Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Loss of a Friend

I guess you can say I have been putting off writing this post. A couple of weeks ago I lost a coworker and dear friend to breast cancer. She was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer eleven years ago, a year before we started working together. However, you would never know that she was sick. She always looked healthy. She never complained and she went through her treatments as if it was another day. Beth was the nicest most sincere person I have ever met and I feel that I am a better person because I knew her.

It is so rare these days to meet a person that despite all of their hardships, cares so deeply about others. Beth did. She cared so much about the people in her life and it would make me think if there was only more people in the world like her this would be a better place.

To be diagnosed eleven years ago with stage four breast cancer it is obvious that she put up one hell of a fight. She didn't want the disease to win. She had so much more she wanted to see and do.

The night of the American Idol finale my heart broke. Every Thursday Beth and I would speculate about who we thought was going to be sent home and every Thursday night we would text each other about the result show. However, Beth missed the finale by a week and when it was over and the winner was announced I couldn't text her. I almost did out of habit and once I realized that she wouldn't be writing me back I lost it.

It's the little things like that that always hit me unexpectedly. As stupid as it sounds when she passed all I kept thinking about was how she would never get to see the final season of Friday Night Lights. It was her favorite show and she talked about it so much that she got me hooked even buying me the seasons on DVD for my birthday. She couldn't wait to see what was going to happen with all of the characters and now she'll never know. And yes it might be stupid to think of something so mundane but that's what Beth and I did. We talked about television and movies. We discussed our favorite celebrities and what we were planning on doing on the weekend. And as mundane as it may be it is what I miss the most.

Before Beth passed she got really sick and it wasn't the first time that this had happen and in the past she had always bounced back after a few weeks. So I expected to see her again. It's as if James Taylor's song is on constant replay in my head:

I see fire and I see rain
I've seen Sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I would see you one more time again

I honestly thought that I would see her again. I wish I could have had the chance to say goodbye. She was more than a coworker and more than a friend. When you work with people every day for ten years they become your family. And before she passed she texted me how she couldn't wait to come back to work because she missed her family.

Every day I sit in my office and stare out at her desk and I keep expecting her to walk in and sit down. It's been two weeks and it still hasn't sunk in completely. I never looked at Beth and thought wow she's really sick or wow she must have cancer and I think that's why it is so hard for me to accept that she is gone.

I wanted to write a post that would make everyone see how truly special she really was, but it is absolutely impossible to put it into words. So just know that the world was a better place when Beth was in it and now that she's not it seems a little dimmer.

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