Tuesday, September 27, 2011

In my Friend's Memory

About eleven years ago, I met this woman. Eva Mae. She was a fiesty spitfire. She had more energy than anyone I had ever met. What I didn't know at the time was that she had cancer. I was so focused on her boundless energy that I didn't realize she was dying. She quickly became one of my best friends. Our age difference was a huge one. In fact, her daughter and I were only one year apart in age (exactly).

When I would get to work, her smile was the first one I found. There were no other faces that I wanted to see. I wanted to see my friend. I started to have some health problems, but because I knew she was facing her own struggles I didn't want to tell her about my problems. Then one day, she caught me off guard. She had gone over to Hallmark and picked up some balloons for me. She somehow saw through my spitfire personality and knew I needed some cheering up. Little did she know, her smile was all I ever needed.

We spent our time at work cheering each other up. She would hem up pants for me and surprised me occasionally with new clothes. She would smile at me and it would light up my entire body. Our smiles were contagious. Our laughter was contagious. One time she brought me the most beautiful gift. Actually I have three reminders of Eva in my home. One is a photograph of her and her beloved. It sits next to a picture of my family. The other was a phrase framed that says, "Your friendship is the nicest gift of all." Truer words were never spoken. And then, there is that angel. The angel that started it all. She gave me a gift of Sarah's Angel. It had two angels next to each other. It plays the music, "You Light Up my Life."

It hurt my heart when I decided to quit because I knew I wouldn't get to see her every day. I called her every week to see how she was doing. I would stop by occasionally and bring her little gifts to work. When my health problems became overwhelming I'd call her to get a reality check. She would ask me all about my problems, I'd ask all about hers and her beautiful granddaughter.

You see the most special thing about Eva is that all she asked God for when she found out she had cancer was to be given the chance to see her daughter graduate high school. Well, not only did she witness this, but she witnessed her daughter graduate college, get married and have a daughter. She felt that every day was a gift of God. She taught me that too. God gave me a gift when he gave me Eva because she taught me that every day was a gift from God, no matter how painful they were.

You see, I have been thinking about her all month long. It was six years ago today that she passed away. I got to tell her goodbye the week before. She called to talk. And she said the words that are etched on my heart. "You are a huge blessing. I'm glad God gave me you." She went on to give a pep talk that kept me going from September 2005 to March 2007. We exchanged many I love yous.

I miss you Eva. So much. Every Day.

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