One week ago was the happiest day of my life. My wedding day. Today has got to be one of the saddest. I’ve traveled cross country to say goodbye to a long-term friend of nearly 30 years as she ends her battle with cancer. My heart breaks at the thought of never hearing her laugh again or give me shit for yet another “Anthony” thing I’ve done. But I am so grateful to have the chance to say goodbye and tell her how much I love her and what she means to me.
It is a precious gift to be able to do this. As painful as it is to see a once vibrant friend making her last lap around the track, it is a blessing to be able to laugh, cry and share memories before that lap is done. This weekend has been an amazing reunion of friends and former co-workers who had so much influence on me and helped me become the man I am today. It is also a testament to a life well-lived by my friend. She is a force to be reckoned with who impacted everyone she met. She leaves behind an amazing son and loving husband that she adored, nourished and cherished. My heart breaks for them.
Death is a part of life and something that should not happen hidden away from view. The first thing she said to us yesterday was, “I’m dying and that really sucks.” So true, but we went on to relive so many stories of so many adventures we shared over the last 29 years. My faith tells me she will be reunited with her mother and father soon and be at peace. I take deep comfort in that. I also believe, she will always be with me, giving me shit and keeping me honest. That feels good too.
My heart is heavy with sadness, but also filled with joy that I was lucky enough to know Jamie and share time with her in this life. I will miss you my friend. Safe journey. You will forever live in my heart.