Friday, July 13, 2012

Goodbye, Peapod.

A week ago I discovered that one of my best friends, Stephanie, passed away. About a month ago she had surgery to remove her gallbladder. On Thursday night last week, she was taken to the ER for extreme abdominal pains. The doctors said she had pancreatitis, and on Friday last week they sent her to a Fresno hospital for surgery. Less than 24 hours after she had gone to the ER on Thursday, she passed away. They discovered she had an overwhelming infection in her abdomen. Stephanie and I met via work, this September would have been four years ago. We bonded almost immediately, even though she was my supervisor at the time. For some reason, that didn't matter, and nothing about Stephanie felt overwhelming. When I was her relief at 10pm, sometimes she'd end up staying until 11pm or even midnight, just talking about various things going on in our lives...and if she was my relief in the morning, I would find myself staying until 9:30am, if residents weren't awake, just so we could see each other for a bit. Like I had said to her before, when I met Stephanie, I didn't meet a boss or even a coworker, I'd met a friend...and after a while it wasn't even that I met a friend, I met a soul sister. Until the day she died, we had similar experiences in our lives, from our relationships with our siblings to our parents, to bullying experiences, and so on. We had started trying to put together a non-profit organization called One Less Inc., to combat bullying and become a safe haven for children who are victims of bullying, and to offer support and understanding to their parents as well. When we would talk about our dreams for One Less Inc. it's like she would start a sentence and I would finish it, or vice versa. There was very little we had differing views on... In fact, the only thing I can think of is our religious affiliations--she was very Christian, and me being an extremely laid back Atheist. It didn't matter. We would talk about religion and God sometimes, and never did she make me feel awkward or uncomfortable. I'm not the type of Atheist that will ever tell you your beliefs are wrong, and of course, I never did that to Stephanie, either. We took each other as we were. It didn't matter that we didn't see eye to eye on one thing, because we saw eye to eye on everything else. But we were so much alike that we said we were two peas in a pod...her nickname from me was Peapod, and I was Peabody. There have been very few instances in my life that I'd met someone that just loved and accepted me for everything I am and ever will be... Standing in my corner rooting me on, cheering for me to do well, no matter what I set my eye on as a goal. Stephanie was one of those people. No matter what I said I wanted to do, she was always there to give love, support, and any kind of guidance she might have been able to give. I wish that everyone has the luck to find someone like this in their lives, no matter how long the time. She helped me gain back a part of my spirit that I thought had been long gone for years. In less than 11 hours, we'll be laying her to rest. The day I found out, I was a wreck. The last few days I'd been better, but still not perfect... And I know in 11 hours I'll be a blubbering mess again. I'm still in a state of shock and disbelief...