I feel like I have buried far too many friends for someone my age. In December of 2003, my best friend died very unexpectedly, leaving behind a nine year old daughter. We actually had only know each other for about six years, but we were instant soul-mates. We were Anne and Diana, though had we ever thought to discuss those two, we probably would have both claimed to be Anne. We were as close as sisters but better, because neither of us really got along with our biological sisters while growing up. I still have a gaping hole in my heart that sometimes hurts so much it is hard to breathe.
Eleven months later, my friend Adrianne and her roommate were brutally murdered. Adrianne and I had only known each other for about 6 months, but we, too, had gotten along like we had always known each other. We were even plotting a blind date with one of Mike's old buddies. They were both engineers, and both just flat out good people, I would have loved for them to be joined together. That plan had been put on hold when she met someone whom she ended up dating for a while, but the last time I saw her, which was a week or two before she died, she asked me if my friend was still single, because she was thinking she wanted to meet him. I never got a chance to set it up.
Then today, my friend Roberta was laid to rest. I met Roberta through a mutual acquaintance who was hosting a Mary Kay party. She was a living large, living loud, having fun, and loving life kind of gal; someone who always knew how to have a good time and brighten anyone's day. Between the Mary Kay parties I put on, the Pampered Chef parties she put on, the Stamping Up parties I hostessed, or the Party Lite getogethers she hostessed, we were always together in fun atmospheres. Then again, even when we would just sit and have coffee we had a good time. She gave us our kitty, who in all honesty, is a member of the family. She and her husband David had six children between them; they were the "Brady Bunch" family. She had been mother to David's children since the oldest was 9 and the youngest was 3; she loved them as her own flesh and blood, and they loved her the same. Her 15 year old daughter referred to her mother as her twin, that they were best friends. That's just the kind of person she was. Roberta and I hadn't actually spoken in quite a while, which happened from time to time, but we always clicked right back together when we did see each other.
Today is not a day to be feeling down about the friends I have lost, but to celebrate their lives and the lives of those still living around me; like my daughter Monica who turned 9 today. I am struggling with this, but I also have the feeling that the cupcakes sitting on the counter in the kitchen will certainly help. They are chocolate, after all.