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I.C. MURRELL — Mother’s fighting spirit resonates so clearly

Anyone with the name Ivy likely has a story that would grab my attention at the sound of the name.

Thus, the name Ivy January qualifies.

For one, awesome first and last names come together. Ivy is said to represent fidelity, vibrancy and eternity. Here in the U.S., it represents a high echelon of education.

January, as we know, represents the start of a new beginning. It’s even been known as a popular first name among women.

To know Ivy January’s story is to understand how she lived and fought. And, who better to tell the story than her oldest daughter?

Instead of a simple question-and-answer with Dollisha Broussard, Dollisha graciously shared Ivy’s story with us, and you can read it on this Editorial page.

To write it days before the one-year anniversary of Ivy’s death, one only wonders the emotions flowing through her family at the time.

Taunja Drake, Ivy’s sister, gave me an idea: “… I think this has been very therapeutic for her [Dollisha]. Also, she loves to write.” (That sentence was capped with a hug icon.)

I can tell. I never met Ivy, but her story couldn’t come across any clearer. (And hugs right back to the family for sharing her story.)

Dollisha’s words detail the life of a woman who stood for independence and demonstrated it so her daughters could see, yet for us grown folk, we take something so invaluable for granted. We learn about a woman who loved life so much, she made others laugh.

We also learn Ivy loved life so much, she earned so much respect taking care of others as a registered nurse.

These simple virtues tend to be shared in the story of cancer fighters everywhere, and it’s why their stories are important. It’s more than just our goal to learn about the fight of a cancer patient; it’s our goal to learn about the fighter. The fate of a person to a hideous disease will never encompass his or her history, nor should that disease ever get such glory.

Ivy sure didn’t want breast cancer to win. She fought the thing three times.

The first bout, as you will read, included 33 rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. My prayer is I — or you, if you haven’t faced cancer — never have to find out how that feels.

Then she had to fight again eight years later, and two years after that, all the while Dollisha’s sister Carlette gave birth to Ivy’s grandson.

Ivy walked away a winner the first two rounds. After the third round, she transitioned into Heaven a winner.

Reminds me of a sportscaster who urged us to fight like — you know what — and let others fight when we can’t anymore.

If only I could have helped Ivy fight … It’s all good, because Ivy kept fighting.

That’s just the Cliff’s Notes of the story, and I’m no Cliff.

Gladly, I’m Ivy. Gladly, I live my life and value independence to help those who can’t help themselves.

Those of us named Ivy get it — our name means a whole lot, and we must remain faithful in our quest for a life fulfilled.

Learning the story of Ivy January, we must also value life’s virtues we otherwise take for granted and share them with others in need.

Ivy January was only given 56 years, but she fulfilled her quest. Thanks to Dollisha Broussard, her vibrant story is shared in eternity for all.


I.C. Murrell is the editor of Port Arthur Newsmedia. He can be reached at 409-721-2435 or at ic.murrell@panews.com.

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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