It’s crazy how death makes us look at life in new light. Sometimes we don’t appreciate life until death happens close to us. We know people will die, heck, we ALL will die, but when it happens and hits close to home, it shocks us; it hurts us; and oftentimes it stills us. We pause and become reflective – whether we reflect on the times we’ve had with our loved one or whether we begin to think of our own life and plan to BE better, DO better, and LIVE more with the life we still have – we become still and think.
I recently had a very dear friend pass away from a long fight with cancer. Her passing wasn’t sudden as she had been suffering for years. The doctors gave her a 6 month expiration date about 3 years ago, so she had clearly outlived their expectations. We first met as bank tellers back in 2003-ish and remained friends ever since. We ALWAYS stayed in touch, no matter the distance (she moved to Nevada, we met in Maryland). She came to Maryland for my wedding in 2014 and that was the last time I had physically seen her. She was always here for me for the milestones in my life. If she couldn’t physically make it, she would ALWAYS send a card and text. She was thoughtful, caring and feisty – this is why we got along so well…haha I had actually reached out to her last week because I hadn’t seen any of her live videos on FB and I hadn’t received a response to a text I’d sent. I knew something wasn’t right when she didn’t respond. Sadly, she passed on November 3, 2016.
When I heard the news, it stilled me and I began to think about life. We are born, we live and then we die, right? I read something one day that said, “When your life is over, everything you did will be represented by a single dash between two dates—what will that dash mean for the people you have known and loved?” To me, the latter part of that statement is about legacy and makes me think – what are you leaving behind for those who live after you’re gone? Will people be inspired by the life you lived?
I can’t speak for anybody else who knew her, but she inspired me. She was a fighter, she displayed strength, she genuinely cared and she was always there. The measure of true friendship is not in how often you talk or how often you see one another, but in how much you KNOW that person cares for you and has your back. One of my favorite quotes is “people may not remember what you said, and they may not remember what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel” – the same can be said for a true friendship. You don’t always remember what a friend says or does, but to know they have your back and to know they’re there for you, makes you “feel” good and assures you that you have a true friend.
This blog may be short, but it has some nuggets in it – value your friends and SHOW it while they’re here, be a good friend, and make sure you’re leaving a legacy of inspiration for those whom you know and love.
I am happy that my dear friend is no longer suffering, I am happy she knew Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior, and I am happy to have been inspired by her. I’ve only written 3 blogs, but she was a faithful supporter of my writing. So I dedicate this blog to my loving friend Kelly Nicole Lewis. You will be missed dearly, but I am happy you are in a better place! I love you Kelly boo!