Goodnight, I love you.

Posted on | March 2, 2012 | 35 Comments

For the better part of a year, I have woken up every morning to five simple words on my telephone:

“Good Morning! I love you.”

No matter what time they came in, sometimes early, sometimes late, they were always there.  Just five words. Just nineteen letters.  Just a lifeline on the days when I barely wanted to lift my feet from under the covers and place them on the floor.  Jen knew, more than anyone else in my life, what it meant to want to stay in bed.  She knew in a way that defies understanding, that what I needed more than anything else was just to have someone there to remind me that it was morning and that I was loved.

Our days were peppered with text messages back and forth, sometimes silly and sometimes profound.  I’ll never forget her telling me that she was having nightmares about her own funeral, seeing her husband and child walking down the aisle of the church to grieve her passing.  But she didn’t focus on those things.  They were thoughts she pushed to the back of her mind, focusing instead on the arranged marriage between my son and her daughter (they could marry, but never sleep together unless both Jen and I were in the bed between them), or her worries over her husband’s lost sleep.  She wondered whether her beautiful daughter would feel, as we both did,  that all food was better when mom makes it… even though the most Jen ever really made was pimento cheese with ro-tel or a frozen dinner. 

“Maybe she’ll say ‘no one has a freezer stash like mom!'” She joked, laughing at her cooking skills, laughing at her love of frozen food, laughing… always laughing.

When you’re broken, you flock to broken people.  You cleave to the faces and names and words of people who know your pain, who feel your anguish, and who can understand your language without a need for interpretation.  If I said to Jen “I’m tired today,” she knew that I meant so much more.  I didn’t have to spell things out for her, she just… knew.

I was fortunate to be able to call her a friend, fortunate to have her number at the top of my speed dial list, fortunate to have found her after all these years.  I will never forget her and how she almost single-handedly pulled me out of the dregs of divorce and dusted me off with her wit and words and love.  She had strength that was so much bigger than her cancer-riddled frame. 

Even when she was sickest, even when she was in the hospital with bags and tubes and pain, even then she texted.  Apologizing for “being MIA” and reminding me she loved me.  Always reminding me that she loved me. 

This morning, there was no text.  This morning, there was no reminder. 

This morning she is gone.

But still I sit, staring at the shattered front of my little pink phone, wondering if it is okay to keep texting, to keep reminding myself and her that she is and was and will always be amazing.  I wonder if somehow, some way, she will get those texts and still smile, still nod, still remind me that she’s there and that she loves me.

Until then, I can only say what I’ve said so many times before, this time, crying the words up into the heavens rather than typing them out onto my phone:

“Goodnight, friend. I love you.”

Comments

35 Responses to “Goodnight, I love you.”

  1. momma23monkeys
    March 2nd, 2012 @ 9:09 am

    I am so sorry for the loss of such a wonderful friend. My heart breaks for you and those who loved her.

  2. Diana
    March 2nd, 2012 @ 9:09 am

    She sounds like an amazing person, mother, and friend and you did a wonderful job putting into words a beautiful tribute to all of those things. ((hugs)) I am so sorry she’s gone.

  3. Gillian Victoria
    March 2nd, 2012 @ 9:16 am

    I just put on my makeup to try and face this brutal day and now I cry again. It is amazing her capacity to love during her own time of anguish. She was there for me that way too, during my move from Columbus to Savannah, as I faced depression and loneliness. We gave each other daily sillies. It will be a big hole in my days. But, I will live differently too. Better. more patient. She will never leave us who were loved by her.

  4. Law Momma
    March 2nd, 2012 @ 10:17 am

    You know, back when everything was fresh with my divorce, she told me “Listen, if this cancer gets terminal, my first order of business will be to drive to Savannah and kill your ex-husband. What will they do to me? Death penalty?”

    I miss her so much already.

  5. Jana A (@jana0926)
    March 2nd, 2012 @ 9:23 am

    Oh, friend. Oh, sweet friend. I’m so sorry to hear this. My heart is broken for her family and all her friends who love her so much. Sending all of you my prayers and peaceful thoughts. (((hugs))) Love you, girl…

  6. KeAnne
    March 2nd, 2012 @ 9:30 am

    I am so very sorry for your loss. She sounds like an amazing friend. I know what you mean about still texting her. My husband’s beloved grandmother died recently and we still copy her on every email we send with pictures of our son. Maybe she’s receiving them somehow.

  7. Carrie
    March 2nd, 2012 @ 9:39 am

    Love you

  8. Jenn Watts
    March 2nd, 2012 @ 9:42 am

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. Please take care of yourself during this time. And maybe when Jenn’s daughter is a little older you can tell her all the wonderful things about her mother you just shared with us.

  9. Anne R.
    March 2nd, 2012 @ 10:02 am

    I am so so sorry about your friend. Sending peace to you, and to her husband & daughter.

  10. Joanna @ Growing up in Oz
    March 2nd, 2012 @ 10:09 am

    Oh Karen, I’m so very sorry to hear this. It’s heartbreaking.

  11. Susan
    March 2nd, 2012 @ 10:28 am

    I’m so sorry to hear about your friend. Lots of hugs to you and to her husband and daughter.

  12. Katherine in VA
    March 2nd, 2012 @ 10:43 am

    You are such a powerful writer. This post literally brought me to tears. I am so sorry for your loss. Good friends are so hard to find, and I’m just heartbroken for you that you’ve lost Jennifer. Prayers for comfort for you and her family. Huge hugs friend.

  13. Sven
    March 2nd, 2012 @ 10:56 am

    So sorry for your loss. Sending lots of love and good thoughts to you and her family.

  14. MaconMom
    March 2nd, 2012 @ 10:57 am

    My heart genuinely aches for you and her family. From your words, we know she was a truly lovely lady…inside and out.
    How blessed are you to have known her and had her in your life as such a true friend. What a gift she was!!! (i’m sure you were on to her as well)

    She will always be with you.
    Keep talking, texting…she gets them.
    I still post on my two friends facebook walls who have left this world.

    Sending you hugs, tears, and strength to get you through.

  15. Roxanne Piskel
    March 2nd, 2012 @ 11:28 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. Sending strength and love to you, and everyone who loved Jenn.

  16. molly
    March 2nd, 2012 @ 12:04 pm

    I’m so sorry, hon. This made me cry. I remember when I sometimes picked up the phone to call my best friend before I remembered that she would not be answering because she died. Ten years later, I still remember her phone number. I think we always will.

  17. nitnelion
    March 2nd, 2012 @ 12:21 pm

    I’m so sorry, Law Momma. There are absolutely no words that I can say that will ease the pain, but know that I’m thinking about you, about your friend Jenn, and about her husband, daughter and family. Having been through a similar situation a few years ago, I can say from experience that the best gift you can possibly give yourself, Jenn, and her family is to not let her be forgotten. Think about her, talk about her, and let her impact on your life be a lasting reminder of the type of person she was. As her daughter grows (and even now), she will be grateful for the memories and insights you have into her mom. The journey through grief is not an easy one, but one that unfortunately we all must make at some point or another…. I hope that you find peace as the end.

  18. lawmhcgirl
    March 2nd, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

    sad and beautiful.

  19. Kristinayellow
    March 2nd, 2012 @ 2:01 pm

    I’m so sorry. She sounds like an amazing woman who will live on through all of your memories and those of everyone who loved her.

  20. We Are the Sheppards
    March 2nd, 2012 @ 2:22 pm

    i am so sorry for your loss. she was an amazing friend and, thankfully, you have wonderful memories of her that you will hold near & dear to your heart forever.

  21. Jackie Henson
    March 2nd, 2012 @ 6:04 pm

    I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful friend, I will keep her family in my prayers & I will keep you in my prayers <3

  22. Madonna
    March 2nd, 2012 @ 7:09 pm

    I am sorry about the loss of your friend. My heart aches for you as you lose someone who has been such a rock. May her spirit continue to live inside your heart. Thinking of you and her family during this difficult time.

  23. April Grant
    March 2nd, 2012 @ 8:44 pm

    I’m sorry to hear about your loss. There’s no easy way around any loss and I hope that there’s someone that you can lean on. My heart is with you…

  24. Jules
    March 2nd, 2012 @ 8:53 pm

    Oh, Lord….I picked this up via Twitter, and found myself here. I am so sorry for your loss.

    I am participating in our company’s Relay for Life team and hosting a silent auction next month…I do it for those we still have and those that we have lost, and reading this? I will do it for the loss of your friend.

    Again, I am so very sorry! I know how much this must hurt!

  25. Katie Sluiter
    March 2nd, 2012 @ 8:59 pm

    no matter how many times I go through loss, I am helpless when someone else goes through it. I feel that I am standing before you with my palms up. I have nothing. Nothing but love for you and sorrow for all that you have lost.

  26. pinkflipflops44
    March 2nd, 2012 @ 9:05 pm

    ((()))

  27. Sherri
    March 2nd, 2012 @ 9:10 pm

    Oh, I am so sorry for your loss…friends just shouldn’t die. She obviously meant a lot to you. And you did to her.

  28. Joann Mannix
    March 2nd, 2012 @ 9:24 pm

    Hi,

    I’ve never been here before, but I read a Tweet about your loss and because I am nosy, I came over to see what was hurting you. I am so very sorry. I’ve read through a few of your latest posts and I’m crying and yelling, “Shit! Shit! Shit!” for you, for her, for everything.

    And even through your grief, your tribute to your friend is astounding and even glorious.

    Take care my new friend. May you find peace in your aching heart. Know that your darling girl is watching over all of you.

    I know. I’ve got someone special who left me way too soon. I feel his presence every single day.

    Once again, so sorry.

  29. Allison
    March 2nd, 2012 @ 9:26 pm

    Wow…very touching! I am deeply sorry for such an incredible loss!

  30. Friday (and now Saturday) Foolishness « Family Building With a Twist
    March 3rd, 2012 @ 9:45 am

    […] Momma at Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) wrote a beautiful post about the death of her dear friend.  She used to wake up every morning to a text from her friend and wonders if she can keep texting […]

  31. TheNextMartha
    March 3rd, 2012 @ 4:19 pm

    I hurt for you and am so so sorry.

  32. facie
    March 4th, 2012 @ 8:50 am

    So sorry.

  33. Fran
    March 4th, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

    So sorry you are going through this. I can empathize. Even though a dear friend of mine died almost 5 years ago – I can’t bring myself to delete his name and number from my list of contacts on my cell phone.

  34. Rachel Brown
    March 5th, 2012 @ 5:15 am

    I am so sorry for your loss.

  35. Erica M Lemon
    February 28th, 2014 @ 1:30 pm

    this was a very touching post. made me cry! <3

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    Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) by Law Momma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
    Based on a work at http://www.law-momma.com.
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