It is no secret that I miss my friend. It’s no secret that I’ve been heartbroken about her loss. (As have so many others.) I don’t want to talk about my grief. I don’t want to talk about how sad I still am. I want to talk about my memories. They’re so damn important. It’s all I have now. I’ve said this before, but I don’t want to think of her as a statistic or a victim. I want to think about her as my friend. Here are some stories about my friend. I miss her. I wish we had a million more stories. I am going to refer to her as C. Those that know me or her know who she is.
When we first met
I received a Facebook message one day from C. I was living in Alberta at the time. She was hosting a baby shower for a mutual friend. (My best friend from high school, and her best friend.) She invited me to the baby shower, and I told her I’d be there. This was exciting for me because I was moving back to Saskatoon, and was excited to be able to attend.
The day I went to the shower, she introduced herself and was very friendly. After seeing her, I realized I’d actually met her before. She didn’t mention it though. While we played games, I told her that I loved the location of her place. She responded by telling me she had a room for rent. Our mutual friend vouched for both of us. It didn’t take long for me to move in with her and her two dogs. (The dogs weren’t at the baby shower so I had yet to meet them.)
After we had been living together, we were talking one night (and probably drinking wine), and I asked her if she remembered meeting me before. I had actually gone to a get-together at her house one weekend when I was visiting our mutual friend. She didn’t remember that. We had also met before that when she was working at a bar. I was at a pub crawl with a friend that our mutual friend was going to be at, but she wasn’t able to make it. (I hope that sentence makes sense. This is the third time I’ve looked at it, but my tired brain can’t fix it.) C came right up to me that night to introduce herself. She knew who I was, and wanted to say hello. She was very nice. I think I found her a bit intimidating actually because she seemed so self confident. (I probably wished I was that self confident.) I never told her that.
My point of this story is that she didn’t remember either of those meetings. She would continue to remember the first time we met was at the baby shower. I remember every one of them. They were all good first meetings. (Although writing it down here is probably a good idea. I may forget sometime.)
The house we originally moved into was going to be sold so we found a new place to move to. This place was really cute, and near the Farmer’s Market. It seemed perfect, except it was crawling with mice (we didn’t realise how many when we moved in). For the most part, it wasn’t a big deal. The dogs kept them in the basement. However, we did have to work on mouse removal. We set traps, and left them in the basement. Unfortunately, it turned out, I had a lot of trouble setting the traps. I had a fear that I was going to get my fingers snapped. C made a deal with me. She said she’d set all the traps, and I could do the removal. I agreed. Why did I agree? I still don’t know.
We never used the basement. It was old and musty. Which means we didn’t check often enough for mice. By the time we found them they were smelly. I’m almost gagging writing this. I would put on big yellow gloves, grab a shot of vodka, and go get the mouse. C would hold open the bag for me while I gagged and got the mouse out of the trap. She also laughed. A lot. I also think she took a photo of me trying to get rid of one.
We laughed a lot. Even at the most disgusting things. I could go on about mice because the stories didn’t stop there, but I’ll leave it at this: moving out was good. (Even though we went our separate ways after we moved out of that house.)
Drama phone call
I’ve told this story many times. It’s one of my favourite stories because it is pretty ridiculous. When C and I moved in together, my boyfriend and I had just broken up, and her boyfriend had recently moved out after they broke up. Neither of us were interested in getting out into the world. We enjoyed drinking a bottle of wine, eating nachos, and binge watching shows.
One night, after we had opened our second bottle of wine, we started discussing and arguing over which one of us was more dramatic than the other. C was dramatic, but silly dramatic. She’d fall onto the couch and proclaim, “This is the WORST day ever!” I was also dramatic, but probably more moody dramatic.
We decided the only way to solve this was to phone our friend. It was pretty late at night, and she had a new baby. Being single gals, we didn’t consider this at all. We phoned and demanded she tell us which one of us was more dramatic. She was very diplomatic, but also laughed at us because we were not one hundred percent sober, and were asking silly questions. She didn’t answer. She told us we were both dramatic in our own way. She was right.
We had a lot of nights with a bottle of wine, and cheese covered nachos. They were always my favourite nights. We would watch shows, but pause them every 20 minutes to discuss how it related to our lives. There came a point when we moved on from that. It was time for both of us, but I missed it. I wish I had told her I missed it.
We lived in the first house for almost a year. The leaves had fallen everywhere. We decided that we needed to have a photo shoot. One day, after we had raked up all the leaves, we went outside with her dogs, and jumped in the leaves. Her ex-boyfriend was there as well. He took photos for us, and posed in a few as well. They were still friends. There isn’t anything to this story. We just laughed a lot, and had fun being kids for a day. I still love jumping in the leaves. I take my son out, and I always think of the fun I had with C. I think it was my idea to jump in the leaves, but I love that she embraced it.
Vets and Pregnancy
Years later, I was living with my partner, quite pregnant, and we had a dog. My partner was gone working, but my sister was over for an Easter supper. I had been trying to grab a vase from the top of my fridge when an old poppy fell off the top. My dog was almost one, and still a puppy which means he ate the poppy. He grabbed it, and when I tried to get it back from him, he swallowed it. He swallowed the poppy and pin.
I panicked. I was scared. I called C. She was my dog person, and I trusted her opinion. She came and picked me up, and we went to the vet. My sister stayed at home because food was still cooking. C left everything she was doing to help me out. To be honest, she was the only person I wanted with me. She kept me calm, but also let me be upset.
I cried when we spoke to the vet. Part of it was beause I was very pregnant, and the other part was because my dog swallowed something that could poke any organ. They took x-rays and found the pin. We had just agreed to surgery when a vet came out, and told us she thought given Drogo’s size, they could just make him throw it up. She wasn’t worried. C gave me the nod, and I told them to go for it. It worked, and he is still here, and happy. He’s never eaten another pointy pin since then.
My dog loved her. He knew she was his person as much as Clint and I were. I was so happy to have her with me that day. She kept us both calm.
The day after Anthony was born, a few people came to visit in the hospital. She was the first one there. In fact, she was the last one to see me the night before I went to the hospital. She couldn’t wait to meet my son. This one is bringing tears to my eyes. It’s an ‘I wish’ moment. I wish he had more time with her. I wish we had seen her more in the last year (I wish I had as well.) I wish our kids could have been friends while we had a glass of wine on her deck.
She was the first person to be there. She always was. (In every way: she was also the first person to arrive to a party.)
Plenty of Fish check ins
Right before we moved into our new house, I decided to try online dating. She was a mother hen about the whole situation, and was very concerned. I had three different dates. She texted me more than once during every one of them to make sure I was okay. I had to answer or she’d phone. She was truly worried about me.
A few months later, she decided to try it. I told her I’d text her during the date to make sure she was okay. I texted her. No response. I texted again. No response. I called. She didn’t answer. I was pretty sure she was okay, and she confirmed it after the date was over. She was having such a good time, she forgot to look at her phone. I didn’t blame her for that. I understood, and was actually a little happy that she understood. (Although, I texted her back.)
Are you funny?
We were once talking about ourselves, and I told her I thought I was funny. To be clear, I know I’m funny, which is why I didn’t take offence with her her looking at me quite seriously and saying, “I don’t remember any of your jokes.” I was okay with the comment because I knew we did laugh all the time. Sometimes, when you spend a lot of your time laughing together, it’s hard to remember particular moments.
Christmas shopping at 3am
This also isn’t a story as much as an experience. We stayed up late because Crystal had a great idea. We would beat the rush, and do all of our shopping at 3am. It was fun, and we got everything done.
We both experienced losses. Different losses, but we were there for one another through them. She was there when my ex-boyfriend was killed in a car accident. She listened to me when I drank too much and cried to her. She comforted me when I needed it. She was there for me, and I knew that.
Her loss was different. Her dog had cancer, and she had to put him to sleep. It wasn’t the same as losing a past love, and a friend, but loss is loss. She loved that dog more than any dog has ever been loved. It was breaking her heart. We didn’t live together at that point, but I still tried to make sure she knew I was there.
I could go on and on. I can’t. This has to have an end. We did so much together, and we honestly had so much fun. We fought too. We hurt each other’s feelings. We were both sensitive. We both had our own issues to work through. We did a lot of this together. We talked. We discussed. We cried. We laughed. We only knew each other for a few years, but they were good years. We grew apart at times, and then we’d get together and it would be like no time had passed.
I don’t know how to end this because I know once I stop writing, it’s admitting it’s the end. I’ll always have stories. There are so many more, but I’ll save some of those for my son. He’ll love hearing about his Aunt that loved him with all her heart. He recently saw a photo of her holding him. Even though he may not remember her, his automatic response from seeing the photo was, “Love me. Hug me.” He could tell just from the photo how much she loved him. He was right. We were lucky to have her in our life.
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