her circle of friends. The wife of a junior enlisted her resources may have been limited but her care, concern and love for others knew no bounds.
Ann was a breast cancer survivor. While her battle with cancer took its toll on her body, it never quenched her joyful spirit. She had a ready smile for everyone. She is a selfless woman. She was a humble, joyful woman who took such joy in looking out for and caring for others.
A few months ago I learned Ann was engaged in a second battle with cancer. Cancer was back and with a vengeance this time. When I talked with Ann she was resolved to beat the odds and defeat this enemy of her body. Through the months of treatments Ann continued to care for others, continuing to volunteer in the classroom and FRG as her body allowed. Each time we spoke she would focus on 'me' and my life rather than wanting to dwell on the battle she was waging. I never heard her complain, rather I heard her desire and concern for her children, her husband, her family. Amazingly, she would often say, "I apologize, I don't mean to be a burden."
This past Saturday Ann McCurdy lost her battle to cancer but won her reward: eternity with the Lord she trusted. At her memorial service at the base Chapel it was evident the impact she had on so many lives, the Chapel was full. A friend whispered to me, we underestimated the impact she had, we have double the people we planned for.
One of her friends who shared at the memorial service defined a hero as "Ordinary people doing extraordinary things in the midst of adversity and against all odds." That would be Ann McCurdy. Facing cancer with courage, grace and determination while continuning to care for others.
Ann left us too soon. For her family; her husband, children, parents and siblings, an immense void remains. For her friends; well, we are left with the memory of a wonderful woman, a devoted mother, proud wife...her memory provokes me to be like her. Ann, my life is changed because your life touched mine. Thank you...