I was enjoying a BBQ with friends yesterday afternoon when I randomly checked Facebook. I scrolled through and saw posts saying “breathe easy Jennie.” I had to go back and check who it was posted for because surely it couldn’t be one of my best CF friends. I immediately got up and walked away from our group of friends. I don’t even know how to process the news of her passing. I quickly messaged mutual friends to find out what happened. We have been friends for about 15 years!! Her passing was unexpected, therefore it is a complete shock. We had plans for her to come here next month to visit when another one of my best CF friends (one of our mutual friends) would be here. We were ready for a fun time with lots of laughing. Now myself and my other friend will be making plans to lay our great friend to rest instead.
Jennie and I had many conversations about this day in our morbid way that we did. I am not ready for this day to be real. I am sad to the core. Jennie was a wife, mother and a Meme (grandma). Her family will be lost without her. My heart hurts for them as they embark on this journey of saying goodbye and until we see you again.
Losing friends with the same disease you have is never easy, even when it is expected. It is even harder to swallow when it is unexpected. Yes, I hate CF and the fact that it takes the people I love and care about away is hard. However, if I didn’t have CF I would have never met these great people. With all that said, this is the life I was dealt and I choose to fight and live life to the fullest and try not to waste time hating something I can’t change. I would be a miserable person if I thought about how much I hate CF all the time. Instead I choose to be thankful for the time I have for myself and with these fantastic people. It is easy to hate CF and all that is involved with it. It is so much harder to keep pushing and living but that is what I choose. Giving up is not in my vocabulary, nor is it a part of who I am. I am too stubborn to give up. Jennie was just as stubborn and that was one of the reasons we got along so well. I am so going to miss all of her posts on Facebook and Instagram. I will miss our conversations much more. We checked up on each other often with the most recent being last weekend when we were making our plans for her to visit me here in TN in August. We had attempted getting together many times over the years. It never failed that one of our bodies was being rebellious and we had to reschedule again and again. I am sad that the only time I will be able to see her face to face is when we lay her to rest.
I remember my first funeral of a friend with CF. We had been at the same CF camp for years as kids. My mom and I went and it was probably one of the hardest things I had to do as a child. I had to face the reality of what CF can do. I cried so hard and cried for days. That didn’t stop me from making more friends with CF though. Life with CF is all I know. It is great to be able to talk with people who know exactly how you feel and what your life is like. It is also a blessing to be able to help others that haven’t been where you have in the terms of CF and to be able to be there to encourage them and let them know they are not alone.
I continue to pray for Jennie’s family for strength and peace during this whole process and for the time to come as they learn to live life without this spectacular woman by their side.
Jennie, I guess you won the contest of who’s body could be the most rebellious causing us reschedule our plans. Now I have to wait a lot longer to see you face to face. We will have smoking hot CFless bodies though when we do see each other. Save a place for me right next to you so we can pick up where we left off in our conversations of making fun of people and their stupidity. Man chick…I miss you so much already! Yes I’m crying for you (as I type this) and I won’t suck it up…not yet. Who am I going to call now that I don’t have my number 1 “bury a body friend” here when I need some business taken care of? (inside joke) I’m sorry I can’t get to your computer to delete your browsing history and all “evidence” like you asked me to do. I also don’t have the right Facebook password to update your status that you are officially “pushing up daisies” or that “the reset button didn’t work on the vent.” I know some won’t get our morbid sense of humor but that is one thing we had in common. It is much harder to even think about doing those things for you like you asked when this day really got here than talking about it like we did. I love you girl and always will. You will forever be in my heart and I’m sure if you figure out a way to mess with me on earth you will. Hugs and kisses! I Love You!! Shannon
Until next time…