The dictionary definition of the word ‘warrior’ contains this entry: “a person who shows or has shown great vigor, valour, courage, or aggressiveness”.
Perhaps a better definition might be: ” an outstanding radio broadcaster, born in small-town Saskatchewan, whose bravery, courage, vigor, valour and unstoppable optimism created an international legacy of hope, spirit and admiration”.
Two years ago, I wrote a blog posting about my friend Lisa Rendall. It was called “My HeroLisa“. In that post, I outlined her background, accomplishments and heroic battle against a seemingly unstoppable foe. I also called her a “real pain in the backside”. I stand by that comment.
From an administrative standpoint, Lisa was always her own person making her own decisions in her own way. Sometimes that doesn’t play well with broadcast management. There is, after all, a format to be followed, protocols to be adhered to and public perceptions that must be maintained.
Lisa did it her way. Thus the ‘pain in the backside’ comment.
But in real life, outside the radio studio, that same ‘pain in the backside, do it her way’ quality is always the most desired, envied and adored.
The same applies to battle.
The military also frowns on people who are a ‘pain in the backside’. After all, they too have protocols and formats to be followed. But if you look at the Medal of Honour recipients, Victoria Cross winners or any other hero that displays the heart of a warrior, one element is strikingly common. Yes, they followed the rules, but when it came to critical situations and life/death decisions they all did it their way. Every one of them made the decision to step up and the heroic actions that resulted were based on one clear cut belief: this is so much bigger than me.
That’s the heart of a warrior.
That was Lisa Rendall.
When Lisa was first diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer she made the decision to go to war, not for herself, not against her enemy, but for every woman that was fighting the same war. She turned the word ‘me’ into ‘we’ and led the charge up a hill that most would find just too high. Her battle cry was “feel your boobies”. And it resonated internationally. And when the enemy regrouped and counter-attacked (a setback that would have many military giants waving the white flag), she just fought harder, led more people up the hill and the battle cry became “FYC”. Those that knew Lisa understand those three little letters. Within minutes of her passing, her Facebook page was filled with thoughts, prayers and memories. Almost all end with “FYC”.
‘Pain in the backside’. I stand by that.
‘Did it her way.’ I stand by that.
‘My Friend Lisa’. I stand by that.
What it really means is that she had the heart of a warrior. And I stand by that, too.
Rest easy, my friend.
And one more thing…..