Day One – Unlock the Mind
(Just as a quick intro, I joined a writing/blogging course though wordpress and today is day one of a 20-day writing challenge. I will be given a prompt and a twist each weekday for the next few weeks, and I can choose to do either or both (or neither). Today’s prompt is 20 minutes of free writing, and the twist is to publish it to my blog.)
My dear friend Terry Norwood. I met her 10 years ago in 2005. And I never knew just how much she would impact my life, until she was gone. She passed away suddenly at the end of September 2014. I was not ready for her to be gone… but then is anyone ever ready for that?
Terry and I met at work, and I am forever grateful for that, but it was not the work that brought us close. We worked together every day for years, and we had a great working relationship to get the job done. But outside of those 9-5(ish) hours, we never talked about work stuff. Who cared about that, really? She is probably shaking her head about how much I’ve already used the word “work” in my first few minutes of writing about her. 🙂
Terry was living the dream. After she retired, she sold her house in WA state and moved to southern California, just outside of San Diego. She would sit on her back porch every night and enjoy the sunset and palm trees. She really appreciated the good life. She was active on social media and she was vocal about her Seahawks and her political views. She always had a new creative project that she was working on every time I went to visit her, from knitting to baking to making art from toilet paper rolls. <– seriously 🙂
For my wedding, Terry gave me a homemade cookbook that she put together herself. She printed her favorite recipes on green paper (my favorite color) and decorated it with sparkly star stickers – she clearly put a lot of time and effort into making this for me. And I cherish it. I have tried most of the recipes in the book. The first one I tried, I followed her directions and ingredient amounts to a T. And when I told her about it, the first thing she said was “Oh I hope you didn’t follow it exactly. The best thing about cooking is making it your own and not measuring every little ingredient.” OH. And because of that, I don’t think I have followed a recipe exactly ever since. I don’t measure salt and other seasonings anymore, that’s for sure. A lot of my “fun in the kitchen” experiments are with Terry in mind.
One of the most influential things that Terry ever said to me was, “In order to be a writer, you have to WRITE.” She was one of the first people that I spoke to about wanting to write a blog, and she was supportive from the moment I said it. She just kept telling me to do it. What was I waiting for?
There are two things that I am really bummed about that Terry didn’t get to see. She didn’t get to see me finally start my blog. I know that she would be following it every day. I’m bummed I didn’t get to it quicker, for her. The other thing I’m bummed about is that she didn’t get to meet Zara in person. The last time I went and visited her was before I got pregnant with Z. Jeremy and I were actually talking about going to San Diego for the Seahawks-Chargers game last year, and Terry was SO EXCITED to watch Zara at her house while we went to the game. We unfortunately decided not to make the trip (money was tight), and we watched the game from home. Two weeks after that game, Terry passed away. I think a part of me will always wish we had made that trip happen.
I think about Terry often and she always brings a smile to my face. I hope she knows how much she meant to me. I don’t think I told her enough.