Yesterday, I got the heartbreaking news that one of my true soul-sisters was gone. I loved Amy Lee, with my whole stupid heart…. And I knew she was battling for each day – but still thought that I would have time to go see her & make sure she knew I was always in her corner.
I was laying in bed this morning, scrolling through social media, and I read the most honest and touching tribute from her actual sister. She hit on the broad strokes of who Amy was – the things that we all loved about Amy. It made me realize how much of my approach on parenting was inspired by her.
We met a long time ago, not too long after we moved to Hollister. She was the PTO president at Ladd Lane, where my nephew began attending. She recruited my sister to help & she brought me into the fold. After Amy, my sister ran it…. Then I had the pleasure of taking the reins…. If you know me, you know how much that period of time meant to me. That incredible school & organization brought so many amazing people into my circle & I have Amy to thank for that.
Amy also got us into Relay For Life! That same PTO had a team one year, and I have been involved ever since! I can remember the first or second year of us doing it, and Amy had managed to stay up all night walking…. She was tired near the end of the event and we realized she was just two laps away from some astronomical amount of miles…. And we pushed her and pushed her to finish. I don’t remember exactly how many miles it was… but dang I was proud of her!
Together we morphed from a participating RFL team, to volunteer staff… even spent a lot of Amy’s birthdays out there together! At one point, I even worked for the American Cancer Society for a bit! Continuing the fight against cancer, all because this lady introduced it to us. The irony is not lost on me that she battled cancer… I always Relay in honor of my Grandma, but the truth is, I would have never started without Amy Lee.
When I say she was more like a sister, I truly mean it. There weren’t many folks I trusted to watch my boys when they were babies… she was one of the few. They were her “monkas”, and they loved her so much!
Amy’s friendship was there through the arrival of my children, my divorce a few years later, weird relationships, small town drama, lots of volunteer work, a lot of laughs, arguing in bars, concerts, dancing at the Saddlerack, backyard BBQs… so much more.
Amy was one I could call, no matter what. Amy & Rosie were always excited when in asked them to watch my boys. I could call and say, I want to go grab a drink, and she would meet me. I remember one time it was just her & I at the 19th Hole…. This poor guy was sitting near us, and got roped into our conversation. We harassed him for being a Raiders fan, and even stole the sticker off his phone. He was hoping to leave with a phone number, I am sure… but he just left with some laughs & less an ugly sticker.
Amy survived so much. And she was absolutely the sweetest soul. She would do anything to help, no questions asked. And carried the weight of the world, not often showing any cracks. But I sure loved her…. Cracks & all.
She was one of my absolute rocks, and I have so many regrets that I didn’t get out of my own way and go see her since she moved – but I thought I’d have time.
I’m not really a New Years Resolution kind of girl. But this year I am focused on goals. One of the goals is to really connect with at least one person each month, that I have been missing. Try to visit in person, at the very least a phone call. Amy was at the top of my list, because I knew she was fighting for her life, I just didn’t realize how hard.
This morning I had a quiet, peaceful drive to King City, for Nate’s Rodeo (which she would have freaking loved to watch). The first time I have been alone to really reflect on the light we lost.
I looked up and saw this ray of light breaking through the clouds. I knew at that moment that she was there with me… always.
You bet I cried. Like a damn baby…. And girls, I could use a huddle. ❤️🩹