Rachel started babysitting us when I was 7 years old. She must have been about 19.
She became a hairdresser, working for several salons in Lower Hutt and Wellington, and took my sister under her wing, staying friends with her as we grew up.
She’d come over every 4-6 weeks or so and cut my Dad’s hair. She coloured and cut mine many times. She coloured and cut hair for my mother and sister every month.
She had a baby girl about 3 years ago, and called her Lexie. She had two major relationships. Married once to her teenage boyfriend, then later on in life got serious with George.
She’s always had skin cancers, always had them removed, had treatment.
But about 6 or so months ago, they couldn’t treat them just by removal any more. She started chemo and radiation. Mum would drive her to her appointments.
She still called, still came and did Dad’s hair when she felt well enough. She refused to believe that she would lose the fight.
Four-five weeks ago the cancer went to her brain. Two weeks ago she went into hospice care.
Yesterday, she lost the fight.