Monday, January 16, 2012

Eva's Final Gifts

This was the saddest week I've had in like. . . .ever.

The funeral is over, the family is trying to get back to a routine, and Facebook is still ringing with "Eva" memories.

I wasn't going to blog about it anymore.  You've all been with me, and I know it makes you sad too.  It's time for me to be funny again.

But I just had to do ONE MORE.

As you know, "Eva" and I have been friends since 2000. 

She's given me many gifts -- a Diaper Genie (that we used for 2 children), a decent maternity skirt, a Christmas ornament, and some pretty stationary.  Mostly, she's given me the gift of honesty, which I wrote about here and here.  (In the second one, I used "Eva's" real name.  Because it was years ago.  Her real name is Erika. I think she's OK that I tell you that now)

As she fought her illness, she gave us all the gift of perspective, because every post she put on Facebook was an affirming post.  EVERY ONE. 

And, in the end, she gave me something I will cherish forever.

New friends.

The thing about Erika is that she has a million friends.  Maybe a million and 10.  Everybody loves her.  I'm not just saying that because she's gone. . . everyone does love her.  The Corpus Christi Cathedral was PACKED for 2 days to honor this woman and her family. 

Of all the people she loves, it's always been obvious who she loves the most:  Todd, her husband, and her kiddos.  OK - that's a given.  And to see Todd so strong and tall (and handsome -- seriously.  Erika married a hottie) -- my heart swelled in gratitude that such a great man was by her side.

But she also loves -- and LIKES -- her family.  Her sister and her Mom were her very best friends.  She loved and admired her Dad and was so proud to work in the family business.  I always felt like I knew Leslie because even though she lives in another city, Erika was always talking about Leslie this and Leslie that.  She was so proud of her little sister. 

I do know her mom and her dad, and I can totally understand why they are so close. 

I am already friends with her cousin Roland.  He and I were in leadership together and he is one of those wonderful guys that you put on your Men-I-Would-Marry-If-I-Weren't-Already-Married list.  (What?  Don't you have one of those lists??)

Roland kept me abreast of everything that was going on, and I took it upon myself to tell everyone else.

Erika and I have some friends in common, and keeping the prayer vigil made us closer.  Sonja, Carmen, Lisa, Robbie -- I love you guys!  I'm sorry it took THIS to reconnect.  I appreciate that we were together in our grief.

Through the dark days, I realized that Erika and I had some other friends in common.  Amy, Linda, Emily. . . now we're closer because we connected through Erika.

And at the end, we came together with some other wonderful people.  Leslie -- the sister Erika adored.  Even though her grief was incredible, she made sure to comfort me.  I am inspired by how selfless this family is.  Melissa, Rene, and all the cousins who allowed me to enter in the circle of their grief.  To cry with them, the laugh with them -- it's a blessing I won't forget.  I've even made "Facebook Friends" with some people I haven't yet met, but because we both loved Erika, we connected. 

In the end, Erika -- "Eva" -- gave me new friends.

Thanks Erika.  I love you!

See how beautiful???? 


  1. Wowsie, Thanks Mary for that great day, if Todd doesn't write it, you/we should write a book


  2. i am so sorry you lost such a wonderful heart goes out to you and her family and other friends...writing about her preserves your memories not only for you but for everyone you cuz!

  3. I'm so sad to hear this - I'm sure she treasured your friendship and kindness to her family during this horrible time. Keep running half marathons while you work through it... xoxoxo

  4. Mary - gosh, weren't we blessed to really know her, and to be able to have her call us her firend and vis / versa? I feel like I'm one of the richest people in the world because I had moments with her that I will charish forever. She game me a cross for our "new home," when we moved up here. It was one of the first things I hung up. I see it and smile everyday. I miss her so much. I can't believe it's only been a week.

  5. Mary - it's me Sonya. I didn't know how to publish. Let me try again and not anonymous. HELP!!!

  6. Oh, Mary, I'm so sorry for the loss of your wonderful friend. This was a beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman. xoxox

  7. That picture is so lovely -- and so is this post, Mary. Love.


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