This is written with a very heavy heart. I have been silent in my grief. I do not have enough words to describe how it feels when you lose someone who is so much like your own child.
Our family met Tara when our youngest was in 2nd grade. One day she asked if she could go over to her house, the next time it was if she could come to our’s. Tara delighted me from day one. She was smart, and sassy and very much like a little pixie. She became a fixture around our house. Often spending most of the weekend with us and time after school a couple times of week. She made me laugh at a time in my life when laughing was sometimes very hard.
Tara was tragically killed in a car/train accident. She wasn’t driving. I don’t think that she would’ve wanted to go out that way – it wasn’t exactly her style. Even now, it is hard to write about her let alone talk about her or think about her.
The other day I was cleaning and organizing some boxes when I came across some pictures of my mother’s 70th birthday party. Tara was there that day, sitting between my two daughters (I want to say my two other daughters because she was so much like a daughter to me) and you could see her laughing. I remember that day as if it were yesterday and not almost 11 yrs ago. My hubby (who was only engaged to me then) had helped me plan a surprise party for my mother at a rather nice restaurant and had even helped to pay for my older sister, who lives out of state, to fly in for the party. On the day of the party Tara’s mom called and asked if we could take her for the day as they had to attend their son’s swim meet out of town andTara didn’t really want to go. I asked her to put Tara in something other than jeans and bring her over. When she found out why she couldn’t believe that I would willingly take Tara; see Tara was a bit of headstrong child and often butted heads with her mom. But take her, we did and she didn’t embarrass me or even step out of line; she was a good girl the whole day. Behaved just like she was my own. Yup, I couldn’t stop crying when I saw those pictures; just like now when I think of her.
And every time I sit in my living room and see the white paint on my wood trim – I will think of Tara – you see it was her that painted my living room when I needed it done. I couldn’t do it because of injuries to my back and Tara stepped right in and volunteered to do it. She was just that way to me.
I was there for her when she needed me and she would be there for me when I needed her. Did she have some issues? Yes she did, but who among us doesn’t? I will choose to remember the good times with her, I will choose to remember the little pixie who often showed up unannounced needing to talk, to cry, to be listened to or just be hugged and I will remember her warm hugs in return.
I miss you baby.