We love you!
I received a phone call on November 30th. It is a call no one ever wants to get. Especially when it is about your best friend who was only 39 years old. My best friend, Sheena, called me and delivered news I only wanted to get when I was old, wrinkled, and gray-haired.
Our beautiful soul, Sara, Sheena’s twin sister and my other best friend from high school, had passed away on November 29th. She was taking a nap with her husband and son in the afternoon, and she… she never woke up.
She could make anyone laugh. Didn’t matter what kind of day you were having, she could and would make you laugh. She had a smile that would light up the room. She had a big heart, loving everyone she met. She could make friends anywhere she was if she wanted. Sara was funny, loyal, patient (sometimes), amazing, and such a wonderful friend.
Back in high school, freshman year, I was by myself. I didn’t really want to talk to people because I was bullied from kindergarten up the 8th grade, and truthfully, even in high school. After meeting a couple of other friends who have gone their separate ways now, they introduced me to Sara, Sheena, and Katie. They didn’t care that I was quiet, weird, and an introvert. They pulled me in and we became the best of friends. The four of us became inseparable, and we called ourselves the Four Musketeers. We also gave each other nicknames from our favorite movie, The Newsies. I was Racetrack, Sara was Mush, Katie was Specs, and Sheena was Boots.
We started writing letters to one another in school. But we didn’t do it the “normal” way. Oh no! We bought notebooks, decorated them, and wrote in those, handing them to each other once we were done. We would talk about our weekend plans, make plans, about boys, about our teachers, and how annoying some were or how great others were. We wrote about anything really. We were teenagers. What did you expect? I remember writing to Sara about writing. She was one of the few who told me to do it. And I am so glad I listened to her and to the others constantly pushing me to keep at it.
I think I still have those somewhere, too. I will cherish those until the day I die.
Sara seemed to always know when something was bothering me, too. I’d have a bad day at school or whatever, and Bam! There she was, ready to talk. Then we grew up. I got married and had to move around with my Navy hubby. But it didn’t matter about the distance. Sara, Sheena, and Katie would always write to me and I to them. Or we would email each other or call or text. We would not let distance stop us from being the four musketeers, no matter what.
Then Sara met the love of her life, Eric, and they got married. After her, Sheena found her love, Juan, and they married. Now Katie is with a great guy and I hope one day they will marry. I was so excited for her and Sheena, and when Katie started dating, I squealed.
Then I got a strange call from Sara and she told me she was in the hospital and she just had a baby. I was floored. I knew they were talking about it, and I was excited because then Kierra and our other best friends, Kat and Eric’s son Michael, could have their own three musketeer group. But then she told me she didn’t even know she was pregnant. She just thought she had to use the bathroom. And suddenly there was a baby. Her mom helped and soon Sara and her healthy little boy, Ryder, were in the hospital to be checked out. To say we were all shocked was a total understatement.
And then there were wonderful years where we would hang out or if I was in another state, we would email or write to one another. Life moved on, and our friendship stayed strong. We had parties together for the kids, get-togethers for us, just living life and having fun.
Then Covid hit hard, and the world changed. Poor Sara’s health declined, and she was in and out of hospitals quite a bit. It broke my heart for her, for Eric, and for Ryder. I felt like I was always holding my breath whenever she went in and didn’t let it out until she was safely at home. There were close calls, but she always bounced back. I cherished the times we got to talk on the phone. I never went to the hospital because well Covid for one, and two I am a stay at home mom. I had another baby in 2018 and I was at home with her. I also was home with our oldest the year we had to do school fully online.
I got a worried text from Sara not too long after her last time in the hospital because Eric got Covid and had to go to the hospital. It was touch and go for him, too. All I remember thinking was, please, don’t take them away from Ryder. He needs his parents. Thankfully, Eric is back home now, though he has long-term health issues, the poor guy.
My world turned upside down when I got that fateful phone call on Wednesday from Sheena. I am so glad I was sitting down because if I hadn’t, I would have fallen from the shock. The words came out of her mouth, “Lace, Sara is gone.” I just sat there for a minute, not registering what I had heard. My heart stop and the world around me just sat there when I said, “What?” Had I heard right or did I miss something? She repeated herself and I couldn’t breath.
I was sitting down in the master bathroom while Cara took her shower, washing her hair and everything. And I remember hearing Cara asking me what a few times and talking. But I was so focused on Sheena, I didn’t hear what Cara said.
Sara fell asleep, and she never woke up. Ryder was in the room at the time and I was so glad to hear that Sheena and Eric acted quickly to get him out of the house. Eric called 9-1-1, but they said it was too late.
Our beautiful, funny, animal loving friend is gone. She was only 39, and we all thought she was getting better after the last time she had to go into the hospital to get the tube in her neck changed out. The only way she could breathe was through that tube. But she was swallowing and breathing just fine with it. She was getting better. We were talking about her and her family visiting us here in Tennessee. Sara, Eric, and Ryder were going to come out, see our new house, and we were going to show them around our little town and other places. But now…
Now she is gone until I can meet again after I go. I will hold my memories of her close and never let go. She will forever be one of the four musketeers. She will forever be our Mush and best friend. I know everyone who knew her will miss her dearly. I will definitely miss her. These past few days have been so hard. Little things have me crying, like listening to country music because she and Sheena are the ones who got me into it. Or I will just remember the way she said, “Hey, Lace” to me. I will eventually get to a time where I won’t cry over the littlest things, but until then, I will cry and not care who sees me. I am broken and am grieving.
Sara, rest in peace. We love you and will miss you. Forever 39, and now an angel.