May 23, 2017

The Loss Of A Pure Soul

Margie Stufflebean
December 29, 1980 - March 15, 2017
This hurts.  This hurts a lot.  I know that there's nothing I could ever write on here that is worthy of paying the proper honor and respect to her life and her memory.  Certainly, there were many who knew her much better than I did, but I will do my best.

Although I knew who she was prior to meeting her, Margie and I first met and became friends in February 1997.  We were 16 years old at the time.  She immediately struck me as genuine and authentic.  When you talked to Margie, you got the real Margie, whether you were her closest friend or a stranger saying hello at a coffee shop.  She had gone though more hell than I could ever imagine a single person going through in her childhood, and still she had a smile on her face and nothing but pure kindness in her heart and in her words and actions towards others; even those who didn't deserve it.

When I had no one to turn to, Margie was there.  When I was at my lowest point, Margie was there.  She was honest, but never judgmental.  Warm, but never condescending.  She was one of the true genuinely good people I have had the privilege to know.

I lost touch with Margie when I moved to Nebraska in 2002.  By the time I came back to Pennsylvania, she had moved.  I bumped into her a few times in the years that followed.  The last time I saw her was when I bumped into her randomly at college in 2008.  I didn't even know she was on campus.  I was headed to class and didn't want to be late, and she was headed somewhere else, so we didn't really have time for more than a quick hug and a hello.  We talked a few times though MySpace,  but we never had the chance to hang out again.  I guess I thought there would always be time for us to catch up, maybe have a cup of coffee and talk about old times when we were staying with Tina in Ebervale, or when we'd play Metroid on the tv in her mom's living room, or when she would come visit me at my apartment in Beaver Meadows and we'd play Karate Champ on the old, beat up arcade machine that I used to have, or when she was my next door neighbor in Barnesville.  We always think there's going to be more time.  Few of us ever can recognize the last time we see a sunrise.

There was a lot more to Margie than what I've written here, but I don't know how to put it into words.  Suffice to say that she had a lot of demons from her past, and absolutely none of them were her fault.  She wanted to trust people and believe that people were good, and there were plenty of people who were anything but good to her.

I don't know what possessed me to look her up yesterday, but I did, and I found her obituary.  She left Pennsylvania at some point after 2008 and ended up living in Lawton, Oklahoma.  She died on March 15th.  She was only 36 years old.

God damn it... she deserved more than what this life had to give her.  I love you, and I miss you, and I wish I hadn't always been so wrapped up in my own bullshit and could have been there for you as much as you were always there for me.  I wish I hadn't lost touch with you.  I wish I could have been a better friend to you.  I'm sorry.