Thursday, March 30, 2006

Goodbye, Dear Jeanne

Jeanne with another friend at church.

I have a dear, dear friend named Jeanne who is crossing over today. She had a massive stroke yesterday. This morning the family decided to remove the life support system; it was expected she would die in a short time.

Jeanne is in her late 70s, probably. She was like a mother to me, offering her support and wisdom countless times. Every Sunday I looked forward to seeing her at church because she always wore a hat, and I could count on a hug and kiss from

her as we checked in with each other. It was never a passing "how are you?" It was more of a "let me look into your eyes and see how your heart is this week." We never let each other off the hook with surface talk.

In the past year her eyesight started failing because of macular degeneration, so she had given up her duties as an usher (perhaps the first woman usher we'd had.)

She had been married before her current marriage. From her first marriage she had a son, a doctor, who died about the same time I lost my brother. We gave each other a lot of support and sympathy during those days.

From time to time she gave me great advice about life after divorce. She told me that it's often worth the investment to go to a garage sale, buy old glasses and dishes, invite a friend over and throw the dishes against a brick wall. Very therapeutic, she said. She was right.

On remarriage: "When Mel and I were talking about marriage, he said 'Jeanne, I'll always be there as a safety net for you. But don't you ever lean.'"

Jeanne never was the kind of woman who would lean. She was very self-sufficient and had her own career in the petroleum industry when it was uncommon for women to do so.

A couple of months ago Jeanne came rushing up to me after church to tell me about a dream she had had. In the dream, she and I were dancing together. The way she described it made me weep. I hope her spirit is dancing with God today in heaven; I look forward to the day when we can dance with the angels together.
Jeanne in December

I will miss my dear friend so much. Saturday is my birthday. I think I will go shopping for a hat to wear to church Sunday in her honor.


Sarabeth said...

You can feel the love and respect you felt for this woman from your writing. Truly a lovely tribute.

FrenziedFeline said...

I'm sorry about your friend. The hat is a nice idea.

Trixie said...

The "leaning" comment will stay with me for quite awhile. Hugs.

Genevieve said...

I'm sorry to hear it, Trixie. It's rough to lose a friend.

Michelle said...

I am so sorry, Trixie.

Sounds like you have some wonderful memories of time knowing her. What a blessing that,in itself, is.

Erudite Redneck said...

Redneck thoughts and prayers aloft, mi amiga.

GP said...

What a wonderful relationship...what a gift from God.

Grace and peace to you in this time.

CrystalDiggory said...

What a lovely post. She sounds like a real blessing in your life.

LindaOK said...

Hi Trixie!

I just ran across your blog and was thrilled to find you again.

I'm sorry for the loss of your dear friend. What a special person to be able to cut through the chatter and get real. Your discription of her way of "let me look into your eyes and see how your heart is this week." touched me.

I want to sit and read your blog and catch up a bit, but am limited on time right now. I'm putting you in my favorites and hope to return soon. If your ever in SW Oklahoma - give me a shout (or email).

Take care,
Linda aka Lady Maverick

Anonymous said...

I don't know you, and in fact was looking for a granite color for work when somehow I came across you site.

Still, the power of your emotions put down on paper made me love this woman as I would an old aunt.

And I had to shed a tear for her passing and your loss, before goig back to work.

I just wrote this because I believe she would be happy to know she compelled you to write such a powerful and eloquente tribute.