When the lights fade out..

There are just some people in life that touch your soul. A good neighbor once lifted my spirits and created her own little place in my heart. She was a special light that shinned brightly. Some people’s light stay with you in life. Whether you talk to them all the time or just on occasion, keeping up with each other through social media but never turning out the light on a friendship that was meaningful. She was that person.

Her big heart, compassionate soul, and love of her neighbors, a trait we’re losing in our day and age. I’ll never forget the meals she made and brought over, just so we could try something new and eat, leaving me recipes that still get used to this very day with a smile as I think of her. The ‘welcome bear’ given to us as a parting gift when we moved, once again, that still sits on my porch, HOA be damned, to welcome those to our door. She was a special neighbor. Her love for her husband and kids shinned to those around her. She had so much passion and spunk.

Never timid, outspoken, and straightforward, my kind of person. She was a fire cracker, a momma bear, and an advocate to those around her. She was never afraid to speak her mind and be herself through and through, no games, no deception, what you see is what you get and I LOVED that about her. She helped make some of the best two years at a place known for one of the highest divorce rates in the military. A barren land filled with cow shit and flies, we pulled together as a group and made something out of nothing and survived those years with warm and love surrounding us. Creating community and togetherness in a place many succumb to out of isolation and the stink that attaches on tight and can pull you into a place of dark depression. That truly was one of the worst bases to ever be stationed at.

It’s the people that make all the difference and she was one of those people. Not one to let the muck and mire get her down. Her family became my family as we looked out for one another and knew we had a trusted person if ever in need. But as is the military way, distance separated us but social media kept us together. We all get caught up in our own lives as time passes but the heart remembers as we touch base and root for each other in life.

That special light faded and went out way too soon, taking a small piece of my heart with it. I hope she realized how special she truly is to us. How touched we were by her and her husband. How deeply sad and moved we are by his loss, our loss, her family’s loss. She truly was, one of a kind, a gem, a friendship to be treasured.

I spoke to her a week before her passing and I knew things weren’t good. I didn’t realize how bad they were and her loss so quickly took me by surprise. My heart grieves. My husband’s heart grieves as we recalled all the good times we had. As we shared her memory with my family as we remembered her with love and fondness and celebrated her life (and her husbands, can never leave out that special gem too), but with a deep ache inside as this one truly hurt. I don’t make many friends. I don’t have a long list of those who really touch my heart and hold a special place. That list is short and she was on it. I’m socially awkward and a bit closed off emotionally. I’m too open and honest and that can turn people off. Maybe a good part of why she was so special to me as she too was like this but with a booming personality and without the social awkwardness I carry with me. As I told my husband, with her, I could be myself. With her, I never felt the judgement or irritation for simply being me. She embraced me as I am and I will never forget that.

She will truly be missed. Makes me want to reach out more to the few I hold close to my heart but may not know how much they mean to me. Too many walls and insecurities built around me, protecting me from the hurt so many have caused. I think I will reach out to them and tell them while I have them. Life is short sometimes, don’t waste an opportunity to let someone know how much you care. Hug your family. Hug your friends. Don’t waste time dwelling on the past, worrying about the future, but make time for today as we’re not guaranteed tomorrow.

My friend, your light shined so very bright and you touched my heart and left an impression that will never fade. Your memories live on and I will cherish them. Goodbye my friend. Till we see each other again.

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