I'm trying really hard to get back into life, but I'm just unbelievably sad. My dear, dear friend Angi passed away suddenly last Monday. We had just returned from a camping getaway to Canada when we heard the news. Angi was 43 years old.
I honestly have been speechless only twice in my life. This is one of those times.
I want to write about all she meant to me. I want to write about the anger I have that a cardiac critical care nurse can die of a heart attack. I want to write about the ineptitude of doctors and my frustration with White Coat Superiority Complex. I want to write about why women still die of heart disease and how their symptoms are disregarded or diagnosed as hysteria despite how far we've come in other areas of medicine. I want to write about the clinical images I can't get out of my head of my friend, coding on a gurney before emergency angioplasty and lying in a morgue. I want to write about her husband, her teenage daughter, and all her family members and friends whose lives are empty now.
But, I can't. I can't minimize this life with mere words.
I can hear Angi in my head saying, "snap out of it Beavis", my college nickname from her that somehow remained far longer than her matching Butthead. I suppose not many people remember that show.
I can hear her laughter. I can still collapse in laughter because of just one word from her. Puddin' Long story.
There is a certain order of things and this just doesn't fit it. I will miss her more each day.
Military families make fast friends. Angi told this new Army wife that, "Army wives don't have time for BS." So, we made quick and very deep friendships not because we had to, but because we didn't have time for all the frivolous stuff. The Army moved Angi and Rick on, and we remained behind. I then found out how military families sacrifice way more than the obvious. These fast and deep friendships find you scattered all over the country as people are deployed, discharged, or move on. When others never leave their safe and secure hometowns or stay close in proximity to their college friends, our military families don't. If you can get anything out of this, other than to pay close attention to your heart health, I hope that you can have a deeper understanding of the sacrifices that military families make. I would never have guessed it, if I hadn't lived it. It's not just deployment or the danger of the job, it affects every aspect of your life, for the rest of your life.
Taking a little time to play with words, to play with food, and just to play!