Ginger, My Friend

2/17/14

Two terrible weeks. It has been two terrible weeks.

I thought January would be the fresh start. The whirlwind of the holiday season would be behind us, we can get back on track and focus on a great 2014.

I was wrong.

Ok, ok … February will be it. I could just feel it. February would be the month that things get better.

And again, I was wrong.

Work has been busy. Overly busy. The kind of busy that breaks you down … and down … and down. Late nights + early mornings = stressful days.

After a week that I thought could not be topped and a weekend I wish I could erase from my memory, I looked at Monday, February 10th as my start. “Hey guys, Day 1 of 5 is done. It was tough, but we made it through. And ya know what? Tomorrow is Day 2 … one day closer to the weekend,” I said as I left my office that Monday.

Tuesday, I’d like to erase from my life completely.

I walked into work and could sense the tension. Something was wrong.

A text from my coworker to come see her as soon as I got in – completely unrelated to the situation I just walked into. A note on my monitor from my boss “Meg, come by as soon as you get in. – Donna” and my colleague stopping by with a solemn look as she said, “Meg, go see Donna ... now.”

I could tell something was wrong.

The walk past the 5 offices to my boss’s was weird. I don't know how else to explain it. People were whispering, sniffling, and distracted.

That moment has been forever burned into my brain. Sitting down in the chair, two of my closest work buds across from me. I can tell you the exact outfit we were each wearing and how we were all sitting when my boss spoke the words, “Ginger passed away this morning.”

I couldn't catch my breath. It felt like an eternity had passed with flashes and thoughts of our last conversation before it hit me like a brick and the tears came. We were just laughing hysterically on Friday, 5 or 6 of us standing around her office, talking about boobs. What do you mean she's gone? 

I can’t speak for everyone, but when starting a new job I think of 2 things: 1) How much of an impact the new salary will make on my life and 2) the opportunities this position will bring. Of course you hope to make friends – no one wants to sit alone at the lunch table – but you never realize how close you’ll become with your coworkers.

My current company has become my second home. I spend more of my waking time each week in the office with my colleagues than I do with B. I know about their family. I know when they have good days and when they have bad days. I’m genuinely excited to get to work on Monday mornings and hear about their weekends.

She was a riot, that Ging. 

She was one of the first people I saw when I walked into the office 15 minutes later than my "norm" after dropping my Mom off at the hospital because she had a TIA. She forced me to leave and go back to the hospital. 
She was right. 

She was the person I went to when my Nana spent almost 2 months in sever pain before the doctors could figure out what was wrong with her. "Shingles," she said. "It's definitely shingles." 
She was right. 

"March yourself into Boss Lady's office and you tell her what you just told me. She will help." 
She was right. 

Last week was not an easy one. Frequent episodes of tears, anger, sleepless nights, and random breakouts in song (long story).

This week, we say goodbye to a dear friend. She will never know that my stepdad’s biopsy came back negative. She’ll never know that the testing my Mom has been going through for her heart racing came back fine and she’s being treated for something else. She’ll never know that one coworker got engaged and another announce a pregnancy recently. She’ll never know that there was a resolution to a big work-related stressor of mine.

For me, she’ll never know when B & I get engaged. When we get a puppy. When we announce a pregnancy. To hear about the Broadway shows we go to and hear that I’m “Just peachy” today.

Life is not promised to you. Things are going to happen to you in your life, and it’s how you react to it that matters. Not everything will be positive, sometimes the one person you need to be there for you will no longer be able to, and you’ll never get this moment back to try again.

Last week was devastating. It was the straw that broke the camel's back February. It was the permanent mark on all of our lives that we will never forget.

But this week, we say goodbye and we promise her that we will do so much good, every day of every month of every year.


Because that’s what Ginger would expect of us. 
She sent this image to me the day she sent me to the hospital to be with my Mom with the caption, "Megan, I am enjoying your cubicle while you are enjoying your mom's hospital bed.  "

4 comments:

  1. This is an amazing post Meg! I am so sorry to hear about your friend. It's always hard when those things happen; especially when it's unexpected. But I love that you are remembering the good and taking this moment to remember how important life is. I actually needed this reminder. Hugs to you.

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  2. I love that picture of her sitting in your cubicle and I remember laughing about it in the hospital.

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  3. Meg, I obviously did not know Ginger but this post made me cry! I am so sorry for your loss. She sounded like an amazing woman.

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  4. I just happened to read this. One thing I will correct is that she WILL know. She will know all of those things and share your joy in them she will just do it in her spiritual form. Im not pushing my beliefs I just know she is not gone only her body is. I am so sorry for your loss.

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