It is with great sadness that I inform you that we lost Liz Smith Conley on October 3, 2016. Liz shared her love for writing and helping women on this blog, Lizzy Smilez and in the process was a beacon of hope to many, many who needed encouragement and community during a difficult transition in their lives.
Liz was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma at the young age of 44. She fought valiantly and tenaciously to win against cancer. She left us due to complications from pneumonia, complications that would not have occurred if Multiple Myeloma had not depleted her body’s immune system. So, it is with respect for Liz and her determination to live that we lay her loss on the steps of Multiple Myeloma. Pneumonia didn’t take Liz, cancer did. In Liz’s honor we hope that you will become more informed about Multiple Myeloma and her at MyelomaCrowd.Org, a project she helped create and wrote extensively for over the last 4 years.
Liz has been a DivorcedMoms blogger since the day we launched the site in October of 2013. I knew Liz to be a tenacious writer who was dedicated to helping other women survive divorce. She was a voice of hope and an example of the good that can come when a woman takes control of her life and leaves an abusive relationship.
She was also someone I, as her editor, could count on whether what I needed required a pleasant action by her or, caused her stress. Liz showed me over and over again that her writing, her reputation and her commitment to a project were worth doing what needed to be done by her. She was someone who never disappointed. She was a powerhouse of strength, positive attitude and had a lust for living life that awed me. Knowing my days of working with Liz are behind me, breaks my heart. I will miss her tremendously.
The truth is, I didn’t often think of Liz’s cancer because she didn’t make that the main focus of her life. Just a few weeks ago, she shared with me an idea for a blog post she wanted to write. I asked her when she found the time, told her, “the dust doesn’t settle under your feet.” And, that is how she faced what would stop most of us in our tracks. She never let it slow her down and she never let it impact negatively those around her. Liz Smith Conley was the definition of BRAVE. She lived her life BIG and BRAVELY.
Liz and Bill Conley in Argentina June 2016
“And that’s why I’ve learned to live. Live BIG and GRAND as often as I can. As often as my health and treatments allow, and responsibilities to children, self, family and loved ones. I travel like crazy and have discovered locales that bring me great joy. I go hang gliding. I ski. I do things that are outside of my comfort zone. When I feel angry, sad and depressed, I hit up the salon, go for a walk, or play with my friend Katherine’s dog. Anything to get out of that zone and into a different one. I plan to go skydiving soon. Wear your favorite shoes, use your pricey perfume and favorite dishes daily, and break out the handbag you paid way too much for and have been hesitant to use in case you ruin it. Who cares? It’s doing no good in the closet. Go hang out with your friends and laugh. Pity parties are allowed, but letting them go for too long accomplishes absolutely nothing and can be extremely dangerous to our fight to get well, recover, and gain our emotional, spiritual and physical health back.”
There are many things we will miss about Liz. The example of strength she set for those of us who worked with her. Her persistence for doing the work and doing it correctly. Most of all, her gentle nature, her bright and bubbly personality. I had the pleasure of knowing and working with a woman who was as close to perfection as any one person can come. God’s speed Liz, you left one hell of an impression with us here at DivorcedMoms.com.
I leave you with a quote from Martha Chan, owner of DivorcedMoms.com, “In her honor, we have to be who she was, brave, authentic and keep on fighting for what matters.” Let’s make Liz proud of us!
Liz being Liz!