This is a hard post to write, but it's a foundation of who I am today. Looking back through my past blogs, and my mind, I know that I haven't fully explained this and how it has affected me to most people - everyone is kind of in the dark about it. I'm going to try to make this an explain-all post, because I think everyone should know about it, and how it's changed me - for good. I'm sorry it's so long.
Two years ago, a very good friend of mine died. She was 19 years old.
I met Patty when we in kindergarten. We were 5, and in the same class. We played together, and, ironically, had the same Halloween costume. She left All Saints after that year, but she continued to play on our soccer team through high school. We spent every fall together. When high school rolled around, we found ourselves not only on a high school level church soccer team together, but we also found ourselves in youth group together. It was this that made us very good friends.
After six months, and a very intense autopsy, it was determined that Patty had contracted both ADEM and AHLE, the later of which is almost always fatal. Even if the doctors had been able to diagnose her, there is no treatment or cure.
There's a lot of things that make this really really difficult. Many people don't understand, in fact, I don't think anyone who hasn't experienced this knows what it's like. It's hard. There's no one to be angry at - Patty wasn't killed by a drunk driver or a common cancer. There's no walk or benefit that we can attend to help. The diseases that Patty had were so rare...no one knows what they are. Patty was so young, and so good. She was the best out of all of us - she would use an entire paycheck to purchase a birthday gift, even if it meant not eating lunch for a week. She would help anyone and everyone she came across. She would have been a fantastic mother one day, she loved children so much. It's a life that's just been snuffed - there was so much there. It's hard to say good-bye to someone like that - your own age. It just makes you feel so mortal. My life, everything I have, could be gone tomorrow. So many people put things ahead of what really matters - friends and family.
Patty's death has brought our yg together, but at the same time, it's torn us apart. It's hard to be with each other when she's not there. I'll never be able to think of Chucks again (her favorite shoe) or eat Sour Patch Kids without hearing her giggle and scream, "You ate my kids!" It's hard to see her parents, to know that they'll never see their youngest daughter walk down the aisle or have a child of her own.
Patty was buried two years ago today. It was my 20th birthday. I will never celebrate a birthday without hearing "Eagle's Wings" or thinking of her. But one day, I will be able to live life like her. She wouldn't have wanted us to mourn, but if it had been her, she would have. Today, I work on healing. I'm always working on it. I'm working on celebrating the life that was put on Earth to do something better - but accomplished it way too soon.
The Newspaper Article about her death: 70 Days to Live