One day older

Today I turn 33. I had a whole joke planned how I was going to say it’s my 21st birthday in hexidecimal, but I’m not feeling in a joking mood. On Sunday, Rannie Yoo (although she left the world Rannie Reid) finally lost her battle with cancer and left the world surrounded by loved ones, leaving the world a sadder place. I’ve been tossing around in my head what I was going to say in this post. I knew it was going to happen. As soon as we found out she had cancer and the type and stage of it, we knew it was coming, but it only really started to hit me hard this last week, when we knew the end was near.

I can say without a doubt that of all the people I’m not related by blood to, Rannie was most directly responsible for my life happening the way it did. If it were not for her, I most likely would not have been an officer of Cal Animage, which introduced me to a circle of friends that I still have to this day. Without her, I would not have staffed Fanimecon, nor Anime Expo, which between the two caused me to meet more people than I can count and affected me in immeasurable ways. But more than anything, Rannie was the first person I ever really got past an initial crush and got to the plateau of friendship without confusion that existed for years.

Just now I opened up the private diary file that I kept before I had this LiveJournal, which contained things which were for my eyes only. In the section about Rannie, it contained stories that I had long forgotten about the path from random person to friend, most of which are not appropriate to share. The one I can share is the story of how she and I met… maybe. We don’t know for sure, but we were both fairly certain, but the first time I met Rannie was a Saturday morning in Bowles Hall in the Dungeon (a.k.a. the TV room) in our freshman year. I was there to watch cartoons, and turned the tv on before I realized there was a girl asleep on one of the couches. The TV woke her, and we ended up talking a bit while we watched TV. I never caught her name, but years later this came up in conversation, and Rannie says she had that same thing happen to her, and what are the odds of that happening twice?

This isn’t very coherent. I don’t suppose it could be. For the last week, whenever I stop thinking or doing anything, the space is filled with sadness and tears. Part of me should be scared that someone my age could die of cancer. But most of me is just devastated that I’ll never see her again. Any person should be happy to have touched as many lives as she touched. The outpouring of sentiment from people I’ve never met just goes to show that she continued to have an influence on other people past the point where we were hanging out regularly. I feel sadness for the people whose lives she was destined to brighten in the future that will never have that chance.

I should stop before I ramble too much. Tomorrow is going to be hard — I still haven’t decided if I will tell my coworkers what I’m going through or if I should just push through it and keep my mind occupied. I will try to have a happy birthday. Being sad goes against what she lived for.

When life gives you the raspberry, give the raspberry right back.

See you next time around, Rannie.

10 Replies to “One day older”

  1. Oh, God… I am so sorry… My eyes are tearing up as I write this. I remember her, from IRC as well as the one Cal-Animage Alpha showing I attended.

    I don’t know what else to say… I remember her, and I’ll miss her as well.

  2. And it was so unfair how she had to leave, if she had to go RIGHT NOW without being asked – neh?

    I remember having the conversations with Cliff the last year of his life, and how unfair I felt it was that I would be the only one of the two of us to benefit from his passing – or even his disability – at all. He would never see the lack of debt his life insurance would create, or see what living without the weight of counting every penny had become. Even though he wasn’t working, he could never enjoy the free time – there was no $$$ for it.

    This is what he told me. “If you won’t use this for yourself, use it to help someone else.”

    So this is what I advise you today: if you can’t enjoy your birthday today – let someone else enjoy the cake and balloons.

    We’ll catch up on it for you later. For now – just breathe. Asking anything more is unrealistic. For about 90 days – just. Breathe.

    (And get a pad of paper, pencil and start writing everything down. Your short-term memory is going to take a vacation for about 45 days – nothing you can do about it – just watch for it.)

    And I am so sorry.

  3. hang in there bro and happy birthday. the wife and i are in town this coming weekend, hope to see you at some point. it’s been too long my friend.

  4. I know you have people around and I didn’t know her, but if you need an ear, I’ll gladly listen. She knew she was loved and that you were there for her. I don’t know if you can, but try and take comfort in that. You were lucky because you were one of the lives she was able to touch and make better.

  5. While I wasn’t very close to Rannie, I understand your pain and also feel sadness for her passing, as well as everyone’s loss. She was always so friendly, and Ami really enjoyed working with her.

    I lost my best friend a few years back (died in sleep, no medical reason). It was devastating, but I found the people at work surprisingly understanding about it. I took a week off to attend his funeral in the States. I would recommend PTO for you as well, but that would depend on your workload right now. I hope you were at least able to talk to your coworkers about it.

    Getting better is a long road though… Especially when they leave too soon.

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