I don't even know how to start this. I still feel like I'm going to wake up & be so thankful that this was all a nightmare. I've lost family members, as most everyone has. But I could never be prepared to lose my best friend.
Samantha Edwards, affectionately known by most as "Sami" was one of the most vibrant, crazy, compassionate, loyal balls of energy you could ever come across in life. A conversation with her could either leave you full of adrenaline or utterly exhausted. She was a spitfire and with Sami you never knew what she'd throw your way - but you ALWAYS knew she would be there for you. She was awesome like that.
For those of you that don't know, Sami was Miss North Dakota USA 2003. I was Miss Minnesota USA 2004. We didn't know each other from competing or even while either of us held our titles. But Sami knew of me (because let's be honest, she literally knew everyone & everything happening) and one fateful night, in true Sami style - she approached me with a big hug and extra loud voice & proclaimed we should most definitely be friends. Over the last 10 years we have built a remarkable friendship.
At first Sami was someone I just knew and would hang out with on occasion. But there was always something drawing us closer. She truly got me like no other friend ever has. We shared many of the same qualities. We had a thing for "details" - when it came to doing an event whether it was a full on business production or just a small dinner party for friends, no one did a tablescape like Sami. She loved to gather people together and feed them and create memories. If you were close to Sami, then I know you have at least one time, had her famous Spaghetti with Zoodles (zuchinni noodles)! Being around food & friends/family is when she was truly the happiest and in her element. She loved adventure & travel and new experiences. She was the best partner in crime anyone could ask for. I know many of you reading this have more than one adventurous memory or story that Sami is apart of!
But what truly bonded Sami and I, is that as "outgoing" and "social butterfly’s" as we were, we were intensely private. Over time we built this trust, and little by little we found more and more about our pasts that created a deep and loving friendship. She was someone that I could tell things to without fear of judgment or shame. She was always understood me.
Sami was indeed my best friend. But she truly was my family. She was my family's family. As selfish as this sounds, I just keep thinking how she is supposed to be with me on the day I get married. She was supposed to be there to calm me down & make me laugh & snort & tell me to shut up & get it together. She was supposed to still be here to boss me around. I don't know what to do without her.
I never got to meet Sami's family. Which is so crazy to me as I feel like I know them from all the stories and conversations we shared. She loved her mom and sister so deeply, those were her girls. When she would talk about her brother, she beamed with pride. This year she was able to connect with long lost cousins and I hope they know how much that meant to her. I know how lost I feel, so I can't even begin to imagine what any of them feel. I ask that we all lift them up in prayer continuously. In the days, weeks and months to come we not forget the process of grief and keep them in our hearts.
With her sister, Gwen's permission I am starting this GoFund Me to help cover Sami's funeral expenses and other unexpected expenses. Also, as many of you know, Sami has a dog, named Peanut. That little wiener dog was her everything. Peanut recently was diagnosed with diabetes and became blind. To everyone that has been worried about her, Peanut is safe and will either go home to live with her mom, Gwen or myself if needed.
If you are moved to donate, thank you. But I know Sami - and the most important thing she would ask you to do...call someone you love right now & tell them. I feel it is cliché to say life is short, but when tragedy happens, you understand that quote. Appreciate those you love. Tell them. Do what you can, so that if tragedy happens, you know they left this earth knowing you loved them.
To Samantha Edwards....I love you so much. You will always be my best friend and I'm still saving you a seat at the wedding. You left us all way to soon, but in true Diva style, you will have us talking about you forever.....you left positive mark on this world and in my life and I will continue to live life with passion and love because I know that is what you would want. I will see you again my beautiful friend.......