March 20th, 2003 changed my life. It was the day I learned that my little bubble was not impenetrable. I will never forget standing in the gym, going through the FFA banquet set up, and getting the news. We were going to ride to school together, but there were things I still had to do with the FFA scrapbook. We decided to meet at school and then go to my house after school to finish up tasks for the banquet the next day.
Everything changed. Rebecca spent a lot of time at my house. She would let my dog waller all over her. She was like a bonus kid to my parents. We would sleepover at her house. I would try not to wake up Big Foot. She was fun. All the time. She was ready to experience anything that life threw at her. We experienced so much together as a group. All 5 us of. School, proms, parties, music, secrets – we had it all. Then we didn’t, and we became a group of 4 plus an angel.
College, engagements, weddings, babies…we had to do it all without her. She should have been there. I know in my heart that she was there for it all in spirit. She’s guided us through so many big decisions in our lives. I like to think that she is taking care of my sweet baby who didn’t make it to this world and into my arms. I hope that heaven is full of all the most beautiful sights.
I know I am not alone in this club. The club where you grieve the loss of someone for the rest of your life. No one wants to be here, but once you join there is no way out. A lot of the time it is a dull ache and other times it is more like a solid hit to your chest. But once a year, it will hit you like a freight train.
I have said this before, in a much different vein, but I believe it. Grief is really just love, it is all the love you want to give, but cannot. It gathers in the lump in your throat, the corners of your eyes and the hollow part of your chest. You carry it with you, and it can become heavy. Talking about it helps to heal. You put your love back into the world and remember that the grief you have is because you have experienced love. She is gone from this earth, but memories will stay with us. I thank God every day for my girls. No matter the distance or time – we have each other’s back. We made it this far because of each other, and by help from our angel.
I had 17 years of life behind me before I learned how to internalize and work through emotions. 20 years later I have added plenty of adversity to the list of things I needed those tools for. The passing of my sassy and spirited friend Rebecca takes the cake. But who am I kidding; she would love that she topped that list. She loved to win. ❤️