Six years ago this summer, my dear, dear friend Audrey Chapman died way too early in life at the age of 42. Audrey was a shining light in this world and was one of my best friends. She had qualities that all of us might aspire to obtain: she was a great listener, caring, interested, and interesting.
Audrey was one of the kindest people I ever knew.
One of her favorite things in life was a good romantic comedy. She was a film nut, and she was also an award-winning screenplay writer, who aspired to walk the red carpet some day. She would definitely have done that if she were alive today. Audrey would go to see a romantic comedy in the theater -- five times. That was her passion, see it in the theater, five times. She was also my best movie consultant. As a lightweight, not wanting to see much more than G, or at the most, PG-rated movies, she would call me immediately after seeing a movie and say, "Camp (her nickname for me), DON'T go see this movie. Or, "Camp, you will LOVE this movie."
Audrey knew me. Isn't that the greatest part of any best friend? She knew my loves and likes and disdains, which she carried around with her to inform her interactions with me.
There were things that drove me crazy about Audrey, and now I miss each and every one of those things.
Audrey was a terrible driver. She would accelerate and de-accelerate the gas pedal continuously while driving. This created a lot of distress for me. She also would drive right behind the bumper of the person in front of her. I guarantee you that not everyone who does this to you is an awful person, because Audrey was the sweetest person. She just didn't have a clue.
Audrey was a night owl, she went to bed about 4 AM and woke up around noon. We all wanted to fix that aspect of her. Why?? The great benefits were that I always had hilarious phone messages and emails waiting for me in the morning when I woke up that she had sent while I was sleeping. Also, if I ever needed to talk with anyone in the middle of the night, yup, Audrey was there with arms wide open, just waiting to take my call.
It just shows you that whatever you think needs changing in a relationship just might be something you miss if the relationship ends.
The thing I miss the most is that she used to call me nearly every day for a long, long stretch of our relationship. Always happy to talk with me, always interested. It is the thing I miss the very most.
Audrey was physically beautiful, she stopped people in their tracks. But most importantly, Audrey was inwardly beautiful. When you were with her, she always made you feel as though you were the only person in the room. As an investigative journalist, she delved into the details of your life as though she were writing a story for the New York Times, with attention to every detail.
Audrey -- I miss you soooooooooooooooo much. I see people on the street or in a coffee shop that remind me of you every once in awhile, and I want to go up to them and ask if they will be my friend.
I don't fully know how to celebrate you in your absence. I've become more comfortable talking with you even though you are not here. I hope to become more like you.
I am so very grateful for you.
I hope you are married to some hot guy with twins in tow on the other side of this life, since you always wanted the romantic fairy tale.
RIP my love.