I am writing with a sad heart this week. A sweet friend of mine and former coworker, Amanda Zepeda, passed away last Wednesday, Sept. 29. I woke up to a message from my sister Andrea with the news and didn’t know what to think, what to say or how to feel. I was just … still. I put my phone down and just laid in bed as the time passed by.
Amanda was so young, so beautiful and so full of life. I just couldn’t believe it. She’d been fighting a battle for weeks and just when things started to look up, she was gone. Anyone who knew her, knows the impact she had on every single person she met in her lifetime.
Our former boss, Pam Burket said, “Amanda was kind, sweet, funny, friendly and always willing to help anyone … even strangers. She would go on church retreats with kids and help fundraise so kids could go, too. Amanda was one of a kind. She loved her kids and granddaughter very much and I loved her like a daughter. Thank you for always having my back, Amanda.”
I first met Amanda in summer 2013 when I started working for The Store in Jourdanton and Pleasanton. When I first met her, I was immediately intimidated by her: she was so confident and held herself up to high standards, not giving a damn what anyone else thought. I wanted to be like her. Over the five years I worked at The Store on and off between school holidays and summer breaks, Amanda became one of my good friends. She boosted my selfconfidence, cheered me on from afar when I was away at college, constantly nagged on me when I wasn’t doing my best and always knew how to put a smile on my face. She was even there for me during all of my boy drama in the past and helped me realize that it’s ok to put yourself first, after God of course.
The last words she ever said to me was in a comment on Facebook:
“Love you girly … it’s been a blessing to see you grow over the years from the young girl who questioned herself at times on what, how and when … and to see the beautiful woman that is now determined, strong-minded and unstoppable … proud of you.”
I don’t think she ever knew just how much of what she saw in me was thanks to her. I wish I would have told her, but now it’s too late. However, I won’t dwell on what could have been, but forever cherish the woman she was here on earth. Thanks for the memories, Amanda. We will all miss you dearly, but know that you are dancing in the arms of the God you loved and radiated so much.
Please see Amanda’s obituary in B Section this week.
REBECCA PESQUEDA is the News Editor of the Pleasanton Express. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org