Why She Will Always Live On

A long time ago, I was a first grader and I met the person who would be my best friend forever. No, this isn’t some story of silly elementary school friendship, this is a real life, forever and ever story. Wendy and I met at Pinecreek Elementary school, playing on the playground in muddy puddles. We had that one lone year together as children, then renewed our friendship when I moved back in tenth grade. Our time together was again short, but Wendy was a woman who will always live on through me, through my children, and hopefully through their children.

Today, after twelve long years without her physically here with me, my Wendy memories are burned into my brain. While there are days that I still feel the pain, there are days like today that I am proud of the person knowing her helped me become. Today, twelve years after she took her last breath, I know one big reason why God put my Wendy in my life. Even when she had so many reasons to take and not give, she gave. She gave and she loved. She gave with her whole heart. And she was such an amazing person for that.

It was December 1999. Our youth group had picked an angel to buy clothes and toys for at Christmas. We girls were in charge of getting the gift–boys know nothing about buying clothes for little girls. Wendy was in remission, but she led the charge of us getting our gifts. We packed into my dad’s conversion van and hit the road for DuBois. Warm clothes for the baby girl were a must, and then a fun toy. Wendy made sure we used our budget to the fullest to give our angel child the best gifts we could. Then we shared laughs over dinner, just a bunch of teenage girls making memories. We quickly lost track of time and got home late, but that was ok because our families trusted us girls together.

It didn’t matter what she had been through, she was always giving, always loving. Being the example of what we all should be. That December night was just one of many that I got to witness and learn all about giving with a joyful heart. Everyone needs someone like Wendy in their lives. The lessons she taught me will always live on and I am so thankful.

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Speaking of people who are great examples of giving wholeheartedly, take a look at what some of the peers from my first 2nd Grade class were up to this week. Green Sea Middle School Walk for Glaucoma (from SCNow.com). What great examples of love and lifelong friendship!

Still Feel the Pain

Usually my Wednesdays are Wordless.

Usually my posts are about the kids.

Usually my posts are in the evening (and shh, PodCampers, scheduled because I am busy).

Today, it is all thrown out the window.

Today, I am sad. I am bitterly angry. I am dealing with something I’ve been managing well for almost 11 years, but the pain never will completely go away.

Today, I hated myself for a fleeting moment. In the shower, enjoying my morning routine with A, I almost shaved a strand of my hair off. I thought, man, you’d be so ugly! Then I broke down. My best friend Wendy had no choice. She lost her hair with the cancer treatments. She held her head up high walking the halls filled with mean people (who, btw, most of which were NOT in our class). A junior in high school, living life like there was a tomorrow.

But sadly, there was not, and for that, this morning, I momentarily lost my strength. I don’t forget her, but I try so hard to not remember the things that happened. To not wish I was flying out with or to see her tonight. To not wish she and I could swap marriage or kid stories. To not wish I could just sit and eat some Chinese with her.

If I don’t talk about it, it won’t go away. Now that I’ve cried it out and blogged it out, I feel a release, I feel my personal angel smiling at me, telling me everything is ok. And it is. She is safe,  she is free. That is what means everything to me, what gives me hope.

WMK, I love and miss you!