the lady that loved strawberry mini wheats

She loved strawberry mini wheats. The first time I ever met her, she had a small baggie of them with her, munching on them without any milk. I remember her smile and that she was a happy-go-lucky type of gal. That was probably 5 or more years ago. Little did I know how our paths would cross in the years to come.

I worked with her a on a project for her company and then I didn’t hear from her for probably 2 years. Then, one day, she was sitting in our conference room in a job interview. The next thing I knew, she was my co-worker. And, man, did she work! It’s hard to find someone who worked like she did – it didn’t matter the task, she did it without grumbling or complaining. I could tell it was hard on her at this new job since she had worked a very long time at her last job.

Fast forward just a couple of months…while driving home from an out of town trip with my husband, I received a phone call. My mini wheat loving co-worker had lost her husband to a terrible, tragic tractor accident. My heart was broken for her. I remember going to visit her just a day or so after the accident and how devastated she was. Her little boy was less than 3 years old at the time and she was trying so hard to hold it together for him.

After about a month’s leave, she came back to work. You never know what to say to a person in a situation like that. I gave her my listening ear as much as she needed. One minute she would seem fine and happy, but the next minute, she was all to pieces and so angry at the situation. How in the world could anyone blame her?

I began to worry about her because weeks went by and it seemed to get worse. We found someone who offered free counseling, but I was afraid I would make her mad if I offered that to her. I was afraid she would take offense. Oh, how I wish I would have made her mad.

Then, the day came that I will always remember. I was walking up to my house on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, enjoying the sunshine and birds singing. My sister and I were going to go watch Sex & The City 2 and I was really excited. Phone rings and I see it’s another friend of mine.

“Hey girlie! How are ya?” I inquire.

“Mandy, she’s shot herself. She had been visiting with family, then went home and they found her just a few minutes ago. We don’t know how she is.”

I broke down and was asking my friend “Why? Why would she do that?” I was a sobbing mess and my heart was just bleeding with sadness.

At the time, I had connections and was able to find out that they were transporting her to the hospital, so I jumped in the car and was going to go see her. Before I could even get to town, I got the call that she didn’t make it.

That was the second person in my life to commit suicide and I truly hope the last, but I know it will not be. How I wish I would have made her mad and asked her to go to counseling. Maybe she’d still be here today.

I write this blog because she’s been on my mind a lot lately, even though this disaster was over 2 years ago. The other day, I saw her son who is now 5 years old. My own son is 6 months old and how I wish she could see him now. I wish she could have looked ahead to this day and saw what a beautiful boy she was going to leave behind.

Then, today I met with a man that I had originally met through her. I didn’t even realize the connection until driving to the meeting this morning.

I’m sure there’s a reason for all this reminiscing, but what is it?

My friend who loved her family (and strawberry mini wheats)

My friend who loved her family (and strawberry mini wheats)

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