Darleen and I met when our girls first joined Girl Scouts back in 2005. They lived in our small town but were originally from St. Louis Missouri. Over the next couple of years as our girls became closer and closer friends so did Darleen and I. She started coming to my church during that first year upon my invitation. Coco spent alot of time at there house just as her daughter Steph did with us. She treated Coco just like a daughter while she was with her. The summer of 2007 they decided to move back to St. Louis, right before the actual move Darleen found out she had cancer. We prayed together and talked on the phone alot that first year. We kept up with each other. We all met in Springfield to surprise the girls. Neither knew that we would be seeing each other until they ran into each other in front of the restaurant Lamberts. We spent the day visiting a museum and Bass pro with lunch and dinner thrown in there. Darleen had had her first surgery to remove the tumor and was back to her old self by then. A few months later the cancer was back. To make a long story short she had some major surgeries, was on a colostomy bag but in December 09 she told me that some spots had shown up again and she was undergoing chemo again.
During the past 6 months we hadn't talked often, just little bits on Facebook. She liked to play the games on FB more than anything so I would get Pokes from her or a comment here and there. Her daughters birthday was on June 27th and Coco's was on the 30th. We sent each other messages of Happy Birthday that week with me making a comment that Coco and I would call them in a few days as we were out with ball games and such. We never made that call. Darleen's husband called on this past Thursday morning and left a message for me to call him. My immediate thought was he wants to do something to surprise Darleen. It was almost 11pm so I waited until Friday morning to call. When I got up Friday I turned on FB and found several messages on Darleen's page that told me she was gone. I called Steve and she had past away last Monday morning the 5th. I totally understand how he didn't have time to think of me until later in the week. It hit me hard that she was gone. I have been sad all weekend.
I am filled with guilt over not calling her more, of not being there for her, for not knowing!!! Even though she wasn't right here in town anymore, I should have done more. I feel the loss of our friendship. I miss her deeply. This has made me realize how important our friendship was to me, even though I took it for granted. I knew she was sick, I was off work at home for 14 weeks why didn't I take the few minutes every now and then to call her, to keep in touch more than just through FB. I can't change it now but I can change how I do things from now on.
Don't take your friendships for granted. Take the time to call or write or invite them over for dinner. Our lives are much better when we do these things.
Rest in Peace my dear friend. You were loved. You made an impact on my life and I won't ever forget you!