Thursday, January 28, 2010

Changes deep within- Part 8

Losing Leigh rocked my world. I didn’t believe in God before she died and I hated him/her after. My old Aunt Louise was on her last leg, blind and sick when Leigh died. She met and loved Leigh like the rest of my family and for months after it hurt her deeply to think that God let her live in such a horrible state and took Leigh’s young life. Eventually it was Aunt Louise that convinced me there was a higher power, maybe not God, as people speak of the man but someone or something that knows better than we do. If Leigh was taken, there was a good reason. I think it helped both me and Aunt Louise to talk through this. She felt like there was a bigger job for Leigh in Heaven than there was on Earth. This is how she explained that old theory that only the good die young.

This theory really made me think. Leigh was way wise beyond her years so it made sense. She didn’t waste time on things. She embraced and enjoyed every second of her life on earth. This realization made me start to take stock of my own life. I wasn’t happy in my relationship. I was too young for where it was headed and it wasn’t what I wanted. I knew this before Leigh died. But losing her made me see that life was too short to waste time on what you don’t want. I could die tomorrow and this wasn’t the legacy that I wanted to leave behind. I thought long and hard about my decision. After 6 months I told Chad we were through and I got my very own apartment for the first time in my life. Instead of praying to God/spirit/Universe at the time, I prayed to Leigh.

During this time, my bond with Leigh’s family and friends solidified. We did fund raiser for Leigh’s house which required a lot of planning and together time. I don’t know how I would have gotten through without that time. I spent lots of time at the Gramlich’s house, my home away from home, and it never got less weird to be there without Leigh. Right up until they sold the house last year, I always felt her there. Sometimes that was what really drew me back.
Paul, me and Robin at one of the fundraisers for the Vivian Leigh Gramlich Cornerstone House
The fundraising committee

There are still times to this day that I can feel Leigh in my car with me. Like she is riding shot gun and just chatting away about something. I can FEEL her there. This might sound creepy to some of you but with the feeling of peace that comes over me, I know it is her. When Aunt Louise died and I had to read her eulogy I prayed to Leigh for support. I didn’t cry, stutter or miss a beat and everyone told me how wonderful I did. I gave all credit to Leigh.

They say the angels are speaking to you if you look at a clock and it is 11:11, 2:22, 3:33, 4:44…well, you get the point. This used to happen ALL of the time and still does when I am down or need that connection. It seems to happen a lot around the times I talk to the Gramlich’s, Joanne or Brooke for some reason. So many times I run into Leigh’s girls and know that she is orchestrating from Heaven. Just last week I was out with my friend Gina when Meaghan just appeared out of nowhere. I haven’t seen her in a long time and we just happened to be at the same place, same time. This wouldn’t be strange accept Meaghan is married with kids and rarely goes out. Not to mention she NEVER really goes to the city and that is where we saw each other. I know we could both feel Leigh in that one too.

I would have never thought 10 years ago that I would be able to look back on Leigh’s death with anything but grief. I am still sad. I miss her every day. I think about her, her parents and what they brought to my life so often. I think of her smile and her amazing blue eyes and it makes my mind go all sorts of directions. It is much like in one of the last episodes of Sex and the City when Carrie is leaving for Paris and she says to her girls; “I had a thought today. What if I had never met you?”

If I had never met Leigh I wouldn’t be who I am. I wouldn't be where I am. I wouldn’t have had anywhere to live junior year. I wouldn’t have met all of Leigh’s girls who have had such an influence on my life and are still friends of mine to this day. I wouldn’t have had the Gramlich’s words of wisdom at every turn. More than half of my life’s lessons would be gone. I wouldn’t have the faith in a higher power that I have. I might have married Chad or at least still be with him. I would never have learned my worth as an independent woman (or maybe it would have just taken much longer). I wouldn’t have the relationship with my mom that I have today. I wouldn't have the knowing that no matter what happens I can make it through. I woundn't have the ability on my worst days to stop, think and consider that today someone lost their best friend and what is going on with me is way less consequential than that. I wouldn't be able to go through life knowing that I have my very own angel, out there somewhere, has always got my back.

The month before I moved out of mine and Chad's house I visited my sister in Reno. We were driving up the mountain and I had a vision of this tattoo. My brother-in-law at the time new a great artist and so we made it happen. This was one of the best decisions I ever made. I love it when people ask me what it means and who she was. I once ran into a sorority sister of Leigh's in a bar. I had never met her but she saw my tattoo and stopped me to let me know that she had been touched by her as well.

I love you Leigh-Leigh. I miss you everyday. I thank you so much for what you have given to my life and I know that someday we will be together again.

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