Tuesday, July 13, 2010
The One Where Kristen Bailey is gone too soon
This deserves a post all in its own.
On June 17th one of my dearest friends Kristen Bailey passed away. It came as a complete shock to me. I had just gotten home from chemo when I talked to her mom. What happened to her is still unclear, but we know that she died in her sleep while on a business trip in Missouri. I had just spoken to her a few days before she passed. We were talking about my newly found bald hair cut and she was telling me how excited she was to go on her trip. She was so happy, happier than she had been in such a long time. Her masters was completed, she had a great new job, and a super hot new car.
Now my dear friend is gone too soon. I met Kristen at MTSU back in 2004. She was energetic and silly and I was instantly drawn to her. One day she sat down with me and told me how much she admired me. I thought it was a strange thing to say and i asked her why. She told me that she admired me because I was so confident and seemingly didn't care what people thought and was true to myself no matter what. She said that she admired that because when she was heavier she didn't feel those things. Her telling me this was a shock, as she was a tiny little thing and I was, well, quite the opposite. I told her that I couldn't imagine her not being confident, as knowing her for a few short months, she seemed to have everything under control. She was full of life, and smart. so smart (i def copied off a few of her tests in int'l biz). From that moment I knew that I would have a friend that could understand the things that I was going through and that I could learn from her. In fact, she was my main motivation to start losing weight. I looked at her and said if she can do it so can I.
Over the years we had some awesome times together. She eventually became a neighbor to me in our apartment community and there were nights when I was upset and she always offered a shoulder to cry on. She was the least selfish person I have ever met in my life. She would sit there and listen to me, even when I was blabbing about the same thing over and over again.
In February, Kristen called me and was in a great deal of pain. She asked me if i could take her to the emergency room and of course i did not hesitate. While we were sitting in the Triage area, the doc was asking her all kinds of questions about her medical past and surgeries and what not. It blew my mind how much she had really been through. I knew that she had been sick a lot but she never really spoke about it too much. She was always so positive and didn't let it get her down. Anyways, I sat there with her for almost 8 hours. I know she was in terrible pain, but I didn't hear her complain at all. Never. We actually had a blast in there. Talking about boys and watching Hoarders.
A month later, I was diagnosed with Hodgkins. Kristen was immediately one of the first people I wanted to call. We went to dinner and she listened to me and she comforted me. I was scared. So scared. All she did was tell me that It will be ok and to be strong. I think her influence is one of the reasons I've been so strong during all of this. I just remember that Kristen had been through such similar pain and she was so strong through it all. After all my surgeries and after chemo she called to check on me.
Now more than ever, I just want to talk to her. I miss her silly voice. I cry myself to sleep most nights thinking about her. I know I shouldn't be sad because I know she is in a better place. But I'm selfish and I want her here. I wonder when it gets easier. I really feel like it is surreal. I can't believe that at 26, she's just gone. I really miss my friend.