Each life that touches ours for good

This is a picture of me and my roommates at the beginning of my junior year of college. The girl in the pink dress is my roommate Lexi. She moved into our apartment the year before, when I was a sophomore and she was a freshman. I had moved into the apartment with two of my roommates from the dorms the summer after our freshman year, and so we were a little hesitant when someone new moved in a few months later. Even worse, she was a brand new freshman (since we were so much more mature as sophomores). I really wasn't sure if Lexi and I would get along. We were opposites in so many ways. She always had lots of friends, especially boys, over to hang out; I was socially awkward and had trouble convincing guys to even talk to me. I loved to cook and sew, but Lexi had no domestic skills. She was an engineering major because she loved science and math, and I was an English major. I'm neurotic about details, and she forgot where she parked her car (more than once). But we lived together for two years and really grew to love each other. She was the kind of person who always had a smile and always reached out to you. When I went on my mission she wrote me a few times, and when I got home she emailed to tell me that she had gotten engaged. While I was gone she had graduated and gone to work for an engineering firm in Salt Lake. She met a guy there who was also an engineer and who also loved the outdoors. They got married in May, shortly after I got back to Utah, and Mr. Fob and I went to her wedding reception (then we went back to Provo and shared our first kiss). Because she lived in Salt Lake and I lived in Provo, we actually didn't keep in touch very much. Despite our best intentions we never did get together for dinner or anything. A year or so passed by. Then one slow Friday afternoon at work I got the newspaper (the Deseret News still delivered in the afternoon then). There was a front-page article about a couple that had been killed by lightning while hiking the previous day. I didn't have to read the names--I could recognize Lexi's family from the photographs. Stunned, I called Mr. Fob and cried. Then I went home from work and cried some more. A few days later two of my former roommates and I attended the funeral. It's been almost six years since then and I often think about Lexi and her family. It's hard to lose a loved one, especially one who didn't live for very long and didn't have the chance to do more with their life.

One of the things that reminds me about Lexi is a plant I have sitting on my entertainment center. I bought it years ago in an attempt to green up our apartment a little. Miraculously, it has managed to survive to this day. I've tried to kill it through neglect a few times, but each time it has recovered. When I left on my mission, I gave it to Lexi to take care of. And then I forgot about it, more or less. I didn't think it would last the two years until I got back to Utah. But when I was at her reception, Lexi took a minute to take me in the house to show me the plant. She'd even bought a new pot for it when it outgrew the old one. Now whenever I see my plant I smile and think of her. But the time has come to pass this plant on to a new friend. It's large and the pot is heavy, so carrying around in our car for a month this summer isn't an option. I'm going to try planting a cutting from it, since that has worked out well before. It makes me sad to give away my plant, but I hope that someone will take good care of it and think of me when they see it.

Comments

Wow. What a beautiful tribute. Maybe take a few cuttings and pass them on with the story. I would hate for it to die.

I really love that song, by the way. There aren't very many hymns about friendship. "When such a friend from us departs, we hold forever in our hearts . . ." The beauty of the gospel is that friendships are forever too, not just families.

I think your aside about her wedding day being your first kiss with Mr. Fob is also very sweet.

Thanks all around for the great uplift first thing on this Monday morning.
Desmama said…
That was a beautiful tribute. It's interesting how we can grow to love those who seem to be so different from us at the outset.
Seeker said…
That was beautiful. I think about Lexi quite a bit too. Do you remember the fish she had on the tables at her wedding? She gave me one. It died about a year after she did. I don't know why but I cried just as hard when that fish died as when she did. It was like losing that last bit of connection with her. I hope your cuttings take root and work.

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