Friends for Life

Friends for Life

We all have that one person who we say will be our friend for life, right? Sonia is my “friend for life”. We met in the third grade. Sonia was one in a million. She was friends with everyone. Marrying a man in the military brought her all around the country, but we always kept in close contact by talking on the phone (yes, this was back when people still talked on the phone) and sending each other birthday and Christmas presents.

Oh and because she didn’t let it define her, I left out a little something…Sonia was born with Cystic Fibrosis. If you are unfamiliar with Cystic Fibrosis, here is a short description from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation page:

What Is Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that:
• clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections; and
• obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.

In the 1950s, few children with cystic fibrosis lived to attend elementary school. Today, advances in research and medical treatments have further enhanced and extended life for children and adults with CF. Many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s and beyond.

Sonia had many inpatient hospital stays for treatment, as well as doing many treatments daily her whole life. This was part of her life and she was so good about doing it. She was also a member of CF groups online where she did what she could to try to help others suffering with this horrible disease.

sonia and I

Sonia and me

With all of this, she still found time to volunteer with animal shelters. Sonia was a big dog lover and would spend a lot of time walking dogs that didn’t have any family to love them. You can almost see how big her heart was, can’t you?

In 2010, my world came crashing down. Sonia had an infection and was not doing well. A group of her closest friends made the trip to see her in Texas, where she was living at that time. We got the call on the way there that Sonia had passed away. We were so lucky to have each other right then and there, we needed each other. This was some of the hardest news we’ve ever had to swallow. What we didn’t know is how much closer this trip would make us. We laughed, we cried, and there were several times we knew Sonia was there with us.

To honor Sonia, we started an annual walk in her memory. The money raised goes to Cystic Fibrosis to help those who need it for medicine (CF medicine is very expensive), going to college and so much more.

So Sonia is my friend for life. She may no longer be physically with us, but there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of her. Life really is too short, so hug your friends and let them know how much they mean to you!

photo credit: chiarashine via photopin cc

Gena

My name is Gena. I am a mother of 2 amazing girls (E ’08 and N ’11). My husband and I have been together for many years and married since 2006. We both work full-time…read more

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About Gena

My name is Gena. I am a mother of 2 amazing girls (E ’08 and N ’11). My husband and I have been together for many years and married since 2006. We both work full-time...read more More Posts

27 Comments to “Friends for Life”

  1. Oh Gena, I’m so sorry for your loss. Sonia always sounds so wonderful with every story you share.

  2. So touching. Thanks for sharing, Gena.

  3. Thanks for sharing Gena!

  4. Wonderful message about cherishing friendships…. :)

  5. It is amazing how you have taken something heart breaking and found a way to make it into something positive by remembering her with your walk. I met my best friend in 3rd grade as well. I can’t imagine my life without her and my heart goes out to you. Thanks for sharing your story. It has reminded me of what is important :)
    Stopping by from the SITS Tribe and looking forward to getting to know you better!

  6. Thank you Angela! The best way we could think to celebrate her life was by doing what we can to help others with CF. Thanks for your kind words and thanks for stopping by!

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  27. […] Read how Sonia’s friend, Gena was touched by her friendship. […]

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