Friday, February 1, 2013
I just recently found out that one of my long distance friends, Sonia Todd, died of cancer a few months ago. It was a complete shock, to say in the least. I didn't find out
by someone calling me and telling me or writing to me with some bad news. I found out through FACEBOOK. I know you may be thinking that I must be a negligent friend, by finding out in this
way, but Sonia and I had the kind of friendship where we would check in on one another every few months or so, and then go back and saunter to our own lives. And it was devastating to me that
Sonia never told me that she was even sick and that I never had the chance to say goodbye.
BUT, I do understand why she didn't tell me....
I met Sonia while attending college. I was a freshman and on a work-study program and I was assigned to being her student assistant; filing, copying, cleaning.
Sonia and I quickly became friends. We both had a child around the same age and we were continually swapping stories, interjecting hilarity, and comparing notes about parenting.
She always made me laugh with her stories that she would go into graphic detail about. One thing to note about her was that she was also a self-proclaimed
hypochondriac. I even remember several occasions where she would self diagnose herself by reading things on the internet, and swore her child was suffering
from an incurable form of the common cold at his first sneeze. She was so whitty and convincing that I just couldn't help myself from smiling (with an occasional eye roll).
Which is why, even more, her dying of cancer haunts me. It just even more so forces me to accept my own mortality. Sonia was constantly trying to safeguard
herself, in a way, by actively trying to seek out things in her environment and eliminate it before they became a threat, and yet, she died at a young age of an incurable disease.
That very much haunts me.
Sonia and I started spending time outside of work together and developed a friendship. Upon sharing some more personal details of her life, I learned that our childhoods were very similar
in nature. We shared some of the same feelings, life experiences, and even some of the same regrets. I felt honored that she shared some of her story with me because I got to learn
and accept myself more wholly through hearing them, and I felt honored she felt comfortable enough to share them with me.
When Sonia died, she wrote her own obituary, and I have very mixed feelings about that. She mentioned that she wrote it because she didn't want any "half-truths" or flowery details said about her said, and that does sound like her, but I don't think totally explains this statement she made. Sonia was an extremely down to earth person and and was madly in love with being a mother and a wife. She put her entire
being into that role, and although that was enough for her, I think deep down she believed that it wasn't enough for everyone else. I fear that she felt that there was nothing of note to be said about her, which is completely untrue.
I truly loved her for who she was--funny, dedicated,smart, witty, crazy, goofy, sometimes self-depreciating, self-sacrificing, beautiful woman she was.
Sonia also stated in her obituary that she never really accomplished anything of greatness and just did "the best she could." If she truly believed that she did not accomplish greatness then she never held a mirror up to her soul and saw herself for the truly remarkable woman she was. Thank you Sonia for touching my life in a in so many ways. You made me laugh, you made me cry, and I will ALWAYS remember the good times we had together. It was an honor to be able to call you my friend. I could never get those smiling doey eyes out of my soul.
And although I am so sad that I never had the chance to tell you goodbye, I also understand that one of the reasons why you probably didn't was because you just didn't want me to feel sad or disappointed. You had a huge impact in my life and I will never forget...