This Saturday I attended a memorial for one of my high school friends, Michael. He was a fraternal twin to my bestie in grade school, Jean Ann. Now they are both gone. My heart was so sad because while I was at Mike's memorial I was really missing my friend that never had a memorial.
We were tied at the hip when we were ages 9-11. What fun we had. I miss that. She had a happy life at one time. This Saturday while attending his memorial I heard rumblings that the reason the memorial was two weeks out was because Jean Ann's children wanted to attend!!!!! WHAT! Oh my gosh, while sitting in the sanctuary my head was whipping around trying to see if I could recognize anyone, somehow. You see, while in high school sweet Jean Ann got pregnant. We had fallen out as friends after 6th grade (long story but it involved my broken leg). Her circle of friends had rotated into a different sphere and I was not part of that sphere. She became very popular and quite beautiful. Football Queen, honor society, student council, etc., but probably what hurt most for her was the beautiful coming too early in her life. In high school Jean Ann became pregnant. Back in the 70's it just wasn't cool and she was ostracized by her so called circle of friends but she swung back to me again. I remember her parents set her up in a little one room house at the other end of town, by herself. I'm not sure why they did that except that she and her brother DID NOT get along and maybe they got tired of the fighting, no idea really. I again stayed the night with my old friend several times while her tummy grew and grew. I got to feel the baby move around and that was so wonderful. She was so excited. I used to remember the date the baby was born and I know I have it written down somewhere but in 1973 Bryan Christopher was born and she was elated.
Saturday while mingling around in the after memorial crowd I spied two good looking guys and a beautiful girl and heard a name I just knew, just knew. I interrupted the conversation and introduced myself and found myself shaking hands and looking into the eyes of that sweet baby, Bryan Christopher. A big strapping handsome man that took me back to that sweet baby. Oh I teared up as I told him I HAD to have a hug. I told him I knew him before he was born, was with his mother when she was expecting him. He teared up too. The other man was her second born, Tony and the girl, Tabitha her youngest. There are two other boys too and late in the evening I was sent a photo of all five of Jean Ann's beautiful children. What a legacy she left. He has a lot of good memories of my friend, his mother and that makes me happy. Sadly the OTHER side of the family, her brother's side has tainted memories of her and tried to mar his image of his mother. I'm trying to write a lot of the wonderful memories I have of her, of our time together for them. I'm now friends with Bryan on Facebook and hopefully I am helping him to remember a wonderful mother for him. Yes, she made mistakes and was no angel, who is. But for those left behind, we can learn from her mistakes and make better choices in life. Her babies were not mistakes, they were gifts and they can continue to live and contribute to the world.
Jean Ann leaves a wonderful legacy in her children.
My beautiful sweet friend who taught me to love longhorn cheese and pickles, to laugh, to tease her brother, to love life, I miss you.