I was born a twin…OK, I wasn’t, but it seemed like it. Just nine days after I was born, my next door neighbor gave birth to a little girl. Robin and I became friends just like our mothers were. We spent everyday together growing up. All of my childhood memories include her. We laughed, fought, and forgave quickly, just like sisters, for the first eight years of our lives.
It was Robin who convinced me to play doctor and put super glue eyedrops in her eyes. Oops. It was Robin who hit me over the head with a toy that left a dent in my forehead. It was Robin who made me “marry” Jake from down the street. It was always Robin in every story…
But when we were eight her parents divorced and her dad kept the house. Robin moved around the block with her mom. It was devasting for all of us, but thankfully we were able to walk back and forth to continue our friendship.
However, 24 years ago on December 28, is a day that changed our friendship and our lives forever. Robin’s mother, suffering from depression, committed suicide. My memories of that day are horrific. In the midst of the chaos going on around us, we were left pretty much unattended. Nobody really worried about us because we were together. I remember my house being packed with people and it being very cold as the door was opened and shut many times over. The cold Montana air poured in with the people. Next door there was commotion going on and ambulances being called. I vividly remember going into my bathroom with Robin and watching out the window towards her old house. I remember watching her mother’s body, under a white sheet, being wheeled out.
As an eight year old, all of this was etched into my brain in this very surreal way. I am not sure what is reality and what is made up. What I know is that my best friend lost the future that she had intended on having that day. Nothing would ever be the same again.
The reason that I am taking the time to tell this story is because it shaped me in a way that nothing else has. I may have went through a tragedy of immense proportions, but Robin’s experience was inconceivable. And nearly a quarter of a century later, I can tell you that what I take from that day is a deep respect for the little girl who lost her mother. Although she went through the worst thing imaginable, she is a survivor. Today she is married, happy, healthy, and has four beautiful kids. She recently left this comment on my blog…
You don’t realize how gratetful I am to have your encouraging words each week. As for many this time of year is a difficult time. For us it is remembering love ones that have been lost, finances, health, and life in general. It is so important to let yourself take time to remember each and everyday that God has a HEART and He will guide us. Struggles are a stepping stone in our lives, but it also makes us strong spiritually and faithfully. It is not a time of year to questions ones faith, but to live for it.
Robin, every year on this day, I remember you, and am encouraged once again. You made your own choices regardless of the foundation that you were given. You had every opportunity to let that day destroy you, but you didn’t. You are a shining example of what perseverance and determination can do in a person. Thank you for not questioning your faith, but living for it. I counsel people all of the time that are not sure they will make it through their situation. Your story gives me the confidence to know that God will always help those who call out to Him. I am thankful for our 32 year friendship and want you to know that I am very proud of the woman that you became. You are an inspiration to me and I love you very much.
And I’m really sorry about the super glue.
You have left me speechless… I have to admit for many years and many times I have lost my way. Forgetting that my faith will guide me. Wondering what to do next or how things would have been if????
Reading your message tonight, I finally stopped long enough to remember this day 24 years ago. Chaos, people….all the people that came to your house and remember all the disbelief that we felt. It is for this reason that I will always tell people that the Lord will always be watching you, and he will guide you. Not to give up as my mother did that morning.
I didn’t just lose a mother but your mom a best friend also.
No matter how many miles have been between us and years since we were the little girls your friendhsip and support have always been with me.
We had each other then and now….
Bless you for this message, Kurt and I were in tears. Thank you for remembering.
December 30, 2008
I am writing this to you Stacy because your message about the day, Dec 28, l984 will forever remain in my memory. I am Carol Anns sister Barbra or Barbie as she called me. My faith in GOD has sustained me over these long twenty four years. I do remember the two little girls who were so cute and so close. I do remember the friendship between your mother and my sister. I do remember the day I got the call about my sister dying. My first thought was about the kids, Jamie, Derek and Robin. My second thought was about my parents. We all survived the loss with GODS loving care. Thank you for remembering and being so thoughful and may the LORD bless and keep you and yours in his loving care.