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Thursday, March 15, 2012


Do you have those days that are so etched in your memory that there is absolutely nothing about them that you will forget?  Can you remember exactly when you got up that morning and what you were doing?  Maybe I'm just weird.  Or maybe this day is so a part of me, who I am, who I was, who I have become that it will never dull.  It never goes away.  It doesn't fade.  If anything there are some years that I feel it's more clear than it has ever been.

17 years ago almost exactly at this moment I was walking back into my dorm room.  I had been up most of the previous night.  Wait - that's not true either...I had slept some, and was then wide awake at around 3 a.m. vomiting.  No, I hadn't been drinking.  I slept for a bit and then got up to go to my dreaded 8 a.m. math class.  (What kind of complete idiot schedules a math class at 8 o'clcok in the morning on a Wednesday?)  I made it to class.  I sat down and took out my book and calculator.  Then the tears started. 

I knew at that moment that I had to leave.  I packed my backpack up and pretty much ran back to my dorm room - tears streaming down my face the whole way.  I made it to my door and as I was unlocking it, I heard the phone ringing.  I didn't need to answer the phone, although I did.  I knew that it was the call I had been expecting.  I knew she had died.  I knew that my hero, my right arm, the one person I could count on, the most amazing woman on the planet, my best friend was gone. 

I was right.  After a courageous hard fought battle, she finally decided that it was time to go.  The cancer did not win, but she was ready. At 19 years old she had outlived every death sentence they gave her. She got engaged. She planned her own funeral. She was amazing.

Have I ever fully dealt with it?  No. Will I? I don't know.  I know that that part of my life had such a huge impact on me that moving past it sometimes seems impossible or maybe unbearable.  I miss her.  I remember the days following. I remember a friend picking me up from college and taking me to my aunt's. I remember my mom picking me up from my aunts and taking me home.  I remember standing outside the funeral home and having a HUGE temper tantrum.  I knew it was going to happen and I still couldn't accept it. I remember being so completely devastated during the funeral that I did not think I would be able to sit through it.  I remember weeks later still not being able to function.  I remember it all. 

I'm ok now - usually.  That is not to say that I am completely "over it" but that I am adjusted.  That is not to say that 17 years later that I don't cry still.  I do - I am. 

RIP LAN, your strength, beauty, humor, intelligence, and courage have not been and never will be forgotten. 

1 comment:

  1. Do you remember not wanting to enter the church? Do you remember almost collapsing on the way out? Do you remember the lady who saw you the following July at Barbizon and remembered you from the funeral? Do you remember going to lunch and laughing and celebrating a life well lived? I do, and I remember wishing there had been more time for both of you. Because I remember how much you wanted to meet her in the first place. I love you.