Sixteen years ago today I lost the dearest friend I had ever had. Her presence in my life and the relationship we shared is the very reason I have such incredibly rich relationships with other people today. She changed me. We changed each other. Together we learned how to trust completely and what a difference it can make when you know there is someone who supports and loves you without judgment or condition. We were honest, brutally so at times. We laughed and cried. We shared everything. We LIVED!
Annette was a beautiful human being and even though she fought fiercely to keep her broken moments from the world around her, I found them to be beautiful. When cancer struck our lives, she fought it with all she had. We fought it together every step of the way. Our relationship became even more important as we battled this terrible disease together. Neither of us was married or had children and I believe God knew exactly what He was doing by allowing us to be able to focus on each other as we traveled the road together. People can think or whisper whatever they want, but Annette and I knew the complete and pure bond we shared.
I miss Annette. Today I miss her as deeply as if it was the moment I lost her 16 years ago. Some years are just like that. I am so thankful for the gift God gave to me in – and through – Annette. It is what drove me to begin writing the book “How We Said Goodbye.” It is a story that needs to finally be told in its entirety. I have always said that my relationship with Annette was the most beautifully painful experience of my life and it is true but I would not trade it for anything.
So today I remember. I remember everything good even though it brings tears. I remember the beauty, though it feels like the rain is falling. Love is just that way.
How We Said Goodbye – Introduction:
“They say life throws us curves when we least expect it. I suppose that’s true. Sometimes those curves can be wonderful but sometimes they are devastating. One thing I have learned in my life is it is better not to know what the future holds. If we knew of the things we were going to have to endure in life, most of us would shrink within the confines of our homes or even our own souls. Not knowing what tomorrow holds frees us to live completely for today. It gives us license to embrace the world around us because tomorrow it may all be gone. When we allow ourselves to live with open arms, we create opportunities to receive more than we can ever dream. Yes, there will be pain, but in time the pain fades and leaves beautiful memories of amazing experiences we didn’t recognize as we were living them.
Goodbyes are always the most difficult and painful part of life. Loss comes in so many different ways, but when our goodbyes are the result of losing someone we love, we must remember how blessed we were to have ever had them at all.
I never would have dreamed that saying “Goodbye” could be one of life’s greatest and richest blessings, but I have lived it first-hand. Here is our story…”