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.
Friday, February 26, 2010