We all go through the Roller Coaster.

Thank you so much for the emails and DMs about my hiatus. Many may not have noticed at all but I am so appreciative of the ones that did. Those TRUE friends and family that actually notice or feel your presence missing. Those are the people to cherish. The people to unconditionally appreciate. Life gets the best of us sometimes. Sometimes we just can’t handle it. We lose our motivation. We lose our light. We sometimes lose our passion. It happened to me this past month. It happens to the best of us.

In less than a month I lost my car, lost a great, great friend of mine, and almost lost my home. Can you imagine feeling all of those things back to back in the span of fewer than 3 weeks?! They say “it comes in 3s” right? It sure does … and I’ll admit it. Life knocked me on my ass.

I think the part that hit me the most. Was as I was weeping and wallowing in my own self-pity of losing my car (due to a car accident of no fault of my own) and thinking so selfishly of myself and only myself. I walked into work Monday morning to walk past a table at the front door of our employee entrance and glanced a picture of my dear friend, Franz Mascarenhas. It didn’t register at first. I’ve seen this table so many times at the front. I’ve walked past it, and I would see a picture on the table with a black box behind it and same the white candles placed beside the frame. My company does this in remembrance of one of our staff passing. This particular cloudy morning my friend’s picture was there … and I couldn’t understand why. 

At first, I honestly thought it was a joke, but it couldn’t be. I work for a billion dollar company. They don’t play these types of jokes.  I was walking in with my another friend of mine, Felix, and when I saw the picture I stopped and immediately grabbed my chest because my heart hurt. I looked at Felix and said confusingly “Franz died?!?!” and he sadly looked down and said “yes” and as we walked to our office Felix explained to me that my good friend passed the morning before from a Heart Attack. Even now as I type the words, tears run down my face because I just still can’t believe it. 

Franz was a fierce soul. Loving and charismatic. Funny, witty, and his presence was always strongly felt whenever he was in the room. He was that favorite Uncle we all have that brings nothing but good times. He was my work Uncle. Always making sure I was fed, always around to cheer me up and make me laugh when I needed it. Showing me crazy videos he saw on YouTube or FaceBook and during the great election of Trump/Clinton he was one of my fiercest competitors. I worked with him for over a year as an Overnight Auditor for my organization before I switched over to be a “day-walker” in my company’s accounting department. Within that year he became one of my closest friends and one of the people that always made my shift brighter when he was on it. I loved him. Everyone did.

This was a sudden shock and blow to my heart. As I sat at my desk and thought how the last time I seen him would be the last time I would ever see him. The last hug we shared would be the last time I would be able to say goodbye and how the very last thing he did for me, was to stop what he was doing, to check if my dinner was ready. That was the type of man he was. Always concerned with others. Always the one to make sure everyone was ok. I painfully dawned on me that I’ll never see him again. His family, his wife and beautiful daughters that he always talked about, would never see him again. He was gone. I could no longer pick up the phone, dial 4 numbers, and hear his unique and distinct accent on the other end. A voice that by just hearing will give anyone the biggest smile, ear to ear. Sadly, we haven’t discovered communication services capable to reach heaven (besides prayer), and If you were ever lucky enough to ever met Franz, you unmistakably and wholeheartedly would know Franz is in heaven. We all know God has a sense of humor and Franz loved to make people smile. There’s absolutely no way the powers above could pass up an amazing time with my amazing friend. This Monday morning completely changed things for me. My problems seemed so small and so fixable. His family’s loss was not. 

It really gives you perspective. You realize that “everything is figure-out-able” (as my good friend Marie Forleo would say) and it also makes you hold dear the things you love most and be thankful that you’re still able to even feel the pain. In life, we go through the ups and downs. I’ve had more than my fair share. Still … I remain positive in knowing there is always another day. I will surely miss my friend but his absence will serve as a constant reminder to chase after my dreams, as he always told me to, and to live each day to my fullest. To travel with my children around the world and build memories just as he did. Despite any obstacles or challenges life has chosen to throw at me. 

Thank you Franz for your friendship. Most importantly thank you for reminding me that with family …. another day will always rise again. 

Your friend forever, 
Crystal ♥

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