There was a girl I knew- We weren’t exactly what I would call friends but I definitely knew her. Actually, anyone who had ever spent any time around her couldn’t not know her. She shined- she made her presence known- and she left her mark.
She was a year older than me- more beautiful than I was, far more intelligent than I could ever hope to be, and one of the most audacious people I had ever met. If I am to be completely honest, I wouldn’t exactly call her kind- at least not to me. We were on the same debate team and I must have struck a nerve with her, as I was consequently the target of a decent amount of cruelty.
Nonetheless, I continued to admire her. She was one of those people who, regardless of what they did, one still respects them. Moreover, I think I was in awe of her.
I never saw her again after she graduated and went off to college. Although I did hear that she went to the best Universities in America for both her undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Every so often, I would see her photo or name pop up on some social network and the same feeling of admiration and regret would well up in me. Other than that however, she was only a memory- a memory with both good and bad elements.
My notion of this girl was as simple as that- a name from my past. Until last week, however- when I found out that she had died. It was a long battle with cancer and it changed everything- she was no longer that girl who wasn’t exactly my friend. Instead, she became a tragedy- and I lost sleep for a week.
The funny thing is that I would like to believe that if we knew each other now- we would be friends. I’m not so sure we would’ve crossed paths again- but it doesn’t matter anymore- because we will never have the chance. And that, to me, is a great loss.
I’ve been reading what people write about her- eulogies, quotes, anecdotes. Although when people pass away we tend to idealize them- there is truth to the many of the portrayals of her – mostly descriptions of her strength and her radiance.
Even I saw it.
Louise had a fire inside of her- she emanated light- she was as feisty as they come. She seems to have brightened up any and every life she touched. She could not be ignored. She had a joie de vivre that many people can only hope for and she never missed a beat. Although her life was cut short, she lived every moment fully and I doubt she ever regretted anything. I can only hope to live my life as well as she lived hers.
So I suppose this is my goodbye.
Goodbye Louise. You will be missed.