September 22, 2009

For Andrea

Eight years ago, when I yahoo’d my new author obsession and stumbled upon a message board and book club, little did I know I’d soon be meeting a group of friends for life. Friends who are quick to support each other through family deaths and crises and just as quick to congratulate, rally around accomplishments and to send a wedding gift too. After millions of emails and the most memorable trips ever, one woman would become one of my bridesmaids and I’d also have someone amazing to visit in almost each state whenever I traveled.

One of these amazing women would also become my IM buddy though, she’d be the one to hear about my grievances at work or about the fun things that I was doing. I’d type a message and hit enter and BAM she was there to chat with. She also got me into the show Alias and supported my move across the country, even calling me courageous for it. Ha, when she was the courageous one - moving to Iraq for a bit for work and later battling breast cancer so bravely. Her name was Andrea and she died this weekend at age 38 from cancer.

I can go on and on about the things I’ll miss about her and how much I hate cancer for killing such a young and vivacious woman, but she was so strong through it all that I want to be too. I’m so thankful that I saw her just a few weeks ago when I was in D.C. for work and had dinner with her and her mom. I could tell then that this second round of radiation and treatment was taking its toll as I could barely recognize the beautiful woman I knew, yet her strong-willed defiance still shone through her pain. I didn’t return to my hotel room right away after our dinner, but walked around the monuments at dusk and cried, because I knew that tight embrace was a goodbye hug. It was so memorable; I can literally feel it now and how I impulsively kissed the top of her shoulder as I tucked my head in for the hug. I'm still stunned that I was literally having dinner with her three weeks ago and now she is no longer on this earth.

I’d like to share with you the following stupid video that I made for Andrea a few months ago. We all created a YouTube page to post videos to in order to say hello and cheer her up this year and here was one of mine:


I love you Andrea!

17 comments

  1. My sincere condolences on the loss of your friend -- she seems like a great person. The video you made for her was really sweet -- and cool. Here's hoping that the pain recedes quickly but her memory and joy never does.

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  2. Really sweet, cute video that I'm sure really cheered her. What would Sydney Bristow do? :)

    It's so hard to lose a friend so young - my friend Andrea died of breast cancer last winter...hadn't been an active part of her life since college, and I had just reconnected with her. It's a terrible loss - my Andrea, your Andrea, and all the other Andreas and other-named young women taken too soon.

    Wishing you strong memories that inspire you. (@estherk)

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  3. A lovely, moving tribute, T. I'd like to say that - as one of those women on that bulletin board - you've become a special part of my life and I'm honored to know you. Thank you for being such a wonderful Tara.

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  4. Tara Im sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. I know how much she ment to you when I helped record a message when you were here. Keeping you and her in my prayers and memories. love ya J

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  5. tara that is such an amazing tribute to a woman that sounds like she was just wonderful. i'm so sorry for you and her family.

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  6. I am so sorry for your loss, your post is beautiful and it moved me to tears. We all need that reality check, regardless of where we are what we are doing, that life is so fragile and we should be grateful for what we have and who we have in our lives. I remember you talking to me about her, I know how important she is to you. She is gone from the Earth but she will forever be in your heart.

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  7. That was wonderful, Tara! I meant to tell you how much I loved your video, months ago, but couldn't figure out how to comment on YouTube.

    It seems so strange that we met at the book club, but it's gone so far beyond books now. I can't imagine my life without all of you in it. Loved the tribute to Andrea. Thanks for sharing it.

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  8. My prayers are with Andrea, her family and friends she left behind. Your post was very moving and really made me wish I had the pleasure of knowing her. It's evident she was a wonderful person by all the sincere things you said about her. May she rest in peace.

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  9. So sorry to hear about your friend - so young and so filled with life and love. A heartbreaking loss. May her memory and her spirit be with you always.

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  10. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. She was so young. I'm glad that you got to spend some time with her. I know her memory will live on through you!

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  11. I am sorry babes. Truly a wonderful post as I wipe away the tears. Be strong.

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  12. I'm so blessed to have you DNs in my life.

    This article made me think of our girl, Drea. Sydney Bristow is an ambassador of getting kids to read early in life.

    http://www.oprah.com/article/spirit/inspiration/200909-omag-books-jennifer-garner

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  13. And just when I thought I was done with tears for the night, I hop on here and the tears are back. They're happier tears, though, because I know that super cute video made Andrea smile. I'm so happy you got to spend that time with her in D.C.

    I feel so honor and blessed to have found such a wonderful group of friends. You have all changed my life in so many ways.

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  14. Tara, you've made me cry again, too. Who knew a random search online for an author would lead to such wonderful friends? I'm so grateful for the impulse that led me to post on that board so many years ago!

    Thank you for such a wonderful tribute for our girl. ((Hugs))

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  15. So sorry for your friend - My heart goes out to her family.
    If anyone understands death and grief you do. I love you honey.
    Mom

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  16. Hey T,

    what a great entry to honor Andrea! I'm so proud of of you and all of our group. And how special we have been to each other over the years. I can't imagine not having all of you in my life. Love you!

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  17. Tara, so sorry to hear about Andrea. Her story of courage did not go to waste - thanks for remembering her and passing along her story.

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