On Friday evening a dear friend of mine died in a car accident. She was only 27 years old. I just keep thinking about how fast life changes. I am always thinking about what I will tell someone the next time I see them, but not very often do I think that there might not be a next time.
I found out Saturday morning that she has passed away. Since then she has not been very far from my thoughts. I just can't believe that I will never see her smiling face again. She carried joy and happiness with her everywhere she went. She had a kind and loving heart. She talked about her husband so much and I could see how much they loved each other in the pictures I saw. My heart aches for her husband and her parents, siblings, and the whole family.
I can hear her laugh. When I close my eyes for sleep I can see her smile. I remember the contagious joy bouncing off of her when she told us all that she was pregnant. Then the total heartache when she had to tell us all that she had lost the baby. I prayed to God to allow her an oppurtunity to be a mother. She adored and loved all children. Teaching and caring for children was truly her calling.
One thing keeps sticking in my mind. Our friend Stef was probably one of the last people to talk to Jen except for her husband who was in the vehicle with her. Stef said she was cooking dinner Friday night and the phone rang. Jen and her had been playing phone tag for about a week. For a second she thought to herself "let it go to voicemail and call her back when you are done with dinner". She said something told her that she better not do that. She said she talked to Jen for about 20 minutes about stuff. That phone call took place around 5 and the accident that took Jen's life happened around 6. When we got together on Saturday to comfort each other and remember Jen, Stef just kept saying that she was so glad she answered the phone that night and did not let it go to voicemail. I will always think of this when I feel like I am "too busy" to talk to somone I love. I will always think twice before letting it go to voicemail.
Jen was part of the group of girls that I met at Eastside while I was working there. She was the only one of us who continued to work there. We all made an effort to stay in touch and to go out and have a girl's night once a month. We did not always stick to that. Sometimes unfortunately life gets in the way and we just could not find one night we all could meet. But I look back at our trips to the winery, our dinner's at Applebees, our Wii party, cookie exchange, and so many others with a smile and a thankful heart. Thankful that I have such a good group of friends to talk with, laugh with, and love with. We keep each other sane. We listen to each others joys and frustrations. We accept each others differences and flaws. I know that the rest of us will carry on and continue to have girl's nights out, but they will never be the same. Jen had planned the next one. We were supposed to go to have pizze at our friend Debbie's house in Pekin then go see the movie "Valetines Day" next week. Jen and I joked back and forth about all the good looking men in the movie. I am hoping in honor of Jen we all still make it that night out. That is what she would have wanted.
Jen, I know you are up in heaven watching over us all. I will forever miss you. Until we meet again......