Syd loved Christian music. She also loved the Backstreet Boys, but that’s a different story. I got the pleasure, the blessing to have her in my life for the past 4 years. I don’t know how to write this, if we’re being honest. I don’t know how to say goodbye to one of the best people I have ever know, but I’ll try.
Syd loved Christian music, we used to jam to it all the time in her black Nissan. (Pepe was his name) Worshiping God in a non-traditional setting was easy with her- we’d just roll down the windows, turn up the music, and sing (neither of us sang well, but Jesus doesn’t care.) We talked about God a lot; how we didn’t understand how “he works,” wondering how he picked the color of the sky, how his word could be so misinterpreted, how we didn’t understand Him…. I still don’t understand any of those things, especially the last one. God, I don’t understand why you took Sydney, but there’s one thing she taught me about you- I have to trust you. She always trusted you, through every relationship, every test, every day- she trusted you. That was always hard for me; I rarely trust you. But now, I have to because my heart is splitting inside my chest and I have to trust that your plan is sovereign, I know she did.
Sydney and I met through the Peer Leadership program at WT in 2013. We were doing a team building activity and she and I ended up on the same team. I don’t know why, but we just gravitated to each other and that’s where our friendship started. Pretty soon after, we were completely inseparable- you couldn’t find us apart because we couldn’t image in. It’s so hard for me to talk about her in past tense because she never was past tense. Anything that happened before, she would tell me to let go of it because this is the present and life is a present.
Of course her and I fought, there’s no pair of girls that haven’t fought in their friendship. The beautiful thing about the friendship we shared was the elasticity of it. Whenever we fought, we’d be mad for 24 hours max and then one would text the other and say sorry and it would be done. Having a friendship like the one we had helped me realize how friendships should be: compassionate, forgiving, unconditionally loving. I am so lucky, so incredibly lucky to have had Sydney in my life.
We had a friend that had cancer, a cancer they hadn’t found an effective cure/treatment plan for. Since Syd was going to be a nurse, she researched this cancer and educated herself on every treatment, every side effect, every possibility. Our friend decided to have a surgery that no one had ever come out of alive. We stayed up all night praying for him, waiting by the phone for a call. The next day at around 11, he called. He was alive and they had gotten the cancer- he was alive! We screamed and cried and thanked God for his mercy and his faithfulness. I’m having a hard time having faith in God right now.
Sydney made my whole life better. When we had to wake up early in the morning to do peer leading stuff, she always made sure to put on music while we both straightened our hair- neither of us liked to talk in the morning. We ate lunch together every day. Her students were mine, and vise versa. She loved sweet tea and macaroni from Chicken Express- it was our Saturday night ritual. We loved to make people laugh, we made each other laugh until we cried. We listened to the Backstreet Boys ALL the time, and I can still see her, hear her yelling “BACK. STREET’S. BACK. ALRIGHT!”
She was out of town for my graduation, but she texted me and told me how proud she was of me and that she loved me- it meant the world to me. As we grew, life got complicated and we didn’t get to see each other much; nevertheless, we always texted each other to catch up. We always made sure that the other knew that they were loved and cared for. I’ll miss those talks so much.
I could write a hundred million words and tell you a hundred million stories, but that won’t make her come back. I just want her to come back. I know that we all do. I feel so guilty that we drifted, that we let life take our friendship into text messages and missed calls, but I don’t regret our friendship. A friendship that always felt like coming home- a compassionate, loving, never judgmental, heart warming friendship that I will never regret.
I wish you weren’t gone, Syd. I wish you were still here with Cody, making the world bright and shiny. But, God gave you your wings early. I’m sure they’re turquoise and leopard print, just like we joked about them being. Even though you’re gone right now, I still feel you. I know you’re comforting me as I’m writing this, telling me “good job!” because you know that writing is the only way that I know how to express myself. I know that one of the rays of the sun is you- shining on the prairie, dancing on the ocean. I know that when you left us, you trusted God’s sovereign plan. I know you sang, “hallelujah, by and by..” and you flew away with God.
I will always miss you, my sweet friend. I know you’re resting easy, probably on a cloud with some sweet tea, Cody, and that big ol’ smile you were famous for. I love you, Syd.