Anika Vashti Huggins - Loving Fern (a forever type of inspiration)...
Fern-Marie Choya (24/11/1978 - 25/2/2019)
Born in Trinidad, Fernie was an intelligent woman with a big heart. Diagnosed with Lupus in 2005, she developed a dare-to-dream mindset that took her to places many of us ‘bucket listed’ for ‘one day’. You see Fern decided to not only accept her illness but not let it limit her happiness.
One of Arsenal’s biggest fans, (don’t mess with her team) she was so much fun to be around on match night/day and was always up for a good old fashioned games night (champion Monopoly player) or just to chill and watch movies, she was always in on the action.
Fernie was resilient and had a cheerful spirit that drew people to her. Her confidence and selfless nature enabled her to be a strength and comfort for many friends and family. Even in the times when she needed support, Fernie would somehow always manage to be there for others.
A true champion for unconditional love in all relationships, Fernie was the perfect exemplar of a wife, daughter, sister, aunty, niece, grand-daughter, daughter-in-law, cousin, friend, colleague, flatmates etc., she gave love and was loved in great abundance. Fernie was preparing for parenthood and would have been an excellent mum to her twin daughters.
As much as it was difficult living with Lupus; the illness would not define her as Fernie decided to create a blog (A Journey with Fernie) https://ajourneywithfernie.wordpress.com/ that showcased her heartfelt posts -
Accepting My Reality; Giving Up My Morning Cuppa; Rocky Road; Temptations; Exorcising my Demons; Crossroads; Breaking mental barriers; Sorry it’s been a while; London Stroll from Vauxhall to Covent Garden; Inside Out; Learning to Dance; What doesn’t kill you; Cowards never start; and Love for Food vs Love for Self.
Fernie also decided to take time off to travel and even took up photography as a hobby. With a bucket list of travel destinations, Fernie documented her travels and her social media albums exhibited the beautiful pictures she took in Trinidad & Tobago, the United Kingdom and the world. Her trustworthy travel companion and husband Ted, accompanied her on many adventures as they explored the culture and scenic views of Dubai, Mallorca, Lymington, Val-d'Isère, Ras Al Kaimah, Dover, Sandwich, Paris, Athens, Mexico, Madrid, Barbados, Germany, Edinburgh, Portugal, New York, Washington DC, Florida, and Las Vegas to name a few. Their most recent trip to San Francisco and California filled her with such joy and longing, that she returned to London with a renewed spirit and positive energy.
Despite living her best life and looking forward to motherhood, Fernie passed away quite recently. This unexpected turn of events made many of us stop and focus on the gem we had shared such remarkable moments with. She left us with so many life lessons – not to procrastinate; love hard; be determined; be thankful; confront our problems; be honest; be limitless; and live each day as though it is our last, to the fullest with no regrets.
Some beautiful words from her first blog on 27thMarch 2015:
‘As I continue to explore a more holistic approach to managing chronic illness, I hope that sharing my experiences with you will provide a source of comfort and inspiration for you and help you to find a way to live a fulfilling life while managing the challenges of this relentless and unpredictable illness. I also hope that documenting my journey keeps me honest, focused and more disciplined in my approach’
‘It’s taken me far too long to realise that ignoring my limitations doesn’t get me closer to the life that I want to live’.
Happy IWD Fernie, thanks for your friendship and love. You are missed dearly.