It’s hard to type this post. My dear friend has passed away after a long battle with oral cancer. I am so thankful she is not suffering anymore, however, I can’t help but selfishly wish I had one more text or one more visit.
I suppose Lisa and I had served the larger portion of our purpose for each other earlier on in life. She was there for me when I was going through my divorce, she was there for me when I was newly sober and she was there for me when I was trying to move on in life. Notice, all of those instances start with “she was there for me,” I have a hard time thinking of anytime I was there for her.
She taught me to loosen up and stop worrying so much about what others thought of me. I was always taught not to “pass gas” in public. She took pride in her FARTS and was delighted the first time I told her I let one go in the aisle of a store. In fact, on her Facebook page, one of her favorite quotes was by me, “One time I farted and then saw my sister drive up so I hurried up and sprayed perfume to cover it up. She came in and said, It smells like someone farted and then tried to cover it up with perfume in here.” – April McIntosh (Pre Coen Years)
She was tough and stubborn as nails, but inside was the biggest heart of anyone you could find. She sought out the underdogs and helped them become top dogs. She loved meeting new people but wasn’t afraid to call someone on their b.s. She was honestly the best judge of character of anyone I’ve ever met. I always liked to think I could judge character pretty well, but she was the master. She would tell me what she thought of someone, I would think, “No way, I got this one.” She was always right. If you were her friend, consider yourself good character!
Which is one of the reasons she brought Chris and I together. Her excellent judge of character led me to my awesome husband who I have enjoyed a relationship with for over fifteen years now.
Time and space create more distance than we like sometimes. Lisa and I went through a rough patch. She was not afraid to tell me she didn’t feel like I was there when she needed me, and I was able to honestly assess the situation and see some of the truth in her opinion. We got over the hump. She realized life had changed. She was single, I was married, she was a drifter, I was buying a house, our lifestyles had changed.
We recently reconnected. She loved my kids, especially Grace. She could probably relate a lot to Grace because Lisa had a younger brother growing up also. The two of them fell for each other hard and fast. When Lisa went to Seattle for surgery, she brought back presents for the kids. When we went to visit her, she let them feed her fish and play with her toys. She wrote Grace a card telling Grace about Seattle and the Space Needle. (Note to self: I need to take Grace to the Space Needle in tribute to Lisa).
I texted her a couple weeks ago, asking what I could do. I told her I thought of her and prayed for her every day. She replied, “That is enough.” Our last interaction.
I got the message from her mother early this morning, I haven’t slept since 4:30 a.m. I couldn’t help but let a few tears slip and Grace asked what was wrong. Grace has known people who have passed, her grandfather and two classmates, but I don’t think she was old enough to grasp the concept of death. This morning, after she asked me three times why I was crying, I finally decided to tell her.
“Do you remember Lisa?” I asked.
She nodded and her eyes began to water. “She died?” she asked.
I nodded yes and she ran to me, sobbing. It hit her, hard. We sat crying together, my little daughter and I, grieving.
Lisa is not suffering anymore. This is what I have to keep telling myself. It is the only comfort in this tragedy.
Love and Miss You Lisa . . . See You On The Other Side . . .