I have this friend Dale.
I met her when I was just a girl, trying to find my way and place in this world. I had gone to her to ask for her help, for insight, and for answers to what I knew were some disturbing questions.
Truth is, I knew the answers to those questions. I think I just needed someone to say the things out loud that I had come to realize on my own. She guided me through many sticky situations, she held my hand through heart ache and disappointment, and after those disappointing times, she bolstered me as I tried to get back on my feet. She shielded me from things I wasn’t yet ready to see, because she understood the way the world worked and she also understood my naivety.
As a friend, she was gentle but firm. She knew if I was broken and needed time to mend my heart. BUT she also knew when I needed a little kick in the butt to get myself moving in the right direction. She was encouraging, insightful, and loving. She silently supported me…when ever I needed it most. She empowered me. She was a second mother to me. She was a sister to me. She was a confidant. She was a friend.
You know what she did the most for me? She listened. She listened to me laugh, cry, vent, and would ask me questions to help me understand what I was really going through. She really listened. She celebrated my triumphs, carried my disappointment when things hadn’t exactly worked out the way I wanted them to, and she enjoyed each and every celebration of my family that I shared with her.
And I shared everything with her. She accepted me for who I was. She embraced my flaws and told me that they made me a better person. She taught me that I could face difficult situations with my head held high as long as I stayed true to what was in my heart. She showed me how to embrace my spirituality.
When Gelli was born she said this. “Michelle, your baby is beautiful and her soul is perfect. The bodies we are given are just vessels. Take care of her while she is here. We never know how much time we have on this earth. ” It was her words that were in the back of my mind, when I prayed and watched my daughter being wheeled off to the operating room.
She loved Nino like a son, and my children as if they were her own grandchildren. She was comfort. She was brilliant. She was my port in the storm. She was there from the beginning of my adult life and there won’t be a day that goes by that I won’t think about her and say a little prayer of thanks.
Thankful that I was lead to her. Thankful that she loved me. Thankful that I have beautiful memories of time well spent with her. Thankful that she was my soul sister and friend.
Heaven gained a new angel this weekend, and while I am so sad that I find it difficult to do much of anything right now, I can find a little bit of happiness that my good friend Dale is probably sitting at Uncle Jimmy’s table with a big box of Italian pastries, and her own angel, David Jr. at her side.