Recently, one of my dearest friends made her transition from this Earthly life.
Just the thought of it is non-sensical to me, as she was one of liveliest people I know. No kidding. She was always on the go, moving, smiling and doing. So, the thought of that energy not being on the planet any longer is going to take some getting used to.
Heather. Gone. Its inconceivable.
To some, our friendship may be somewhat like a secret romance uncovered because it was kinda quiet like that. Heather came into my life at a time when I had lost a lot and she recognized those empty places and filled them right up.
That was her gift.
We first met at an In-Pact walkathon. She was there with all three of her babies. The twins were freshly born and Avery was about three I’d guess. Somehow Avery and I started coloring together and that freed Heather up to take care of the babies for a bit. As I watched Heather with Avery, Jorian and Kiernan I recognized myself in her mothering.
As the walkathon began, I made my way in that general direction when I heard “JUICY!! I WANT JUICY!” Then through the crowd Avery made an appearance and confidently took my hand to proceed in the walk. According to Heather, from then on I was known as “Juicy” at the Chopps home.
It wasn’t until I moved “under the stairs” and directly across the hall from her at In-Pact though, that our friendship really took off. Being sequestered in that short hallway created a natural bonding environment. I like (and played in the office) the same music her husband Keith likes, so that made it feel a little like home for Heather. I could smell when she was eating peanut butter right out of the jar, just like my beloved Chris. And of course, once we discovered our mutual love of Swedish Fish and Gummy Life Savers (berry of course) it was ON!!!
After the clubhouse opened we worked even more closely together as several of my foster clients participated there. I enjoyed seeing her interact with clients and family members as well. She so believed in the service she was providing that I knew my clients would be best served by her program.
Because of the close quarters, when I suffered the losses I mentioned above, there was no hiding that from Heather. She never ever-never-ever–ever-never pried. She just showed up. Like I said, she saw the empty places and filled them…by inviting my daughter and I to Christmas Eve, to all the girl’s birthday parties and by sharing her own similar stories of loss. She became a sister from another mister to me, and another mother to my daughter.
One of the things I remember about the very first time we went to their house, was meeting Keith and seeing how much he loved her. It was like watching two teenagers in love! It oozed out of him whenever he looked at her, and when she looked back, her eyes sparkled. I remember talking to Emma on the way home and saying “I want to find someone who loves me like that.” (I did, too!) In all the time I’ve known them, I’ve never heard them argue or speak disrespectfully to or about one another.
Heather had a superpower. She could sense what you needed to most hear about yourself and say it at just the right time. She didn’t blow smoke up your skirt and tell you something she didn’t believe, but she would say the very thing you needed to feel better about yourself. It didn’t matter how busy she was, how many things she had to do or what was on her mind she made time/room for you.
When I decided to resign and move across two states to marry my beloved, Heather was supportive and encouraging. She never thought I was crazy or unwise. She got it. Upon my leaving she treated me like royalty and really made me feel special on my exit. As a going away gift, she gave me a simple small plaque with a quote.
It still sits on my vanity and I look at it almost every day…
Even when I’m here
and you’re there…
you’re always right here
in my heart.
We stayed in touch by text and facebook. And when Avery was diagnosed with Scoliosis, I felt helpless in supporting them from so far away, but the Universe -always conspiring on our behalf- would direct the Chopps family to a Michigan clinic for alternative therapy. That clinic would just so happen to be a mere half hour from my doorstep.
We were all so excited when Heather and Avery made that first trip! OHHHHHH!! I got several uninterrupted days with them! What a joy that trip was!! Over the course of the next year and a half they would make several trips with the whole family. Each one more fun than the last! Our families grew closer than ever because of those visits.
We stayed in touch through texts and facebook as time after time our families both suffered difficult times. My love, and hers, extending over the miles, was never far away, for as she said, even when I’m here and they’re there, they are always right here in my heart.
And now, in two days time, I will attend my beloved friend’s memorial.
While as an advocate and instrument for energy healing I know that energy does not die, it transcends, I can’t help but feel grief over the loss of the physical robe Heather has dropped.
I mean, have you seen her smile? It seriously lit up the room!
I refuse to say good-bye. So instead, I will just say ‘Thank You’.
Thank you, Heather, for the memories of loving friendship turned sisterhood. For the gifts of pool parties, birthday parties, Christmas Eve and photoshoots. I thank you also for your unending support, encouragement, validation, clarity and unconditional acceptance. I thank you for sharing yourself and your entire family with me so limitlessly. I thank you for your counsel and your shoulder to cry on. I thank you for the love we shared. I love you, mostest.
I thank you for the filling of empty spaces.
…and even though I’m here and you’re there…you’re always right here in my heart.
All My Love,