Ode to Roxanne


I know it sounds kind of corny, but she would have liked it that way. Roxanne was a crazy, one of kind gal from New Brunswick, Canada. I can honestly say I have never met anyone like her, nor, I feel, will I ever again. Hence, her being one of a kind and all. If you are reading this and wondering who the heck Roxanne is. She was one of my best friends. She died suddenly, July 10th, 2007.
Here is a picture taken last summer with Rox in the middle. That is me and Lisa Hunt Hammer to your right.

Roxanne and I are complete opposites. We are both "baby girls", in that we were spoiled rotten growing up. Rox was an only child, I was the baby. Not a big difference. However, our personalities could not have been more opposite! Roxanne was loud and outgoing. Her humor could be crude. And she was always quick with a joke. She saw right through me. Maybe that is what bugged me so much. I could never get anything by her. She always knew when I had something on my mind and I needed to spit it out. Oh, and she had beautiful singing voice. And she loved to sing about Jesus.

Roxanne and I have known each other for almost 20 years! I am getting OLD! We met in the early 90's while following Southern Gospel Music (I know, I know). We ended up being roommates in our early 20's and that about nearly killed our friendship. I think it lasted a year. "Baby Girls" do not need to room together. We each want our own way, and lets just say it, Roxanne was bossy, and if you didn't do things her way, she got really ticked. In my 20's I was extremely passive. I had NO idea who I was. I was shy, withdrawn and I was depressed--a lot. I had a lot of growing up to do. Roxanne changed my life. She got me out doing things I had never done before. We were both stubborn and bull headed (spoiled brats we were!) :-) Eventually, she moved back to Canada. I eventually moved to Nashville. But not before I had graduated from Carson-Newman College and entered Graduate school, which, I might add, I completed! Roxanne encouraged me to grow and told me that I could do it. Even when I did not think I could. Not to say I did not have other encouragers along the way. I did.

How did I know Roxanne made a huge impact in my life? Besides being one of my biggest cheerleaders along the way? Well, my mom thought she was being a bad influence on me! Ha! Just cause she was taking me out every weekend to see these singing groups!! Roxanne and I often laugh about that because when we were roommates, I was the one that introduced her to gasp, alcohol! Wine Coolers, I think? Too funny, now, to think about that. Just who was the bad influence???
We both went with a group to Hawaii in gosh, 1991 or 1992???????? I honestly do not remember. But we had a blast. God had a special place for Roxanne in my life. I met some very wonderful people. People, who today, I still care about very deeply. I have other friends, I have friends that I have been friends with longer than Roxanne. Each friend has their own influence for their own time. I think God placed Roxanne in my life because I needed a good, stiff, kick in the butt to change things going on in my life. Roxanne never cared to lay it out straight for you, whether it was for your own good or not. She was ALWAYS honest and upfront. Except for the pain she often felt.

Roxanne had had a rough few years. She had some chronic illnesses, she struggled with addiction and depression. I have to be honest and say that when I talked to Roxanne on the phone or saw her in person, she wasn't the same girl I met 20 years ago and that was hard. It made me really, really sad. I worried about her. I cried and prayed over her. I tried to be the best friend that I could be being several thousand miles away. There isn't a lot you can do for a person who is hurting in another country except pray for them and tell them how much you love them.

I do have to say though, this last year Roxanne made some tremendous changes in her lifestyle and health. The last time I spoke with her she sounded like Roxanne. She wasn't letting the depression and the chronic pain overtake her life anymore. She, in my opinion, was starting to heal. She was not longer allowing illness to become her identity. She had lost 50 pounds. She was on an upswing.

So why? Why did she have to stop breathing in the middle of the night and die? Why wasn't she wearing her CPAP machine? Actually, I know why. She had fallen asleep without it. I am sure she had done it many times. Only this time, it mattered.

I had the honor and privilege to speak at Roxanne's funeral. I didn't know if I was going to get through it or not, but thank God that I did. It was hard coming up with something special to say about someone who's time, I felt, was cut short. Well, in the end, I was honest. As glad as I am that Roxanne is in heaven and that she will never feel pain anymore, I was honest. I wanted my friend back. But that is just selfish of me. See, there is still some "baby girl" left in me today. I would love to have my friend back.


But I bet she wouldn't trade places with where she is sitting now! And I know she is sitting up in heaven just waiting to give me another swift kick in the butt if I need it!
There is so much more to be said but I would be here all night. I hope this did her justice, cause she deserves the best!


I love you Roxanne!


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