My friend was 32.
I still haven’t grown up to the point where I remember to take my vitamins and eat vegetables with every meal. I still color with crayons. I pick the tomato hunks out of my spaghetti sauce. Shoot, there are nights where I’d rather eat potato chips for dinner than cook anything. I’m still a very big kid.
This life I have is exhausting. There is always. Something. To do. Having said that, I never knew how grateful I really am for this life until very recently.
We take our lives for granted. We take for granted that things generally tend to go well for us. Sure we probably want more money, thinner thighs, whatever. But we take for granted that we are here. And we take for granted that we will wake up in the morning to complain about our thin wallets, not-so-thin thighs, whatever. We’ll grab our lunch, pack the kids in the van, head off to work at a job we hate, and smile at people we don’t like.
I’ll never understand the phrase “Things happen for a reason”. Let me try that again, I know what it means, but I will never understand it; if that makes sense.
This week a good friend of mine was taken from us, much too soon in my opinion. I’m not entirely sure how much my opinion plays out in a situation like this but I’m putting it out there anywhere. This girl was amazing. She is a mother of 4 children, a busy wife, student, a friend. She would have given anything to anyone, and frequently put herself in a pinch for the sake of helping others. She possessed a quiet strength that everyone felt when they were around her. And just like that, she’s gone.
People tend to immediately cling to their faith when things like this happen. “It’s part of God’s plan”. “God must have needed her up there more than we needed her down here”. “These things happen for a reason”. These words do not make it any easier.
People cling to these words for comfort. For solace. For a means to cope with their own feelings. Perhaps I’m angrier than most people at the idea that someone so fantastic could just be ripped from those who love her. Perhaps I’m being selfish.
I think the biggest thing is that I’m being reminded of my own mortality. (Because you know, let’s make it about me) My friend and I led very similar lives. I’m 32. I have kids. I’m the one who holds it all down. I worry. What would happen if I am taken as well?
My friend deserved much more of a life than she had. She deserved more time to live, love, hug her kids, laugh with her friends. A read a quote somewhere that said something about life not being about the number of breaths you take, but about the moments that take your breath away. I can only hope this was the case with my friend.
My heart is destroyed right now. It’s hard to focus on things I need to take care of. But I know she would not have wanted people to be affected like this. I know in my heart of hearts that even in death, she just wants everyone to be taken care of and happy. And that’s what made her so fantastic.
I’ll always remember the long bus rides on the bumpy back roads, when we talked about kissing boys and how the “hot shots” thought they were so much better than anyone. (Hot shots = mean girls in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s)
I’ll always remember spending time at her house and having fruit roll ups and dancing to Club MTV until we thought we would puke.
I’ll always appreciate her positive attitude and refusal to give up.
I’ll always be inspired by her determination and tenacity.
She showed me how to be a better person in more ways than one, and for that I will always be thankful.
I pray you are at peace, T.