I was born exactly one year after Missy, and we became friends at that moment. The story was; our parents had to install a gate in our backyard fence, they were afraid Missy was going to kill herself climbing it, to come play. I never remember the gate not being there or Missy for that matter, so it must have been installed shortly after she learned to walk.
We spent every waking hour together, as kids. As soon as I woke up I would go outside to my swing and start yelling, "Missssssyyyyy, Miiissssyyyy". Her mom Polly would come out and tell me if she was still asleep, David, her brother, would come out and tell me to shut up, or Missy would come running out and off we would go, till it was time for bed. Then once inside for the night, we had soup cans with the string strung from her bedroom window to mine, so we could talk. That was before we upgraded to walkie talkies. Days turned to nights, nights turned to days and the years became our childhood together. Our days were spent riding the wheels off our Big Wheels in her driveway, racing our bikes with Keith and Steve Carter, building forts out of my brothers paintings with Darby and Brooke and countless hours with Legos and Barbies. We were like sisters, we laughed like sisters, we fought like sisters, and we were opposites like sisters. Where Missy was studious, I was not. Where Missy loved to cook and sew, I did not. Where I got in trouble, Missy did not. But, I made Missy laugh. I loved her laugh and the fact she laughed at my stupid jokes. I also understood her, what she lived with in her house, and she understood mine. No one else did. We held those secrets near and dear, and she was my rock my stability.
My Mom held us together and when Polly died, my Mom swooped in and took Missy under her wing. Missy basically became my Mom's other daughter. Being a stupid middle school kid, I resented it sometimes, because Missy was perfect. She was smarter, more talented, nicer.... but I still loved her. She was always there for me. I know Missy's bond with my Mom influenced her life, she is more like my Mom in some ways, than I am. My Mom introduced Missy to the 1st Methodist Church and she grew to be a wonderful Christan Servant of that church, just like my Mom. She loved to be in the kitchen and cook for people, just like my Mom. She loved her flowers and nature, just like my Mom. She was quick to let you know JUST what was on her mind, just like my Mom. She had a love for antiques and fostoria, just like my Mom. So as much as Missy got from their bond, my Mom got just as much, she gained a daughter!
We didn't have to talk much to know that our bond was forever. Every now and then on facebook we would write a little inside joke, that just the two of us would understand. We would send each other a card with an old picture or something we would find in our attic. We never had a fight or lost respect for each other, life just got in the way. We always talked about getting together, it just never could happen. She always joked and said, "as soon as the 5th one is out of high school, maybe we will have time."
In high school we didn't see each other much, like I said, she was older and in the "smarter classes", but I would often run into her in the hallway. Sometimes if I saw her and her cheeks were beet red, I knew she was stressed over a test (something I never did understand), but I would give her a squeeze and tell her not to worry, she always did well, why worry? Sometimes her cheeks were just red because she ran into a boy she had a crush on, I would trivialize that, too. Her cheeks gave her away, not that you didn't already know where you stood with her. She wore her heart on her sleeve. You always knew how she felt. If she was mad about something, you would know that too. Last time I saw her, she was mad that she missed the dedication for the park that was named after her Dad. She was good at fuming, and the steam was flying that day. Of course I would have been there too, if I had known. Guess we both should have read the MDJ- ha ha.
Missy knew that from the time I was a little girl, I wrote to express my feelings. Whether it was a story when we "played school", an apology letter for being in a fight, or just to say I love being her friend. So, I guess she would know that I was going to write about her today.
She was an angel. She would do anything for anyone. She was good! A good mother, a good friend, a good wife. A piece of my heart went to heaven this morning, so my heart is broken right now. It breaks not just for my Mom and I, it breaks for all those that knew this gracious amazing woman. I know if Missy was my Rock at 7 years old, she was a Rock at 49, to everyone around her.
I guess if there is a moral to this story, those people that touch your heart, let them know. Let them know that they are important to you. Every time we talked we said we needed to catch up and get together, but we rarely did, and we should have! Times like these I don't understand why God takes someone so important. A mother of five, a wife, a friend. Why Missy? Why not someone else? I didn't get to eat her chicken pot pie, she promised me. I didn't get to show her my garden I was so proud of, because I was finally living up to "Missy". She didn't get to see all her babies grow up and finish school. She was so proud of them and their accomplishments she needs to be here to see them accomplish more. I just don't understand WHY!
What I do know is, Heaven now has a very special person. Missy is now with her Mom and Dad and one day we will again laugh together. I can hold on to the special memories we have. I can remember Missy as she ran from Nobie, when she would try to brush her tangled hair. I can remember us swinging and singing at the top of our lungs. I can remember her standing in my kitchen with my Mom, or sitting at the sewing machine. I have those precious memories to forever hold on to.
Reach out to the people that mean something to you and make time for them. Don't put it off any longer!