A Tribute To Champaign

We’re pushing the podcast back an additional week due to the untimely death of my other best friend, Champaign.

Champaign Elizabeth Ray Vazquez
CChampaign Elizabeth Ray Vazquez

QOTD: How Do You Grieve A Friend ?

No, really. I have no idea what I’m doing. I was told several times since June 2nd (the day I found out, although she died May 28th) that I’m grieving well. It feels good by I honestly don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve posted 11 tributes to her so far. I supposed I feel best grieving out loud.

Man What Champaign ?!

Champaign and I met when I was 15 and she was 14. We were at a football game at Wayne High School, where I attended, although she was going to Bellmont. How we ended up meeting up is hazy, I must admit. She had sex with my high school sweetheart. I can’t remember anymore how I found out. I can’t remember anymore why I wanted to be her friend instead of beat her up. Immediately after meeting we started hanging out all of the time.

If you have to leave me to be your best self, it’ll hurt… but I’d want you to do it.


If you ever die I’mma kill you, hoe.


Let’s Talk About Champaign

Over the span of our 13-year friendship we’ve been through A LOT. the last 2 years, however, we didn’t really talk. There was a time before that we didn’t talk for a year. A time before that we just drifted apart a little. But we always came back together, stronger and stronger each time. It hurts that we don’t have a chance to come back again.

Sunday Funday with Champaign and the Kids

Neither of us felt very close to our families even though we both were very immersed in our huge families. Champaign has 4 siblings from her mom and some step sibs from her dad too. I have 3 siblings and plenty of cousins. Many times we even got pieces of our family together. But at the end of the day, we never felt like our families loved us enough or even knew who we really were. So we created our own nuclear family. Us and our 3 kids. If nothing else, we got together for Sunday Funday. The 5 of us. But for most years we were together almost every single day, co-parenting. Even days we didn’t see each other, we still had each other’s kids.

Likes and Dislikes of Champaign

After years of spending so much time together, I noticed so many things even if she never said them out loud. She loved sunflowers. They were her favorite. More than roses, which people assume all women love. She admires pearls even though she almost never bought them. Her color wardrobe consists of mustard yellow, dusty rose and olive green primarily. She loved a great pair of dark jeans. She loved sandals. Also, she loved Adidas sweatpants and vans with a white tee. Champ loved her hair in a top knot or beach waves. She loved the pink drink and croissants from Starbucks. She loved dollar tree halls and going to Target for the dollar section. We ate sooooo many tacos. She loved tacos. Or even just plain tortillas. She fucking loved Chipotle when we didn’t feel like cooking.

Champaign hated that she didn’t know Spanish. She felt like it was going to take too long to learn so she didn’t pick it up. Champ hated being out in nature. She didn’t like iHop or ChickFilA but ate at both for me all the time. She didn’t like all black outfits. Really, she didn’t like her hair bone straight. She always changed her mind about whether or not she liked middle parts.

Adventures With Champaign

One of the things we really loved doing together was eating edibles then scooting downtown. Downtown Dayton or Short North in Columbus actually. We went as often as we could once they dropped. She would’ve loved that I recently bought one. I would’ve convinced her to get one too so we could scoot to each other’s houses. We live a 5 minute drive apart.

We did a lot day drinking honestly. It was her favorite. I kinda hated it. I didn’t really like drinking at all and she wasn’t supposed to be drinking. But she did things she didn’t like for me so I was trying to compromise. One time in particular we went to Ned Pepper’s and drank a bottle of Henny then had shots at the bar. I threw up on myself in the parking lot for the first time lmao After that I simply didn’t drink ever again.

She used to feel like her mom was too strict and hard to impress and no fun at all. She loved being around my mom who was super playful and light hearted. One day, after my mom moved to Columbus when our daughters were just babies, we drove up to Columbus while my mom was at work to rearrange her furniture. Champaign was so fucking tickled by that.

Quote That

“Grit your teeth and let it hurt. Don’t deny it, don’t be overwhelmed by it. It will not last forever”

Rabbi Harold Kushner​

We have thousands more memories together. Those were just a few of my faves. I love you Champaign. I hope she’s a ghostie and can still come hang out sometimes.

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