I wrote the following words on June 15, 2015. I was suffering from a broken heart and insomnia. My best friend had just cut her family vacation short, a vacation we both knew would be her last one ever. She was in Cleveland clinic awaiting some relief. She was losing her fight with breast cancer. I felt helpless. When someone you love is facing death and leaving her family and children you hide your shit and be strong for them. I was losing my grip on that shit hiding. I didn’t sleep at all that night. I texted her my 2am ramblings then and said “Text me when you’re up, I want to come see you if that’s ok with you and Aaron” I got the response back…”duh, you’re not driving 1.5 hours here to see me. But if you insist on being dumb then yes you can come”. Ah yes she was still being a smart-ass and that brought me some comfort. I felt as though I was walking through life in a fog since she had texted she was headed to Cleveland clinic. For the first time I was unable to lie to myself. My gut over ruled my mind this time. I knew I wasn’t going to have many more days with her and it was soul crushing. I was on the road by 8am and I’m so grateful I went. We walked the halls for the short bits she could stand. We laughed and pretended she wasn’t dying. It was the last time we would pretend life wasn’t sucking and that she wasn’t leaving. It’s the last day of being able to pretend. Every day after that was filled with hard conversations and fucking heart break. It was promises to always talk about her and to be sure her kids knew the side of her that I did. It was helping her order gifts for the kids she hadn’t quite finished doing on her last trip to see another best friend. We laid in her bed and cried in silence. We picked out pictures to print for her funeral. It happened fast. Faster than I could’ve ever imagined. Every single moment of the last two weeks of her life are etched in my brain but so is the good stuff….
June 15, 2015 2:30am~
“Panic. The kind of Panic that makes you feel frozen in time. Everything around you is still happening, but you are frozen in your thoughts. I can hear my 3 year old talking and the baby babbling, but I am in a cloudy fog of thoughts. “She’s coming home and heading to ER” She’s been in and out of hospitals for a few years now. She has been through surgeries, treatments and procedures. Many more than a young body should ever endure. So why this sudden panic. It’s been serious since day one since the stupid lump was found. I’ve had many many rough days of worry and what ifs, but she always pulls through it with a strength I’ve never known was possible. Today was my first full on panic moment. A what will I do if it’s today? If today’s the day I lose her?? I’m not delusional I am fully aware she’s dying. We have talked about it and it’s always a thought in my mind. So I guess I’m shocked at my reaction today. It was overwhelming and quickly became clear I am not handling it as well as I thought. I like to think I’m ok Bc I keep it together. I only really lose my shit in the car alone. I stay busy with kids all day and then use house of cards to distract at night 😊 Today was different. I had a very clear moment of panic. Not worry or sadness. Panic! I have had her in my life for the better part of 20 plus years! I mean she was my other half for a good number of those years. I can’t think of any big moment in my life she wasn’t apart of in some way. She is in more memories than I have with my own husband. The magnitude of a life without her hit me like a ton of bricks. FUCK!!! Which I think was actually my response to her text (super helpful I know) fuck fuck fuck. This can’t be happening. In my head I have time, more time than I know to be true. I prepare for declining health. Mood swings and even hospice. I usually don’t get farther than that Bc it’s just too painful to imagine what that day will be like. So today sucked and I realize I’m not ready yet. I don’t remember my life before her. She’s my loud mouthed friend. Possibly the only person not afraid to tell me I’m out of line or being a bitch. She’s talking all night until we can’t stay awake any longer. She’s laughing so hard it actually hurts. It’s moving away and feeling like we were never apart. She’s combos and Gatorade when we are hung over. She’s last minute drives to Columbus at midnight. Our friendship is fighting and making up and loving each other like sisters. It’s bad hair and even worse half tops. It’s milkshakes before basketball games and walking a mile to meet during snow days. It’s breakups with boyfriends and possible vandalism (hahaha). It’s lunch At DiBennidetos and skipping class. It’s bathroom bomber and secret nicknames. The list is endless. My memories with Laura are more than can be written. I need more time. More time Bc I’m just not ready to be the other Laura with out Thee Laura. Dear God give us all more time with her.“
That’s hard to reread even now 4 years later. It takes me back instantly to that sadness. What’s that thing they say about grief coming in waves? It’s true, you pull it together and live on but fuck if somedays a big ass wave doesnt knock you over. When it does you aren’t expecting it. It’s always the little things that get you. A song or a place. For me it’s the Woodville Carni. Not because she passed away that week, but because she loved that carnival! Every year she’d drag my ass back home from Indiana to go to the beer tent. I still go for the nostalgia of it, but if I’m being honest it just isn’t the same. It never will be. The person I enjoyed going with most isn’t here. There is something so beautiful and yet painful that comes with loving someone. The pain I felt 4 years ago and most certainly will feel forever is worth every single memory I’ve been given with her for 20 plus years. Life is unpredictable and short. All too often we forget until something tragic happens to snap us out of our petty complaints about life. Life IS short. It IS about the little things. Love those around you fiercely. Make memories whenever possible. When you go MEMORIES are what are left in the hearts of your loved ones.
(Our Christmas shopping trip to the outlets, Classic Laura 😉)