Thursday, August 5, 2010

She Is Polly...She Will Always Be My Friend

Last Friday morning, my best-friend Polly Baker was murdered. That's a word nobody ever wants to use in a sentence containing the name of someone they love. We had just moved away one month before, so I hadn't seen her for an entire month. I was missing her already, and now...

Another best-friend from here in Ohio called Jeff so he could tell me personally instead of telling me on the phone. We headed back to OH a couple hours later. I'm still here staying with our best-friend Crystal. Jeff and the kids will be here tomorrow night. After they get here, we have to tell the kids what happened. We told them that she died, but not how. Tomorrow night, I have to look at my babies and watch as their little minds adjust to the fact that their world is a screwed up place. See, not only was their Miss Polly murdered, but it seems that the man who professed to love her and fathered her six beautiful children, is the one that did it...and then he took his own life.

As a grown-up, I can't get my own mind around this. How the hell is a child supposed to? But yet we know we have to tell them. I don't want them to hear someone say something about and feel lied to.

Polly was the most amazing woman. She gave the most incredible hugs. She'd latch onto you and hold tight. She had a sense for how someone was doing without really asking, she just knew. She was such an emotioal woman that rarely was there a week go by without at least one conversation involving tears. That was just our Polly. She loved to cook for people, and it wasn't unusual for her to have 3 or 4 crock-pots plugged in places around the school building so she could feed the masses. My counter top was the recipient of crock-pots of food made with her sweet hands on occasion. Her best and most famous dish was Lava Cake made in the crock-pot. Every child at the elementary school where all of our children go to school loved Mrs. Baker's Lava Cake.

Polly was known to break into Spanish at any time, leaving the majority of us around her completely clueless. Then she'd laugh when we told her to knock it off, or sometimes someone was around that could speak it as fluently as she, and they'd just start jabbering while leaving the rest of us in the dark!

She was the incredible mama of 6 children. The oldest will be in 8th grade, the next one 5th grade, the next 4th grade, 2nd grade, 1st grade, and the youngest is 4 and in preschool. She lived for those little ones. She spent all her time with them. Even when they were all at school, she was there volunteering more days than not. She proudly drove around a huge, red van that held all her children, with the plates "BakerBus" on the back. Most in town knew that van. She loved to pull out her phone and show everyone pictures of her kiddos, and then she'd always have to share a stupid joke she'd gotten in her email or texts recently. She could have the strangest sense of humor, but you had to laugh because she so obviously thought it was funny.

The very last night we were here in Ohio before we moved to Indiana a month ago, Polly stayed up with me until 3 am helping me finish packing and cleaning. She was upstairs working, and I was downstairs. The entire night we were talking back and forth between the two floors making cracks at each other and just chatting about the past, present, and future. We made plans to help Isaiah (our oldest) and her second oldest, stay in touch through the years. They have some serious crushes on each other and were both brokenhearted about having to say goodbye. We stopped to hug each other and cry about every 30 minutes most of that night. Neither one of us obviously had any idea that the hug, kisses, and tears we shared at 3 am on that morning were the last we'd ever share. We made plans to get together the weekend of the fair when we came back for a visit.

I will never be the same person I was before Polly Baker became part of my heart. She showed me how to be a patient mom. She showed me that everyone deserves to be accepted. She showed me that everyone needs a chance. She showed me that it is possible for one person to love the entire world and make a big impact. I will love her and miss her the rest of my life.

May your spirit soar my sweet, sweet Polly-girl.