Preparing to Leave

I plopped down in a chair in the office I was cleaning as I reached for my ringing phone. I had been waiting and hoping for this call for several hours.

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My dearest, oldest friend, Jan, called me to make sure I had been told and then we talked about her up-coming funeral.

Jan is preparing to leave.

Jan has been a member of an elite club for eight years- breast cancer survivors. And now the cancer has returned, and it has spread. When her daughter uttered the word,”Untreatable”, I must confess, I lost it.

I don’t want to do life without Jan.

I remember the phone call eight years ago, after Jan had been given the test results, and her whispered phrase, “I have breast cancer.” The world came to a standstill for those few moments as I sat in stunned silence, trying to process what she had just told me.

And then several days later, as we sat over dinner at Cheddar’s, she shared with me her well laid-out plan of action: double mastectomy, immediately followed by reconstructive surgery. She would need several weeks of recovery, and if all went well, return to her final year of homeschooling her youngest daughter through her senior year of high school. My friend is a planner from way back.

Unfortunately, things didn’t quite turn out quite the way she had planned.

Jan is my hero and has been for many years.

I always loved how she mothered her three daughters. She loved them with a fierce, intentional love. I often told her I wanted her to be MY mother. They did the neatest things together, as a family. She was a role model to me, as a mother and a homeschooler, though most of us homeschooling moms couldn’t hold a candle to Jan.

And just so you know, her granddaughter Charlotte, hung the moon! And her two grandchildren on the way are already just as precious to her…even though she might not be here to welcome them to this world.

When Jan called, we spoke of her passing, and she comforted me as I told her I really didn’t want to do life without her.

She said she would always be with me…only different.

I said I would see her again one day so wait for me.

And then we planned lunch together for later this week. I am awaiting her request as to what she wants me to bring.

It will be the first of many (or a few, however God designs) of our last lunch/dinners together.

We would meet regularly to catch up through the years; to vent, laugh, talk and share our hearts, and celebrate our birthdays.  And those texts we exchanged! Especially the ones that began with. “Read and Delete”. I will miss my friend greatly and cherish those times.

She promised me that these final times together she would be “all ears” and I could unburden my heart. She said she would take my words with her and lay them at the feet of God.

Who could ask for a better friend?

I talked with my dear friend, Jan Friday evening and we talked of her preparing to leave, and suddenly all those not- so-perfect things that were so very important to her just days before, well…they don’t matter any more. She is leaving them behind.

She is also leaving a legacy of love and faithfulness.

She is leaving her precious family and friends, and we will miss her greatly.

Jan is my hero.

She is my friend.

And she is preparing to leave.

gratitude, relationships, life coach, authentic you, true intimacy


gratitude, relationships, life coach, authentic you, true intimacy

15 thoughts on “Preparing to Leave”

  1. Beautifully written, Laurie. My heart hurts for Jan’s family, especially her girls. She’s such a beautiful person and I’m so glad I’ve know her.

  2. I’m Jan’s cousin in Florida. I just wanted to thank you for such beautiful words for such a beautiful person. When we have our family reunions, Jan is one of the people I have looked forward to seeing the most. I will truly miss catching up with her and spending time with her on those trips. She is truly an inspiration.

  3. This is such a perfect tribute to Jan, and expresses the way she just lived love. Of course, now I’m crying again. Still can’t quite comprehend this. Homeschooling and Jan. Jan mentoring. Jan teaching. Jan loving. Jan being a friend. The hole will never be filled. There will always be a “Jan space” left in this community. Thank you for sharing your heart. What an encouragement to all. I pray you will be comforted with the comfort of our Savior.


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