Forever Autumn

No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth. - Robert Southey

My dear friend Denise passed away today. It was very unexpected. I'm still reeling from the shock.

Her husband called to tell me she had a fever on Sunday. Monday she awoke with a bad cough and was rushed by ambulance from the doctor's office to the hospital. Today, my friend is gone.

Denise and I worked together for many years. She sat in the cubicle directly in front of mine. She loved her family, angel figurines, birds, her backyard animals, her dogs and Autumn.

She and her family moved to another state a few years ago. I was blessed to have been able to keep in contact with her through email, lengthy phone calls, and snail mail.

She and I have a smiliar childhood history. We've both fought similar illnesses. We could talk to each other about anything without fear of judgement or our friendship ending.

She was a very courageous woman. She was smart, talented, creative, funny, loyal, trustworthy and loving. Her heart belonged to her family. She always referred to her husband as her "prince." He told me today that she was the "light of his life." I know she loved them with all of her being.

My friend's husband and two children (they are in their twenties) are stunned. I hurt for myself. I ache for them. Please pray for them as I know they have very difficult days ahead of them.

Denise, I thank you for being my friend. I thank you for the circumstances that brought us closer together. I thank you for loving me and accepting me unconditionally. Your friendship was a rare gift, especially during times when I wasn't sure if I'd live to see another day. I will miss you always. I will soon take a Subway sandwich down to the beach like we did before you moved away. I looked for your Christmas present today. I wasn't able to find the perfect Autumn leaf ornament. However, when I do, I will buy it and keep it in honor and in memory of you. I can't believe you are gone. I miss you. I love you, friend.

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