I logged onto Facebook last night for some pre-bedtime reading. I expected to see the usual weather predictions, political rantings, pet photos and random "my child did this" postings that represent the eclectic group that I call my Facebook friends. What I didn't expect to see was the heartbreaking news that one of these friends had suddenly passed away. My guttural cry made Glenn come running and together we read the heart numbing news that our friend C had pass away the previous day.
I first met C and her husband L when we were living in the same Norfolk neighborhood. L and Glenn were both naval aviators and we were all a part of the same neighborhood cooking club. Our group, dubbed the Belvedere Drinking and Cooking Club was comprised primarily of Navy couples. Although they were the same age as I was, I viewed C and L as the adults of the group since they had two beautiful girls while the rest of us struggled to be responsible parents to our canine children. For me, C and L were proof that you could be parents and still be fun and cool and I looked to them as the type of parents I hoped Glenn and I would one day become. For over two years our little group rotated through the neighborhood holding monthly get togethers featuring themed meals. These get together s were something I looked forward to each month. Who can forget the Caribbean themed night where every single dish featured beans, the slice your own rib eye dinner where each man tried to outdo the next, or the murder mystery night where the costumes took precedence over the food? Because we were all Navy, at any given time at least one person from our group was deployed but this actually brought us closer together. We were our own neighborhood support group and this group helped me get through our own eight month long deployment. One by one the rest of us became parents and when it was our turn and spent weeks on end in the NICU, C's support from both close and far was one of the bright spots that helped make those long and sometimes dark days, bearable. Our time in Norfolk will always hold a special place in my memories because of the amazing friends and neighbors we had there. As is the case with Navy families, many of us gradually moved away from our close knit neighborhood, but thanks to Facebook we've been able to keep in touch. And it is through social media that I learned of C's untimely death.
This news has saddened me and shaken me to my core. In a world already filled with tragedy and loss it is heartbreaking to know that such a loving and wonderful woman has been taken from her family so soon. The C I remember was so energetic and full of life and it is incomprehensible to me that she is no longer here. As a mother, my heart breaks at the thought of those two beautiful girls growing up without their mother at their side. If there is a bright spot in all of this, is that C's third child was born by emergency cesarean section and is in the NICU. Little C will grow up surrounded by the love of family and friends and know that her mother was an amazing women who touched many lives both professionally and personally.
R.I.P. C. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to call you my friend.