Call me narcissist if you must but this blog is all about ME. I have another blog about my kids, whom I love and adore writing about. But I was Nicole a long time before I was mom and I don't intend to give up being Nicole overnight.
You can read all about my kids at Naptime Optional.
Or you can follow along on our Arizona adventure on my 365 project blog.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
A Friend to all
This is MaeLynn, a dear friend of mine who lost her battle with cancer on January 31, 2011.
I've been trying to write this post for weeks. At first I just wasn't emotionally ready. And then I was having trouble putting into just a few words the amazingness I feel at having known MaeLynn.
Even now I'm sitting in front of my computer tearing up because there is still a hole in my heart where she used to be. It's only been a few weeks and I still find myself picking up the phone to call her, only to remember that where she is now there is no direct line.
MaeLynn was my roommate when I at Utah State University. Which means there are a LOT of things I can tell you about her.
Like I could tell you how she was my only roommate that year that I could talk to before 9:00 am. (The other 4 were the epitome of NOT morning people.) But Mae was never grumpy. So we carried on quite pleasant conversations while getting ready in the early morning hours.
Or I could tell you that she was always the one with a sink full of dishes to do.
I could tell you about how we did Cindy Crawford work outs together.
Perhaps you would find it interesting that she was the first person I told when I had my first kiss. (Yes, my first kiss wasn't until college.)
That her favorite animal was a giraffe.
Or about how she was THE social butterfly in our apartment. She was always on the phone or going on a date or to a dance or church activity or something.
I could tell you about how she often complained about how she didn't like dating the Logan locals-but then ended up marrying one!
Or that she was a painter. Or that she never sneezed just once. Ever.
I could tell you all that.
But what I want to tell you most is about how MaeLynn loved and accepted everybody-just the way they are. MaeLynn was the least judgmental person I have ever known.
Nobody was excluded from her circle of friends.
I knew this about MaeLynn, but it was reaffirmed to me again the day of her funeral.
As I sat watching people arrive for the viewing I was once again blown away at the amazing variety of people who had come out to pay their last respects. There were people in dresses. People in suits. People in jeans. People in leather. People in bandannas. There was your "clean cut" variety. And there were people with multiple piercings and tattoos. Half the crowd smelled like shampoo and the other half smelled like cigarettes.
And here we all were, together in one place. Because that's what MaeLynn did best. She brought people together. And she NEVER judged a book by it's cover.
I was pondering all this and my mind went back to that year we were roommates. There was a boy across the hall that Mae drew into her life that the rest of us didn't care too much for.
I am not proud to admit it but we called him Slimy Jeremy. And "Germ"y. We often told Mae that she shouldn't hang out with him. But she knew better. We judged him. She saw the real him.
I stood thinking about Jeremy, wondering whatever happened to him. And then I heard somebody say "It's been a really long time, Nicole."
I looked up and there stood Jeremy. Not Slimy Jeremy, not "Germ"y. But Jeremy. The man he had become. The Jeremy MaeLynn always saw.
And that's why the chapel and the overflow and the gym were packed the day of her funeral. Because knowing that kind of person, the kind that can see into your soul, the kind who knows who you REALLY are and then loves you utterly and completely and wholly for being exactly who you are is not the kind of person you can EVER forget.
Instead of being sad that MaeLynn is no longer just a phone call away I'm trying to find joy in the fact that she counted me among her friends. Gratitude for the memories we shared. Peace in our shared faith and hope in a joyous resurrection.
Until we meet again, sweet friend.