Wednesday, January 26, 2011

When You're the Best of Friends.

(This is a reprint of a Facebook note, so you may have already read it.)

She was the most loyal friend I've ever had. We met in the 10th grade and were instant best friends. It was a deep and loving friendship. There was a time when we were closer in distance that I would have said she was my heart. In fact, "The Wind Beneath My Wings" was a song I would have ascribed to her. "You were content to let me shine - that's your way," is a good quote to describe her.

When some older girls ganged up on me, Johnna stuck up for me and would have fought for me.

My dad called her Jonah. It was an inside joke. Sometimes I called her Johann because once an Army recruiter called her house looking for him.

When a boy broke my heart nine words from her summed it all up to me and brought me relief. "You weren't ready for it to end, were you." I wasn't. And I'm still not. Not where she is concerned.

There were times I did her wrong and betrayed our friendship. But she always took me back with open arms, no questions asked.

She came to my college graduation in California. She visited me in South Carolina several times when I lived there. My ex-husband was a jerk to her and yet she took it - for me. She gave me a beautiful topaz necklace as a wedding present and she wasn't even invited. She was in my heart, though. I was a terrible friend then, I was hurting and scared, but obviously she waited for me to come to my senses. Which I did and we resumed our friendship. She was a faithful friend.

I was a bridesmaid in her wedding. She was so generous she picked a style off the rack for bridesmaids dresses so we could actually wear them again. I wore it for years. I wish I hadn't finally donated it somewhere and that I could still wear it. I am wearing my beautiful necklace right now and probably won't take it off for awhile. I loved her. She was a considerate friend.

I remember when her sister Jamie let me know that Joshua had been born. I was in Colorado and called just to check up on Johnna. I visited Jaden in the hospital when he was a preemie. Johnna was so good with him and didn't seem nervous at all. "I cook 'em fast," she said. She had a chance to meet my kids that I thought might never come to be. We all ate at Hickory Park together. My youngest LB and her youngest Jessie were about the same age.

Time and physical distance took a toll on our friendship just like it does, but we were always ready and able to quickly pick up. Because of my dad's illness I've been back to Ames twice in the past few months and got to hang out with Johnna and her kids. They're such great kids and she was an amazing woman and mom.

I'm angry. I'm mad that she's gone. I'm jealous. Jealous that other people have memories with her too, and many that were made before she and I even met. And I'm sad. I can cover up my feelings in denial when I'm busy, but as soon as time stops a little bit I just can't believe she's gone. It's especially hard to look at pictures of her. I'm sure I'll go through some albums when I'm home for her funeral. Funeral. How sad.

I'm not ready to let it end.


EDisturbia said...

Amy, I am so sorry for your loss. Though I obviously didn't know her, I remember hearing you talk about her from time to time.

I can't imagine what you have to face emotionally going to Ames this weekend, but I will think of you often.

Love and prayers,

Ann said...

Your memories of beautiful Johnna are so true and so meaningful to me. In my heart, she will always be your livelyand lovely teenage friend who came bounding in our door with a contagious smile and a caring spirit.

Jess said...

I'm sorry. :(

miriam said...

(((Amy))) I donut' have words except I am so sorry, I feel your pain and I wish you an easy journey as you remember miss and grieve your wonderful friend Johnna.