When 'IT' happened I felt frozen because things like that didn't happen in real life. A woman can't suddenly break - too many people lean on her - too many people need her at her best. Too many people take her for granted. It was a testament to the fragility of our bodies, the randomness of nature and the cruelty of surprise. A blood clot. A spine. Put those together and you've cooked a terrifying soup that's beyond explanation.
When I sat across from her in the hospital I didn't know what to do except try to make her laugh but all that did was hurt her. We are too young. Too young to be caught in a battle that steals a body from itself.
And I know she will because I've never seen her give up on anything.
It's strange, the line between coworker and friendship, and I feel so blessed to have both through her and so empty each day I walk passed her office and there's no smiling face welcoming me to work.
If I'm being perfectly honest, I think I love my job because of the people I work with - and when one piece is missing the whole machine just feels lopsided and sad.
They say you don't know what you've got until it's gone - but what if you did know? I think that makes it harder.
And I'm being selfish.
Marie, you are a rock star. You are one of the strongest and bravest women I've ever known. You have helped me through bad days, talked me up from a funk, been my personal advocate, pushed me to do better, shared life with me. I miss you every day and don't doubt for a minute that you will return stronger with a fire in your heart that will leave us all in a cloud of go-get-'er spunk.
One foot in front of the other, my friend. One day at a time. Soon this will be a story you can look back on as just a dark little blip on the map of your brighter-than-the-sun life.
[NaBloPoMo Day 30]