|Gayla and Sosie on my wedding day, July 7, 2007|
Just like yesterday, I just couldn't write this blog in the right way. Therefore, I asked my best friend and honorary sister, SarahGF (most affectionately called Sosie), if she could write the blog for G is for Gayla this year. My sister by the same mother was not only my best friend but also the best friend of my best friend (that makes sense if you read it again). Our friendship with Sosie is one of the ONLY things Gayla and I ever shared really well. Gayla has been my focus of this blog for more than a year...I think you all will enjoy Sosie's perspective. Without further ado...please enjoy Sarah's post "G is for Gayla."
G is for Gayla
It was the summer of the sno-cone. So many of those sugary shaved ice treats were devoured as we recovered from our leisurely afternoons marinating in chlorinated water and roasted under the hot sun at my in-laws’ house. Gayla was taking a sabbatical from the job search. I was in the throes of my final summer at community college, ready to start the final semesters of my journey. During those therapeutic days we talked about our futures, pondered our fears, and debated over adding margaritas to our sessions.
We knew that summer would never last forever. But we agreed we would repeat it the following year. Little did we know it would be her last.
When Gayla passed away, it felt like I lost my cheering section. Sure, I know that’s not true, all my friends and family have been more than supportive, all of them proud I chose to follow the path back to school. But with her voice silenced, my motivation to continue waned.
Gayla had always been eager to hear how school was going. She always sat patiently and listened. She never made me feel guilty for choosing school over a social life, reminding me it was only another two years before I was finished. It felt like a lifetime, but she encouraged me to push on and we took advantage of the time we were able to spend together without any books or projects between us.
The last time I talked to Gayla, she asked me to go have breakfast and get mani/pedis with her. Although Flanagan encouraged me to go, I had to prioritize my school deadline over spending time with her. She understood and was telling me how excited she was that her boss was impressed by her work, no small feat since she was still getting her feet under her at Cintas. When I got the call from Jaimee, all I could think was that I blew her off for school and couldn’t forgive myself, nor could I focus on school. Through Jaimee’s prodding, I got back on track and immersed myself in my studies.
It’s been a year since we lost Gayla, but in a month, when I walk across that stage, I know she will be there, screaming loudest, still encouraging me to always reach for my dreams.