BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN, MESA ARIZONA – Last week, Jane, a dear friend died. She was the “emergency number” that my parents had given the school to call if they could not reach them. There were times the school called her and she came. It is comforting for a young person to know there are others in the world who care about you in addition to those who are supposed to care about you. For me that person was Jane.
I hadn’t seen her for two years. She had been ill, but it was still a surprise to hear of her passing. I can still see her so clearly in my mind. She always had a warm and inviting smile for me. That is how I remember her. I know there were times she was probably frustrated with her daughter and me because of our antics. I am sure she was impatient with the messes we made and failed to clean up. Mostly, though, I remember the smiles and, sometimes, the laughter. Some situations are even more funny later on … years later on!
Remembering has a domino affect. When I recall Jane then I think of her husband Al and then their children (my friends) Mike and Patty. Then I recall the other families who lived around the cabin. Then their children. It goes on and on. One connection leads to another until I have probably come full circle and thought of … you. Does everyone do that? Spend time remembering people and moments that make you smile? Moments that can still warm your heart decades later? Jane reminds me of my childhood. Carefree days at the beach or in the mountains or at her breakfast table eating French toast or being chased by the police on our 3.5HP dark green mini bikes. Oh … I digress.
Last week, I had to put down emergency contact numbers for my daughter. I was thinking that this was the “Jane” in her life, the guardian angel who will come if we cannot be found. Come to think of it, she has more than one! Lucky girl!