Saturday, November 28, 2009

For Lindsay

Lindsay Weiss was something else.  I remember her as a toddler at Edwards Air Force Base, though my family has known hers since she was a baby.  She was seven years younger than me, which, for children, might as well be a lifetime.  Our families moved around to different places over the years, thanks in large part to the Air Force, but we never lost touch.  In 2001, when my parents moved to Arizona, where the Weisses had lived for quite a while by then, my parents bought a house one block over from the Weiss household.  By then, I had graduated college, but I lived with my parents for six months in that house before moving over to Los Angeles.  L.A. was a six-hour drive away, so after I moved away, I still drove back quite often to visit.

My family had (and still has) a connection with the Weiss family that is hard to explain, though those who grew up Air Force brats like me might have some idea.  When you live on an Air Force base, particularly Edwards, which is isolated in the middle of the desert, you form a bond with people that doesn't go away just because one family or the other moves.

I won't pretend Lindsay and I were best friends or anything.  We weren't.  When I lived in Arizona, and even when I moved out to California, Lindsay was a teenager, and she was doing what teenagers do, what they should do.  She was hanging out with her friends and being a kid.  But we were friends.  And over the last few years, I spent a little more time with Lindsay, making fun of our crazy moms and talking about television shows and movies we enjoyed.  I sent her copies of Felicity and Freaks and Geeks; she encouraged me to watch We Can Be Heroes and Young @ Heart.

Lindsay was an energetic, happy girl, and also stubborn and confident in what she wanted out of life.  This was obvious even when she was just in high school, and these qualities drew people to her wherever she went.  She spent the last six months or so working on ideas for my sister Noelle's nursery.  In July, Christine and I went to Arizona, along with my parents and Noelle, and worked on making Lindsay's ideas a reality.  In October, Lindsay drove with her mother, Alicia, up to Denver to see those ideas put together, and the result is just plain awesome.

The world lost a good one on November 1, 2009.  Lindsay Weiss was eight days past her 22nd birthday, and almost three years into her fight with Hodgkin's Lymphona when her body finally gave out and she got to rest.  She was with her family, and she went peacefully, which is all any of us can hope for, I suppose.

I've felt empty since my mom called to tell me the news on the morning of November 2, and I don't know when or if that emptiness will ever leave me.  But I'm getting through by reminding myself of the love Lindsay left behind, and the lives she touched while she was here.  On December 5, well over 100 of those lives will gather in Arizona to remember Lindsay and celebrate her.  It will be a time for happiness, but that doesn't mean it won't be sad.  Lindsay could best be described as a force, and when something like that is suddenly gone from your life, it's not something you get over quickly.

This is a clip from one of Lindsay's favorite movies. I can't hear this song without tearing up.

1 comment:

Orel said...

Beautifully written. Sorry for your loss, and thanks for sharing.