Sunday, January 13, 2008

Jane

Two years ago today my friend Jane died. She had been in a coma since falling down stairs New Year’s Eve, hitting her head and giving her a severe brain bleed. For two weeks we all gathered around her hospital bed, talking and praying and hoping she would come back to us. It was about a week into it that I think we all knew she wouldn’t, but I know that most of us still can’t believe she didn’t. I still miss her every day.

Jane and I initially met in Junior High and I think it would be an understatement to say we didn’t like each other. She thought I was weird and snooty and I thought she was a freaky hippie. She was behind the worst moment of my junior high career. She put a note on my desk one day that said “Libby, grow down, you aren’t as old as you think you are.” I was crushed. So crushed in fact that I reminded her of the story almost every day once we became adults and loved to tell it at parties. She would protest that it was Trina Miller who left the note, but we both knew the truth.

We actually became friends in college, watching “Beverly Hills 90210” and eating Rice Krispie treats. After college, like so many friends do, we lost touch until 1999. My sister called to tell me a house had caught fire in Jane’s neighborhood. Turns out it was Jane’s. I sent her flowers (I didn’t know what else to do) and we started talking again. When I moved back to Salt Lake I moved into her basement and stayed there for two and a half years. We spent that time mercilessly ribbing each other in the presence of company to the point that some people thought we really didn’t like each other. That couldn’t have been further from the truth, it was just that neither one of us could back down when it came to proving who was funnier and more sarcastic. I think at times Jane was the clear winner, although I never would have admitted that to her face.

Jane was funny, smart, pretty, artistic, kind and athletic, made a mean vegetarian lasagna and loved to interject the word “vagina” randomly into conversations. That used to drive me nuts, especially around the time I was getting married. She would constantly ask me if I was nervous to lose my virginity. I actually threatened not to invite her to the wedding if she didn’t knock it off. Of course, she was there and a bridesmaid,and helped me through many moments leading it up to the big day that I’m pretty sure I would have gone crazy without her. I just didn’t let her make any toasts.

I could go into a lot more detail here. I could tell you a thousand different stories, some you would find funny, and some you would find disturbing. I could tell you how I still feel guilt because I was at a party with Jane just hours before she fell and figured she would be fine as long as she got a ride home. I could tell you about my anger after her death and how I attached it to every man who ever treated her badly (and there were lots, she had awful taste in men), or I could tell you about all the times we talked each other down when dealing with depression, or grad school, or parents, or men. I could write a trillion words and still not say everything I have to say. Let’s just leave it at this -- if I hadn’t known Jane I never would have met my husband, or most of the wonderful friends I have now. I wouldn’t have some of the happiest and balls out funniest memories of my life. Of course, I also wouldn’t have this huge hole in heart where my friend used to be, but I think that’s a small price to pay.

I love you Janie.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

We all loved her. Nice tribute. mom

Emily-Ione said...

This is how I feel about your Sister.
That made me cry, it was absolutely beautiful.

Wendy King said...

I remember when this happened. That's a beautiful tribute... and an amazing last picture! You were lucky to have each other.

Amanda said...

Jane was an amazing woman. That was a great tribute.

Amanda said...

Ok, I just read Emily's comment & I am now crying. That is how I feel about her too.

She Said said...

This brought tears. I'm so sorry for your loss, but thank you for honesty and sharing. It reminds me that we need to cherish every moment.