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Uno, Dos, Tres

on November 19, 2010

It’s been 3 years.

3 years and 1 week ago I found out that my friend Meryl’s mom had passed. She had been battling cancer for a while, and although I don’t exactly remember the kind of cancer – it sucked. Meryl and I met when I went to the BACCHUS House at Muskingum my freshman year, and I instantly liked her. Since then we have become what I’d like to think of as pretty good friends, she’s a really wonderful person; one I’m glad to call my friend. And her mom, Mary, was the same way. She worked at Muskingum in the library. I moved into BACCHUS my Sophomore year, and got to know Meryl and her parents more through living there. Their whole family are incredibly phenomenal people. And honestly, I didn’t even really know Mary that well…but I just knew that she was great. Great in a lot of ways that I can’t even begin to try to explain, but she was an amazing woman who lived a great life and produced 2 of the most amazing people I know – Meryl and her brother, Owen. She loved her kids, her husband, her job; every time I saw her I just wanted to give her a hug because she was one of those people whose hugs made everything better (or at least I felt that way about her; you know how you can look at someone and know something?) She just exuded this vibe of calm, compassion, and love. I don’t really know how to explain it so that it makes sense to anyone but me, but the news of her death was crushing.

Exactly one week later….3 years ago today I woke up to a phone call from Kevin (my now ex, at the time my boyfriend) telling me that Joe passed away sometime during the night. Now, Kevin and I started dating in 2005; and he lived in Cleveland while I lived in Cambridge so I didn’t really know all of his friends that well since we spent most of our time together at college – where we met. But Joe was special, different. Out of all of Kevin’s friends, Joe never once made me feel like an “outsider” or “Kevin’s girlfriend.” He made me feel like I had grown up with them, like I belonged. Over time several of Kevin’s other friends gave me that same vibe, but from day 1 – Joe made me feel welcome and like I was part of their group. Because of that, the phone call I received on November 18 was devastating. Joe was only 22, he had AML. He had been diagnosed the summer before, and had even been in remission for a little while. Joe was one of the most amazing people I have ever met in my life, and I miss him. I’m sure some of Kevin’s friends will never understand why I miss Joe, or why he was so important to me – but Joe knows, and that’s all that matters.

I didn’t want to write this a week ago, because I knew that today was coming and I wasn’t sure if I could handle 2 separate posts on 2 incredible people, who albeit I didn’t know that well, but whom touched my life in ways I never imagined possible. So in their memory – Mary and Joe – know that you were and will always be amazing, wonderful people who I hope realized the depths of which they impacted others by simply being themselves. You are both on my mind consistently, and I strive to be like both of you in many ways; accepting, compassionate, strong, friendly, humble, loving, passionate…the list goes on. Here’s to you both; I love you.

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One response to “Uno, Dos, Tres

  1. Meryl says:

    This is a nice tribute to my mom and to Joe; it’s nice to know other people miss my mom and notice her absence around this time of year. It’s awful you lost two people in such quick succession to cancer. Also, Mom had brain cancer, or a malignant brain tumor, rather. Thanks for writing!

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