Friday, February 26, 2010

Me Loving Harder, Part One

When I was a freshmen in college, all of us little lasses were forced into these awkward orientation groups in which we attended to a bunch of pointless lectures to teach us all about what the administrators thought being in college was all about. It was in this group that I met a spunky, outspoken girl who introduced herself as Biz.

Biz is definitely a unique spirit. The fact that “Biz” was her short for “Elizabeth” rather than “Beth” or “Lizzy” was proof enough. The fact that she wasn't afraid to let her decidedly liberal views be heard in a massive sea of conservative classmates only solidified it. She quickly became my hero.

She has an incredibly infectious smile that honestly spreads to her eyes and lights up her whole face - and everyone's around her. She is the kind of girl that will drop everything to bring you Italian chocolates and boxed wine to cheer you up.

She has a wonderful sense of humor that she applies to everything she does (every single one of her Facebook photo album titles is a Super Trooper quote). She is an amazing artist and to this day I still have several of the pottery pieces she gave me around my apartment.

She is the most outgoing, bull-headed, and strongest women I have ever met. She never failed to be the life of a party and always had a story by the end of the night. She is an absolutely beautiful person; almost painfully so on the outside, too.

She is that kind of girl that you really, REALLY want to be friends with but you’re afraid she’s just too cool for you.

I am honored and blessed to say Biz is my friend. One of my best friends, actually.

You see, she was my person. I could go to her for anything… and sa-weet Jesus do I mean anything. She was the one and only person I could go to for everything from “What the hell kind of shoes goes with this top?” to “My Grandma was just diagnosed with cancer…” to “You will not BELIEVE who I went home with last night!”

She always listened and she never judged me.

Back in June, right before I moved to Fargo, Biz was driving through a wicked thunderstorm to work a basketball camp at Notre Dame. She hydroplaned, ran into a semi, and landed in a ditch. She survived the crash with no broken bones or any massive blood loss; but she suffered severe brain damage from the accident.

Her BPI was so high at one point we thought we were going to lose her. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I couldn’t lose my person. I never got to tell her how much she mattered to me; how much I loved and valued our friendship.

By the grace of whatever God there is, Biz did survive. She is still learning to walk and talk again, and she struggles with her short term memory. Biz and her family lost her father this past Christmas to a long-fought battle with brain cancer, and she still asks, "Where's dad?" several times a day.

Despite all of this, she is fighting harder and stronger than I could have ever imagined. Through this tragedy she has not only showed all of us how to live – but how to survive.

Biz is one of my inspirations to love harder.

What’s yours?


Anonymous said...

Aw, this is so sweet and great! Thanks for posting.

And somehow, I'm a jackass and didn't realize you weren't in my reader. The problem has been solved.

Kristen said...

What a great story and tribute to your friend!

Lady V said...

I am so sorry to hear this. Losing a loved one is horrible. I lost my 20 year old brother in a bad car accident and it still feels like yesterday. I'm glad your person is alive and on the road to recovering! May she fully recover and have a bright future with you by her side. Life is rough! We gotta take what he gives us! Thoughts and prayers, friend!

Just A Girl said...

Go Biz! Any girl with Super Troopers quotes all over her fb is my kind of chick. This is super sweet.

coors cowgirl 21 said...

thank you for sharing...i have a person and my world would be very dark and cold without glad you din't loose yours...this post brought tears to my eyes and a few fell down.
thank you for this.

Kendall said...

I'm not crying. I'm not crying. I'm not crying.

Heather said...

Thanks you sharing this most wonderful story. You are both very lucky to have one another in your life.

GingerMandy said...

it's a good thing biz has people like you around to positively influence her and encourage her... a childhood friend of mine suffered severe brain damage due to an unknown genetic defect at age 20 and is now half paralyzed, in a wheelchair, blind in one eye and can barely talk. if he wasn't with a friend when he suffered the stroke, he would have died. he's come an incredibly long way and it's amazing to see the strength people develop when they have no other choice. he's definitely my person that encourages me to love harder. people like him and liz definitely put things into perspective.

ClaireMontgomeryMD said...

what an awesome post! i may have to follow suit. you and your person rock!

V said...

Boy do I love your blog! I found you on lemondrop/nicoles blog, when I saw that we have the same thing in common when it comes to our moms. Glad I checked you out and now I am a follower :) xoxo. v