Her name is Susie. She was full of life, love, laughter, mischief, and energy! The best mixture there could have ever been in one person... imagine all of these wonderful qualities wrapped into one person and you have her... Susie. She and I met at school and began "hanging out" and became inseparable from there. I truly love her like she is my sister. I hope that doesn't offend anyone, it's just that I don't have a sister so I can only imagine that the love I have for her must be what it feels like to have a sister. We thought the same thoughts and finished each other's sentences.Her family was and still is like my family. I was completely comfortable, as were they, with me just walking in their back door and going upstairs to the "rec room" and looking around for her and getting ready to go wherever it is that we may have been going that day or night. No matter what we did or where we went, we always had fun together. Some stories, I will never forget, and others I am afraid I will so I try to tell them to myself from time to time. The first memory that comes to mind is that poor red convertible car that was passed around... she HATED it. We could be sitting at a red light and we would hear a noise and she would say, "Oh no, is that my car?". She wanted to just leave it running with the top down while we were in the mall in hopes someone would take it. That always tickled me when she would say that. She loved animals and was always trying to "rescue" them. She loved her dogs! We hung out all through high school and even once we got into college... what a blessing to have such a true friend. She worked nights then and got off from work late... but she would end up at my apartment and we would ride around, hang out, or go back to her apartment and hang out with her roommates.Luckily for me, she introduced me to Lori, which also ended up being one of her roommates. She is the reason we became friends and I am so thankful for that because Lori and I became very close and are still great friends. She was so loving and giving. She once knew that I was looking for some new "decorations" (as we called them then) in my apartment. She bought me a tall orange vase with a sun on it... I still have it and it sits right in my living room to this very day and I don't know that I will ever be able to part with it. She gave me a large blue bottle with candle wax pouring from the top... that sits on my dresser in my bedroom. I have quit wearing a necklace she gave me only because I am afraid I will lose it. It is a crescent moon with two stars on either side of it. I cherished her friendship so much and really miss her. I find myself wanting to call her when I am down because she always knew how to lift me up... I find myself wanting to call when something great happens because she was always your biggest fan. I enjoyed when she called me and we would laugh and talk and make up "plans" and inside jokes that I remember to this day. Even now, I can remember how easy it was to lift her spirits back up when she was down. Nothing could keep her down for long. I remember once there was a tornado warning so I hid in the closet in my apartment and she stayed on the phone with me because I was scared. We joked and made up "plots" and "plans" and then we realized my neighbor who was also in his closet in his apartment could hear us and we thought that was HILARIOUS! We were "growing up" and she was moving to a new town for new opportunities. The day before she moved, she called me up and said she had something for me and asked me to come to her house and get it. She gave me a card and a bottle with candle wax pouring from it. She said it was a "parting gift". Little did I know how literal these words would be. We never saw each other face to face again. About two weeks before she died I found out I was pregnant with Kobe. I never got to tell her. I tried but we were busy and we worked and went to school and had lives. Plus, that was before I was as "connected" as I am now with email, voicemail, text messaging, and Facebook. I was at work when a family member came to tell me of Susie's death. My cousin, Amy, came and picked me up from work because she didn't want me driving because she knew how upset I would be when I found out. I sat down immediately and didn't believe what she was telling me. I made her take me straight to Susie's parent's house. Her mom and sister confirmed what I knew to be true but didn't want to believe. That day I lost a lot... my best friend, my "sister", my Maid of Honor, my children's "aunt" and someone who had been there for me daily for several years. The next few days were a blur. I felt as if I was in a whirlwind and things were going too fast and I could not gain my bearings. I was lost. I was sad. I was completely devastated. I clung to Lori and Tricia. We were all each other had and we completely understood how the other one felt. I wish she could have been at my wedding and I wish I could have gone to hers. I wish my husband could have known her.I wish so badly my children could have experienced life "Susie Style". My mind's eye can see Susie and Sam running wild ... Sam would have adored her. His little mischevious streak he has about him makes me think of her and how much fun they would have had. I talk about her often with them, I still, to this day can barely talk about her without getting a little weepy. I drive by her mom's house every now and again and look up at that rec room window and so many memories flood my mind and it makes my eyes sting. It's not always a sad cry... sometimes I am just happy to have the memories that I do have. I wish there could have been more memories, but luckily, the ones we made were great and will last a lifetime. Some days, all I want, is for Susie to come by in that mini van and us go to O'Charley's,eat salads and rolls, and just hang out. I still to this day can not hear the word "True" or that song "One Week" by the Barenaked Ladies without thinking of her and how tickled we would get trying to sing that song. As I am typing this so many memories that I haven't thought about in years have made their way into my mind and it makes my heart smile to know that I have even more memories than I thought I had. I wish so badly I could list them all here. I do miss her but I know that I am blessed beyond measure just to have known her. My hope is that my children will find a loving and true friend in their lifetime as I had in her.
"Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy." ~ Eskimo Legend
"What we have once enjoyed we can never lose.All that we love deeply becomes a part of us."~Helen Keller
Your memory is a way of holding on to what you are, what you love, and what you never want to lose. ~ The Wonder Years