It’s been a tough month – one of those months that catches you off guard, sticking a leg out as you walk by. A month that makes you realize you’ve reached one of those stages in life when things are changing, sometimes pretty fast. Of course, now as I write this November 13th has come and gone, and with it the terribly sad events around the world.
So yeah, one of those months that makes you want to hide under the carpet and not come out. One of those month’s in which the tiredness reaches your soul.
October started out fine, the sis settling into a new job across the country and my mom and I getting the house decorated for Fall and Halloween. But then the bad news started coming…and coming, and coming. It’s taken me a couple weeks to sit down and write this out, but for about three or four weeks it was just one thing after another.
After my sister moved and my dad went to see his family to pick up some of her stuff and see his aunt who was in the hospital, his uncle ended up passing away (his aunt has since recovered…life giveth, and life taketh away I suppose). Following that, I got a call from my sister who was in the midst of a personal dilemma and at a crossroads. One of the toughest things for a sibling – especially a big sibling – is knowing your little bro/sis is in pain and being able to do nothing but offer words of limited wisdom and comfort. It sucks.
If we thought things were beginning to settle down after that, we were to be sorely mistaken. We had only just begun to look over the edge, just one push away from tumbling down proverbial rabbit hole of bad news…
The slide began with news of another family member in the hospital. My grandma had suffered a mini-stroke (thankfully, she’s out and recovering now) and then we received sudden news of the death of a friend from childhood’s father. This coming just two years after her mother passed away and my heart broke for their family. We joined a walk on the beach lead by her and siblings to honor their father, and I was stuck by their strength. However sad the occasion, I have to say that I’m glad it gave me the chance to reconnect with this friend.
While I want nothing more than for her to be happy, it was still hard news for our family to receive as we had all come to accept this person as a part of it. I’m heartbroken for him, and sad to see something that seemed so permanent end, but at the end of the day if she’s happy, I’m happy. Ironically, perhaps, it’s just going to take a little bit of time for us all to move on.
So all of this had us feeling out of spirits. But like every tale of ‘these kinds of months’, the worst was still to come. We were sliding down the hole but hadn’t come crashing into the ground yet.
And that faceplant came two days later. My mom found out first. A friend I grew up with had just suffered a heart attack. I couldn’t believe it – this friend was hardly older than I was, an athlete, and it just made no sense. None. We all sent out our thoughts/good energy/prayers, and at one point they were able to get her heart going on its own again. I was so sure she was going to get better!
It was even more of a shock, then, when my mom called me at work the next day to tell me she hadn’t made it. She was gone.
For once I was glad for the long drive home and the chance to process the news on my own. As soon as I got home my brother enveloped me in a big hug and we just cried together for a few minutes. Over the next few days I would come to see through news around town and Facebook posts how much a person can affect a community. It made me both glad and more upset at the same time.
Readers, I’ll ask you to bear with me here for the rest. As my blog has become a place to get my thoughts out and just be me, it just made the most sense to write what I needed to out here.
A final goodbye.
I know it’s been a while since we’ve talked, and I wish I had made the effort to connect with you again sooner. Even so, some things you know just never change, and I do believe our friendship is one of those things.
You were one of the best friends I had growing up and I hope you know how thankful I am to have had you in my life at that time. While so many people are caught up trying to figure out their own place when growing up, you were constant – someone I would come to look up to as a big sister. I don’t believe anyone knows exactly who they are then, but if anyone did it was you, and I always admired that sense of self and purpose. You expected the best in others without expecting them to be something they weren’t. Sometimes fierce, always kind, and a true leader.
I always had so much fun hanging out with you – goofing around after soccer games, camps and sleepovers in the Summers…I hope you know how much that friendship meant to me. As you know I could be pretty shy and reserved back then, and I want to say thanks for always standing by my side, never demanding an explanation for my being on the quiet side, and always making me feel like a part of your team both on and off the field. You had the best dry sense of humor around (complemented my sillier side perfectly, you know) and a great compassion for others. For as many smiles and laughs you brought to my life then, I only hope I brought some of the same happiness to you.
And now, I just want you to know that you really did have an impact on my life, and even though you’re gone I have a feeling you’ll continue to inspire not only me, but everyone else whose lives you’ve touched with your strength. I wish it hadn’t been you, it really doesn’t seem fair. At all.
In the end though, what I really want to say is how thankful I am for the time I’ve had with you and being one of the people who knew you. So, cheers to all of the good times! When I think of you it will always be with a smile.
Until we meet again…
‘The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.‘- J.R.R. Tolkien