I met Telima when I was 16 and my family moved to Las Vegas. She told me once that she felt lonely in the church Young Women group, and needed a friend, and had decided I would be that friend. It makes me smile thinking about that. It took us a few months but soon we were best friends.
We made lots of plans about our future. We planned on being each others' maids of honor in our weddings, and then being pregnant together and our children being best friends.
And it looked like those dreams would all come true. We got engaged a day apart, and we got married 5 weeks apart. We were each others' maids of honor. So I was ecstatic when she became pregnant 2 months after I got pregnant with Cora. And when they both turned out to be girls, it couldn't have been more perfect.
And it all fell apart in a second.
I felt so robbed, and I very much envied Telima. Grief is a very selfish thing though, and I saw everything in reference to me.
When Telima called me to tell me that Katy was born, I was surprisingly okay at first. Maybe I had just turned myself off, I don't know. But then Katy woke up, and started to fuss a little, and Telima said "ooooh, shhhh baby girl." In that moment the sheer reality of what I had lost hit me. And not only that, but I and lost that friend that I had always done everything with. Suddenly she was on a different plane. She was doing something I wasn't able to do, and didn't really understand. And it hurt so badly.
She was so sweet. Even though Katy was crying, she wanted to stay on the phone to make sure I was okay.
So then on July 2, on Cora's 2 month birthday, we went through Utah on our way to Las Vegas and decided to stop in to visit Telima and newborn Katy. I was terrified. I wanted so much just to be happy for my best friend and her new little baby, but I didn't know what it would be like. It just hurt so much.
I remember sitting on the couch, holding this teeny little baby in my arms (who was ALSO a redhead! How adorable would that have been to have two little curly haired redheaded girls running around???). Emotions raged in my head but I held it all in. I just wanted to be happy for her.
And then I looked at Telima and she had tears running down her face. As I crumpled and the tears just started flowing, I realized something: it wasn't just my loss. I realized then just how many other people it had affected. Yes, Telima still had her daughter, but she had also had those dreams that we had shared of our daughters being best friends torn from her.
I know she doesn't think about it as often as I do. I know she doesn't feel that gaping hole that I do. But I do know that she occasionally wonders what it would have been like, and it's good to know I'm not alone in that.