Tomorrow I'm heading to the home of 4 years of awesome memories....Mississippi State University. I will travel there with an emptiness in my heart. Two years ago this month, a very dear friend lost a fight with leukemia. Actually, she may have lost this earthly battle but she ran in into the arms of her earthly father, big brother and Our Father! Have you heard Steven Curtis Chapman's song about what Heaven looks like to him (he lost his little girl last year and his view of heaven is her waiting for him)? In my view of Heaven, I see my precious friend grinning at me and waiting to show me around.
Fortunately, I made it almost 33 years before I lost a dear friend. I have lost loved ones over the years, but never something like this. Her diagnosis, her battle and her death have been a consistent struggle for me. I can think of her and smile and then just as easily be in tears. I found out 3 weeks ago that the fraternity (where we spent the majority of our college years) plan to dedicate a memorial to my friend and her brother that died in 1992. Tomorrow I will once again enter the doors of that fraternity house after almost 13 years and together with friends we will memorialize my amazing friend.
Rarely a day goes by that I do not think of her and tomorrow I look forward to seeing her beautiful family. I only wish that her face was the one I would see tomorrow. I miss you more than you know, Steckler. I have no regrets except that I didn't carry you out of your house that day in October and to have a beer on the banks of The River that last visit!
Now, if she could talk to me right now this is what she would say. Go give my mother and which ever siblings are there hugs and kisses. Then, go grab a beer and head to the football game and cheer for the Dawgs to beat Alabama! That is exactly what she would say and I will do just that!