My dear, wonderful, generous, loyal, loving friend, Amy, the one to whom I dedicated my Blogathon participation, went to her eternal resting place yesterday afternoon. She was at her home, surrounded by her family.
My heart is so heavy. I am finding it incomprehensible that someone so vibrant, so full of life, is gone, even though I knew it was coming. Perhaps her death reminds me that each of us is merely one sniffle away from leaving this place forever; or perhaps I am grieving because even though Amy and I only communicated a few times a month, I miss her terribly; or maybe it’s because I am so very sad for her husband and her 6-year-0ld son, who have lost such an amazing mother and wife. It could be because Amy carried the same gene that my former mother-in-law, Carmen, did, and that my daughters may carry. My guess is that it’s all of these things.
We got to know each other through the Blogathon, when we read each others’ blogs and developed a mutual respect and admiration. Immediately, we added each other to our blogrolls. I think I’m the only non-cancer related blog on hers. The first post I read was called “Naked at the Blue Lagoon,” and I loved her writing style.
All day today, bits and pieces of my friendship with Amy have been popping up in my mind. Like how she hired me to design her website because she loved how mine looked and she knew I was in need of work. The timing never quite worked out, but she was lovingly and respectfully trying to help me when I needed it. How several times, out of the blue, she called me up to ask me for some parenting advice. And how she totally put herself on the line trying to get me some writing work from one of her editors. I was seriously afraid that she was making a pest of herself on my behalf, she was so determined to get me some work. “You’re a great writer,” she told me. “I don’t have any reservations recommending you.”
“Besides,” she added, “when I don’t write, I get crabby. Don’t you?” I had never thought of it that way, but ever since she said that, I have realized that not writing does, indeed, make me crabby.
Amy sent me this angel after Carmen passed away:
She knew the pain of losing a loved one to cancer; she had lost her own mother and grandmother to breast cancer at very young ages.
When I found out that Carmen carried the BRCA gene, the same gene that Amy had, she was the one I talked to about it. She told me not to worry about it yet, to get Glen tested first to see if he even carries the gene, and if he does, to not worry about my daughters yet either. “There’s no point in testing them until they’re adults,” she told me emphatically. “All that does is create worry when there’s nothing that can be done when they’re young anyway.”
When I had only known Amy for a very short time, she was already signing everything with “xoxoxo,” which I suspect she did with everyone. For me that doesn’t come easily, but it did with Amy. I think I signed every text and email to her with “xoxoxo.” Her loving personality somehow, mysteriously, brought that out of me.
Amy’s passing has left me with so many questions. Why? She was only 43. And man, was she a fighter. I think she believed up until the very end that she was going to beat the cancer monster. Other than Carmen, I’ve never seen anyone with such a positive outlook. Someone shared this link to a local news story on Amy’s battle with breast cancer. The story showcases well Amy’s optimism.
In any case, questions aside, Amy touched so many people through her blog and through real life. The legacy she is leaving behind is enormous. She meant so much to so many. I have no doubt she would be overwhelmed by just how beloved she is.
I love and miss you, Amy, and I rest in the comfort that I WILL see you again someday. xoxoxo