Today is such a difficult day for me. Two years ago on this day, I spoke to someone I loved dearly and told her how much she meant to me. I wish I had known that it would be the last time I would ever get to tell her that I loved her. Perhaps I would have said more, perhaps with more eloquence but there’s no going back. This person was Samanta Andrew and today would have been her birthday. Just a few short weeks later she tragically lost her life. With absolutely no warning, she was taken from us by an illness and since that day it seems that the sun shines a little less brightly. Sam was my neighbor but I grew up regarding her as my eldest sister.
In my youth, Sam was always at my house, with a smile, a hug and if I was lucky, with a batch of her yummy pancakes. As I grew up that relationship changed and she became a mentor, a partner in crime and someone I could turn to for advice. The years she spent in New Zealand were difficult but I always knew that she was an email away and I knew I could look forward to a visit in the future. When she left us, I tried to deal with it as best I could. I preferred to think that she went back to New Zealand and that there would be an email and a visit some day. That email never came and I know that that visit will never come but a part of me wants to hold on to her so much. I don’t want her memory to fade. I don’t want to lose her. My sister and I think of her all the time and we never realized how much she was a part of us until she was gone. She introduced my sister to her husband and spoke at their wedding. I always joked to her that she’d have to find me a husband too. She encouraged me to live my life fully and move to New Zealand as I always wanted to but now that she’s gone, that dream has died with her. It just wouldn’t be the same without Sam.
Sam will never truly leave us because her brother, Kevin’s youngest daughter and my niece have been named after her and that comforts me. They will grow up with a guardian angel to be reckoned with. Hopefully they’ll possess her zest for life. Already my niece reminds me so much of Sam. Little Gabby is never without a smile and has this really cute loud giggle. Sam used to laugh with everything in her. She never held back from joy. She loved manicured nails, animal print clothing, bling, fast cars, shoes and handbags and was every inch a lady… but one with such a distinct personality. She was a beautiful person inside and out. No one could resist her charm and she made friends easily. When she passed away, there were condolences from all over the world which goes to show how well loved Sam was. There are so many people still hurting from her loss. I sometimes get so angry that she didn’t take better care of herself. She was a nursing sister; couldn’t she have realized she was sick? Why didn’t she go to a doctor? Why did she leave us? But that’s selfish of me because I know that everyone has their time and I know that Sam is with God. I guess I can be a little envious of God because He gets to enjoy her company now.
I can’t hold back the tears anymore. It hurts so much to miss her. I’ve made a decision. Every year on the 5 of January, I will wear animal print and killer shoes and I’ll get a manicure to remind me to live like Sam lived, to remember to take care of myself and those around me, to be giving of myself and my time but not to lose myself in the process. I will always remember the sister of my heart.