The Goode Life


For Blythe
October 23, 2008, 5:33 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

When I first met her, she was slight, stuttered horribly, and was plagued with the Sally Jesse Raphael frames.

Not a good look for the seventh-grade, trust me.

But, since she had the same name as my older sister – who was the epitome of cool, and still is – I automatically wanted to be her friend. [Lame? Possibly. Good decision? Definitely.]

Blythe appeared to be quiet and shy, but was funny, rambunctious, and a bit on the wild side – a side that became more apparent as we entered high school.

Nonetheless, she and I both dreamed of being magazine editors, and would daydream together about our fabulous lives in NYC, where we would work as high-powered editors who always, always wore stilettos.

Time has the strange effect of pulling people apart, and after graduation we drifted in different directions: she to the East coast, I to the Harvard of the Midwest [*cough* Go Blue *cough*].

Sadly, Blythe passed away this past Sunday, randomly, quietly, in her sleep. She was engaged to be married, she had her dream job as an editorial assistant at a top women’s magazines, and just like that, she was gone, reason unknown.

When I relayed the news to my mother, after she recovered from her shock, she began rattling off a list of to-do items:

1. “Take your vitamins.”

2. “Make sure you get sleep.”

3. “Don’t stress so much.”

4. “Eat right and exercise.”

5. “Have you had your physical?”

While true for any woman, women of color have to be particularly careful and especially vigilant when it comes to putting their health first. Since most women of color lack quality care in spite of the fact that they are also predisposed to contracting or developing a host of diseases and ailments, it’s necessary to take your health seriously.

I’ve lost touch with Blythe, so I don’t know if she was going down the checklist above or not, but what’s most important is that you begin to. If you don’t pay attention to your own health, who will?

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