365 Days of Random

Random musings about nothing at all

Day of Memories

Today on the 10th of September a group of people gathered to remember our dear departed friend. I’ve spoken of this friend numerous times on here so don’t feel the need to rehash in any great detail. In the almost 18 months since her passing not a day goes by that I don’t think of her, generally more than once. Today her family and friends gathered to celebrate her life. It was a couple of hours of stories, memories, tears and laughter. But one thing was consistent… She was incredibly well loved.

What amazed me more than anything was the way that my BF reacted to the gathering. I met him about 5 or 6 months after my friend passed on so he never had the chance to know her. I know he would have loved her, the would have become great friends… she had that effect on people. But (ever loyal to those closest to her) she would have grilled him and never let up until she was sure that he was perfect for me. In fact, I think she’s still doing that. I think she sent him to me. Anyway.. back to the point…. my BF had never met Rash but numerous time during the service he was tearing up along with the rest of us. He said that he felt that even in those two hours something about her life and spirit touched him in a way that he did not expect. Although they’d never met I think he walked away feeling like he knew her.

Throughout the service people were invited to speak. To share stories, thoughts memories and insights into the wonderfully amazing person that was Rash. I even read my poem… and ALMOST got through the entire thing without breaking up. I would have been ok too if I hadn’t looked at her mom at just that last moment. The overwhelmingly consistent message what that Rash was an inspiration to every single person she encountered. Childhood gymnastics coaches, teachers, coworkers, friends and family all shared the same message. She was a determined, tenacious, spirited, amazing person that brought out the very best in those around her. In the short time that was her life she touched the lives of so many others. She left a piece of her behind in all of us and that’s how we can be certain that she will NEVER truly be gone. She taught each of us how to be a better person and she did it in a way that you didn’t even realize what was happening. She got inside your heart and stayed put. She was the most caring and compassionate person I’ve ever met. Her smile (which was a constant fixture on her face) lit up the room and brightened even the gloomiest of times.

Before I sign off tonight I’d like to share a couple of my favorite memories of Rash. I met Rash about 3 years ago and we became instant best friends. Rash was hearing impaired. She could read lips and speak and once you took the time to listen to her she was perfectly easy to communicate with. But her lip reading skills came in handy for entertainment purposes more than once. There were numerous occasions where we’d be out enjoying a drink, or lunch, or just chilling on some patio and she would tell us what was going on at every table around us. It was a most entertaining way to enhance your people watching excursions. She always caught the juiciest bits of whatever was going on around her. She never missed a beat. My other favorite memory of Rash was our weekly TV dates. She’d text me about 8:45pm telling me she was home and ready and I’d get online. We’d watch Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice ‘together’ chatting on IM the entire time. If one of us was gong to miss the show we’d both record it and make plans to watch another day. While it may seem like such a simple thing it was an amazing way to share time with a friend that I just didn’t get to see as often as I’d have liked. While we talked almost every day (over IM or text of BBM) I looked forward to our girls night TV every week.

We’d been friends for such a short time when she was taken from this world, but she was a friend like no other. She’s someone who will be in my heart for the rest of my life. I am very very grateful for the love and friendship we shared and for the people that her passing brought into my life as well. And even though they never met, I am incredibly thankful that my BF was given a chance to know her in some small way too… it just proves that she’s out there still watching out for her family and making sure that everyone knows it.

September 10, 2011 Posted by | Faith, Inspiration, Life | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Girls Days

Today things were supposed to be about getting back to normal after the week in Vegas….. Normally on Saturdays I would wake up at a decently early hour… 8 or 9ish.. have some breakfast, climb for a few hours, spend some time with X and come home to chill with my BF. Today though… given that I got home from Vegas last night around 11pm and with the time change and a late dinner my sleep schedule got all messed up. Actually I didn’t really sleep all that well at all. I didn’t get out of bed until about noon (although I wasn’t sleeping the entire time) and was late for my 1pm ‘date’ with X.

But, turns out we had a fabulous girls afternoon all the same. We did what all girls do when looking to kill a few hours. We went shopping. X is in a dance group that does traditional Bolivian dancing and they are heading to NYC early tomorrow morning for a show. We wanted to go see if she could find anything ‘fun’ for her trip. Turns out I had a credit at my favorite store and ended up getting a new dress, necklace and earrings for about $7…. gotta love those kinds of girls days. Of course, any new dress needs new shoes and so X and I left the store to head over to DSW and look for some shoes to match.

In all the stuff that X and I have done together this was the first day that we just hung out and talked like girl friends and just shopped and gossiped. Picking out things to show the other, trying stuff on and generally just having a good time. After shopping we went and got something to drink from Starbucks and then headed back towards her place. We continued talking the entire way home about all kinds of stuff. She told me how much she admired me for being so independent and confident in all things and how she’s learned a lot from me about what it means to be a strong, responsible, fun, independent young woman. You forget sometimes how wonderful it is to really hear (from the horses mouth as it were) how much of an impact you have on the lives of those around you, those you care deeply for. This young girl has blossomed so much in the past 18 months and I am so very very proud of her. She’s become a huge part of my life and will always be. I am so honored to have been able to know her and be her friend and role model.

I don’t know how to really explain this but lately… between challenging people at work and lots of just general stress… I’d been feeling a lot less confident about who I am and what I bring to the table.. in some aspects of both my personal and my professional lives. When a 15 year old girl tells you you’re exactly the kind of woman she wants to grow up to be it really does make you stop and take a fresh look at yourself and all your accomplishments. It’s kind of interesting to really see yourself through the eyes of another. Seems that recently I’ve had more than one conversation about making your own destiny and being true to who you are and not relying on someone else to validate that. To own your own choices and the direction of your own life. Sometimes we (as humans) forget that we really are the ones in full control of that. We start to rely too much on what other people think of us in order to validate how we feel about ourselves. I guess hearing myself say to X today that everyone is their own person and that everyone is uniquely wonderful and that we’re all responsible for the choices we make (both good and bad) reminded me that I really do need to spend more time focused on those parts of my life I’ve been feeling a bit unsteady about and recognize all the incredible things that I bring to those situations. To, as someone I care deeply for recently told me, stop being afraid to really go after what I want – in all aspects of my life. And, to do so without placing the responsibility for my successes or failures on anyone else but me. I need to (as I told X to do) own my own choices.

Wow…. being a role model to a 15 year old girl truly is an amazingly enlightening experience. I am not sure I would have come to the same realization without her openly admiring all the things I’ve shown her. And consequently reminding me that not only do I truly believe every person can be the person she sees in me… but that I actually am that person and need to start acting like it again.

So thanks X for another wonderful girls day. And thanks for being the amazing and wonderful Little Sister who unexpectedly teaches her Big Sister a thing or two about life on a continual basis.

July 16, 2011 Posted by | Life | , , , | Leave a comment