Such Feelings

The past two weeks have been so weird. I know I said this on Friday, but it kind of feels as if 100 years have passed. I cannot believe the weekend of July 4th was just two short weeks ago. The thought of it leaves me completely confounded because nothing has made any sense at all since the morning of July 9th. I took a few days off here and there since then, so I think that has added to the general discombobulation.

It’s now strange to imagine that I lived 30 years without the loss of someone so close. Life seems so much more fragile now. It’s hard to believe that any of us survive it. Like most people, I have lost dearly beloved grandparents and family members, but they were all over 80 and in most cases suffering from some long-term sickness. While I miss them terribly and was saddened for them to go, I could understand why and process that it was the best for several of them. As a child, I worried about losing my parents or sister, but it never occurred to me that I would lose a friend. It seems so silly and ridiculous, but I honestly never thought that I would wake up to a world without one of them.

I always thought the worst part of losing someone was dealing with their absence and the specific pain of that experience, but I now realize that “worst part” should be plural. I wasn’t prepared for how incredibly terrible it would be to see the people I love in that kind of misery. I am very lucky to be a part of a group of people that treats everyone like family. We know each other’s parents and siblings, friends from childhood, people from work, grandmas and cousins, and the families of significant others. I didn’t realized the extent to which we were all so entwined until I saw those people in pain. I don’t think any of us realize the degree to which we love and care for each other. I was shocked at how much it hurt and how deeply it ran.

The one thing to come out of all of this is that I think we will all be better at being friends. I’m terrible at keeping in touch. I just assume that people don’t want to be bothered and everything is fine if I don’t hear from them. From this point on, I think we will all be a lot more Caroline and spend more time inserting ourselves into each other’s lives without apology or permission. I get so worried that I will be a bother or inconvenience to someone that it’s easy to forget that connection and contact is the entire point of friendship. We have all agreed that we are all now fine with being completely annoying.

I didn’t know I could cry so much and so easily. I feel like I maintain a mostly sound control over my emotions. I can smile when I’m angry, shove down tears when I’m overwhelmed by the cuteness of otters holding hands, and pretend that everything is fine when I just really want to shank someone in the eye. But, now, my feelings and emotions are barely contained just below the surface of my eyeballs. Everything makes me cry. Everything. I don’t like crying in front of people and I don’t like not being able to stop it, but I guess I’m now living life as a person with feelings. No bueno. I never thought I would be crying in the grocery store over iced animal crackers because we used to eat them at the beach, then bitch about how we would never take them again because they are so messy when your hands are damp. And then we bought them and took them with us every time. Why animal crackers, WHY!

This was an excessive amount of mental vomit, but I still kind of feel like everything is stupid at this point. I’ve had such a bad attitude and I straight up loathe the people who have the audacity to laugh or be cheerful on the bus to work. I cannot understand what there is to be happy about, and that is terrible. I’m going to get it together this week, so hopefully things will move from straight depressing to just straight annoyed (the usual state). I told myself I could have two weeks of being a mess, then I had to start trying to get it together. While living with Caroline I went through a break up. And while that break up was necessary, it still hurt. That little jerk only let me cry and wallow in bed for less than an afternoon before she pulled me out, handed me a beer, and told me to put some pants on and deal with life (life being carving pumpkins on the porch with her and Greg). In the spirit of her own attitude about life’s challenges, I need to get it together and relax with the overwhelming hatred of everything (and go back to just general hatred of most things).

Because no one likes a post without pictures and Caroline would never leave you alone until she got you to smile, I will leave you with this gem: “Caroline, the Fat Cherub, and that other Bitch (also fat).”

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Thank you.

I greatly appreciate those of you who took time to remember Caroline, send warm thoughts or prayers, or leave a comment. It was very kind and it’s nice to remember there are so many gracious people in this world.  So many of you expressed that you didn’t know what to say or that your words weren’t enough, but they are. Saying anything helps. Thank you. Caroline would have been thrilled to know that a post starring her received so many comments. Her belief in her own fabulousness never faltered.

While I don’t know what I will do without my little amigo, I do feel peace knowing that she was strong in her faith and has probably already organized several happy hours in heaven. I don’t doubt that she is genuinely confused as to why we are all being so dramatic because she is just fine. As she liked to say, “Get some wine and get over it.”

Part of me wishes I could just fast forward time to the day when I am able to understand that she has gone and cope with it in some sort of reasonable way. The other part wants time to halt so that there is not one more day that exists between the last time I hugged her and the present. In some ways it feels like a lifetime has passed since July 8th, in others it feels like only yesterday she was bossing us around because we were all bitching about going outside and having to weave through a crowded balcony to get a picture.

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I don’t know what I’m trying say. In summation, thank you for your kind words and emails.

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Our Caroline

I don’t really know what the etiquette is for talking about the death of someone you love on a public forum. I know some of you have read this for many years and have persevered through endless stories about my friends and family.  I know how you can feel as through you know people through reading about them from my own experience as a long-time creeper of blogs. Mainly, I just want to talk about how wonderful my friend was.

Last Wednesday we learned that our sweet friend Caroline had been in a car accident and passed away.

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Caroline was one of the weirdest, yet most wonderful people I’ve ever known. She never met a stranger and would do everything in her power to make everyone feel like they were her favorite person. You were either her best friend or she hadn’t met you yet. You could not escape her friendship.  She would burrow into your heart like a little mole and never leave.

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In a group of introverts, she was the one who pulled us out of the house and forced us to have fun. The party never started until Caroline showed up with her infectious giggle. She was crazy, sensitive, vivacious, loving, sassy, smart, silly, beautiful, fun, sweet, and had the kindest heart. It’s easy to look back at people after a tragedy and see only the good, but Caroline was only good. She just wanted to make you laugh.

One of my favorite memories of her is when we ran the half marathon in Las Vegas. It was a night race, and as most lushes do in Vegas, we boozed it up all day at the Blackjack tables. Laura and I stopped drinking a few hours in advance, but not Caroline. She kept the party going up until race time. She threw her bottle away as we walked out the door. When I expressed worry over running 13 miles while partially inebriated, she shouted “BEER IS CARBS” and danced it out down the hall.

She was a tiny, but unstoppable force. She never accepted grumpiness from people and would do anything to make someone smile. This made her an incredible nurse and the best kind of friend, wife, daughter, and sister.

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Caroline loved an evening with some wine  (“the vino”) and cheese, reading magazines at the pool, eating only half of her dinner at a restaurant so she could save the rest for second dinner around midnight, robes, fancy tableware, country music, “borrowing” and “forgetting” to return beauty products, her family, O.P.I. nail polish in Cajun Shrimp (because it makes you look tan), long naps, pushing the boundaries of days between hair washes, her husband Greg and Schnauzer Maddie, sandwiches, keeping most of her closet in her car (because you never know when you will need them), the Fourth of July, awkwardly long hugs, coffee on the porch, giggling way too loudly, and hanging out with her friends.

She was the proud mother of Madelaine Bernice and happily flooded us all with endless pictures of her special Maddie all week long.

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And I will forever cherish the fabulous weekend we spent at the river over the Fourth of July.

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Just eight short months ago we all gathered to celebrate the marriage of Caroline and her Greg. I’m so glad Caroline got to meet, fall in love with,  and marry  a man who loved her so deeply. They brought so much joy and love to each other’s lives and to everyone around them. Their time together was about 50 years too short, but they loved every moment of what they had.

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Caroline felt like a little sister to so many and she was so loved. I don’t know what we are going to do without her. She was happiness. The service is today, so if you could send warm thoughts or prayers for her family, friends, and husband, I know it would be appreciated it. That goofy girl stole all our hearts and took them with her.

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WTF Wednesday

NEW HARRY POTTER MATERIAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You need to log in or create a username for Pottermore to view it.

So many feelings.

Dumbledore’s Army: The Dark Side of the Demob better be happening for real on July 31st. Or else.

My Taylor is hanging out with Porta Potty Gerard Butler. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

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Run and go wash your body with bleach. NOW, Tim Riggins, NOW!

Brazil, WTF happened to you yesterday???? I love that the gorgeous Germans won, but what happened, y’all??

We are going to eat so much Nutella together. It’s getting really difficult to keep up with all of these beautiful boyfriends.

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