I lost my friend today but more importantly, my best friend lost her sister. Michelle died this morning after a long and courageous fight. My heart is breaking for Nicky, her family and Michelle’s daughters.
The phone call came while I was at work. I knew things weren’t going well. This morning on my way to work I met Nicky at Tim Horton’s. She was on her way to the hospital after a rough night with Michelle. We stood in the parking lot at 6:30am crying and hugging each other. I had a bad feeling as I drove away and when I met them again on the highway something inside me wanted to turn and follow them to the hospital rather than going to work so I could see Michelle, just in case.
While I tried to keep my mind on work I thought of my own sister and how much she meant to me. Even though we’re very different people we are very close in our own way. Nicky and Michelle had that sister bond and then some. When you give your sibling a part of your body you can’t help but have an even stronger bond than most. There was nothing that they wouldn’t have done for each other.
I left work after trying to muddle through after the phone call. I had some time before I could pick up Dave so I drove down to the waterfront and sat in my car looking out over the lake remembering fun times shared with Michelle.
We met on the ball field. When I moved to my current town I became friends with Nicky before finding out they were sisters and then discovered that Michelle had worked with my brother. Her snarkybitch comments made me notice her but her heart made me love her. She liked to portray herself as a big toughie but she was so kind hearted.
Playing ball with Michelle was always an adventure. I remember one tournament where she tripped as she crossed the hog line (a chalk line halfway between third and home) and wiped out head first as she crossed home. She came up spitting dirt and covered in dust and chalk. She dusted herself off and announced to all in earshot, “If anyone finds a nipple it’s mine. I‘m pretty sure I just lost one.” The entire bench and bleachers erupted in laughter.
I remember another tournament where she was wearing a minipad and as she rounded 1st she felt it start to slide down her leg. Rounding 2nd she could feel it was about the poke out of her shorts. Always a quick thinker she fell to the ground and faked a pulled muscle rather than humiliate herself in front of a huge crowd on hand. Everyone was concerned about her until she got to the bench and let the team in on her situation.
I thought about the night that Nicky, Michelle, Tammy and I sat up half the night playing cards in Michelle’s camper. Until the generator ran out of gas. All the boys were sleeping so Michelle and I decided that we’d seen the boys fill up and restart the generator enough times that we could do it too. With Nicky and Tammy holding the flashlight, Michelle and I giggled and stumbled (did I mention there was alcohol involved?) through the bush to the generator and struggled to get it started. After what seemed like a half hour of pulling on the cord we finally admitted defeat. We did, however, spend many hours laughing about that night in the years to follow. She loved to tease me about that night.
I thought about the girl’s weekend at my cottage with Nicky, Michelle, Cathy and Kim. We sat in the screened in porch, ate far too much food, drank just the right amount of beverages, played Humzinger and laughed until we couldn’t laugh anymore. That night will stand out in my memories as one of my favorite nights at the cottage. Michelle loved it there and it pleased me to no end to share it with her. We planned another girl’s weekend this time last year but Michelle wasn’t well enough to come.
She loved Dave. She always called him “her man”. I was fine with that. He would have done anything for her as would I. Michelle was a proud and independent woman. She never complained and was always more worried about others rather than herself. Her sense of humor was a sharp as her tongue. So quick, so funny, so down-to-earth.
Michelle loved animals. When she hit a deer with her car and smashed her car she was more upset and concerned for the deer than for her car. I thought today of her beloved dog Shadow. She was heart-broken when he died and I pictured him waiting for her today, greeting her with a wagging tail and a big drool-filled lick. Take good care of her Shadowman.
Rest in peace my dear friend. I love you and miss you already.