Monday, June 27, 2011

14. give someone something I love

This is Sunny.
I know I've mentioned this before but this girl is the human embodiment of a ray of sunshine. She's bubbly and happy and sweet and genuine. If you're feeling nervous about clinical or giving a presentation, Sunny's right there, ready with words of encouragement. "You're AWESOME," she'll say with bright, earnest eyes and a big smile, "You can do it!"
She'll tell you you're a rock star and she means it, and then you start to believe it a little bit too.
I met Sunny at in September of 2009, the very beginning of my Master's program. She was in my class, another ger1atr1cs specialty gal. I remember on our first day we were all sitting in a classroom listening to announcements and whatnot and sizing each other up. I remember seeing her then, wearing some brightly colored long-skirt-over-leggings outfit and I remember thinking maybe I'll be friends with that girl. That's pretty rare for me. I don't tend to like people I first meet, especially before I've even talked to them, and especially when I'm in a brand-new social-anxiety-inducing situation. But on the third day of school Sunny came up to me as I was just getting settled in the back row of the big, auditorium classroom for one of our 200-person classes. "Hey, Julia, do you wanna come sit down there," she said, pointing to a cluster of seats in the fifth row, "with some of the girls from our specialty?" I told her, no, I always sat in the back because I didn't like being up so close.
"Well," said Sunny, "If you want to have friends, you should come up and sit with us." She actually said THOSE words to me and THEY DID NOT COME OFF SNARKY. She was smiling and inviting and actually gave me the impression that she wanted to be my friend. Oy, I feel like I'm telling a story about preschool, not GRAD SCHOOL, but yes, this is how socially awkward I am.
So Sunny and I have been friends since that day. We were partners in our assessment class and I am CERTAIN that I wouldn't have gotten through that first quarter of the program without her. Sunny barely knew me but she pulled me aside and asked what was wrong the day I came to class crying. She came over to my house and taught me how to assess the lungs after I missed that day of class. For two years she's been there for me whenever I needed to vent or cry; for two years she's been telling me that I would get through this program, we both would.
Sunny says I'm the strongest woman she knows, I say I'm only as strong as my friends have made me. Because I couldn't have made it as far as I have or gotten up after falling spectacularly without people like her willing to catch me.

Today Sunny and her fiance packed up their last few things and headed off on their long drive across the country. They're moving out east and getting married in August. When you see the two of them together they just make sense.
Sunny brings out the best in everyone, but Nick brings out the best in her.

At their goodbye party on Friday Sunny mentioned that she had been meaning to buy some glitter eyeshadow like mine but had kept forgetting to ask what it was or where I'd gotten it. I had wanted to give her some kind of going away present but I hadn't been able to think of anything so I decided to give her my eyeshadow.
I would have actually bought her some but this weekend happened to also include a quick jaunt to Tahoe (if the definition of the phrase 'quick jaunt' can be stretched to include 'five hours of me driving while KC napped'). Anyhow, I didn't have time to run to the store to actually buy her the eyeshadow since KC and I barely made it back in time to catch Stealing West. Sunny's been singing backup for her bro-in-law's band for awhile now and they put on a spectacular performance at the festival last weekend and again last night, their farewell show.
Several members of the band are moving soon, so the house was packed with their friends, cheering, dancing, and getting teary-eyed. After the set KC and I said goodbye to our friends. We hugged Sunny and Nick and promised to visit someday, maybe next year or the year after that. Sunny told me I'm a rock star and I'm going to be a great NP and I gave her my eyeshadows. Now her eyes can sparkle almost as much as her personality.
I'll miss you, girl. Go light up the world.