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Brain Injury awareness death & friendship Friendships Life Lessons

In memory of Sophia

January 17, 2006 14 years ago today is a day life would change forever. A good friend, which is hard for me to say she was but I think she was besides some stupid immature drunken fight the year before she passed. My friend read this (mine and Sophia’s super close friend) and told me that we had made up and talked it out at the Clackamas River one day and I had owned up to what i had done and that we were good. That makes sense since she was at my house when Jax came home from the hospital after he was born as seen in the pic, and he was only home for 3 days once born before he spent a few months in the NICU.

Sophia passed away on January 17, 2006. I was 24 and I think she was 23. She died of an aneurysm, she was a life saver. She was on life support and declared brain dead, so her family had to make the hardest decision ever and take her off life support. Holy shit. They did bless many people with her viable organs, so although Sophia had to leave this world, she made sure to help others stay in this world with her organs. That’s amazing. It’s making me cry writing this.

The day I got that call I know was life stopping. Sadly the details are not all there because of my memory loss, but I did have some friends who were also there during this time proofread this for me, so thank you friends! And my friends that proofread it are my best friends and we’re there that day and we’re also her friend. 14 years ago and we are all still friends, and closer friends than we were then and I would like to think Sophia had something to do with that. So thank you Sophia for leaving such an impact in all of our lives.

So I got the call. Unbelievable. Truly. Like how? Why? What the fuck! We all got together that night at Heathers house. That’s what kind of friendship group we had. Everyone showed up that was a pretty close friend. We all sat around sharing stories, crying, at times, laughing at stories that involved her, drinking, eating and just being there for each other. This was the first loss in our pretty tight large friend group. Sadly our friend group was never the same after her passing. It led to drugs for some, falling in a deep black hole, but for the most part most of us stayed close and on the same path we were on. But it truly changed our close, tight friend group. We honestly never were the same.

It was my first experience with death of a close friend, it was fucking hard. It was also something that I learned from. Why did that happen? I will never know why. But I have learned how that happened for me and what I got from it and how I grew as a person and friend. So Sophia, your loss sucks. It’s shitty. You are SO missed. But thank you for teaching me so fucking much and making me wake up and become a better person.

With Soph (her nickname) I feel like it was always a competition. I don’t know if that was just our dynamic in a friendship or what, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was just how we were due to our own insecurities. But that’s what I learned. After she left us, I stopped that shit. Why compete with anyone you love, or anyone for that matter. Why not be genuinely be happy for them. Just love on your friends. That is the #1 biggest thing she left me and that I learned from her. I would like to think I stopped being how I was because of her. And because of her, I am an organ donor. And even after almost dying in 2018, I’m still glad I’m an organ donor. If I would of been brain dead or have no quality of life, I wouldn’t want to be here. I would rather save others with my organs just like she did.

Soph had a cool Toyota Tacoma and I always wanted a truck and she got one. Of course I was jealous. Why?? Why couldn’t I just be happy for her. I was jealous probably cause I wanted a truck so bad. I got one. But of course, she had hers first and I was jealous. So dumb I know but just being real.

Soph then got nautical starts tattooed on her wrist. Holy crap, you’re crazy is what I thought. On your wrist? People can see that, your job is gonna hate that. All the negative shit. Why? Because I must have been jealous- as I write this completely covered in tattoos. I must have been too scared, worried about jobs, what other people thought or maybe I couldn’t afford it. Either way I know I was jealous. Yuck. It makes me sick to write that. Plus I probably haven’t even said that to our best friends who will be reading this. So I will say it’s because of Sophia why I did what I wanted to do and tattooed my leg and both my arms. She inspired me to do it because I wanted too and fuck what anyone else said! So thanks Sophia, you would love all my tattoos and you inspired lots of them! I got two nautical stars after she passed. I have a full day of the dead arm sleeve because Sophia was Hispanic and day Of the dead represents her to me. So Sophia, you inspired something on my right arm that I love and when I see it I think of you. Dia Day Los Muertos. Which is a Hispanic holiday honoring the dead. Pretty fitting.

Sophia taught me to hold my friends close. You never know. The year before she passed we had a fight at a bar. Like fight where I think punches were thrown and I don’t remember what it was about. I was drunk of course, which later you will learn I don’t drink, and how drinking ruined many things in my life. And that is one of the many reasons why when I look back at my life, Alcohol never was positive for me. So to lose my friend a year later after screaming nasty things at her and fighting with her is disgusting. That’s my last real memory with her. Maybe there are more but that’s the one that sticks out all the time. It isn’t a great memory, what a horrible and sick last memory with a good friend. So for months I don’t think we talked very often and our friendship changed. I know we reconnected, I don’t remember it in detail but I had gotten pregnant the august before she left and she met my son who was born in May 2005, so we had made up but I don’t think it was ever the same.

So from a horrible experience of having a friend die, I have learned so much about friendship and how you treat others including yourself and to stop the jealousy bullshit. I love you Sophia. I wish you were here and I hope you are so proud of the woman I have become and know you are a huge fucking reason I am who I am today. 💜

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