I know you figured I would write you a letter. I asked everyone at the bar to do the same. I have sat for days now trying to write something wonderful to let you know how special you were to me. Crazy thing was that every time I wanted to write it…I could not find the perfect words because I honestly do not think words like that exist. Sure, I wrote some things down, like how I loved the fact that you always were there for me to complain about Rhonda, and you would laugh and say she was a pisser. The times I was so mad at Dominic and you reminded me that he loved me. I loved that I could tell you anything. I loved how no matter how much one of us would piss you off, you never turned your back on us when we needed you. You showed me the person I would like to be. You accepted all of us for who we were. What word would describe you, extraordinary? Extraordinary is not even enough.
I have many favorite memories I could share. (However, this is just a letter and not a book) I thought I would mention a few. The last time we spoke, I want to thank you for the most. I sat in that chair (you know the one by the window) while you told me I should be home taking care of my boys and Dom. I think I made some excuse that I needed a break and you were the perfect escape. I might have lied a little. I wanted to have some time with you! You and I both knew it was getting closer each day. You sat up in your bed and talked about your kids and your family. Just as you had reminded me of mine. Not once did you ever talk about yourself. You still sat strong not complaining of anything not even of your pain. You said to me that you prayed every night and would wake the next morning. You said God must have needed you for something because you were still here. I think you were right. He needed you to help remind the rest of us… the person we should be to others and to ourselves!
I have cried here and there. Laughed at a few memories too. (You know which ones). I hear your voice in my head, I still hear you, as clear as if you were here. To me you are here. I keep trying to make since of why you had to go at such an early age. I was not ready to let you go. I know you are in a better place and that calms my heart. Do you realize how many people loved you? You my friend touched many lives!
I think back, and you and I always did have those serious talks. I thank you for that and I am sure going to miss them. We can still talk because I know you are listening.
I also loved how everyone thought we were sisters. I think that alone was compliment in my favor. We did look a lot alike. I am proud to say they were right. Your smile radiated the hearts of many of us.
Another memory I will always cherish is the day Rhonda and I came to visit. The three of us sat on your big comfortable bed eating your chocolate. We sat gossiping about everyone at the bar. Honestly, nothing we said was bad, just updating were everyone was in his or her lives. Now I think back and I am so glad we were there with you, it made me realize something, what we shared was many memories and that I can say I will always hold closely to my heart. I looked at you and Rhonda with the thought of how lucky I was to have a kindred connection with two of the strongest women I know.
Hey, do you remember 2013 Halloween party? I was a gorilla and you were a witch? I still have the picture. I sat with you and we talked for a good hour or two while the party was going on around us. My first book was about to be published and you said to me, “Jorja I’m proud of you girl. You said you were going to write a book and you did.” My heart melted, because you were the one that showed me that anything was possible if you put your mind to it! I returned with, “You helped me Lu. I watched how you were determined to fight this cancer! You were stage three for God’s sake! Fight you did, and that inspired me!”
When my second book came out, you were going through chemo again, but you still made it a point to come to my book signing. That alone was so precious to me, I knew how sick you had been, but you still came. You whispered to me “You did it again girl!” and just smiled your precious smile. I can still see it! I could see you were tired of the fight, but to me it was becoming your strength in my eyes. No matter what you were given, you took it with grace. Which too has inspired me.
The last time I saw you, (remember by the window I sat) Again my most favorite memory, you ask if I was still writing, I said, “Yes and almost done with book three.” You smiled and said “Don’t you quit writing girly!” Little did you know book three had some memories of you in it and glimpses of your battle influenced book three a great deal. You just smiled. Again, you gave me strength, at one of your weakest moments. Your fight was making all of us a bit stronger. You were giving your last days to us, to make us stronger. You showed me that life alone is a battle and with that being said we can struggle through it or we can take it as you did-with grace. I love you Lu and you will always be with me.
Love you always,