Thursday, May 25, 2006

JLR ~ 4/24/64–5/27/05

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
He tells her, "I want to paint you naked on a big brass bed
with bright orange poppies all around your head."
And she says, "Crazy old man, I'm not young anymore."
"That's all right," he whispers, "I've never painted before…
I want to read your tea leaves by candle light.
On a fat velvet sofa, I want to be with you all night.
I want to tickle your feet with a peacock plume."
And she says, "Can you talk a little softer, there are people in the room!"
And Jane says, "My children brought me here and promised me they'd call.
You know kids forget that's just the way of it all."
And he says, "Well, that makes us both footloose and fancy free,
so Jane do you want to come see the Painted Desert with me?
"Do you love me Lady Jane, Lady Jane?

Do you love me Lady Jane, Lady Jane?
You got me talkin' to the moon, you got me walkin' in the rain.
Do you love me, do you love me Lady Jane?
Do you love me?
Do you love me like I love you, Lady Jane?"

- "Painted Desert Serenade" - Joshua Kadisson
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In the garden of my life, J was a rose. We were friends for 22 years and never have I met anyone so selfless and so giving to everyone she loved. She made me a better person for knowing her and having her example in my life.

I met J when she was pregnant with her son. The father had run out on her, which devastated her heart. But she was strong. She took on single parenting to the little life inside of her as if there were no other choice, because to her there wasn’t. She knew she’d manage – and she did, with grace if not always with ease.

A few years later she again became pregnant. She was engaged to this guy and things seemed well. But he had problems. In time he ended up in jail and again J was alone, with 2 young kids to raise. She lamented over her broken heart, but her disposition never soured. Life was what it was to J. You play the hand you have been dealt, it’s what you do.

J lived with diabetes and its various complications, and was ill much of the time. She always told me, matter of factly and without drama, that she knew she wouldn’t live very long - and that the state of her health and the fact that she had two children out of wedlock had her fairly convinced she would die a single woman. No man would want such a baggaged woman like her. I told her that was nonsense. Someday she would meet a man who would love her for the sparkling beautiful woman she is, inside and out.

Music brought us together, and we made tapes for each other for the duration of our friendship. One day I gave J the above song, telling her to listen closely, because she was someone’s Lady Jane and one day he would find her. One day she’d be loved by him so much, that what pain he couldn’t take away for her, he would have such understanding and offer such comfort that it would be just as well. She loved the song, but only sadly responded to the idea, “I don’t think it’s meant to be for me … ”

Cancer took my beloved friend a year ago this Saturday. I have grieved deeply from the loss of her during this time, but am transferring my emotions to rejoicing. Rejoicing that she is finally free from the pain in her body and the pain in her heart. Rejoicing in the thought that she is finally being loved the way she should have always been, in the all comforting arms of the One who truly sees her beauty. Any time I see a rainbow, I feel her with me. In those rainbows, I hear her voice - letting me know she is happy now.

Remembering you this weekend, J. I’ll see you again, dear friend.


Speckledpup said...

great post.

I really am at a loss for words.

Just a really great post. We all have those in our lives who have gone said it all so well.

The Pup

Rebecca said...

Oh, so sad Clew........ I'm sorry for your loss... and I'm sorry your friend didn't find the love she was looking for. But she's got two children to carry her memory! Do you stay in touch with them??

chesneygirl said...

What a beautiful tribute to your friend!

I followed the link to your rainbow post....How AMAZING!! That is really neat and very special!

Alli's Mom said...

What a beautiful post. And the rainbow link, how amazing how God works. The rainbows gave me goosebumps! You were both so blessed to have each other.

Martie said...

Just......simply, lovely!!

Rhonda said...

Simply beautiful - the tribute, the friendship and the message from beyond. This moved me to tears.

Thank you for sharing it with us.

Stacy said...

Beautiful tribute, Clew. I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. The pain of losing those dear to us doesn't go away so quick, does it? Lots of hugs to you.

Anna said...

What a beautiful post. She sounded like a great friend, and so do you.

i used to be me said...

I don't know what to say. I'm so sorry for your loss. :(

Michael Lehet said...

I'm very sorry for your loss, but it is wonderful to know that you think of her, that is probably the best testament in the world - to be remembered!

Anonymous said...


Your friendship lives on and what a dear friendship it is.

Michelle said...

I can't believe it's been a year already. J touched my life too and my breath still catches when I think of her and realize she is gone. My heart aches more now than when she first passed.

Hugs to you sis. I miss her too.

Cheryl said...

Yes, she is with the One who loves her like no other. I can feel your love for your friend in this post, Clew.

Cheetarah1980 said...

It sounds like you miss her terribly. It's so wonderful to know that she's now being loved for eternity.

Are her children okay? Who is taking care of them?

Ame said...

Wow . . . we were the same age . . . gosh . . . what a gift you were to her . . . to see HER. I'm sure you lightened her heart when she thought of you ... I'm sure she was thankful for you. I'm thankful you have a medium through which you can tangibly remember her.

clew said...

Thank you for all your kind words and thoughts! For those who asked, I have not kept in touch with her kids. Her son was out on his own at the time of her death but her daughter was still a teen.

Ironically, a month (to the day!) after J's death, I got a letter from her daughter. She said they'd been going through J's stuff and she'd run across a letter to me that J had been working on at the time she passed away, and she thought I'd like to have it. I'm sure I don't need to tell you how much it meant to me to receive that, and to know that in her final days she was thinking of me.

I wrote back to her daughter and thanked her - and told her if she ever needed to talk, to keep my contact info handy - but I haven't heard from her again.

*Sigh* I miss her so much, guys ... her death and its impact on my life is a huge reason for me starting this blog, actually. We both loved writing, and so this was a very natural medium for an outlet. Thank you for helping me keep her memory alive with your time and your comments.

It's Just Me said...

What a stunning tribute to your dear friend. That was such a beautiful post.

*** said...

Very well written. You must have been a wonderful friend to her.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Oh crap. Now I'm all teary and I'm not a sissy girl. *hugs*

Sunny said...

Great blog. Good writing. Glad to have found you too.

Joy said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing your heart with us clew. I wish I could physically give you a hug, but this is the best I can do. *HUGS*

Ruth Dynamite said...

She's still with you, Clew. Keep writing.

Lisa M. said...