Today is the one year mark of the death of a beautiful person and an amazing friend. We met in 2nd grade and were instant forever friends - bossum buddies from Anne of Green Gables, BFFE (Best Friends Forever and Ever). Heidi and I grew up together with our families intertwined, 'second families', to the fullest extent. She was the strongest person I knew, always active - playing softball, breaking records in track & field, soccer when we were younger. We were constantly laughing together...
Heidi was diagnosed with colon cancer in Fall 2003, which spread rapidly to her liver. Over the next six years, she underwent a few surgeries and chemotheraphy numerous times with remissions in between giving us all hope to believe. She was an active person during all this; if you didn't know, you couldn't tell she was fighting the battle. She was amazing!
She was married to her soul mate, Eric, on October 13, 2007 - one day before her 26th birthday and was truly on top of the world - in mind, health and love. I was honored to be a bridesmaid in her wedding where she literally created almost every detail by hand - she was a crafty girl!
Walk Like An Egyptian became 'our song' - hahaha! I remember being home at her house and playing it as loud as we could on the stereo then singing and dancing around her living room and dining room table, just cracking up!
After the ceremony, she hung in the cottage on site waiting for the reception to start, wanting to stay that evening for as long as she was able. I was able to hang out with her, Eric, Terry and John (her 'rents) before the reception - fabulous moments I will cherish.
The next day, her and Eric took a vacation to Mexico (while we were on our honeymoon)...an all-inclusive resort where they were pampered, relaxed and spent the entire week together - just the two of them. She sent emails and pictures of their happenings each and every day talking about how happy she was and all the fun they were having. We both returned from our trips - me, trying to catch up on real life again and her, (unbenownst to me) sick with a cold from traveling. It took me two weeks after returning to call, wanting to chat about her trip and let her know how much it meant to me that she was at the wedding - I left a message on Monday, Oct 5th. She didn't hear that message. I got the call from Lauren the next day.
The next week is a fog of memories... Going with Joy to their house, seeing Eric, crafting with her supplies to create flower pins to hand out to the family and close friends at the funeral, sleeping until it didn't hurt anymore... I hate that she didn't hear my message to her. I had written thank you cards also - one to her and Eric and one to just her... I read them to her and everyone at the funeral - one of the toughest things I've had to do.
I have two notes here – one, a thank you card to Heidi and Eric and two, a note for Heidi. I wasn’t able to mail them in time for Heidi to read them – typical me - so I’d like to read them to you and her now.
Heidi and Eric – Thank you so much for being a part of our special day! Jay and I were honored you were able to be there. You both looked fabulous – Heidi, with your radiant smile and Eric, looking spiffy in your suit! It was wonderful to be able to spend some time with you before the reception began and I’m so glad you enjoyed yourselves and stayed for as long as you did! It was a perfect day and could not have been the same without your presence and love surrounding us! All our love, Susan and Jay
Heids – I can not begin to tell you how much it meant to me to have your smiling face be the first I saw walking down the aisle! Can you believe I’ve joined the married crowd? It’s absolutely fabulous and I find myself using the title ‘husband’ as much as possible! I know Jay and I will do just fine if we have an ounce of the love you and Eric share – I’m so happy you found each other early in life! He is amazing and you are both so blessed.
I know it was difficult for you to come to the wedding, but you looked beautiful and were so brave. I was thrilled to have some time alone with you and Terry in the cottage, before the craziness began! I hope you know how special you are to me and how much inspiration your strength and friendship has given to me over the years. Twenty years – can you believe it?! We’ve been there, together, for so many moments – big and small – first dances, new school years, slumber parties, 4-H camp, pigtail softball, Monster Mash, more birthdays than I can keep track of, lots of laughter, talent shows, learning how to drive, graduations and most recently each of our weddings! There will be so many more to come…I can’t wait!!
I know things have been rough these last few years, but you are so strong and surrounded by so much love! I am always here for you – just a phone call away - anytime. Thank you for your friendship! Love you always…
(This part was written after she had passed...) I will miss you forever my dear friend. I know that you are at peace now and no longer hurting; you are watching over all of us and enjoying the show with family and friends who have gone before you. We miss you here – very much – but have all been blessed in how you have touched each and every one of us, even those who couldn’t be here today. We will remember you always.
|Maidzilla Party - May 2007|
|Senior Year of High School - 1999|
|Senior Prom - 1999|
|Girl's Night - 2007|
|Heidi's 28th Birthday - Oct 2008|
Heidi's family and friends are gathering tonight to visit her and have dinner. It will be hard, but I can't wait...
HERE is a YouTube slide show her brother, Logan put together - it is beautiful and he did an amazing job!