She would have been twenty-seven this year. She could have very well been married by now, maybe even have had a child. I can only imagine what an incredible wife and mom she would have been. Maybe she would have been a nurse, a doctor, or a dance teacher. I am sure we would still talk on the phone everyday. We would probably still go shopping, both picking up the same item and laughing when we realized that we both held the same item in our hands. Starbucks lattes would be our favorites and our husbands would laugh at the amount of time we spent laughing over coffee and pink champagne. I am sure she would have loved champagne.
However, these are only things I dream of. They are daydreams that can never become reality. They are thoughts that cross my mind too often and each time as I realize they can never become real, my heart aches, because I miss her, so very deeply. You see today, five days before what would have been her twenty-seventh birthday will mark twelve years since she has been gone. Twelve years and yet it seems like yesterday.
In a few words, Molly was the person you wanted to be your friend. She was kind, gentle, and loveable, she had the ability to draw people in and make you feel as if you were the most important person in the room. She was thoughtful and brilliant, someone wise beyond her years. She could make you laugh with her wittiness and smile with her over the simplest thing. She truly radiated beauty. She wasn’t perfect, no one is, but she was someone you could admire for all she brought to your life and so many others. She was and will always be, my best friend.
I still wince when I hear the word Cancer. For years, I couldn’t imagine walking into the children’s hospital because it brought back too much pain. Every time I walked into our favorite store I had to hold my breath. When I went to prom my junior year of high school, it was on the same night of what would have been her senior prom and it was all I could do to hold back the tears. The Frogs and the color purple seemed to only make me think of her. For years I couldn’t see her grave because seeing those words in stone tore me apart.
It has been twelve years and I haven’t “gotten over it” I don’t think I ever will. I don’t break down every time I drink a latte. I don’t sob when I hear the songs that make me think of her. I don’t shut myself off to the world on the day she left us. But, I still think of her everyday. I still wish on big and little days that she was here with me. I grieve the fact that my husband never met her, that my kids will never meet the woman I called my best friend. It hurts and it always will.
I could sit all day in that hurt and there are some moments that I do. When the pain of missing her is too strong, I grieve extra at that moment. But I can’t sit in that moment forever, not only does it hurt something fierce it is something that I know Mo simply wouldn’t want. So I allow myself when I need to feel the hurt, the pain, and the sadness of losing someone I loved so dearly and then I take a deep breath and I “Dance For Molly”. It’s a phrase that not only was printed on shirts, bracelets, scholarships, and a blood drive but it is a phrase that I think so well encompasses my best friend.
Instead of letting that hole in my heart dictate how I live, I dance. I choose to live my life to the fullest. I choose to spend time helping others. I choose to share my story. I choose to make my best friend proud. I choose to buy the piece of clothing that I know she would have loved. I get the Grande instead of the Tall drink. I never miss an opportunity to say I love you. I belly laugh and I sob. I grieve and I celebrate.
I celebrate the life she lived and the peace I feel that I will see her again. It truly is a process and sometimes I feel like I am miles ahead and other days it is as if, I am, a million steps behind. I never forget, but I also try to love with a fiercer love than before, because I know how short life is.
I don’t know what your story is but as someone who has lost, as someone who has grieved and continues to, I grieve with you friend. For the birthday you never have with them. For the wedding they never saw. For the child you never had. Grief is so very isolating, which is why I want you to know you are never alone. Mo would smile if she knew that her story helped one best friend not feel alone, one mom have someone to cry with, one dad to have an extra hand to hold, and one sibling to know its okay that it hurts. So today and everyday I think of my best friend and thank God for her life and for the hope I have in seeing her again and I pray for you my friend and whatever grief you may face.