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Love, Annie Jo

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Love, Annie Jo

Cathy

After reading Peter Pollock’s most recent thought-provoking post, “I am NOT OKAY,” http://su.pr/1DSgQP I thought to myself: I have truly conquered those “real” feelings that Peter is experiencing at the moment.

With the help of many kind and loving human beings, thankfully, I don’t feel overwhelmed anymore by sadness and grief for the losses in my life. I have been amazed by the outreach from even total strangers that have kept reminding me to trust Jesus through the hard stuff. Not only did my estranged adoptive mother pass away from old age in early November of 2008, but on December 29, 2008, my long-time close friend died. On the anniversary of her death today, I can say with a confident smile, “I am okay.”
 
I feel blessed by a deep friendship that was indeed a gift of love. Here’s a fond memory I would love to share with all of you that I put on my blog at the first of last year. To each of you, thank you for showing you care and being a part of my journey!

 
Yesterday I was searching frantically for a fond memory from way back when I was only 15 years old. As I kept looking everywhere possible, I tried to reassure myself, “There is no way I would have tossed a book of prose written by my classmates.” Starting as a very young child, I had loved collecting poem books.
 
Before my close friend, Cathy’s recent death from a brutal cancer, she let me know that it was okay if I didn’t like her nickname for me and besides she said, “I haven’t been calling you Annie Jo for that long.”

Hearing the fragileness in her voice, I didn’t ask her for an explanation why she would even think that. Instead I said with certainty, “No, you are the only one who has ever called me “Annie Jo.” I even have proof where you left me a love note in one of my books when we were in high school. I still have it you know.”

Surprisingly, it wasn’t her gaunt body withering away from such a horrible disease that scared me, but rather I so much wanted to see that sparkle in her blue eyes once more, like a beautiful sunrise glistening on the gentle ripples of the clearest blue lake. In the same visit to say my last goodbye, I talked about how I had hoped to rent a movie that the two of us and her sister had seen together as teenagers. We both laughed as I mentioned the tear-jerker that I had been teased unmercifully for a long time after.
 
Seven weeks later my dear friend tragically passed away at only 56 years old.
 
I haven’t found that poem book yet, but I wanted her know that she had written this in my yearbook over 38 years ago on a page ironically titled, “IT’S OVER.”
 
Dear Sweet Sis, Annie Jo,
What a sweet, but sad page to write upon. Well, once we realize that it’s not over, but that instead it’s “forever,” we’ll both be better off, right?

BLEEP! Didn’t know yer Kookie sis’s at it again, did ya Pumpkin? Well, yelp! I’ll never forget Love Story, will you, soggy-eyes? Nooo Way.
Thank you for being.

And remember:
Sisters are forever
Love, Cat
 
Dear Cathy,

I know that poem book will show up one of these days when I need a sweet reminder of your years of love and encouragement in my life. And oh yes, it’s okay if I cry when it truly has been a love story. I haven’t quite figured out how I want to honor “my cherished nickname” in your memory. Whatever I choose, I do know that “Sisters are forever.”

I loved you with my heart!

Your,
Annie Jo

 
I am enjoying being a part of the Blog Carnival.  This week’s theme is Love.  Please go to Bridget Chumbley’s site to read other blog entries and/or to join.
http://www.bridgetchumbley.com/2009/12/love-blog-carnival/

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10 Comments
  • David B says:

    Very touching. I know how much you loved her

  • katdish says:

    Honest writing. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  • Glynn says:

    Sharing what is hurting is a way to grieve in the light, the light that heals. Thanks for sharing your heart here.

  • Bridget says:

    JoAnne, you’ve certainly experienced plenty of loss… this is a beautiful story/memory of the love of dear friends… thank you …

  • Val says:

    What a great way to give a timely tribute to a forever friendship that holds those bittersweet memories of sharing your lives and hearts, that will never be forgotten. Thank you for sharing your heart my wonderful friend!!!

  • Kali says:

    Thank you for your writings & opening up your heart to all of us.

    ((((hugs))))

  • JoAnne, this was such a sweet tribute to your friend, and to friendships in general. What a blessing from God, to have a forever friend.

    You’re a special lady. I pray that this year will bring you much joy.

  • nAncY says:

    i am thankful that your are not feeling overwhelmed now, and that the Lord has given you loving people to help you when you need it.

  • I know your friend would be so proud of where you are now. I know she is smiling down right now and would be so happy that you have cherished your time with her. Beautifully said JoAnne.

  • Muzik says:

    how amazing is it to read and feel these words as i go through every line. at my age i struggle with friendships and people due to many reasons especially being adopted. i am sorry for your loss, but know that it always helps some one get through when you speak out, and thats just what you did. i needed this today. i pray you do find that book of poems and i hope you share with us all when you are ready what feelings come of this book as you go through it. Something i realized is that strangers can make the best people to help you understand things. its kinda strange. But you know Jesus has a way of doing things in our lives. stay strong sis!

    the voice of the adoptees

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  1. So sad, what a terrible experience. and I know it was only one of many for you. Love you friend!!!
  2. This fills me with sadness: “No child should have to continually try to make a parent love them.” What a tragedy that your mother was not able to accept love from you. My guess is that deep down, she didn’t feel lovable, and she had to cover that shameful fact up with a bunch of br…
  3. It’s insane that these findings were made but nothing was done about it. All these years later, you are still waiting for the wrongs to be righted.
  4. I love you❤
  5. I hope you are able to find more on the first chapters of your life. How twisty things became when people had to hide things…ugh. Sad.