I woke up this morning to learn that a friend had passed away. We weren’t close, really. We worked together at a summer job for a couple of years, kept in touch lightly after that. I lost contact with her for several years, then reconnected with her on Facebook. It was at that point that I learned she’d already been dealing with cancer for some years. I tracked her progress as she continued to battle, and I saw what an inspiration she was to those around her. Judging by the volume of comments when her husband posted about her passing, she appears to have touched hundreds of people over her short time in this world.
We first met before we worked together. We were introduced by mutual friends who knew we would both be working at the same summer job. I recall thinking that she seemed nice enough and that I was glad to have met someone so I wouldn’t be stranded with strangers for two months. As it turned out, I underestimated her. She wasn’t simply “nice.” She was energetic, fun, good at her job, intelligent, and had a great sense of humor. Those two summers turned out to be the high point of my college years. As everything else in my “real” life fell apart, I had those few months of shelter from the storms. This amazing young woman was part of that, and I am grateful to have known her.
To all who knew my friend, I am sorry for our loss. May the things we loved about her live on in us, as we treasure our time with her and our memories of her.