For D.

I'm taking a break for a bit. Yes, the kids head back to school this week and it is sure to bring on a fair amount of stress. But, I head back to work face grief counselors,  many tears,  and the empty desk of my friend and work partner, Deea.

Deea lost her life last Friday.  At work.  The one place where she told me she felt "normal" after years of battling an illness.   She was smart, sweet, and such a positive spirit.   She was a true warrior.

We'd meet on Mondays.  I'd talk about my kids and their latest escapades.  And she would always listen with a smile on her face.  I'd rattle on about how I barely got anything done...not always realizing that the simplest task could fatigue Deea.  I'm so mad at myself for not stopping the prattle and instead let her tell me about her woes.  But, she rarely did.  She always turned it back to me.

We made a good team. We worked well together.  We became close over the years.  And now, she's gone.

I'm heading back to the place where a picture of her sits above my desk.  Where my calendar holds our weekly status meetings and our monthly lunches.  Where I'd wait to receive the instant message from her during a conference call.  There will be reminders of her everywhere -- especially as I look at the pained faces of my co-workers.

I'm sure she wouldn't want me to take a break  -- I recall her simple reply to me after I told her about all the crazy things I wanted to do for my sister's baby shower: "You are a creator, Kacey.  It's who you are."

If I could talk to her now, I'd tell her about the impact she made on me.  She gave me perspective, she made me stronger, and she gave me solace knowing that I could always confide in her.

I'll miss you dearly, D.

I hope you are at peace.

PS -- I am linking up to another post about Deea, beautifully captured by Rita.