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Thursday
Aug112011

Goodbye My Funny Forever Friend

One of the greatest joys of living a full life is having terrific,  loving,  long time friends.   The flip side of that is there comes a day when we have to say goodbye.   This week I have experienced that for the first time,  with a Forever friend.   I will tell you honestly....it sucks.   She taught me to say it like that....
Each friend brings a different quality to your life.   Each friend is a gift in their own unique way.   The friendship grows and because so comfortable,  like a down quilt on a winter’s day.    Jeannette brought so many gifts to my life.
Strange because I would not have thought we would have become friends at all.   We came from similar backgrounds but over our lives we move forward in different directions.  That was never a problem for us.   We loved because we never saw our differences.   All we saw was the good times,  the caring and the sharing.   Mostly we shared laughter and a common goal of weight loss.   
I first meet Jeannette almost 30 years ago.   She became my inspiration as I struggled with my weight.   She had lost 190 pounds to become an International Queen in an organization called Tops.   I was new,  just starting my weight loss journey and she became my mentor.   Then I became a Queen with  my weight loss.   This is a unique group we were in.  Both losing over 100 pounds joined us at the hip and we never looked back.  Years later when Jeannette suffered health problems she lost her title of Queen in the Tops world but never in my World.   She never stopped encouraging me and she was my champion all these many years.   Never jealous or envious just always supportive and genuinely gleeful for every year that I kept my status.   A few years ago Jeannette started to fail and she became wheel chair bound and it was not only difficult for her to get out but very painful.  But as I received my 25th year Medallion for maintaining my weight loss....I looked out as I stood on that stage and their was my most loving friend sitting in front of me,  in her wheelchair,  beaming for me.   I know what it took her to get herself there.
That’s a big piece of my World with Jeannette.   It’s does not define her though.
If your lucky enough in your life time you will come across someone who is so genuine and  honest that they make you a better person just by being in their presence.  That was Jeannette.  I don’t know of another person who gave from the heart,  even though she had nothing,  told it like it was,  even when you didn’t want to hear it, and blessed you with kind and loving words so often that you believed they were true.   That also was a big piece of my world with Jeannette, but that did not define her.
For me,  what defined her,  what brought me to her in the beginning and what I will miss most is her laughter and her gift for teaching me how to get in trouble and get away with it.   No one on this planet has made me laugh until tears were streaming down our faces and we were both  holding on so we wouldn’t pee our pants (and sometimes we did).   This was not a rare occurrence,  it was a daily occurrence.   We have gotten in more trouble,  gotten away with more crap and people still shake their heads at what we would do.   It’s amazing we never got arrested although  we came close a few times.  We would set each other up and so as not to look bad in each other’s eyes....we would be off and running.   We were a team,  the two of us.   Funny though,  everybody wanted to be where we were.   That is what defines my friend.   That is what my World was with Jeannette.   I will miss her laughter most of all.   I think she is laughing now as I write this and I’m sure she has turned Heaven upside down.  Sweet Jesus,  I told you to get ready for her.
It’s at times like this and with a friend like this,  that I realize that life is never about the mundane or the social status one dwells in.   We were as different as could be in so many ways but in more ways, we were alike.   Each time we saw each other,  even on that very last day,  when I entered her hospital room,  she lifted her poor tired face for a kiss.   Even on that last day we shared stories,  made promises to each other, whispered I love you over and over and one last time we laughed.
Rest in peace my Funny Forever Friend.   No longer will I push you in your chair...but I will forever carry you in heart.
 
August 11, 2011
11 Comments :
Darlene
That is so sad and yet you both had such a great life as friends and loved each other so much. The kind of friendship you had is something a lot of people never ever have, and for that you were greatly blessed. I am so sorry for your loss.
Thursday, August 11, 2011 - 04:41 PM
Anonymous
How blessed you both were to have each other as friends for such a long time, but that must make the parting that much more painful. I am so sorry to hear of Jeannette's passing GF; she will always be in your heart but how you will miss her. I love this pic of the two of you & your description of your relationship over the years - what a pair of hooligans... wonderful! I hope that the love of your other friends, family & grandchild will help ease the loss.
Loveya! Gxx
Thursday, August 11, 2011 - 05:10 PM
Chris AKA Broken Ankle (my native name;)
This is a tribute of a loveing friend. Sisters of the heart. I am not alone knowing you are among the BPOE. Now make your friend proud and go get in trouble. 
Love you girl.
Thursday, August 11, 2011 - 05:51 PM
mary your friend
sweetie I am sure you were a light in her life as you are mine..don't know what I would do without you..you will miss her and she will be watching over you..memories are all we have sometime and they are what keeps us going and makes us smile,,and you will smile when ever you think of her...
Thursday, August 11, 2011 - 07:33 PM
Ken Yuel
What a beautiful story Cheryl, I can't help but think of the joy and happiness you brought to Jeannette, yes she is now gone but the memories you have will last a lifetime.  It is always sad when you have to say goodbye to a loved one and cherished friend, but rest easy knowing Jeannette left you with a smile on her face, that is the effect you have on so many, I should know because you have always made me smile......
Thursday, August 11, 2011 - 08:06 PM
A Shared Light
Cheryl,
I am so honored that you were a part of my mom's life. She was very fortunate to have such a wonderful friend. I know you meant the world to her and you personally told me that she was a bright light in yours and this picture and story is proof. 
She talked about you constantly and I have only heard a small number of stories and I am sure it was because I would say "Maaa you two are nuts" or " I am glad I wasn't there I would have been mortified"..and that would make her laugh even harder and louder. Probably because it was reassuring proof that she pulled off another one yet again, on the edge ever so close to crossing it and getting away with it. She would be proud of the two of you and what you did. 
I must admit I was crying my eyes out at the beginning when I started reading this wonderful tribute and ending up smiling. 
Thank you Cheryl for all your love and support and all that you did for her spirit, light and life.
Love you always,
Regina
Thursday, August 11, 2011 - 09:37 PM
Jeannette's neice
Hi Cheryl,
That is such a great write up - so real.  Remember YOU were a very big light in Auntie's world as well.  Thank you so much for this great rememberence.
Even though I could never love Fudruckers as much as you two - I did really enjoy going with Auntie because SHE enjoyed it so much.  All the while I was there she would talk about how you two loved this place.  Let's you and I go one of these days in memory of Auntie.
Love and appreciation,
Joyce
Monday, August 15, 2011 - 07:54 PM
Cheryl
You name the day Joyce and we will go.   Thanks for visiting and thanks for your wonderful comment.   She would have loved your "wonderful" true story.   It was "priceless".   xoxo
Monday, August 15, 2011 - 08:59 PM
Cheryl
To all of you,   my wonderful loving friends and contacts,  I send thanks for your kind words,  your understanding of my sadness and your ability to reach out when I needed you most.  
You all make the difficult times bearable and make the moving on easier.
I am blessed in the love of all of you and I return it to you fully.
Monday, August 15, 2011 - 09:01 PM
Esther
Cheryl, what a beautiful tribute to an obviously fabulous friend and person.  I wish I had known her but I'm very glad to have you for a friend.  You have a wonderful gift with words.  Keep it up.
Friday, August 19, 2011 - 08:39 PM
Cheryl
Thank you Esther for visiting and for your kind words   It's friends like you and Jeannette that make my life a joy everyday.
xoxo
Friday, August 19, 2011 - 09:45 PM
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