Beautiful – Loyal – Strong – Supportive – Loving – Genuine – Appreciative – Sincere – Giving – Honest – Bold – Devoted – Dedicated – Dependable and the Greatest Fighter I have ever met.
All of these, are words that I would use to describe my very dear friend Dee Romero.
Devoted – Dee was the most devoted friend on the planet, and I was proud to have been one of her closest and BEST FRIENDS. As her friend, I always knew the things that she loved most in this world and those she was devoted to. Her family, her sons, granddaughter, her “Boo”, sisters, friends, and her work were all among her deepest devotions.
Dee and I met while standing in line at Sheridan High School on registration day for our sons, as they started their Freshman year in 2004. I don’t remember who started the conversation that day, but I do know, from that day on, we could talk about anything, anybody, and everything, on any given day, and we could talk for hours and hours and hours at a time no matter where we were. Our husbands used to have to pry us apart from each other…… and as we were being pulled away she would put her hand up to ear to mimic a phone, and mouth the words “Call me!” And I would make the gesture back and say “Ok I will.”
Our boys were in the Marching Band together for several years, and the day I joined the Band Boosters and went to my first meeting, Dee was there. I was so excited to see her and I said “Yay –my new best friend!” From there we spent many many days together in meetings, at football games, at parades, at concerts, competitions, award ceremonies, picnics, trips to Pueblo and Grand Junction, and just any event that our boys had at school, we were there together.
After our boys graduated, we continued to be close friends and always stayed in contact with each other. We spent a lot of time together, hanging out, SHOPPING, at parties and family events, but our favorite was probably just going out for breakfast, where SHE would always be the first one there, tell the waiter there were 3 or 4 of us coming so we could get the bigger table, and then tell them later that the others never showed up. Then we would eat breakfast, stay for lunch and then realize by the time dinner came, we’d better leave and let them have their BIG table back. She always joked and said “They never let us stay for dinner!”
If you were a friend of Dee’s, there were certain things that she expected from the friendship and there were so many things that she gave. I learned a great deal about what it means to be a TRUE FRIEND from Dee and I thank God every day for letting her be such a HUGE part of my life.
Genuine – Dee had the most genuine heart of anyone I’ve ever known. She was a true and honest person and let you know her thoughts on any matter with complete honesty. She could read people and always searched for friends who were genuine. She could tell right off the bat if they were “fake”, and always said she desired true friends and people she knew were genuine and that she could trust. She would often tell me “I can see in your eyes how sweet and sincere you are.” And I knew every time we were together she was reading me or looking deeper into my soul to see what kind of person I was.
Honest – Sometimes Dee could be brutally honest. She rarely held anything back and was very bold in speaking her mind. I don’t know how many times my jaw dropped to the floor in shock over the things she would sometimes say. Yet, sometimes it was for that very reason that I LOVED to talk with her. She was ALWAYS on MY side! If I needed to vent about things going on in my life I knew I could talk with her, tell her what was going on and she would always say things like “Well that low down good for nothing blah blah blah blah blah blah………” and she would let it all out say all the things that I was thinking but never had the courage or boldness to say. Then I would leave the restaurant all relieved saying “Whew – I’m so glad I got that off my chest!” When actually SHE was the one who really got it off for both of us.
Dependable – If Dee said she was going to do something – She did it! I always knew I could depend on her for anything. She never cancelled on me and always did what she said she would do. She looked after my son for me on many occasions at school events when I wasn’t always able to be there. If they were overnight events, she always chaperoned and I never had to worry because I knew Dee was looking out for my son. Again, she was ALWAYS on my side, knowing that kids will be kids, but they always need an adult there to keep them in line. And she was that responsible adult. Always!
Giving – Dee was an amazing Giver. Along with looking after my kids, if they were hungry or I forgot to leave them with money, there were several times when I would call on Dee and she would feed them or give them money to help me out, and NEVER wanted payment in return. She would always say “Nope – you look out for mine and I look out for yours.”
She was also a secret and sneaky giver. There were several times that my doorbell would ring and I would go to answer it and no one was there, but there was a HUGE basket of goodies for Christmas or my Birthday sitting there. A couple of times I would see her little blue car turning the corner driving away all fast and I would think “That little rat, she did it again!” And they were not simple little gifts, they were elaborate, decked out gifts in huge baskets that I would dig into and they would never end. I would often feel guilty for the small measly gift I gave her that never quite compared.
Loyal – Loyalty meant a great deal to Dee. In friendship she was loyal, at home she was loyal and at work she was loyal. She gave loyalty and she always expected it in return.
Supportive – Dee was the biggest encourager and supporter of anything that I took on in my life. She was always excited for me and wanted to be a part of it. If I was selling children’s books, she was buying them from me for her granddaughter. When I took on photography, she always would tell me all the cool things I could take pictures of and would refer people to me for photo shoots. When I started singing and writing songs, she was the first to buy my CD and had me sing at her Cancer Buddy Banquets. Her favorite song that she had me sing was called “It’s Just the Beginning”. She loved how it talked about the trials that we face down here and how they seem so overwhelming, but to God, who sees the BIG picture, it’s just the beginning. Even in death, though we may see it as the end, to God, it’s just the beginning. If I was just at her house when she had me over with friends, she would gather everyone around to hear me sing, and often times tears would just stream down her face. I LOVED her support.
Appreciative – Dee was a very independent and capable woman. Especially after her husband died. Her favorite phrase was “Well I guess I’m just gonna have to put my big girl panties on and take care of it myself.” And boy did she ever take care of things!
There were times though, when she did call on me for help. When she was having her double mastectomy, she asked me to step in for her at her Cancer Buddy Banquet to write a letter of appreciation to her cancer buddy. Because she had just had surgery, we were never able to compile the letter she wanted to write, but she did have me go in her place and sing that day. She loved the Cancer Buddy program and all of the people there who supported one another and she bragged to me ALL the time about how much they helped her and how much she appreciated them.
Any time that I helped her with Adam or gave her a gift or sent her flowers when her chemo treatments were done, you would have thought that I had saved the world – because she would thank me up and down over and over and over and tell me how amazing I was. She appreciated everything and always made me feel special even in her “Thank Yous”.
There was nothing that I wouldn’t do for her. She knew that I could never say “no” to her and it broke my heart the day she asked me to help write her eulogy. But being the charmer that she was, she would bat her eyes and tell me what a good writer I was. Even as I sat there crying unable to answer her, she would not let me leave until I said I would do it.
At Christmas she asked me to learn one of her favorite songs for her because she thought my voice would be perfect for it. I struggled to learn it, and perhaps I put it off because I knew it would be one of the last things I would ever do for her. But I did learn the song and was blessed to have been able to sing it to her the morning that she died. I thanked her for always letting me sing to her, but when she got to heaven she would hear a chorus of angels singing, and it would be the most beautiful thing she ever heard.
The Sunday before she died, I was able to sit and talk with her while she had a host of friends and family around her. I sat next to her and held her hand as more people would come in to see her. I would try to step away and let other people gather around her, but she would hold my hand tight and say to me “Don’t go.” Again, she would always say the words that were on my mind and that I wanted to say out loud. I so badly wanted to say to her “Don’t go!! Don’t go!!”
When she died I felt as though God was pulling her from me the way our husbands used to pull us apart from each other when we weren’t ready to say “goodbye”. I don’t think there would ever have been a time that I would have been ready. But I trust that she is with the Almighty God right now and she is no longer in pain, and there is no more cancer. I loved her here as best as I could and I know that you all did too, but God is lavishing HIS love on her now and I know she is getting the peace and happiness that she so deserved, because she was a good and faithful servant and she was an AMAZING FRIEND.
She had an incredible life down here and touched so many people, but now “It’s Just the Beginning” of her new life with God in her eternal home.
I LOVE YOU my beautiful, strong and loving friend. Know that every time I sing “Hallelujah” down here, I am thinking of you and hearing you sing “Hallelujah” up there.