I'm sad...that's why I haven't been here. The Scrap, Etc. Event was great, but I found out while I was there that my friend, Kelli, had died. Here are a few of the reasons why I adored Kelli:
- She was beautiful and talented and oh so happy...even when she had every reason to be bitter and angry.
- She was short and cute. And she liked for me to tease her about it.
- Her eyes danced when she talked.
- Her laugh was contagious. And she laughed a whole lot.
- She thought I was funny. She laughed at my jokes.
- She loved me when I needed her most - when I was in the middle of a nightmare of a divorce and literally doing nothing but sitting in the floor and crying all day every day. I remember running into her in Kroger one day and having a complete come apart right there in the produce section. She handled it well and got me out of the store as quickly as possible.
- She was honest with me and told me what everyone else had known (and been talking about behind my back) for months. And she cried while she was telling me because she knew my heart was aching.
- She believed in me, and told me I would be fine over and over again.
- She taught me how to make kick ass mashed potatoes.
- She would make special pasta dishes just for me when I stopped in the restaurant for lunch.
- She kept in touch with me after I moved away. She left me voice mails often and would keep calling me until I called her back. She would say, "I want you to call me back. OK, Mandy? Call me back."
- She drove all the way down here for my 40th birthday party and told me over and over again how happy she was to be here.
Saturday night after the Event ended several of us walked to a local bar and sat outside. I told the others about Kelli and we had a toast in her honor. It occurred to me when I saw the glasses and bottles all clicking together that the time I was spending with these girls was flying by...just like all the time I spent with Kelli flew by. Where does it go? I find it ironic that I had just spent a weekend talking about reasons to preserve memories when I found out about Kelli's passing. I'm reminded that I have more than enough inspiration.
So... I'm in the funk/shock that comes at a time like this. Wondering what it (life) is all about...and thinking that blogging may have to wait until the fog has lifted.
I worry that I wasn't as good a friend to Kelli as she was to me. Her sister told me that Kelli always admired the way I had recreated my life. I wonder if Kelli knew she was a huge part of that. I hope I told her. I wish I could talk to her just one more time so I could tell her how much I appreciate her friendship.
I want you to call me back. OK, Kelli? Call me back.