I have lost a great friend this week. She was vibrant and lived life on her terms.

I first met her at my son’s school. She was his teacher and he loved her! She had a way of making him feel he was smarter than he felt. Don’t get me wrong, she wasn’t a warm fuzzy kinda teacher, she knew how to make you laugh at yourself as easily as pat yourself on the back. But it seems to be just what he needed.

She was not my typical kinda friend. She had straight black hair, parted down the middle. The day I met her she was dressed all in black- she might have even had black lipstick on… but I think that is just my perception of that first meeting.

She reminded me of a group of kids I usually avoided when I was in high school. (please don’t judge me too harshly) I was likely wearing pink with a ribbon in my hair!

The first time I went to her house. She had a large skull in her fireplace and a black cat who stared at me from across the room…

But for some reason, we hit it off and it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

We traveled together, our families spent New Years eve together, we were in the same book club, and planned girls nights where I learned one of her favourite movies may or may not have been Legally Blonde!

Some how we worked.

And today I am sad.

I am sad as I realize she won’t be visiting me at the campground this summer with her big floppy hat wondering why she was chilly and the mosquitoes were getting her as she was wearing a red flowy dress while camping! We won’t have anymore campfire visits or walks to the river.

I won’t answer the phone and hear her voice at the other end telling me all about her adventures as a teacher, mother, wife, animal lover, Steven King enthusiast, and artist.

I am Sad

But I have the memories, the adventures, the stories.

Walking around Quebec City looking for medieval stores or going on the Ghost tour. Sitting around the campfire sharing hopes and dreams, or enjoying an amazing meal- usually prepared by her dear husband, going out for drinks- wine for her and hot chocolate for me! The in-depth conversations about anything and everything at book club, her laugh, her driving adventures, her creations, her collections, her love and her friendship.

I should say something here, about her memory living on in all that knew her. And it will… But it is more than that. I want to live differently.

Her life and the end of it, makes me want to wake up and be present. I want to really experience each day. I want to stop worrying and start living.

I want to enjoy every bite of food I put into my mouth, I want to be afraid but move forward anyway. To listen when someone is speaking, to love what I love and never be embarrassed by it. I want to experience new things and drive my life with my foot on the excelerator- except when I want to slow down to enjoy the sunset or gather my loved ones around the campfire!

I guess what I am really saying is that I have had one of those experiences people talk about where they wake up and realize life is short, we only get one an we should enjoy it and make the most of it. That is true! But I also want to write my own story with ups and downs, colour and black and white…

It’s all about the Stories!

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