Once upon a time there was a girl who was 5 years older than me. She was petite in stature; yet, she always seemed bigger than life to me. From the time of her very premature birth she was a fighter and exhibited high intelligence, a wonderful, unique sense of humor, and an absolute wondrous love for life, especially for her family and friends. She purposefully looked for ways to make people smile or just to bring something into their lives to make their day a little bit better. No matter whether it was to make you laugh or just to be in her presence was always a gift which seemed to do the trick to brighten my day.
My earliest memories of this precious girl were those of constant practical jokes between her older sister and me. This micro child with a big brain loved to wrestle and slammed my head into the ground. Unfortunately for her I grew rapidly and tables turned on her. She was very surprised when I could carry her around with one arm and throw her wherever I decided she should land.
Our childhoods progressed into adolescence and then into young adulthood without many negative events coloring our lives. This all came to a halt when the phone rang late one night. The hospital ER called to inform her family of her recent, severe motor vehicle accident in which she was hit in excess of 80 mph by a drunk driver. She was close to death and in a coma with multiple injuries. She sustained much pain and many surgeries. When she woke from her coma she began yet another long journey of rehab and yet more surgeries to come. Subsequently, 8 months later related to her severe neurological and physical complications she ended her life.
This horrendous incident occurred 4 years ago. One of my very best friends was gone. Along with her leaving this earth, she took a piece of my heart with her. Until I meet up with her in heaven one day, in order to survive on ths earth I’ve had to learn ways to cope and heal. Learning/developing a “new normal” in my daily life without her presence has been the most difficult experience of my life. I believe that the process of giving myself to others will bring comfort, love ,joy, and healing to the lives of people who come my way each day. Since her death, I have also discovered that as time and the giving of comfort and joy to others continues, healing has begun to take place.
As I look back from my childhood to the present day I realize that each day is not guaranteed. Rather, each day is a gift. Ironically, over the past 4 years of my life I have learned that in looking beyond my own needs to bring comfort to others that I developed many of the wonderful traits that my friend practiced naturally throughout her life. For you see, this micro girl is my sister.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.