This weekend my best friend of 15 years died.
She has been ill with an undefined illness for the last 5 years or so. The doctors have not been taking her seriously and have left her feeling like it was all in her head. It made it difficult for her to see, talk and breathe. Well this weekend she proved them wrong – unfortunately.
She was on holiday in France with her husband and family and the illness won.
So I want to use this blog to remember my friend for what she was rather than what she wasn’t.
She was the most amazing friend. I always thought of her like Tigger – she was a bouncy vivacious person with a huge heart. She was born on exactly the same day as the hubby and they used to joke about which one was the evil twin.
She could get high on orange juice and unbalanced by moving the furniture in her house. She would do anything for anyone. She cared in a way few people do.
I first met her when I moved up to Dundee to work. I think she was almost amused when I asked her along to look at houses with me. She helped me buy the house we now live in.
Over the years our friendship grew deeper and she became my travel buddy as I travelled the world with work.
San Francisco and Chicago
When her mum got ill and was waiting on a heart operation, she moved in with her in Cumbernauld. I would stop by on the way back from my Edinburgh airport trips and spend hours late into the night just chatting with them.
When I started seeing a counsellor in Aberdeen every 2 weeks or so, she travelled up with me most times. She would just be there for me. Not expecting to hear anything after the sessions. She travelled to Wales to help me with my mother.
Then in 2007 when the hubby had his heart bypass operation, she sat with me while we waited for hours for news. Smurf was a little kitten at the time and would race around the room in a mad half hour in the evenings.
Then I got pregnant with Adam and she came with me to hospital when the hubby couldn’t. I was admitted with blood pressure problems in the pregnancy on the night when we were supposed to go to dinner to celebrate their birthday.
She was there when he was born at 26 weeks. She read out a passage at his funeral when he died 30 days later.
When the little one was born, she was around as much she could be but by then she had started getting ill. She had to give up her car and with it her independence. She was a very independent lady and this was a sign of things to come.
She moved in with her soon-to-be hubby across the water, and without the car it became harder and harder to see her. Her illness was taking more of a hold, and the little one never really got to know the Marguerita that I knew. When I told her that she had died, she was indifferent. If she’d known Marguerita the way I did she would have been distraught.
When it was my 40th birthday 3 years ago she put on an amazing spread of gluten free food. She loved to cook.
In many ways, the illness had already taken Marguerita from us. These last couple of years have been hell for her. I feel particularly bad that I couldn’t help her. I owe her so much. She’s been there for me through hell and equally been part of the fun amazing times.
15 years is a relatively short amount of time to leave such a profound mark and yet there is now a Marguerita shaped hole in my heart.
My only solace is that I know she was a woman of strong faith. It was a personal faith. I can imagine her up in the heavens singing her heart out and smiling down on everyone she cares about. She is free at last.