Thursday, August 13, 2009

jumpin' jehosophat, part 2

continues today with part two of my hat tip to the special "Js" in my life!

Jill, friend with enthusiasm: When I find that I have some unexpected free time—sitting in traffic, for instance, or having an extended wait to board a plane—certain people come to mind and I pull out the phone and give them a ringy-dingy. Jill is one of those people. When she answers the phone and hears my voice her enthusiasm breaks barriers across cellular lines: “ANNE! (it takes her two full seconds to say my name) Hello, lovely one!” She may say that to everyone who calls her, but I don’t care. I love hearing the warmth and love in her voice when she says that to me. I consider Jill to be something of a free-spirit. She has spent years in theater-related work: acting, teaching acting, consulting in acting; coaching dialect; singing (she sang at our wedding, what a blessing!)… Whatever her mood or whatever cross she is bearing, she is never far from a smile and a positive word. She is fun and funny, creative and generous, hosts parties for any occasion or none. She is the only person I know who actually goes caroling through the neighborhood at Christmas (and on a couple of occasions I have joined her). She enjoys an eclectic set of friends and has a gift for making everyone feel as though they are the center of the universe. What’s not to love? She is a gem, sometimes with a cockney accent and sometimes drawling deeply southern. To think of her makes me feel good, to be with her does my heart good. Everyone should have a friend who offers that to others.

Jill, Juliet and Judy

Johanna, goddaughter: There are many blessings in my relationship with Johanna, the daughter I never had. She was six when our relationship began as members of the same church, but unlike other adult/child relationships that often wane and become warm reconnections, Johanna and I kept our bond intact and vital. One of the wonderful ways she affirms her affection is through her own initiation. She has come to visit me on a number of occasions, and one lovely October we shared a few days of vacation together in New England while she was there on business and I was there for continuing education. When she married I was honored with a corsage as her second mother. Of particular delight to me is the friendship we have. When she graduated from college she took time out from her celebratory party to take a walk with me so that we would have time together to get caught up. She listens, has compassion, prays, and is full of centered wisdom and counsel. She is my joy.

Judy, matron of honor: I met Judy in the fourth grade when we moved to a new house in a new town, which meant a new school. We’ve been friends ever since. We’ve shared vacations, weekends away, season tickets to the ballet, lots of letters, and a lot of dinners. We’ve laughed, cried, confessed our secrets and absolved each other’s sins. In our teen years when life at home felt empty and chaotic her family absorbed me as one of their own. It is through them that I fell in love with hockey, was introduced to the Episcopal Church, and got my first taste of sisterhood. We share a love of language and art, food and family, and though distance and time may separate us, the roots of our friendship are deep and strong.

Johanna, Jules and Junior

Jules, scrapping buddy: One of my first online friends through scrapbooking, Jules refreshes me with a lighthearted look at life. She never fails to offer an encouraging word when my chips are down, and she is a faithful and frequent supplier of sheep for my collection. She pays attention to the details of my life, evidence that she listens, and is constant with her invitation to visit and take refuge in her home when I need escape. She, too, is fun and funny, creative and generous, and she encourages and inspires my creative streak. She is sensitive to my sensitivities and knows that I need a hug before I ask.

Juliet, beloved dog: I had two dogs when I met Juliet, with no intention of expanding my canine household. But when this wee stray puppy appeared at an event produced by Jill (above!) and attended with Johanna (above!), I found her irresistible. Part Akita, part greyhound, Juliet is graceful, beautiful and soulful. She is affectionate on her own terms, yet in spite of that is such a love that she would make ice melt with a turn of her head and a glance in your direction. Her tail thumps loudly, and at the vet she earned the nickname of “Happy Girl.” She is that, and to me, so much more.

Junior, son (I dispense with the “step” reference): I give abundant thanks for the opportunity to be Mom to Junior. We have little in common, but a love that is strong and penetrating. We began to bond while we waited together through a surgical procedure that Ken was having. I knew I was a goner when, after my second visit with him he got in his car to drive home to be deployed to Iraq, the tears stung my eyes, my throat tightened and my heart grew heavy with missing him. He has given me a sense of family that I never had the joy of experiencing, and he and Trisha together deepen that blessing. Our Christmas together last year was one of the richest times I have known, and the bond of our hearts is responsible for that. I posted this video last winter after we had seen Cherryholmes at the Opry, and it continues to reflect my heart.


Jules said...

Thank you sweet Anne...the door is ever open to you as are our hearts!

Maria said...

You are truly blessed Anne with such a rich array of friends and family!

Mompriest said...

Your "J's" are all people - that is truly gratitudinal!

Jayne said...

So many "J's" in your life! :c)


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