I lost a good friend today to cancer. She was an amazing woman who was an inspiration to me and too everyone who was lucky enough to have her touch their lives. She was part big sister, part mother, part confidant, a little bit of every positive role model a person could want. I was closer to her than all but two members of my family.
I learned a lot of about family from her. She taught me you always show interest in other people, and not just in words but in inquisitive questions, listening to a story that may seem boring to you but means the world to the person telling so you give it the attention it deserves.
She had cancer, an awful disease that literally eats you up from the inside. But she never told me once about it. She never told me about the pain she was in, or the nights she lost to worrying if she would wake up in the morning because she always, even in her most dire hour put everyone else first.
She was inherently cool. This giant pool of goodness that just brought so much joy into other people’s life . Good. Pure. Jeez rainbow maybe…I am stuck and struggling for words to describe her because she was beyond definition. She defined herself…her name was her description.
Part of me wants to grieve. Part of me wants to cry because something so good and pure and right is left me. However there is another part of me that knows that she would want me to be happy. She would want me to celebrate a life that found created a beautiful web of friendship of everyone whose life she touched . I know she would be telling stories that should be sad and should be causing my heart to break but the way she told them made you laugh so hard that you wonder how you can still be alive because you are laughing too much and breathing too little.
I have already cried and that is enough. She would want me to say to people “This is my friend and we had awesome times together and even though she isn’t with me right now she is watching me as I am travelling around and taking a really funny photo that pretty much only she an d I would laugh at because we both shared a special brand of weird. She would want me to spend my energy not being sad but etching the “Best of our friendship” into my mind so I can visit them on cold lonely nights and be a little less afraid and a little more warm.
The last time I saw her was in 2010 before I went to Beijing. We took some pictures together before I went out the door. We took maybe a dozen pictures because one of us would always blink. She took the blame and would laugh at it but I look at the pictures and say to myself “No silly it was me”. The last communication we had was her giant ear to ear smile. Thank you for being in my life, thank you for all the days including the ones I haven’t seen yet that you make the sun shine though the clouds.
I will miss my friend forever…but I know right now she would want me smile.