Late last Friday night, I heard the news that my dear, sweet friend had passed away. I read the words and couldn't comprehend them. My brain felt really fuzzy, my skin tingled, and I felt my heart beat hard and then stop, as if clenched. And then I sobbed.
Over the course of the next few days my emotions went from disbelief, to fear, to joy, then back to disbelief. She can't be gone. Did she go in peace? Her pain is gone, she's in heaven. This can't be real. Her happy face would flash through my mind and I would be overcome with the urge to hug her. I just want to hug her one more time. I want to call her every time Jesus puts her on my heart. I want to visit her in the hospital. I want to pray harder for her and keep her company.
My dear, sweet friend Jordanne won her battle with cancer. She's now in a place far better than any of us left behind can imagine. A better reality than anything she experienced here on earth before or during her cancer. That's a victory for sure.
My earliest memory of Jordanne is the day we took a tour of the high school campus. As freshman, everyone in our tour group seemed a little nervous. The kind of nervous where you try to act cool to cover your nervousness but then you end up just acting..kinda dorky nervous. You totally know what I'm talking about. But Jordanne really was cool. She was the tallest student in the tour and I could tell she was a genuinely nice person.
Through the first 3 years of high school, Jordanne and I were mostly just friendly acquaintances. She was on the dance team and I was in choir. It wasn't until the summer between junior and sophomore year that we really got to know each other. That was the summer we started beauty school together. I sat on the curb outside of the building and when she got there, even though we didn't know each other well, I was happy to see a familiar face. She sat next to me and we waited for the first day to start.
We were kind of crazy in beauty school. Jordanne was Miss Jo's favorite (it was totally obvious) and because of that, we got away with a little more than the rest of the students. We snuck out for lunch, procrastinated on our perm wraps, begged to leave a little early, and took a few too many bathroom breaks. All in good fun.
One thing that I love remembering is the night Jordanne and I (with the help of a couple other friends) drove around in the dark looking for road signs to...collect. We found an 'Equestrian X-ing' and had to have it. The next day, we took Miss Jo that fancy new sign and laughed through the whole story of how we got it. Miss Jo acted really upset and scolded us but we knew she thought it was funny, too, and she kept the sign anyways.
Miss Angie was another one of our instructors. She usually taught us our Theory class. We had study guide books to go along with our text books and the idea was to fill in the blanks with the correct answer. As you can imagine, it was really tedious. So, one day we were sitting in class and Jordanne starts giggling. Like, uncontrollably. What the heck? She shows me her work book and the whole page of blanks is filled in with song lyrics. We did that for weeks and nobody noticed. We'd turn them in, the instructors would flip through and see the blank pages filled, and give us credit for the work. Haha. Sorry Miss Angie.
Geez, I guess my beauty school memories make us sound like a bunch of hooligans. Like I said, it was all in good fun and at the end of the day, we did what we were supposed to do. Jordanne was amazing at up-dos. She even won 1st place in a district competition! She really liked doing makeup, too, and would draw all sorts of designs onto her mannequin's face with permanent markers.
The two of us used to drive to a lot of away football games together. One night, we heading out towards some place far. Bremerton? Belfair? All I know is it was super dark, it was before phones had maps, and we kinda felt like we were driving into a horror movie. Also, it was really close to Halloween. We downed a couple RedBulls and inevitably had to find a bathroom. We were in the middle of nowhere. Or so it seemed until we found a Safeway. Rushing in, Jordanne was a few steps ahead of me. The next thing I know, Jordanne is shrieking and jumps about 2 feet in the air only to collapse on the floor at my feet. Just about peed my pants, let me tell you. The display of Halloween decor was full of motion activated monsters and zombies and had all lunged out at Jordanne right as she walked by!! Haha, oh man. You had to be there. It was the funniest thing. Thankfully, we still had to go to the bathroom but on our way out we walked arooouund that display. Then laughed the rest of the way to the game (which, by the way, we eventually found and were never kidnapped or chased by any other scary things we were imagining).
There was also the time, more recently, when we were waiting in line for a comedy show. Jordanne had a brace on her knee and was using crutches. A couple guys in front of us struck up a conversation by good naturedly asking Jordanne 'What'd ya do? Fall down the stairs?' Jordanne laughed whole heartedly and then graciously replied, 'No, I have cancer.' Um, those two guys felt really horrible but Jordanne sweetly said what she could to make them feel better. To this day I'm impressed by her attitude. She didn't let herself wallow in self-pity or get angry. She did what she could to make other people more comfortable.
There are many more memories like racing to Target 10 minutes before closing, Arby's drive-thru, Wendy's dollar menu, shopping trips, eating pomegranates, rapping along with Eminem, photo shoots in the woods, the creepy, run down cabin we found, middle of the night grocery runs for eggs, sticking up for each other, and helping each other out.
Her memorial service was Saturday. I thought I'd be a wreck. But, ya know? It was beautiful. And encouraging! One thing the pastor kept saying was how, as Jordanne's body got weaker, her faith got stronger. I'm so incredibly thankful to know that Jordanne had hope because she trusted Jesus. The pastor also read a few entries from her journal and it was undeniable that God was giving her strength and peace, even as her body failed her. Jesus never left her and now, they'll be together forever.
Thank you for respecting my week away from the internet as I grieved, remembered, and honored the memory of my friend. She was an amazing person and will be missed very much. What a relief to know we'll see each other again one day!