Thursday, September 6, 2012

Remembering Ima Jean

Ima Jean was one of the best friends I ever had. We were teenagers together, and we went to church together, and we endured camp together, and suddenly she is gone. I haven't seen her much in the last 40 or 50 years, but when you have a good foundation, the friendship is stable even after all that time.

I knew she had cancer, but she detailed the course of treatment, and I thought she would be here for a while. I know the devastation cancer causes to body cells and systems, so I shouldn't be surprised that it was quick.It was widespread in her body. She didn't belabor the fact when she wrote about it; she even minimized it. She was concerned about the doctor's distress in delivering the news to her. Her days were filled with family and friends and love. Her last days were mostly pain free, and she celebrated her birthday just before the end. As things go, she didn't do badly.

I've been focused on memories for a while now, and remembering Ima Jean is one memory I cherish. She was beautiful and joyous and precious. She learned of the beauty of loving God before I did, and she taught me to enter that sphere of understanding when we were still school girls.  I will always be indebted to her for ushering me into that special place with my Savior.

Ima Jean is in the middle and she still looks just like she did when we were 18.
It's funny that memory can make friendship so special and current even though we haven't seen each other for so long. Oh, Ima Jean, I'm gonna miss you, but I'm so glad I knew you when we were just starting out. You made me better for the rest of the journey.


Antonella said...

It's amazing how when something or someone is committed to memory they can be so close to you even after decades, they stay with you because they have been a part of you. I am very sorry fo your loss.

Gayle Haynes said...

Antonella You understand. Thanks for your comment.