Only in fame and death do dozens of “best friends” come out of the woodwork.
That’s not my intent here, but it seems odd, insensitive, and a little inappropriate to publish my original post I’d planned for tonight without taking a day to acknowledge the loss of an old friend.
Right before I began my junior year of college, two younger girls, Mary and Lauren, moved into my complex. A couple of friends and I were floating around in the pool, and I believe they were just moving in. We could hear them chatting. I remember thinking, “Whoa, who are these little crazies? I bet we’ll be friends.”
You bet we were. Our groups of friends meshed quickly.
The little crazies upstairs were the best kind of fun. Bubbly, hilarious, down to earth, spontaneous, friendly, unconcerned with what anyone else thought, and down for ANYTHING. Made up nicknames for guys you were hanging out with. Mature, smart, nice girls who were just a little untamed.
My ideal college friend criteria.
It was impossible not to laugh with Mary and Lauren. They both had the absolute most contagious laughs, and even when I was out of the loop and had no idea why they were giggling, I’d find myself crying laughing because…I couldn’t not. It was infectious. It’s what one does around Mary and Lauren. I can still hear both their laughs, and still remember a little accident from one of them laughing so hard.
Years passed, and while I remained closest with Lauren after marriage, I was happy to see Mary every few years at friends’ events.
Mary was tough catch a full conversation with in person and said events because she truly had a bajilion friends. She was in high demand for a hello. She had a bajillion friends because she made everyone happy. She was hands down one of the kindest, most smiley, warm people I’ve ever known. People were drawn to her.
Our interruptions were fine, because I would just eat the wedding reception or baby shower food and be entertained by her conversation with others. I caught her on Instagram, instead. Her account is one of a doting, fun mom, rather than a #bossbabe, for which I have total adoration. Mary and I have kids almost the exact same ages: her oldest in preschool, a two year old, and a brand new seven week old.
A brand new seven year week old. I just saw her post this new baby girl giggling a few days ago, and it make me excited for my own soon. I wondered if three kids was as hard for her as I’m worried about. I wondered if this was a tough time of year to have a third; having a newborn right before holidays while entertaining older kids sounds exhausting.
Learning of 28-year-old Mary Sandall’s shocking, unexpected passing from Lauren, who still remains best friends with her, made me stop everything. I’m heartbroken for her young family as I think about the logistics that must be happening over the next few days, the week before Christmas. I am devastated for her friends and family that I know are deeply pained.
I also realized that everything I’d done that day was super stupid. None of it mattered. I was away from my family at work the whole day.
There are few things that really matter in this life.
I am religious, but for whatever reason, those religious sentiments seem robotic right now.
Instead, I have nothing really insightful to say. Putting memories of Mary under a microscope make me so thankful to have crossed paths. I’m beyond bless to have the strong, incredible, close friends that I have. I’m thankful for happy people with huge smiles that have been sprinkled through my life. I have reconsidered the “good” uses of my time to make way for the “best” uses of my time. I have new inspiration and goals for the type of mom I hope to be.
Sending the most heartfelt love to Mary’s family and friends.