Today I’m doing something I never thought in a million years I’d actually have to do. We had talked about it, of course, as we were both practical people but I never believed it would happen. I’m older, I was supposed to go first. Amanda was my local best friend. I’ve been blessed with a few dedicated close friends so I have to label them, it’s a thing. There are going be a lot of stories about what a kind person she was. They are all true. There are going to be a lot of stories about what a giving person she was, always looking to find solutions and ways to help others. They are all true. There are going to be a lot of stories about how her children were her life and she would give anything for them. They are all true. However, I’m going to give you a different story. A story of friendship in all the different angle it takes.
Amanda was 12ish years younger than I am. Not exactly a setup for a best friend. I mean, I’m a cranky old woman and she was well young and full of life. When we met, through work, she didn’t have any children yet. Heck, I kept telling her she was pregnant with Munch even though each stick came back negative. I was right. Amanda decided we would be friends. And she preyed on my weaknesses to make it happen. ‘Teach me to cook’ she said. ‘Help me get things organized’ she said. So I did. And the most amazing friendship in the world happened. I taught her to cook, I helped her with the whole idea of organizing. I taught her to budget. She taught me to let go and have fun. She taught me to appreciate girls night. We drank wine together, ate Kathy’s Pasta together, watched movies together, and shared a love of reading together. We talked about everything and anything and nothing. We fought about everything and anything and nothing because that’s what best friends do.
Life is not always sunshine and roses. Neither are friendships. The difference? We were invested in our relationship. Even when things were strained and hard we always came together. Maybe not always right away, we needed time to process the hurts that come with human relationships. But there was way too much commonality to let it go. There was too much love. Even in the hard stuff we needed each other. When things were good and easy we came together. She still owes me girls night at TGI Fridays (we both have enough points to eat free).
I will never smell smoke the same way. I spent entirely too much time in it Monday trying to find my best friend. I hate to admit it but I will actually miss the battle of her trying to grab my chest. It was a thing she did. It was a thing I spent hours arms crossed to try to prevent. It was fun and silly and inappropriate and so totally us. I don’t know what my future will look like without her. What the Minions futures will look like without her. What her families future will look like without her. You just don’t lose someone like this. You don’t die at 29. It should be against the law of humanity. Who will I call when I get off work? Who will I drink wine with? Who will I share life with? Who will I share grief with? Who will make fun of me in the way only she could?
I am the person I am today partly because of her. I am blessed beyond measure to have many friends. I am blessed beyond measure to have a few best friends. There’s a hole there that will never be filled. When this post goes out I will be at her memorial saying Goodbye one more time. Goodbye to her earthly body because let me tell ya there are still a lot of conversations going on between us, even as I type this. Perhaps one-sided but let’s face it… Everything I say, I already know how she would choose to respond. I can find so many pictures of Us but they are always with a Minion or two. Perhaps another day I’ll share them. Today, just pray. Pray for her babies, her family, her friends. Pray for the lives she touched and the lives she never got to impact.
With all my heart,