Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Letter to Heaven

Today marks the 3rd anniversary since my best friend has been gone. It has been 3 very emotional years. I don't think you ever truly get over the loss of someone you love. You mourn for them somewhat everyday for as long as you live. They were a part of you, a part of your life, it would be impossible to not think about them in your day to day world. It gets easier with time...or so I have been told. In all actuality, this year seems easier.

I have heard that when you suffer a loss, whether it be just a friendship gone wrong, a break-up or in my case, the passing of a dear friend...sometimes writing a letter to that said person can help you move on. After DonEtta passed away, I don't think my head was in it to write how I was feeling down on a piece of paper. I now know I am in a place where I can do such a thing.

**Disclaimer** this is going to be way personal but that is what a blog is for, right? MY personal thoughts, MY personal feelings. Also, it is going to be fairly long...I apologize. So, with that...here is my letter to my best friend.

Dear DonEtta,

Wow, I seriously can not even begin to believe that it has been three years since I have seen you. Three years since I have talked to you. I'd like to say a lot has changed in three years, maybe it has, sometimes I feel like I am just floating along watching everyone else live their lives. Watching everyone move on. I will admit; sometimes I feel guilty for being able to "live". I don't know why. It's dumb really. I just keep thinking back to my 22nd birthday, just a couple of days before you found out you had cancer. I will never forget the day you called me after you left the doctor. I was in our apartment, studying, and you told me that you had a brain tumor. I didn't know what to say...in fact, I didn't say anything at all. We both just started crying. I hung up and immediately called the one other person that I could tell everything to, besides you, my mom. I think my mom thought something had happened to me, that is how hysterical I was. Everything after that just seemed like a fast paced blur. Surgery right away to remove the brain tumor and than it was Chemo and radiation. In the back of my mind, I always thought you would be fine. I never questioned that you wouldn't beat it. You were 24...twenty-freakin four. Just graduated college, I was about to graduate that December. We were supposed to go to the NFR in Las Vegas together, then we were supposed to move to Texas and be single and living it up with all the cowboys. Wouldn't that have been fun? Instead, I spent my weekends driving to the "other college town" where you were in the hospital. We would color, I would paint your nails, and have girl time. You were so worried about me. Worried about school, worried about the bills. You never once stopped being my "big sis".

The first day I ever met you, I thought..."Who does this girl think she is, walking in with her pink cowboy boots, and a bit of a swagger"...I call it the "DonEtta Swagger", all the guys would flock to you when you would do your swagger walk. I am still pissed off at you for not teaching me that by the way. Little did I know, we were a lot more a like than what I thought and before we knew it you were my big sis in the sorority and good times were sure to follow. I could go on and on about all the fun times you, me and bestie had. Favorite of all time was when you had a little too much to drink and you came home to the sorority house, I may or may not have helped you break up with your boyfriend that night and you may or may not have stripped down naked and jumped on Sara....and then woke up the next day wondering why you had a slip on and your head was through the arm holes. Funniest.night.ever.

I don't have many regrets, because what kind of life would that be if you focused on all your regrets. I will say one regret that I do have would be the night you wanted to take a road trip to Nebraska so you could see Cody...just one of the many suitors you had. Being the responsible girl that I was, I told you and Bestie that we couldn't do that. I had work and class the next day and you girls had class and work too and we just shouldn't drive all the way to Nebraska for a boy.  If you were to ask me to do that today, I would say your car or mine.

Can I just say that life hasn't been the same without you. I miss you so much and would give anything to hear your voice. I still have your cell phone number in my phone under "Big." I just can't bring myself to delete it. Oh, speaking of phones. Your mom totally has an iPhone. Can you believe it? Your mom also has a fb. Yes, a fb. I am telling you, she is so techno savvy you would be impressed. Don't worry, we haven't let her cut her hair again where she looks like a mushroom.

Thank you for introducing me to your family. I love your mom and dad and brother so much, and I am sure you know this...but you have a nephew. Cash Henry. He is adorable. He is a little over one. Looks just like John and is just as ornery I am sure. Your brother and Leigh-Anne moved closer to your parents and they are building a house there. It's going to be beautiful. Your dad is doing great, last I heard he went to the doctor and he was cancer free still. Isn't that great news.

I do have one bone to pick with you. Why am I still single?? Lets get real here, YOU are supposed to be looking out for me. Your up there in Heaven with God. You know me better than anyone and what kind of guy would be perfect for me...why aren't you and God working on this?? I need you to get with the program because I am not getting any younger here. Ok, look out for your little sis. You never did give me my study board, the least you could do is give me a husband. Just saying.

I know what you are thinking. "Lyndse...you have made some pretty dumb decisions since I've been gone." Well, yes I have. You leaving was a lot harder for me to deal with than I expected. I have not made the smartest decisions. Like that one time I kissed this ugly dude on the dance floor in Texas because your favorite song come on the jukebox and I for sure thought it was a sign...that he must be the "one"...hahaha...I was sadly mistaken ( I blame the tequila) or the time I celebrated with a golf team that had just one their tourney and decided to drive myself home after celebrating to much...not smart. Thank you for looking out for me.

I have really needed you...if you were here, I highly doubt I would have ever dated  that Amish guy. Well, he is not really Amish...but he used to be. Still, if you were here you would have told me not to do it. You should be happy to hear that I didn't marry Fryer. You always said he wasn't right for me, even when my mom and bestie tried to convince me otherwise, I always remembered you telling me that he wasn't the one. I listened. In fact, he is getting married to someone else. Crazy, I know.

Logan is 18 and graduating high school. I can not believe it. He is quite handsome and I am so worried about him going off to college. He is going to be around girls like you and I. I know us and how we were...well, mainly how you were and I don't want him around girls like that...haha.

I think about you everyday. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of you. So, don't think that you are forgotten...because trust me, you are not the forgetting type. Like I said, it's been hard since you have been gone. I have had my ups and downs,but this year I am not as sad as I have been. I will never know the reason you had to leave so soon, at least not while I am still here on earth, but I know the reason why you came into my life. You helped me become a better person. You taught me that its perfectly ok to just "be me" and to not care what other people think. You were such a confident person, your confidence just rolled right over to me. Most importantly you taught how to fight, how to never ever give up even when faced with unbelievable circumstances. Your faith never faltered...it just got stronger and stronger. You showed me how to live your life with such grace even when you had no fight left in you.

I gained so much from being your friend. I will forever be grateful to you for introducing me to the best friends a girl could ever have, Miss Football,Honey and Bestie. If it wasn't for you, I would have never gotten to know these ladies, I would have never have known how incredibly strong a bond between four girls can be.  You are the sole reason the four of us know each other. The only thing good that came out of your relationship with Matt is that the four of us got to know each other and become the best of friends.

You know what makes me miss you the most? Is when I think about my wedding...whenever that may be. You were supposed to be there with me, helping me pick out my wedding colors, going with me to choose a dress, throwing me a shower, standing there with me as I marry my soul mate...but you won't be there and I won't get to do all those things for you either. We were supposed to raise our children together, live next door...have our children grow up to be the best of friends like we were. Remember when you were dating Chad and you were getting serious about him and we bought every bridal magazine one could buy? Then, when he was on his way over you made me hide all 20 of the magazines so he wouldn't get freaked out? Just like you had me hide boots and belts and jeans you bought when your mom was coming over. You know, after you died, I told her about you making me hide everything and you know what she told me. She said, she always knew what you had bought, because who do you think got the credit card bill? Haha...you gotta love your mom.

I could go on and on forever with this letter, but I will save some for the next time I write you. I just want you to know that you will forever be in my heart. There isn't a day that goes by that you are not a part of me. Also, know that I am doing everything I can to help fight this monstrosity of a disease and I do it all for you. Thanks for being my big sis and now thanks for being my angel. I know you are enjoying it up there in Heaven, you probably have this huge closet where you can have all your custom cowboy boots and belts and everything...there is no doubt in my mind that you have already hit on John Wayne and probably Lane Frost too.

Love you D,



mom said...

What a loving, caring and emotional letter to DonEtta. She was a true best friend to you. She told it like it was and that is how it should be. She didn't care if it ruffled some feathers along the way, it was the DonEtta way. I laugh when i think she said "i cleaned the apartment today", piles of piles everywhere, but she cleaned.

What wonderful and fun times you all had together.

love you sis!

Anonymous said...

I know DonEtta loves this letter! Tatum you were the best friend DonEtta always dreamed of having to! I know she looks down on you every day with a smile! Your letter was very kind and sweet!

Anonymous said...

Darling, this is beautiful. What a special friendship. I really enjoyed the pictures that you included with this post. Lovely girls - inside and out.


Tiffany said...

Well now you made me cry, so I suppose we're even. This letter was beautiful! You know how much DonEtta loved you and she would be so proud of you! I absolutely love the line about us being the only good thing to come out her relationship with Matt. Not true. That is how we got the "you're poor" phone call that we all remember so well. :) Thanks for sharing this and thanks for being my BFF!

~Miss Football

a life of color said...

What a wonderful letter to your best friend. I am sorry you had to loose someone so special to you but I know she is watching out for you from above.