My first job was at the local Regal Cinemas. I was hired on as your basic floor staff, selling tickets at the box office, food & drinks at the concession stand, and tearing tickets. Every Spring and Winter, we had a new round of new hires to train.
I believe Rebekah was a Spring hire but I could be remembering that incorrectly. I remember she was quiet and didn’t say much to anyone and had to put some effort into coming out of her shell. She was a slightly socially awkward, previously home schooled kid so this wasn’t easy for her back then. If you looked at us, you probably never would have guessed we would end up such good friends. She still had a little hint of the goth image she once strove for, and I was the tan girl with the long, blonde hair who had her nails done every two weeks.
Rebekah and her then boyfriend lived up the road from the theatre but only had one car between them and one day, she called and asked me for a ride to work, and I agreed to pick her up. It was barely out of the way at all so no big deal! There was a little chatting in the brief five minute car ride between picking her up and arriving to work but nothing memorable. At this point, she was just some new hire from work I was doing a favor for, but she seemed nice enough.
That same day, we ended up in the breakroom together for lunch at the same time and began to chat a lot more. We compared notes on boyfriends and realized there were a lot of paralells between our then-relationships and realized we actually had plenty to talk about. We both broke up with those dudes maaannnnyyy years ago but mention of them fits the story. Rebekah and I totally hit off and became fast friends after that, and for the last 15 years, she’s been one of my favorite people.
Back then, she and I were both a couple of party girls and we liked to live it up together. There was a lot of drinking in those early days and I would sometimes accompany her to parties or get togethers at the home of her long time friend, Nikki, who was the only person our age who actually had a house! Looking back now, some memories are resurfacing that I’d honestly forgotten about completely, like this bonfire on the beach in Olalla, the first time I went to Nikki’s or meeting some very questionable characters Rebekah used to know! It made for interesting gatherings, that’s for sure.
Eventually we broke up with those boyfriends and not much later, she reunited with her first love, Jason, and the two of them rekindled their relationship. In Jason, she found the person she would spend the rest of her life with while I had to endure a couple more failed relationships before I found my true love! Hey, everyone’s story is a little different.
Pretty much right away, Rebekah & Jason fell in love and were fiercely devoted to one another. We were all young and as so many couples do, they had their fair share of issues but they stayed together through them all. Within a couple of years, they were married and within the next decade, had four sons, Elijah, Levi, Noah and Gabe. I remember hanging out with Rebekah one day, and as I went to drop her off, we ended up just sitting and chatting in my car for a while longer. We discussed some very personal things they had going on but also, she informed me that they had set a wedding: November 9th, 2008. It wasn’t a huge wedding but a lot of the people who mattered to them were there. I remember her wedding day very well! They were excited to get married and chose to do it soon after becoming engaged, so the planning process went quickly. They were married in the community center in Silverdale, her parents took her out and bought her a gown, someone they knew made tiered cheesecake & the food was a potluck. I wasn’t much of a cook back then but made some sort of ranch pasta dish. It wasn’t anything to write home about but I tried! I’ve always been a little sad that she didn’t ask me to be a bridesmaid but it was such a small wedding, that they each only had one witness and didn’t have a formal bridal party to speak of. Years later, she told me she wished I had been a bridesmaid so that was a good feeling. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to get some great pictures of her that day.
Rebekah and Jason really wanted a baby and it wasn’t too long before they announced they were pregnant with Elijah. I have a great picture of us from her baby shower but I have no idea what the heck I bought her? I THINK it was a ton of baby bath stuff, like all the necessities, such as shampoo, powder, lotion, etc. I can’t believe some of the things I don’t recall sometimes. I visited them in the hospital after he was born and spent a little time talking to them about their experience. Let me just say, they were not impressed with the medical staff who delivered the baby! However, in the end, it was still a wonderful occasion and another of their dreams had come true.
There were some moments in the early days of their marriage where they ended up staying with Jason’s family. I remember driving out there to see Rebekah and Elijah one afternoon & getting the cutest picture with Elijah. It took me years to realize what that picture meant to me. I need to look for it!
Rebekah and I didn’t really go out and do things very often when we hung out together, which I guess is kinda weird, but I have so many memories of her. I remember visiting them in them in the Gig Harbor apartment, and she & I walked to get some teriyaki for dinner at a spot she & Jason really enjoyed. She & I love the same kinds of foods, so we ended up for going out for Italian a couple of times. Coffee wasn’t uncommon back then, but mostly, we just hung out in each other’s homes and talked for hours. We never ran out of things to discuss! In between hanging out, we wrote “novels” to one another, meaning we just wrote really lengthy Facebook messages back & forth! As their family grew and I met Rob, we saw one another less, but the time we spent together was of the utmost quality! It was quality over quantity! We were those friends who understood that life was busy, and that it was okay if we went stretches of time without seeing each other, because we knew we could pick up right where we left off as if we’d only just spoken the day before.
I spent several years living in a single room apartment in my early 20’s. At one point, Rebekah & Jason lived in the same apartment complex, several buildings over. They were on the bottom floor and actually had a little grassy yard area where they could let Elijah crawl around. My main memory in this aparment is of the three of us hanging out on their back deck, talking for hours about everything. Eventually, they moved out of there but I still had a while to go before I moved out!
Quite some time later, I was surprised by a knock on my front door, so I looked out the peephole and it was Rebekah! They had moved into the apartment literally next door to me. It was hilarious. I’ll be honest, we didn’t spend as much time together as you might think but I loved running into her randomly in the parking lot. At this point, she & I were in somewhat different stages of our lives, because I was all about being young and having fun in my 20’s, while she was happily married and if I remember correctly, Levi might have been born by this point…? The time together was less but the friendship was still strong.
I have one distinct memory from this time that stands out a little bit and makes me smile. The funny thing is, we weren’t even together for this one. I’d put on a DVD of Young Guns but had fallen asleep on the couch, so when the movie ended, the DVD returned to the main menu, and just looped the same music over and over and over. I slept it through it all just fine! Our television was up against the living room wall of our apartment that we shared with their living room, so she could hear my DVD, just looping repeatedly. I woke up to texts from her asking me about it, telling me it was driving her crazy and even saying, “You must have fallen asleep…” Yep.
This is sort of random but I’ve thought of it several times recently… I had to work during her second baby shower for Levi, and couldn’t attend. She was registered at Babies R Us so I ended up just sending her a $50 gift card. I regret not being able to go to her second shower and I regret that I didn’t put a little more thought into that gift, although she seemed happy enough to have the money to buy something she still needed!
Her parents owned this beautiful farmhouse in Olalla, where they raised Rebekah and her sister. It sat on five acres, the front yard had a barn that badly needed repairing, the back yard was large with a tractor sitting in the middle of it. There was one tree in particular that was the ideal tree for kids to climb and she always had a lot of love for that tree and it’s in quite a few pictures with her kids! It was a white house with a wrap around porch & a porch swing, and it had a great kitchen. Eventually her parents purchased another home they fell in love with, and Rebekah & Co. ended up moving into the farmhouse for a while. Rebekah literally referred to it as, The Farmhouse. She’d spent her childhood in that house and she absolutely loved it and I think this was probably the happiest time in their lives. I would drive out to visit her there, occasionally taking something like a salad for our lunch. Rebekah was a big salad eater… she really enjoyed spinach salad with cranberries, feta and vinaigrette. Mushrooms, though? Forget about it. She didn’t want them anywhere near her.
Rebekah loved to cook and she preferred to make as much as she possibly could from scratch. Her favorite cookbook was, The Joy of Cooking, and she was very proud, occasionally posting pictures of the meals she was preparing on social media. When this passion began for her, I hadn’t developed my interest in cooking yet so it didn’t become something she and I had in common until several years later.
One day, we went to hang out by the water in Olalla with the kids. We just spent the afternoon there, hanging out. She took a bunch of pictures but I never ended up with copies. Looking back, she and I were terrible about taking pictures when we were together over the years, which I wholeheartedly regret now. We should have made a point.
Rebekah & I ate salmon dip.
Rebekah & I ate a lot of salmon dip.
Rebekah & I ate soooo much salmon dip.
Rebekah & I ate so much salmon dip, that we actually made ourselves sick of it and then couldn’t eat it for, literally, a few years! We would eat it by the bowl, just the two of us.
Last May, my cousin, Dylan, & I hosted a joint surprise birthday party for my mom and his wife, Ashlei. Rebekah & family attended, and Rebekah brought back the salmon dip! She always toned down the horseradish for a gathering, but when it was just she & I, we liked it when it burned. Salmon dip is such a small thing but it played a big part of our time together in the early days and I have never been able to see salmon dip without thinking of her and I know that will never change. We would eat that stuff until we were uncomfortably full!
When I became engaged in 2012, I knew right away that I wanted Rebekah as my bridesmaid. She was living in Calfornia at the time, and due to expenses and the kids, I was terrified she wouldn’t be able to make it but it all fell into place when they decided to move back several months before Rob & I were married! She was able to attend my bridal shower, which was a blast and I have so many pictures of her smiling that day. She came out for my bachelorette but unfortunately, became very ill early in the evening & had to go home. I’m saddened to say that we didn’t have the opportunity to take any pictures together before she went left.
There was never a moment’s doubt that Rebekah would be my bridesmaid. Now, more than ever, I am so glad for this. I will always have pictures and memories of her from this very important part of my life.
I hosted a baby shower for Rebekah before the birth of Gabe. I know traditionally, people only had showers for the first baby (or maybe two, if the second baby is the opposite sex of the first) but Rebekah had given away a lot of her baby stuff and I knew she could use some new things! I hosted it in the conference room at a local hotel, which was actualy the same room where we had my bridal shower. Rob is always kind enough to help me decorate for these things, and he is great with streamers, which is awesome because I find it tedious to decorate using streamers. The shower was yellow, black and white, all bumble bee themed, with a salad bar. I’m not big into baby shower games so I only did two or three, the prizes were honey. I had a stand full of vanilla cupcakes with buttercream daises & I found some little edible bees at the store and threw them on. The entire thing went pretty great. I think people assumed she already had most of the things she needed after three other babies so she was given a lot of clothes… all very cute!
I’m pretty sure Rebekah was born to be a mother. As soon as she and Jason decided they wanted to be together forever, having a baby was the exciting next step for them and they wanted one so badly. Their kids were the light of her life.
Rebekah was diagnosed with breast cancer in early 2016 and had a long, scary fight ahead. During this time, she posted a picture on Facebook of her with her kids, a throwback of the “best kind of day.” She goes on to say that she wants to see them grow up, she wants to meet their kids and she doesn’t “want to leave them so soon.” It kills me.
Life got so busy for me, and I have so many things I’m working on right now (and always, actually) that sometimes I guess I forget to remember. Writing this particular blog post has been a great experience because some of the memories our time together have just come flooding back.
On November 14th, 2019, Rebekah passed away at the age off 33 from Stage IV metastatic inflammatory breast cancer.
Rest In Peace, my friend.