Everything seems completely different and strange the moment that you realize that you have lost a loved one. As you're going about your normal routine you get that phone call and the person on the other end cannot hide the truth no matter how hard they try.
As I was leaving my karate class tonight, I checked my voice mail and my sister said, "I just needed to tell you something important and I didn't know where you were and when you plan on being back." So I called her. That's when I knew it, something was wrong. "Well, I just need to tell you something about someone in Moorpark."
"Well, what is it?"
"Well, I'll just tell you when you get home."
"Tell me now..."
"I just don't know if you can handle it while you're driving."
"Just tell me . . . "
"Well, Ginger . . . . passed away."
That's when it struck me. Driving home from karate class on a Friday night I found out that someone I have known and been friends with my whole life is no longer here. She left suddenly and no one seems to really know why. She just didn't wake up and her husband, 4 young children, and family and friends are all shocked.
All the memories and conversations, arguments, parties, and laughter flood through your head so fast that you can't comprehend it all. Questions that I wish could be answered pop up furiously like on a computer screen. It is as if it is all a dream, but I know it has to be real, because no dream would be this clear.
Ginger, the girl who always asked me when I was going to have my birthday party (ironically, tomorrow is my birthday) because she wanted to make sure that nothing conflicted. "You're parties are always the best! I never want to miss them."
The one who I will always think of every time I hear the song, "Eternal Flame" and see her lipsinging in the ward talent show at 11 years old.
The one who I sat with almost every day at lunch Freshman year (the only year she actually went to Moorpark High).
The girl who always shared a tent with me at Girl's Camp and made sure that my shorts were to my knees or my fingertips, whichever was longer.
We snuck up to "convenient" every time she came over to fill up on chocolate and treats, things she was forbidden to have at home.
She laughed at me as she hit me in the face with a snowball and I jumped on her and pushed her three feet deep into the soft snow on a ski trip to Mammoth Mountain.
She has four beautiful children who look just like her and will always remind her family and friends of her every time they see them.
I have known Ginger as long as I can remember. I can't tell you when we first met. She was just always there from the moment we moved to California in 1985. I can't tell you when we became friends. When someone who you have known for that long is gone the whole world seems to flip upside down in an instant and you feel like you are left clinging to whatever you can grab just so that you don't fly right off the edge of the planet.