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Location: Middle of Nowhere, Northern Ontario, Canada

Thursday, May 22

Michelle...

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.

11 Comments:

Blogger Tummy said...

Lights I'm so very sorry for your loss. Big hugs sweetie. You were lucky to have each other as friends.

Godspeed Michelle.

Fri. May 23, 09:15:00 a.m. EDT  
Blogger Swami said...

She sounds like a wonderful friend, Lights. I am so sorry she is gone too soon.

What a lovely tribute to her you composed! Thank you for sharing some memories with us. Memories where you can laugh and cry at the same time are the best way to say goodbye. At least I think so...

{hugs}

Fri. May 23, 11:41:00 a.m. EDT  
Blogger Bravie said...

A very beautiful tribute. Not only were you lucky to have her, she was absolutely a lucky woman to have had a friend like you in her life. I am sure that her life was enriched because of you. *hug*
Hang in there, my friend. And if it is the Nicky who I met, please extend my hugs to her as well.
and then tell her I want some fudge. (Lightsy and Breezy will understand that)

Fri. May 23, 09:09:00 p.m. EDT  
Blogger lights said...

Thanks Tummy...I was definately the lucky one. Michelle has been my inspiration for years. On days when I'm feeling down or sorry for myself I think of Michelle and remind myself to "suck it up Princess!"

We went to see Nicky tonight at her Mom's home. We laughed and cried and laughed and cried some more. Tomorrow night Nicky and Howie are coming to the cottage to have a couple drinks and relax. Nicky's been run ragged the past couple weeks and she just wants to escape for a few hours. I'm so happy that this is where she wants to escape to. Thanks Swami. *hugs*

Yes Carey. Same Nicky that you and Breezy met. I'll pass on your hugs to her. She'll appreciate the "fudge" remark. *giggle*

When I got to work this morning I found out that one of my co-workers who retired suddenly last spring when his cancer came back passed away yesterday as well. Also, my sister called me last night with some very disturbing news.

I'm really looking forward to being able to share some GOOD news with you all for a change. I feel like friggen Debbie Downer these days!

Fri. May 23, 10:36:00 p.m. EDT  
Blogger MM said...

Oh my. {{hugs}} I am so, so sorry for your recent losses, Lights.

Mon. May 26, 07:40:00 p.m. EDT  
Blogger Breezy said...

*big hugs* So sorry, Lightsy.

Tue. May 27, 10:08:00 a.m. EDT  
Blogger kim (weltek) said...

Awww, such a wonderful image of Shadow waiting for Michelle. *hugs*

Tue. May 27, 12:52:00 p.m. EDT  
Blogger Puffy said...

*cryinggggg*

My heart goes out to you and to her family. This is the kind of thing to read at a memorial service. It shows the true spirit of a person.

Wed. May 28, 01:15:00 a.m. EDT  
Blogger lights said...

I had a reply written but I'm having trouble getting used to this new laptop. For some reason I type stuff and then whole paragraphs disappear. Grrrr!!!

Nicky appreciates all the hugs and thoughts. She stopped in for a visit on her way home tonight. She laughed when I asked her for fresh fudge. *snort*

On Saturday night they came to the cottage for dinner and along with another couple we had dinner, drinks, tears and laughs. After dinner we wrote the eulogy from the outline the lady who was performing the service gave them. It was emotional but healing being able to be part of it.

Sunday I made funeral sandwiches.

Monday was the funeral. Afterwards, we went to the Vet's Club for funeral sandwiches and drinks. It's what Michelle wanted and I have to say that while it was one of the hardest funerals I've ever been to, it was also one of the nicest ones. I broke a blood vessel in my eye from crying and my eye looks like it's filled with blood.

So much has happened this week that my head is spinning. Another friend had an anurysm burst yesterday. She's younger than me and we still haven't heard how she's doing.

I love you guys. Just want you all to know that. *hugs*

Wed. May 28, 08:32:00 p.m. EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*big hugs Lightsy*

I'm so sorry.

Thu. May 29, 11:04:00 a.m. EDT  
Blogger moon said...

Oh lights. I came in to see how you're doing and read this. I am so sorry about your friend! *hug*

You be good, I am thinking of you.

Sun. Jun. 01, 11:26:00 a.m. EDT  

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