Five years ago today, my coworker and good friend Carly Hughes passed away from cancer at age 24. The day is forever etched into my memory. Part of me still wants to believe that she got better, came back to work, and resumed her life. It still seems inconceivable, even after all this time, that she is actually gone.
At the memorial service, Carly’s mom, Irene, implored us not to forget about her daughter. Well, I can definitively say that not only do I think about Carly every day, but my memories of her are as vivid as ever. We would often go for midday coffee runs to Dunkin’ Donuts. I can still hear her shouting at me, in between sips of iced coffee, to stop pouting. I like to think this is her way now of keeping me in check when I’m feeling glum. Even when she was mad, she was never really mad. She couldn’t go more than a few seconds without smiling.
I wrote about my friendship with Carly in a long post which you can find here. That is the closest I’ll ever get to properly conveying the impact she’s had on my life, although even then, words are inadequate.
Even though it’s been five year since Carly passed, she still seems as present as ever. If not in thought, then in coincidence. Today was no exception. A couple hours ago, my mom came home from lunch and couldn’t wait to tell me about her server. “She reminded me of your friend Carly. She was tall, blonde, and thin. And guess what her name was?”
Of course it was.