I loved her.

She was a good person.

It’s the end of the year. She is gone now. I already miss my friend very much.

I had other plans for this week’s post. Unfortunately, yesterday I got the sad news.

A friend of mine that I work with at the middle school got very sick some time ago. It was cancer. She’s been fighting for a while now.

Recently, other health complications developed. For a very long time, my friend has been in very bad pain. Daily pain. It was hard to see her that way. However, if you didn’t know, you wouldn’t have known. She didn’t let it show.

I still remember her first day at the school. She worked in the SPED Department (like I do). She was one of the supervisors—and great at her job. She loved her job and the students she helped. At some point, she was in charge of… Became in charge of…? Put in charge of…? I can’t word it right now. She had a classroom, with her name on it, that was the reading room. This was where students—from all the grades—came to get help with their reading abilities. She took it very serious.

Then, she got sick…

Circumstances allowed her time off. She had a good crew of experienced staff to take over and help out.

I used to send her stupid memes and texts to cheer her up on her rough days. I missed seeing her.

Last year, at Christmas, a few of us did a 12 Days of Christmas for her. She was divorced, and her children are all grown up and away from home. This whole sick-thing has been rough for her. It really made a difference. The reminder that she was loved perked her up. She kept fighting. This year things got complicated.

Long story short… She was not doing well. Cancer wasn’t killing her so much anymore, her insides rebelled and moved about. Yet, she still came back. She went to work. She loved her job. She loved the children—and they knew it.

To see her in the halls, you would never guess there was anything wrong. She stood tall and proud, every day. She showed strength and determination, every day. Even when, in the quiet personal moments, when she let her friends know how much she hurt, her determination was there. I knew she was getting tired. But, she never quit fighting.

My schedule this year didn’t allow me to see her often. And, for the past few days, I kept feeling like I needed to reach out to her. Check up on her. See how she was doing. But, things kept coming up and the end of the day would come… By then I figured she was asleep and I didn’t want to disrupt her rest.

Last week, she felt very ill and went home early. I found out Monday that she had been admitted to hospice over the weekend.

With the different jobs I have, there are so many emails. I don’t always get to all of them every day. I missed one.

During first period, I brought a student down to the office for something and one of the secretaries asked if they needed a counselor for “insert the name of my friend here”. I said no, and thanked her for reminding me about my friend’s circumstances. I think I said, “Thanks for the reminder”. So, contextually, my statement made sense. I completed my business and walked out of the office. In the last week of school, in the last days of school, things are crazy. You don’t always have time to process stuff. A couple of hours later, it hit me: What did the secretary mean by what she said? I hadn’t the time to understand it in the moment it was said. It hadn’t clicked.

I went right to the person I knew would know. She confirmed that our friend had indeed passed away, Monday afternoon. Two days ago afternoon. It happened quickly.

The children at our school meant the world to her. She was one of the strongest people I have ever known. She was in so much pain all the time, yet she still persevered.

I kept meaning to reach out… If you ever have those feelings about someone in your life, don’t wait. Call them. Text them. Go see them. Let them know you care and are thinking about them.

It’s the end of the year. She is gone now. I already miss my friend very much.

She was a good person.

I loved her.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s