Mother and sailor, blogger and advocate for cancer screening, Ms. Colotti Ferrie died of cancer on April 17 in Gosnell hospice house in Scarborough, Maine. She was 43 and had lived in Scarborough when the family members was not on its multicountry ocean vacation.
“Steph taught us, ‘Don’t shy away from issues mainly because they’re difficult. That is what tends to make it so gratifying,’ ” Kevin Colotti said Friday, when relatives and pals gathered to rejoice his wife’s daily life at an function that was reside streamed and archived on her Facebook web site.
“My mom generally needed us to dwell adventurous lives,” their 14-yr-outdated daughter, Lilah, reported through the accumulating at Ocean Gateway in Portland, Maine.
Ms. Colotti Ferrie had mapped out her individual voyage by way of lifestyle extended prior to she established foot on Serendipity. The 44-foot sailboat became the family’s house for two a long time, commencing in autumn 2018.
And just after her 1st most cancers analysis, she just as adamantly charted a training course for her loved ones and close friends to follow, if only they were courageous more than enough to do so.
“She confirmed us an technique to lifestyle where by we could be no cost from society’s constraints,” Lilah reported at Friday’s collecting. “She showed us a everyday living where we could move out of our comfort zones. She wanted us to stay so that we could step out of the shadows and into a gentle of our creating.”
That meant having on the type of function for the duration of their two-12 months vacation that any one, permit on your own a mom with four younger young children, would locate overwhelming.
The household washed clothes in a bucket on the deck, and sometimes caught their dinners — mahi-mahi, marlin, tuna.
Kevin, a sailor considering that his youth in Florida who experienced served for practically two a long time in the Coast Guard, was the only a person among the them not susceptible to seasickness when they sailed as a result of rough waters.
At the memorial collecting, Lilah reported her mother “taught me that if you want a wonderful result, you are going to have to facial area challenges in order to find the beauty on the other facet.”
Although she never ever pulled punches about the tough moments, Ms. Colotti Ferrie was just as eloquent about the instances of pure natural beauty, these types of as a person the household seasoned in April 2019.
“Crystal crystal clear h2o so astounding you can see the intricate ripples that sit on the ocean ground,” she wrote in “Live the Voyage,” her Facebook blog site. “The patches of coral and grass dispersed all through the anchorage, in which rays and turtles swim peacefully. Dolphins frolicking throughout the water, hunting for their up coming snack. The most squishy sand you could ever think about underneath your toes that host scattered pink shells that make it really feel like somebody was there with a pink paintbrush.”
Ms. Colotti Ferrie, who also didn’t shy from utilizing colorful language to explain moments of upheaval, wrote about the confluence of excellent and undesirable in a passage she posted on Easter Sunday in 2020, two many years right before she died on Easter Sunday this 12 months.
“I am going to fill you in on a small key. Lifestyle can suck AND be stunning all at the very same time,” she wrote. “That’s suitable. Lifestyle can be complicated, but even now be pleasing. I hardly ever believed that would be achievable right up until I had cancer.”
By April 2020, she experienced been identified a second time with most cancers, which experienced metastasized. That prompted the relatives to settle again into their life in Scarborough so she could endure far more treatment.
“We may well have many restrictions held on us, but as an alternative of relishing on what we just cannot do, we relished in what we could do,” she explained of that day. “Easter Sunday provides hope, renewal and love to lots of and an opportunity to place on actual clothing for a instant. A possibility to see that the sun can absolutely glow even on the darkest times if you search challenging more than enough.”
Stephanie Colotti was born in Portsmouth, N.H., on Feb. 13, 1979, and grew up in Amesbury, the daughter of Bonnie Davidson Colotti and Steve Colotti, who now reside in Exeter, N.H.
Right after high school, she graduated in 2002 from Florida Gulf Coast University with a bachelor’s diploma in nursing.
Even as a youth, “she made an perception on me that I couldn’t refuse to understand from,” her young brother, Joe of Candia, N.H., claimed at Friday’s collecting.
Between those people lessons, he additional, was 1 she taught anyone she realized in the a long time given that that very first most cancers diagnosis: Abide by your desires, “live the voyage.”
“Do you truly think you’re powerful adequate, daring plenty of, and care about your 1 life to genuinely abide by in Steph’s footsteps? You know that is all she wishes from us,” Joe included.
In 2005, she married Kevin Ferrie. They settled in Maine a lot more than a dozen many years back, and alongside with Lilah, their little ones are 16-year-outdated Mairead, 12-yr-old Clara, and 11-12 months-previous Callum.
“There’s no question that the kids would not be who they are without Steph. They had been her daily life,” Kevin reported in a telephone job interview previous week.
“I can promise you with no a shadow of a question that none of my youngsters will reside a lifestyle they never feel in,” he extra. “They will do what they really like. They will be passionate about their lives each and every working day, and that’s the message Steph wanted them to have.”
An further celebration of daily life will be announced in the summer for Ms. Colotti Ferrie, who leaves her spouse, 4 small children, mothers and fathers, and brother.
Ms. Colotti Ferrie spoke of her most cancers analysis in a 2017 interview with WMTW-Television as she advocated for men and women to get the HPV vaccine, and she competed in triathlons to elevate dollars for cancer investigate.
By cellphone final week Lilah mentioned her mother “was pretty pushed, she was pretty competitive” – a sentiment echoed in many amusing anecdotes shared by Ms. Colotti Ferrie’s good friends at Friday’s collecting.
“She’s normally pushed and pulled and encouraged us to move out of our convenience zone,” Lilah reported. “I’m really glad she lifted me the way she did so I’m not coddled or egocentric or spoiled.”
In December 2018, on the anniversary of her analysis, Ms. Colotti Ferrie wrote that “while cancer altered my lifetime endlessly, it also assisted me live my existence differently” — a a lot more significant and memorable existence.
“I normally speculate, had most cancers never ever arrive into our loved ones, would we be sitting down listed here on our boat, in the Caribbean on a beautiful island? I am not so confident.”
Bryan Marquard can be reached at [email protected].