At Hornblower we like to throw parties. We have fun. We are with people when they celebrate life’s milestone moments. We rarely talk about sad occasions.
However, like everyone else, we cannot avoid misfortune. And we find ourselves in an unknown place as we grieve for tragic and premature death of a beloved colleague.
Hilsia Souza would have turned 40 next month, and we know it would have been quite a bash. She was full of light, full of life and had twice as much energy as her petite body should have been capable of generating. Her spirit and sass charmed all who met her, and for four years the Hornblower family was blessed to know her.
Two years ago Hilsia was diagnosed with breast cancer. Through rigorous treatments, and resulting side effects, her cheerful demeanor never wavered. She refused to be defined or limited by her disease. Following successful treatments she grasp hold of life’s adventures, determined to live everyday with the fullest spirit possible. We laughed with her, marveled at her bravery and wept with her when her disease returned.
She fought for a long time and fought harder than any of us could begin to imagine. The strength she showed us over the last few months doesn’t seem possible to have come from a single human being. Her grace, class and humor in the face of uncertainly, during what could have been her darkest days, is a reminder to us all that while life may be short, it is your opportunity to show the world what a wonderful place we all live in.
Hilisa will be in our hearts forever.
She is survived by her mother and father, grandmother, four uncles and an aunt. Hornblower is honoring her memory by participating in the Petaluma Catwalk for a Cure, an organization close to Hilsia’s heart.