Today I buried a dear friend. This was a "forever" friend. We had known each other since my time began on this earth. Her dad and mine were high school pals who remained best friends all their lives. Therefore, Jan and her sister and my brother and I were raised together. What a quartet we made! Lots of fun growing up. Lots of sorrows, too. When Jan's sister was 14, she died of nephritis. This was the first close friend I had lost. I was 13.
As we all became adults, we grew closer. I thrilled over the birth of Jan's children, as she did mine. Although we didn't see each other all the time anymore, we kept in close touch. I sympathized with her over her divorce, and she was there for me when my wife died. Now she is gone. Taken too early, and leaving behind three wonderful children and lots of grandkids. Her funeral today was the kind of funeral everyone should have in my opinion. Jan's grandson spoke on behalf of all the grands. He talked about all the fond memories they would keep in their hearts about their grandmother. He struggled, his mom handed him tissues, but he did a fine job. The pastor read some scriptures, then he read some letters that Jan's second graders had written to her while she was in the hospital. Out of the hearts of children come truth and sincerity. We all knew what a wonderful person Jan was after hearing these messages from the heart.
After listening to Mercy Me sing "I Can Only Imagine" and Alan Jackson and Dolly Parton's "When I Get Where I'm Going," I came away knowing that my friend is resting comfortably now. I can only say, with a heavy heart, g'bye ol' friend. I will miss you!