|Randee with the family (and Jackson)|
Randee was one of those people that just accepted me. At a time when I was trying to accept myself, she just looked at me as one of the family. Even in the times when my own family treats me like shit, Randee always cared and was always there and it was special.
She was like a sister, a best friend, a champion and warrior. She didn't put me down or make me think that I was less than. She didn't expect me to be something I wasn't, but helped encourage me to be all that I could. She was more true family to me than my own biological family. She loved the fact that I looked out for her brother. She knew I truly loved her brother and she wanted nothing but the best for him.
Birthday and Christmas would come along and she always remembered. I'll cherish the things she gave me for my last birthday when the chemo was already taking its toll on me. Even though she felt like crap, she still wanted to celebrate and make the day special.
I remember the day we heard about the cancer coming back. We were sitting at Toojay's in Altamonte Springs and I had just signed the lease to my new office. She was so thrilled and happy for me. She had great hope, although deep down, I think she knew the odds were not in her favor.
It didn't take long for her life to begin going downhill and it was tough to watch, even from a distance. At her birthday, we gave her a balloon with a monkey on it, just to hopefully cheer her day up a little.
When Jeff was in the hospital and I was freaking out, even though she was battling to maintain control of her own life, she kept texting me, "you have to be strong for Jeff". I will never forget those moments.
There are so many moments that I've experienced with her and the family that are special to me. I came from a crappy family and I feel like I gained a good one in Jeff's family. Randee was that person that kept everything flowing. She was always there for everyone and she made you feel special.
I am learning more and more just how much Randee impacted the lives of many and how much she was there for so many that I don't even know. She touched so many by just being herself.
Its hard saying goodbye. There is no easy way and I know time eases the pain. However, it seems like I've had too many friends saying goodbye lately and they were the very special ones in my life.
Saying goodbye, I wish that phrase didn't exist. However, I'm glad that Randee was a part of my life, if only for 15 years. It is people like Randee that help make this world a better place for all of us.
Hopefully no one in the picture minds me putting this one up. If you do, please let me know privately and I'll change it. I just love this picture and it means so much to me.
Blog Post And Images (c) 04/06/15 by Don Shetterly
- Permission required before any part of this blog post is reprinted, reworded or used in any form.
- You are welcomed to share the LINK to this blog post.