This is one of the hardest days of my life. No words can describe this pain and honestly it doesn’t feel real. I hate Cystic Fibrosis. It’s days like today that make me hate it even more.
You came into my life at a time when I had no one who fully understood what I was going through. We met almost 11 years ago. I was 7, you were 8. At that age, dealing with CF was difficult. It’s always difficult. It’s never easy, but at that age you are still trying to fully understand what’s happening. Why it’s happening. When we met I knew I had somebody who truly understood how I felt inside; All of the confusion, all of the anger, and all of the pain. Ever since that day we never left each other’s side. You were the person I could confide in. You were the person who made it easier. There was laughter, and there were tears. Like your graduation quote said.. “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” We were there for each other during the good times, and the darkest of times. There were times when I wanted to give up. There were times when you wanted to give up, but we pushed each other. We learned to fight and we fought together. We knew that no matter what happened we had each other.
I’m thankful for all the years to have you by my side. I’m thankful for all of the nights we would Skype until the sun came up because we couldn’t have sleepovers. I remember all of the holidays we spent together in the hospital and those we had to celebrate over video chat because we had to follow the “6 foot rule” even though we broke that rule more than we should have. I remember ringing in the New Years with you by watching the fireworks through Skype like it was just yesterday even if we were 100s of miles apart. I remember all of the days we would give the nurses a run for their money, all the pranks we would play on Arthur, and all of the water syringe fights. I remember the million of times we would beg Cami to braid our hair… although that didn’t take much convincing. I remember filling medical gloves up with water in the family lounge and freezing them to make a frozen glove, only to laugh at it and then throw it in the sink to melt. I remember spraying the old sanitizing foam on the floors so we could slide down the halls in our socks. I’m pretty sure half of the rules on the 14th floor were made because of us. But just like you told Arthur last time we were on 14, we were the original squad goals.
Having CF requires one to grow up early. Facing things in life kids our age should never have to face. We talked about the good and the bad parts of CF. And we promised that if that day came, this day…..it wouldn’t be a goodbye. It would be a see you later. The last time I came to see you in the hospital, when I went to leave, you looked at me, smiled, and you told me “See you next time.” So no matter how hard this is, I know that the love and friendship we shared can never be taken away. The bond we had could never be broken. No matter how much it may seem so, I know this isn’t goodbye. You will forever hold a special place in my heart and I will never forget all of the special moments we shared together. You were the most inspiring person I have ever met. You lived life with everything you had. You were taken too soon, but you didn’t go out without a fight. I know you are in a better place. You were my best friend, and you gave me a purpose to fight. You give us all a purpose to fight. So I’m now also fighting for you baby girl. I hope you’re enjoying that new set of lungs. You deserve them. I love you Toria. I’ll see you again soon.