Today would have been my best friend Linda's 42nd birthday. Instead of celebrating here on earth, however, she is rejoicing in heaven, and probably having one heck of a party! Linda was diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic endometrial cancer on November 1, 2007. She had her first chemo treatment on her 40th birthday.
You can read her story here.
Linda died on October 2, 2008, 11 months and 1 day after her diagnosis. She was in hospice for only a few days. She WORKED up until about 3 months before she died. Linda was almost as bullheaded as me! Well, maybe even MORE so...I just ache with how much I miss her.
Linda was the kind of friend you get the privilege of knowing once in a lifetime. She was the kindest, most compassionate, most loyal, faithful friend anyone could ask for. She was beautiful inside and out. I always told her that God gave me her as kind of a big sister (although she ALWAYS told people she was younger than me, that stinker!)...My older sister, almost exactly Linda's age, was killed in a car accident when I was 16. She was 18. I didn't meet Linda until my early 20's, but we became fast friends. Linda didn't make friends very quickly, but when she did, you were a friend for life. Who knew that "life" would be such a short time?
While Linda could never replace my sister, God filled that void with Linda. And then when Linda passed, He gave me another wonderful friend in Joanna. Again, never replacing, just God's provision. (Love ya girl).
Before Linda died, while we were both trying to be very optimistic, we knew. And so we didn't waste time. I told her everything she meant to me. She did the same. In the 12 years that we were best friends, we had one stupid fight. One. We walked down memory lane, a lot. PLEASE do that with your friends and family NOW. Don't wait until one of you is on death's door to remember the good times.
If I could say anything to Linda, it would be how much I miss her. It's like learning to walk again with a prosthesis instead of your real leg. Or like losing part of you, and not quite knowing how to fix it...until you realize there is no fix. I will forever be changed by her death, but more importantly by her life. There is a part of my heart that will never be mended completely.
I still think, "O my GOSH I HAVE to call Linda!" when I see something scandalous on a show we both watched. I can't watch Rachael Ray because it's simply too painful. Linda got me hooked, and if I watch, I almost get angry that something so important to her can just go on like nothing ever happened. I don't know if that makes any sense at all.
I don't think a day goes by that I don't think of her. I still hurt. I still get angry. I still wonder why her. I want her back, but I know that she is so much better off. She is whole and happy and perfect, and will never feel pain again.
I love you Linda...I miss you so, so much. I know I will see you again someday, but in the meantime, it still just hurts. I can't wait til we can get all caught up again!!
Happy Birthday my sweet, sweet friend.