Thanks to upstart_crow, eyes_of_cyrene, talix18, emeraldkitty, possibly wispfox, ian_gunn, bjorng, crisavec, possibly morenasangre - have I mentioned how broken this code is? - and several more, we're up to $910!
When you do make your donation to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, I ask that you make it in memory of Liz Shappee. tx_db8r on LJ. Liz was 20 years old when she died this March, and just a few days away from her wedding day.
What struck me most about this, when I heard, was
a) I did not know her nearly well enough. Not nearly as well as she deserved. And now I never could.
b) She wasn't done. 20 years old. She would never get married. Never graduate college. Never do so many of the things she planned to do. So young. She was. not. done.
Multiple sclerosis robbed her of that.
This is what her fiance Daniel said about her, when I said I wish I'd known her better...
Liz was the most wonderful person that anybody could have ever known. I'm a bit biased, though. Liz loved to collect things. Anything. Movies. Books. Grand Champion Horses. Barbies. Cat Figurines. Lighthouses. And most importantly to her... Eeyores. She loved ice cream, dark chocolate, popsicles, fudge... basically anything that wasn't quite good for you. She loved to watch movies and tv on the couch with me. We would watch TV on Thursday and Friday nights... all night... with either her head in my lap, or mine in hers.
Liz loved to have me stand behind her when she was at her computer, and kiss the top of her head. Afterwards, she'd lean back and stare at me until I kissed her lips. Only then would I be permitted to leave. :-) We kissed a lot, although many times, it was across a crowded room, or even between rooms (she'd make a loud kissing sound at me until I'd return it). She always wanted to hold hands. We could be doing anything, and she'd be happy so long as I had her hand in mine. I didn't mind one bit.
Liz loved to read about all the neat people on LJ. She was a bit too self-conscious after all this to go to an LJ meetup, though -- We were both serious homebodys. As long as we were with each other, everything was good.
Liz was vivacious in her own way, although I doubt very much she'd agree with me. She was always willing to try new things (in the bedroom and out) just so long as I'd try them with her. She was always trying terribly hard to make me happy... and never realized that simply having her around was all the I needed. The reverse is also true, though. I did everything possible to make her happy. She was quite spoiled after a while. I still simply couldn't say no. I still think I have should have earned a frequent buyer discount at the Eeyore... er... Disney Store.
Liz had terrible money sense. I mean terrible. I'm still getting overdraft notices from her checking account. That's fine. It's just one of her quirks and they're even more endearing now.
Liz also had horrible cleaning habits. I was very accustomed to having a tidy, if not clean, home. When Liz moved in, that not-so-slowly moved into having a home that looked like the result of a small tornado. I'd probably categorize Liz as an F4 or so. That was fine, though. I soon learned to live with it and clean up on my own if I wanted to have it presentable for company. I'd try to guilt her about it once in a while, and she'd always respond, but being tidy is just not something that Liz was. From her friends, I found out that this was true for all of her life.
Liz possitivly impacted everyone that she touched. I was astounded at number of new and old faces that attended her funeral. People that she'd worked with for only a week before they grew sick of Liz's working environment attended because they were torn up to see her gone.
She's not gone, though. She's still deep in my heart. I can feel her watching over me and occasionally hugging me when I really need it (did I mention that she was all about the hugs?)
I hope I've given you some insight into her and her life. She is such a wonderful person that I simply cannot perceive how people would not like her. Again. I'm biased -- I was going to marry her and wanted nothing less than spending our entire lives together.
Okay. I can't write any more or I'm going to lose it again.
Thanks for being her friend, even if you'd never met personally.
Her MS was a shadow that hung over us both since it was discovered last November, but we were both determined to truck on the best we could and not lot it affect us too terribly much. She was an absolute trooper about it. I tried to be strong for both of us, anyways, but I'm simply not as strong as her. The funny part is that her folks thought that I'd leave her once we discovered it, and I did think about it... for about 3 seconds. It simply didn't matter. She was worth going through any hardship for, and while she was in the hospital, there was quite some hardship for us... and yet she was smiling and holding my hand the entire time. (And I was there with her for all except 8 hours. I had basically been ordered to go home or they'd have to admit me for fatigue. Of course, she understood.)
So now you know something about Liz.
I often feel powerless - I want to cure everyone, save everyone. I can't do much, when it comes down to it, especially in my condition.
But, dammit - I can write.
And I can reach out to you.
That was Liz. She was a nifty person. And she's gone because of this disease.
What can you do?
Give a little money to help find a cure.
Thank you. *hugs*
The 'thon is on, y'all!