Friday was a tough day for me. All my girlfriends have either left the company I work at or were out of town. Not to complain, but I just wanted to have lunch with a girlfriend. I needed some laughter and great conversation to cut the day in half.

My friend Holly and I always had the best lunches. No matter how your day was or how you felt, her laughter would light up the entire room and pull you into such a blessed place that you consciously were happy just being near her. After we both moved away from Minnesota, we rarely had the opportunity to have lunch together. Now that she’s gone, I won’t have that cherished, wonderful opportunity every again.

First, I need to tell you a little about my friend Holly. She loved her family and friends with an overflowing passion. She constantly inspired me and made me feel better about myself. Her friendship was treasured by all who knew her. Unfortunately, she succumbed to cancer last Thanksgiving. In my grief, I was just so honored to be able to be in MN to attend her memorial at her favorite art center (where she and I had taken pottery and metal work together).

At the memorial, amidst her works of art (like this shirt that she created with batik – that hangs inside my closet door so I see it, and think of her, everyday), her husband and sons shared the story of her life and professed their love and admiration for her. It was the most heart-breaking ceremony I’ve ever attended. I wasn’t up to sharing – but I wanted to. I wanted to tell funny Holly stories and listen to others’ tales of her infectious humor and joy.

After the memorial I emailed her husband. I told him about some of the amusing stories and events that I shared with Holly. I also included a story that Holly told me about buying a very expensive, ornate armoire – without telling David, her husband. Knowing that he might be a bit concerned over her purchase, she resorted to something perfectly Holly! She purchased an expensive silk tie for him. When he came home from work, she greeted him in front of the new furniture with nothing on except the tie and just said, “So … how do you like the armoire?”

I emailed him that I didn’t know if it was a true story or not but I loved that story because it was so Holly. He wrote me back with just a quick answer – “It was a very nice tie!”

Friday, several months after she left us all, I just wanted to have lunch with her. To ask her advice, be part of her laughter, have her smile at me one more time. But, in all my sadness (and I can’t even imagine what her family feels), I am so humbled to have had her as my girlfriend.

In my tears, I celebrated a blessed girlfriend. Don’t delay in spending time with a girlfriend. Call her for lunch. Take her to dinner. Send her a card or give her a call. Then say a word of thanks for the gift of her friendship. Thanks Holly. I love you and am so blessed to have been your friend.