Friday, August 23, 2013

Rest in Peace, My Friend

I received very sad news yesterday. My dear friend and former co-worker, Jenny Crawley, passed away at home at the young age of 41.  Jenny and I worked together at the Lynchburg Mail Processing and Distribution Center for many years.  

But more than just co-workers, we were friends.  We talked on the phone and managed to squeeze in a short lunch together from time to time.

Jenny was a breath of fresh air, someone who called it like she saw it.  I loved her like a sister.  Although she was about 15 years younger than me, we shared a lot in common including our outlook on life: positive with our eyes wide open to reality.

Do you have one of those friends with whom you can share anything at all, a friend who feels like family and who always has your back? That's the type of friend Jenny was to me.

Jenny had seen more than her share of troubles in life. She was a good daughter who helped her parents, especially after her father was stricken with Alzheimer's.

She nursed her dad, even when his disease made him angry and she mourned him when the disease finally took him away for good.

Jenny was a wife and a sister, but her heart was a mom's heart. She loved her kids with a passion, even when they drove her nuts. I think that's probably what drew us to each other more than anything else.

Jenny's health declined as a chronic health condition slowly stole her life. She went from a vibrant woman who took care of everyone to a homebound invalid who had to let others care for her.

I rejoiced with Jenny when was finally granted disability retirement. By then, she was unable to do much of anything without being totally wiped out. The medications Jenny took helped her symptoms, but made her weak and tired.

Even after Jenny retired, we stayed in touch but our lunches ended in favor of phone calls. Sometimes Jenny was her old funny self, making me laugh until I cried. But more often, the medications made it hard for her to put together the words she wanted to say and hard for me to understand.  

As Jenny's life became the four walls around her, my life became more busy. Although we talked often about getting together again, it just never happened. For that, I'm truly sorry.

I'd give anything for one more shared lunchtime, laughing about this and that, talking about people we both knew and sharing our joys and sorrows.

So, if you can, take time this weekend or next week to call that friend you haven't seen in a while. That friend who makes you laugh, the one you can share anything with, the one who has your back.

Make a date for lunch, dinner or coffee and take the time to tell your friend just how much they mean to you. Laugh until you can't laugh anymore and enjoy the time together.

Life is short and there are no guarantees. Let the to-do list wait and spend time with a friend. Rest in peace, Jenny, my dear friend. I'll love you and miss you always and hope to see you one day on the other side.  

Until then, I'll take what I can get when I can get it and do the best I can to face each day with a smile on my face, a prayer on my lips and a song in my heart.

Blogging Grandma Sandy signing off for now.

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