Last month, this world lost a very special soul. Her name was JoEm Purdy and she was like a second mom to me. I grew up knowing JoEm as one of my mom's dearest friends, someone my mom could always count on, confide in and--equally as important--laugh with. She was a beautiful woman in every sense of the word. Looking back, if I'm being honest, I had a little crush on her when I was growing up. Of course, I can only see that now. Back then, I knew I just really liked having her around.
She and my mom met back in college on sorority row. Since those days in college, they've been connected at the hip. By watching their friendship, my mom silently instilled in me the importance of true friends and how relationships--no matter what they look like--need to be cared for, nurtured and cherished.
After JoEm got sick 3 years ago, I began mourning the thought of losing her. What would my mom do? What about her husband? Her beautiful children? How will they ever go on without the bright light of JoEm in their lives? Imagining that it was my mom who was ill brought me to my knees on more than one occasion in gratitude and sadness.
And then the day came last month. And with her family by her side, JoEm faced her passing with immeasurable dignity and grace.
Today is her memorial (they waited so loved ones from out of town could make it) and I wanted to lift her up to the world and say JoEm, we love you and we miss you.