16 Months ~ A Tribute to my sweet Amanda...Her life as I knew her.

Updated: Apr 11

At 16 months in recovery, I am laying one of my dearest friends to rest after her battle with alcoholism. The last 3 weeks have been the hardest but most precious moments of my life. I promised Amanda on her final day that I would share her life as I knew her, and that her story would live on. so let me go back to the beginning.

I met Amanda in 1993 at Saint Mary's School in Raleigh, NC. She was just 16. We instantly connected and were inseparable. She was my ride or die girl to the end and through it all! We roomed together, took every smoke break together, beach trips, road trips, Cancun, and lots of first together. Amanda had it ALL from the eyes of this 17-year-old at the time...she drove a new white BMW, had 3 homes, mani/pedi's every other week, loved to shop and had the finest of everything, AND this girl had the BIGGEST heart and was the most down to earth person I had EVER met! Everyone loved her and I was the luckiest to be her favorite girl as she was equally mine. There was nothing we wouldn't do for one another.

As time passed at Saint Mary's, Amanda started dating a fraternity boy and started spending a lot of time with him. At that point in my life, this was good thing for me since I was on the wrong track trying too many drugs and way too much drinking, so I HAD to focus on school OR my parents were going to KILL me!!!!! Well, after college graduation, I moved to Virginia/DC area to start my career, and Amanda moved to Hickory to work with her dad and got engaged to the fraternity boy. I was the Maid of Honor in the wedding, and it was absolutely gorgeous. I mean picture perfect! Ann, Amanda's sweet momma made sure it was all perfect for her precious daughter that was her everything, her one and only child that she loved all so much. Everything was perfect EXCEPT the couple getting married. And me, the Maid of Honor blacking out after the rehearsal dinner, but we'll save that story for another time (smh). Amanda had big plans with this boy who had my friend totally enamored by him, but unfortunately, they went down a very deep and dark path into addiction.

They had it ALL as some would see from the outside looking in! Amanda's dad bought them a gorgeous first home as a wedding present. Amanda had a top executive job with her dad's company with BIG ideas and plans for the company, and well the fraternity boy, just seemed to milk it all, and they continued down the deep and dark road in addiction. Amanda tried hard with the help of her parents. She went to rehabs but the one thing she could NOT let go of was alcohol. They had it all, but their addiction had them. After a couple of years passed, Amanda finally divorced the fraternity boy, and THEN, around that time...Amanda's dad lost everything due to a very unfortunate situation. Amanda's dad was her EVERYTHING. She adored that man, and he adored his baby girl, and he gave her everything he could. She was so broken down by the unfortunate loss of her marriage, and now this. Her relationship with vodka grew deeper. Her life completely changed when she lost it all due to the loss of her father's company and the divorce...the house and everything she had was gone, but her love for her momma and daddy never changed...she always loved them unconditionally. It was never about the money for Amanda, it was all about the love.

Along the way, Amanda met a genuine, compassionate and protective man, Kurt and eventually married him. Kurt was no saint and made some bad decisions as well with Amanda, but he loved her unconditionally, and anyone that knew them, definitely knew that. They were buying a house and had 2 beautiful kids. Kurt did not use drugs but was involved in an unfortunate situation and had to go to prison for a few years. It was so hard on Amanda, but she did the best she could with the help of her sweet momma, Ann who moved to be closer to her. Amanda loved her momma dearly, and Ann would do anything in the world for Amanda, and always did throughout Amanda's life.

Unfortunately, right after Kurt went to prison, Amanda's dad suddenly passed away. She was devastated. Her first love, her earthly provider and protector, her sweet daddy suddenly gone forever. Amanda's relationship with vodka grew even deeper, but she LOVED her sweet babies with all her heart. They were her reason for living, but her addiction kept taking her deeper with all the stress. She made some poor choices, and got a couple DUI's while with her children, and we all know what that means. CPS got involved and the children were sent to foster care around 8 &10 years old.

Amanda was diagnosed with alcohol induced Cirrhosis around this time and she attempted to stay dry, but she could not get control of the insidious disease of alcoholism. Kurt soon got out of prison, and they had to live in a hotel room for a while to save some money while the kids were in foster care. Soon after, a phone call came saying a couple wanted to adopt both children and they had an opportunity to stay together in a stable loving home. The Social Worker presented all of this to both Amanda and Kurt. They discussed, and with their current situation they knew in their sweet loving hearts, their kids deserved better. They needed a home for them to live in, money to feed them and Amanda's liver needed to get well in order for the kids come back home to be with them. This couple was the only option if they wanted a guarantee their kids would stay together near Hickory AND this couple made promises to them that they would keep Amanda and Kurt apart of their kids' life on a regular basis. They felt in their dear hearts that this WAS the perfect situation for the children under the circumstances, so Kurt and Amanda made a very difficult but the most selfless decision give the kids up for adoption, so the kids could stay together in a stable and loving home while they continued to see them during this time. This was 2018. The kids were 9 & 11.

Kurt received his Welding Certification in prison and got a good paying job for a great company with good benefits. They were going to save money, get a house, get Amanda's liver healed since they finally had insurance, and get their kids back! Well, right after the adoption was finalized, this couple COMPLETELY cut them out of their lives. It was the most heart wrenching moment of Amanda's life. I'll never forget talking to her the night it all went down. She was heartbroken and we just sat on the phone crying together. Amanda and Kurt LOVED those babies more than anything and those babies loved them! They talked to a lawyer, fought, and did it all but to no avail. Grandmother Ann fought hard for the babies too to no avail. This was the final straw that broke Amanda, and her relationship grew even deeper with alcohol, and her body would suffer gravely along the way.

While sick with Cirrhosis, Amanda poured her heart and her love into caring for the elderly. It gave her a purpose and they adored her. She shared stories of sweet Ms. Evelyn with me, and I know she loved her and especially loved her late husband. Amanda had a special relationship and way with everyone, and she still lit up the room even when she was sick. Unfortunately, she chose to hide her deepest struggles to not burden anyone, isolated herself towards the end and masked her problem as hard as she could until she was hospitalized on March 18th where she would stay until her passing of Liver Disease on April 6, 2022. Her only wish was to see or speak to her children one last time, but unfortunately, my sweet friend was not given the opportunity to do so. May God watch over and comfort Amanda's precious kids, and her family. May they feel God's everlasting love and have peace in their hearts. Please keep the kids, Kurt and Ann in your prayers as well as the hearts of the adoptive parents to soften to allow Kurt and Ann, and the family, time with their sweet babies. What a blessing that would be for all.

My heart broke that my dear friend didn't get her final wish, but we poured so much love and prayers into and over Amanda until the very end. Our sweet Amanda is no longer suffering. She is with her sweet daddy and grandparents in Heaven now. She will always be close in our heart. Your story will live on my sweet friend, and your beautiful babies will know how very much you loved them. Until we meet again, Amanda, I love you always and forever.

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