My mom used to remind me I should make friends with people my own age. She kept saying, Janice is older than you, when she graduates you'll be lost.
Janice Mason Keirns was my best friend before I really knew what "best friends" were all about.
She was a few years older than me. When I first met her, in band, she was the one yelling and talking a little louder than anyone else. However, everyone around her was laughing. I had to check her out. I knew from that very moment, I had to be that girls friend. She was a crazy woman. And if you knew her, you loved her.
My Mom was right about one thing, when she graduated from high school before me, I was lost. I missed her so much. I had other friends, but they weren't the same.
Janice was the one person I could really be myself with. We shared secrets. I was in their wedding. I was there when her first son was born.
Over the years we drifted apart, but only in miles, never our hearts.
We kept in touch via email, later on sometimes Facebook.
One day I called her after one of her long stretches with this ugly disease, just to see how she was. I thought I would be talking to her precious hubby. I was shocked when she answered the phone herself, her voice weak. Her poor hubby was on the couch with the flu. That was the last time I heard her voice.
This morning when I learned she passed away on Saturday, my mind has been racing. Sorting through hundreds of memories with her.
I don't think she ever met a stranger. And if she did, they didn't stay a stranger. She always made me laugh. One of the things I will always remember about her was her laugh. It was infections, contagious. My heart is so heavy now, and as I write, I'm wiping tears from my cheeks. However, I know where she is. I also know she and her son Darrin have been reunited.
I know she is pain free..... I smiled a few minutes ago thinking that my own Mom met her and hugged her on Saturday too.
Janice and I had so much fun together. We never got in trouble, but there were a few times neither of our Moms would have been thrilled by our decisions.
I always hoped I would go to heaven before Janice did. I wanted to tell God my side of the story first.
I love you my sweet friend, Janice Mason Keirns, May 14, 1944-November 24, 2012.
Rest in Peace......