Once upon a time, I worked as a site director for a YMCA after-school program and I was awesome at my job. I was so awesome, in fact, that my boss decided to send me a co-op student. Now, I think this decision had more to do with proximity to where she lived and not my actual skill as a director but whatever, I walked in one day and Miranda was standing there and I had no idea what to do with a 16-year-old child.
We figured it out. Slowly, a friendship formed with texts and late night Skype chats and nicknames and trips to the mall and her pointing out that I never cried over anything, even when stuff was really hard at work. We became rocks for each other and when she left my site, it was sad but it was okay because we were a phone call away.
Like lots of friendships, though, we drifted apart a little bit. We still texted a lot but the hang outs became less frequent when I started dating someone and she discovered college parties. When I found out she was in the hospital, I texted to see how she was doing. She had been told less than an hour before that she had cancer. Hepatosplenic T-Cell Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. She didn't Google her prognosis but I did as soon as we were done talking.
Visits took place more again. When she was considered in remission, she threw a wig on and we went to dinner. When she relapsed, we sat in her hospital room, listening to Taylor Swift and putting on fake tattoos. I brought coffee and coloring books and chocolate and magazines and we laughed and sang and there was hope. When she moved to Karmanos for her bone marrow transplant, her new lease on life, I promptly developed the never ending sinus infection. And still, we texted and I wished her a new happy birthday and we made plans for celebrating.
Plans change. Miranda died on April 8, 2013.
It's been almost two years. Two years this Wednesday, in fact. In two years I've collected a world of inside jokes to laugh at and secrets to share and drives to go on and I can't do those things and I'm so angry. I want her to know that I learned how to cry and sometimes thinking of her and what she went through rocks me so hard that I can't stop the tears. That I can't delete her text messages and the thought of getting a new phone terrifies me that I'll lose them.
That I started to drive to the hospital when her sister texted me she was in a coma and meds were being stopped and everyone was coming to say good bye and I turned around because of that goddamn sinus infection because what if there was a chance for her and me being sick ruined it?
That when I stood up in front of a church full of people and read a tribute that was so painstakingly written with love and heartbreak, I held it together but I completely lost it for days after.
That sometimes when I need guidance, I talk to her and hope the answers will come. Sometimes they do. Most of the time I just wait for a sign that doesn't appear.
Two years ago seems like a lifetime away. I've done so many things since then. I've grown, I've changed, I've moved on from a lot of things. I still wholeheartedly, desperately, heartbreakingly miss my friend.