Goodbye, beautiful. Dedicated to: Joanne Borgella

Joanne Borgella
Joanne Borgella

I am smiling as I recall her voice and how she would brag about being able to eat anything because “plus-sized models didn’t have to worry
about weight.” She proved that you didn’t have to be a size 2 to be
beautiful.

Her face lured you in, and her infectious personality made
you stay.

I would never say, but I secretly loved listening to her ‘life in NYC’ stories and slightly envied the confidence she wore so assuredly. Her presence engaged you, and made you want to learn more. Not once did she brag about her achievements, but rather insisted that I learn what it was that made me special.

I can still hear her voice, and how excited she was about life, and from her appearance, beautiful outfits that tastefully hugged her curvy silhouette, I knew this ordinary girl lived a posh life. She made it her task to visit me every night on my late shifts. Our conversations would last all night until she became too tired to keep me company at the bar. Sometimes I think she stayed just because she felt bad that I had to suffer the late nights on my own. Whenever my manager or the owner would stop by to tune in to our chats, she’d mention how lucky they were to have me. I always blushed at that part. I became so used to seeing her, that when she wasn’t there, everything seemed wrong.

This is the second person I know who died at the ripe age of 32.

When someone you know suffers, a little bit of yourself suffers to. You become more aware that there’s an expiration date on life. I watched her videos as she battled the disease. It’s excruciating to see someone you were once speaking with about the beauty of life, succumb to cancer within a year. I watched as she prayed, and she hoped, and she kept her faith. I watched every moment until that moment left.

I adore you, Joanne. Keep smiling. The world misses you
already.

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