I’m sitting here trying to make sense of something that I know I’ll never be able to make sense of. A friend and co-worker died on Friday. I didn’t know this until the next morning, where I discovered it on Facebook.
She had glioblastoma. If you aren’t familiar, it’s a horribly aggressive form of brain cancer. She defied the odds by battling it as long as she did, but now she’s gone and everybody that knew her is now left with a hole in their hearts.
Yevette was the kind of person you don’t meet very often. She made you feel like you were the most interesting person in the world. She was an old soul, but also one of the most youthful and vibrant people I’ve ever met. She lived in Atlanta, and I live in Florida so she’d often tell me how much she loved St. Augustine. She loved the beach, cooking, crafts. She was super smart, had a million stories to tell, but most of all, she was kind. I met her a total of three times in real life, but we chatted a lot on the computer. And now as I scroll through our hours of chats, I still just can’t quite believe she’s not there.
When I found out she’d passed, I could think of little else that morning. I thought mostly about how unfair it was for somebody so young to be taken away from her family, from her young grandchildren that she loved so much, from a husband whom she’d adored, from kids that adored her. I have a bad habit of obsessing and overthinking. And when things get to be too much, I also have a bad habit of diving into escapism. So I did just that…at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Something about being immersed in a world where bad things happen, but where the good guys always win did help…at least temporarily. But Monday morning, after the beer and food-filled euphoria was gone, and cold ugly sobriety took hold, I was left again with the thoughts of how unfair it all is.
I was also left with a reminder, as we all often are when somebody we love leaves, to tell the ones that are still around how much you love them. We’ll all leave one day and one thing we can do while we are here is try to leave it better than we found it. We can try to make the lives of the people around us better and hopefully give more smiles than we do frowns. Our time is likely shorter than we think, so make the absolute best of it that you can.
I realize how cliché and “pontificaty” that last paragraph was, and that’s fine. Mostly because it’s true. I’ve written about it before and reserve the right to write about it again.
So go on, go hug your people or your critters that fill your life with so much love and happiness and never take them for granted.
I miss you Yevette. I am so lucky to have met you and know I’m a better person because of it.