Today I woke. Convinced myself that running while it was thundering outside may result in a lightning strike, and attempted to rest. Unsuccessful, I did what many do once they wake up, check my Facebook feed. There it was, Jan had left this world to join her Heavenly Father. Free from cancer, sin and the other perils of this sinful world. I must have been holding my breath, because I gasped for air and then quietly let the tears fall.
I am happy she is no longer suffering, but selfishly I want her here.
Mostly because I want the time I wasted when she was here to fix all the missed birthdays, opportunities to visit with her, and a second go around at being a better friend. Be the friend she was to me. I know she forgave my absent minded, busy, self-focused excuses, but now I am left with forgiving myself.
Jan was the first real friend I had when I moved to Waco. From the Facebook posts I have read, I am not the only one she was the “Welcome Wagon” to Waco. She was the one who brought me to a church family at Columbus Avenue, when I was struggling to find a church home. As we became closer, she was my walking partner, craft/stamper partner in crime, and mentor.
Jan showed me how blessed it is to be a mother and wife. She modeled how to “make” memories with her family and “make” cinnamon candy at Christmas.
When my own mother and family were too far away for holidays and baby showers, she eagerly jumped in to provide those moments.
Christmas with Jan her Family and Eric and I
Jan as lead hostess at my Baby Shower for my first born
Jan never missed a moment to foster, develop and deepen relationships with others. She would talk with you all night and then make you pancackes in the morning… she never left a heart or tummy empty at her home.
There were very few that came in to see me when I was still in my delivery “garb” when I had Embug. With her there was no question she should be there. For a scared first time mom, her hugs and words of reassurance were all I needed.
I wish I could say I did the same for her. She was amazing. Unlimitless love, devotion and friendship.
It was evident not only in her, but her children. Steve(her husband) and Jan loved each other and their kids ferociously. Their kids loved everyone around them as well.
Scott (Jan’s youngest) holding Embug under Jan’s watchful eye.
The service is Saturday. It will be a tearful, yet joyful celebration of Jan’s life and her new life in Heaven. I know many will miss her, I definitely will. What I will mourn, though, are the moments I did not take, and the opportunities I let slip by to do as Jan did, and live a life of ferocious, intentional and passionate love for others.
I am so thankful for the brief time that I had the blessing of being in Jan’s life. She taught me so many lessons about motherhood, marriage, friendship and crafting, yes, crafting.
On Saturday, Jan’s family has asked us to bring purple handmade cards with our sentiments inside. I have been hanging on to the one below for some time…
Why? I am not sure. I wish I had already sent it to her and had no purple card, but had to make a new one. I have some time to think about what I will write inside, but as of now… I have no idea what to say. I just keep thinking of what should have been said before my dear friend Jan was no longer here.
Dear Kirsten: Very sorry for the loss of your friend. Your tribute to her showed her as the best of friends. Your regrets only show that you were busy doing the things she taught by example and we never have enough time to spend with those we love. With deepest sympathy, Nancy Wilson
Nancy, Thank you.