Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Dear Jackie

Dear Jackie,

You came into my life when we were just crazy teenagers. When I did crazy things like have my friends over when my mom wasn't home and use her bank info for a free month of America Online. (Sorry, Mom!) That's where I met you. On the internet. I don't remember the conversations. I don't remember what chat room we may have been in. But you agreed to meet us, me and my group of friends.  We met for the first time at Oakbrook Mall. I never really thought it'd be a long term thing but then you started dating one of my friends, so I thought I should get to know you.

I think that's where our friendship really began. We went and saw Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion. We both thought the movie was silly but it definitely felt like we bonded. Then we drove around and listened to music where we jammed to Veruca Salt's Volcano Girls. I will never, never, never forget that.

When I got pregnant in high school, and had to finish high school at home, I wrote to you. Telling you about my life and what was going on and that senior prom was coming up. Not only was I a new mom but I knew probably couldn't afford to go. One day, in the mail, I got a card from you. It had $500 dollars in it. For a prom dress. You did that. You did that for me. You didn't have to, but you did and you gave me the opportunity to go to my prom. I will never, never, never forget that.

The next time I saw you was when I visited you at Georgia Tech. It was my very first plane ride. I was scared but not as scared as I am to fly today. You met me at the airport and brought me to your dorm. I wasn't 21 yet but I was able to drink and have a good time with you and your friends. We got our first tattoos together. I felt like, for one weekend, I was just a college student along with you. I will never, never, never forget that.

We lost touch on and off but I found you again. This time you were married and had a baby girl of your own. I was about to get married. You actually gave me your wedding dress. Which I had altered, and wore. After that though, we lost touch again for a little while.

The next time we found each other, we didn't lose each other. We were both divorced and moving on. You came to see me in my first home with my fiance and kids. I came to see you for New Year's Eve. You spent a weekend with us at the family cabin in Minocqua. We talked. We texted. It wasn't all of the time, but we were always there for each other.

We always said that we felt like we walked through very similar things at very similar times. I know we were both battling. I wish I could have been there for you more. We were the twisted sisters.... Meredith and Cristina. I could tell you things I couldn't tell anyone else. I don't know if I can watch an episode of Grey's Anatomy ever again with out thinking of you. With out missing you. And I most definitely know that no one will appreciate violin playing goats with me as much as you did.

Jackie, no one will ever replace you. To hear that you passed, was like a part of my soul just dissolved. I hope if you are up there looking down at me, you can see how much I loved you. Our souls were always connected and I'm so sad and mad and sad again ten times over that I've lost you. And I'll forever be sorry I didn't get on that plane two months ago.

I pray that you are at peace. I will likely still talk to you, annoyingly so. Might be in the shower. Or when I'm belting out songs in the car. Or crying over Grey's.

I just want you to know that I am going to do better. I am going to try harder. I am going to push myself more. I am going to do it for both of us. I wish you realized how amazing of a person you were. You made a difference. No questions. My life is better because you were in it and I'm so sorry, Jackie, that I missed the mark.

I love you. My soul sister. I will never, never, never forget you. I can't believe you are gone. I can't even picture it right now.

But I will leave this post with something I know you would appreciate and something we would have appreciated together....

I love you, Jackie. Goodbye, soul sister and rest in peace.