Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Six months ago

Six months ago I got up to check my e-mail fearing there would be an e-mail that would take all my courage to open and read.

No new news about Kelly. I had received an e-mail late Sunday night from Kelly's Aunt Linda saying that the doctors thought she had just a few hours left.

I left for work very early that morning. As I was driving to work, my cell began to ring. I knew it was about Kelly. I fumbled to answer the phone in the darkness. Kelly's dad was on the phone. My heart sank as Don told me that Kelly had passed away early Monday morning. It was news I had expected, thought I was prepared for it. Still it didn't seem possible. How could this be? We talked briefly. Don asked if I was planning on coming for her service. We had discussed this and decided as a family that we were all planning on attending. Don asked me for a favor, would I be one of Kelly's pallbearers? Kelly and her family always seemed to find a way to give more to me than I gave. What an honor for me to be able to do that for Kelly, for Don and Patty.
We said our good-byes. I told Don that I was going to cry so I pulled my car over on the highway and did exactly that until I felt calm enough to drive.

The rest of the day is a blur. I stopped at Panera Bread which I like to do in the morning and read the paper. Somehow I managed to lose my prescription reading glasses between there and work. I never found them again.

I got to work, told a couple of my friends that Kelly had passed away. Bev and Brenda were very supportive of me. They knew how much I loved Kelly.

I missed my friend Bernice that morning. She was out of the office that day as it was her wedding anniversary. Bernice and I had talked back in 2001 when Kelly was expected to die about the possibility of a miracle occurring with Kelly's health. Bernice always called Kelly, "our little angel" and in many ways that was what she was to many of us, especially me. I always felt like Kelly was my guardian angel. How did she sense when I needed to hear from her? I would be feeling low and suddenly there would be an e-mail in my inbox from Kelly. My heart would leap each time I would see her name in my inbox and every time she would lift my spirits.
Years ago, Adam and I were driving home from Fort Collins and somebody side swiped our car going 75 miles and hour and never even slowed down. It felt like the car was going to roll and then it righted itself. To this day, I think that Kelly's guardian angel saw what was about to happen and steadied the car. The state patrol officer we called looked at our car and told me we were lucky to be alive.

I went in to my manager's office and told him that Kelly had died and started to break down again. I wrote a short e-mail to my staff and left for the rest of the day.

I stopped on the way home and went running, hoping that somehow that would help give me some peace. Running was always my special time with Kelly. We had run thousands of miles together over the last nine years. I cried during most of the run that day.

Six months ago the sky was overcast, the weather chilly, rain mixed with snow.

Today, the sky is blue and around 80 degrees. I ran again today, no tears while running. I still feel sad. I am glad Kelly is free of her cancer. I just wish that could have happened in her earthly life here with us.

I miss her so much. I think most of all, I will miss her smile, her utter sweetness in the way she lived her life.

I am so lucky that I got to be a part of Kelly's life for nine years. She will always be my hero and my love for her will always be safe in my heart. That is one thing that cancer can't touch.

1 comment:

  1. Ross,

    We love you!! Thank you for being such a special friend!!

    God Bless,