There are only a few people that become such an influential part of your life that they are forever woven into your heart and change who you are. The person who did this the most for me was my closest friend, Robin. She and I were friends from middle school, around 12 years old up until the day she passed away. We grew up together and eventually, when life threw me a huge curveball, I lived with her and her family until I graduated high school. When life threw her the biggest curveball ever, I held her and we both cried.
Robin taught me the foundation of most of the things I hold dearest. She introduced me to the Church and I was baptized with her smiling at me. We held a party afterwards at her beautiful home in the orchards and fields of our hometown. She showed me the best makeup and her sense of style is still the standard I measure by.
We went to high school together and shared every memory that girls develop as they forge their lives as adults. I heard about her first kiss, her dream husband, our plans to vacation, college hopes, and what types of children we wanted to have. I'll never forget a funny dream she shared of having a baby that wouldn't stop crying and she didn't know what to do with it. She sent me a postcard from Paris and read me her journals of riding the Metro through France. We were on the same cheer/pep squad for years and we went together with our dates to the Senior Prom. We took cap and gown photos and promised to be friends all our lives.
Robin and I visited each other through college and into our marriages. I heard about her engagement and she was my saving grace as I learned that sometimes dreams don't come true. She helped me see the silver lining when things got hard in my life. I was enraptured with her stories of San Francisco and floral arrangements she made for celebrities and magazines. She was always so amazing to me.
We talked about our babies and I went to her baby shower (and gave her diapers, because I knew she'd need those the most!) and we talked for hours every time we got on the phone. She was more than a friend to me. She was the sister I never had. She was the confidante that I needed most. She really was the North Star in my changing skies. I loved her best.
I got my chance to be there for her when she was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2005. She was my date for our high school reunion. While our friends and classmates partied it up we held each other and cried while she shook from chemotherapy treatment. I wanted so badly to take her place. It was horrible what she endured so admirably. 2 and a half years later, having fought harder than anyone I've ever heard of, she passed away in April of 2008 from her disease. I was driving back from the airport when I got the call from her Mom. I looked up at the night sky, wondering where Robin was now.
I've never missed anyone more and for some reason, out of the blue, I wanted to put out there how much I still love and miss her. She's still my best friend and I promised her she always would be. I know I'll not find another person who will affect me in such a wonderful way. It is my biggest hope that everyone has their Robin and if you're lucky, you'll enjoy their friendship for a lifetime. I can't wait until I get to see her again.
Robin's story of fighting Leukemia is touching and hard. But she was so brave and real and funny and optimistic that you sometimes forgot she had cancer. I'll never forget my friend and I hope she knows that.
I miss you and love you, Rob.