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So Long, Dear Friend

Updated: Feb 25


Dear Nanelle,


It’s been almost two weeks and I still can’t find words to explain how much I miss you. I still can’t find words to describe my sadness. I still can’t believe you’re not coming back. I’m doing my best to keep the anger at bay, but in my weaker moments, it bubbles up. I’m so mad at this disease. I want more time.


I suppose I feel so lost right now because it’s in a time like this that I would normally turn to you for support. You always knew how to support your friends. Not a “You should do this, this and this.” kind of support. But instead, a listening ear, an open heart, an open mind and endless empathy. You passed no judgment. You offered thoughtful and insightful words. I always walked away from our conversations feeling better. I hope you did too. I want more time.


I find myself with my phone in my hand to text you as I usually would, so that I can ask all the questions and thoughts swirling in my head lately. Does your eye make-up look as beautiful as always? Are you donning fabulous new clothes? Are you creating the same incredible works of art that you produced during our years at McAuley? What’s your chosen soundtrack as you design a living space as warm and cozy as every home you’ve ever owned? Tea or coffee? Lake or ocean? Empire Records or Good Will Hunting (hopefully both!)? I can hear you laughing at my questions. I know how elementary and ridiculous they sound. These questions and thoughts are my mind’s simple way of trying to connect with you once again. They are a reflection of the cherished memories that my heart is slowly tucking away so that one day, I can share them with your beautiful children. I want more time.


In the more than three decades that we were friends, I know nothing made you happier than Kevin, Atty, Teagan, Liam and Conor. Seeing you with your family was like watching a love story unfold in front of my eyes. Watching and hearing about you and Kevin joyfully riding the waves of marriage and parenthood was an inspiration. At times, I felt like I was getting a free master class in partnership and parenting. Kevin is going to continue riding those parenthood waves with the same grace and dignity and humor that he always has, but his heart aches without you by his side. I want more time.


We shared more life milestones than many friends could ever dream. We shared more laughs and cried on each other’s shoulders more times than I can count. We shared secrets as little girls. We shared in mischief as teenagers. We shared dreams and fears as adults. We shared love – for each other, for each other’s families, for each other’s successes. And yet no matter how many of these memories I total up, it still doesn’t feel like enough. I want more time.


Love,

Jessica


P.S. Atty, Teagan, Liam and Conor – You are surrounded by so many loving family members who will forever keep your mom’s memory alive. Please know you can always call on me too, as it will be my honor to keep her memory alive alongside you.

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