Saturday, July 9, 2011

I miss my friend…..

Has it really been a year already?
jen & me
So often I go back to that day in June. Sitting across from her at my parents kitchen table...laughing, joking, talking about everything from make-up, to cancer, to the power of prayer. I remember she was beautiful as ever, even amongst radiation and chemo treatments, she dolled herself up. I remember sitting there, not wanting to leave, seeing the clock ticking on, knowing that I had to travel back to North Carolina soon. She had to go also, meeting people for lunch. She amazed me how with everything she had going on, how bad she must have felt some days, she still put on that smile and personality we all loved, to spend time with those that meant so much to her. I remember walking her out to her car, even saying I wish we didn't have to say goodbye. Wishing we could just hang out awhile longer. I remember giving her a hug and exchanging our " I love you's" our "talk to you soon". I remember standing there on the front step waving as she pulled away.  What I wouldn't give to go back to that moment, to stay a little while longer, to hug her a little tighter.
I often also think back to July 4th. How she and I were texting back and forth about our day's plans. Joking back and forth with each other. Talking about how she wanted to make a trip to North Carolina. I remember her telling me she had  to try to wean off the steroids again and how she was nervous about how it was going to make her feel. I also keep thinking about how she knocked on my parents door that night asking if the fireworks could be seen from there.  I hope she got to see some fireworks that night.
It still amazes me that just 6 days later her husband Shaun would be calling me to tell me she had passed away. Just a few days after the 4th she became extremely ill and was admitted back into the hospital. I remember reading about the latest news on her caringbridge site. It didn't sound good but I continued to hold out hope, continued to pray. I prayed she would be comforted, pain free, and able to find that peace she had when she was first diagnosed. When my phone rang that Saturday morning, July 10, 2010, my stomach just dropped. I had been in contact with Shaun via text when she was in the hospital and I had told him that I would come home to Delaware at any time. I know they had so much support and people just rallying around them. I knew my presence wasn't going to make a huge difference, but if there was anything I could do I would do it. When Shaun told me the news  I just couldn't believe it. Even now, a year later, it still seems unreal.
I miss my friend so very much. I miss so much about her. I miss how we could talk on the phone for hours with never running out of things to say. I miss how we would email each other about party ideas. I miss how we would always talk about getting together and scrapbooking but when we actually did nothing ever really got done because we couldn't stop talking. I miss how great she was with my kids. How even though they only saw her a few times a year they were always completely comfortable with her.  They must have just felt her love. I miss how she was late to everything and understood how I could be late to everything also and never gave me grief for it. I miss how we could just sit on her couch for hours chatting and it never got old. I miss how she always knew how to have a good time even with crying kids and thunderstorms. I miss how it was always hard for her to make a decision from what she would wear to what she should order to eat. I miss how whenever we would get together she was always hungry and want to eat. Pizza, ice cream, buffalo chicken sandwiches, donuts, all that yummy junk food. I even miss how she wouldn't gain a pound, while I on the other hand would be about 5 lbs. heavier after a visit with her. I miss how we would send each other cards...just because. And how in those cards it wouldn't just be signed but have eloquently written notes filling the whole card. I miss how when I'd visit her we'd go in her room in the basement and she'd manage to pull together everything I'd need for a birthday party from things she'd be a matter of minutes. I miss sitting on her back porch drinking wine and again never running out of things to talk about. I guess you could say I just miss everything about her and her friendship.
Her friendship and journey with cancer has taught me so many life lessons. People always say life is too short to sweat the small things. I know that now for sure. Life is too short and too precious to get worked up about the little things. It is so important to let the ones who mean the most to you know how important they are, and not when the going gets tough but just on those everyday ordinary days. Never take a day for granted... use it, live it, and laugh about it. And to not judge anyone. We never know what life struggles they may be having, what trails they are going through. Her life and friendship is such an inspiration to me. The way she lived her life, especially her cancer journey, with such courage and grace I will always be in awe of.
Jennifer Lynn I miss you. You are forever missed, forever loved, and forever remembered.