Sunday, December 6, 2015
In 1985, as I was entering my twelfth year as a teacher, there was an opening for a position in the foreign language department at my school. The job went to Jane, an experienced teacher who had previously taught Spanish in a small town high school. For seventeen years we were colleagues, and became dear friends. Jane was an outstanding teacher, respected by the faculty and students. She was a kind, sweet, caring person with a wonderful sense of humor. Our department was close knit, and we had many enjoyable evenings going out for dinner after school. During the course of our time together we took groups of students on two trips to Mexico and one to Spain.
Jane retired in 2002, two years before me. We did not see each other as often as we would have liked since we lived an hour away from each other, but we still remained close and got together on a fairly regular basis.
In 2013 Jane's husband passed away. It had been a very difficult year for her. The following winter, I rented a two bedroom house in Mérida, Mexico, and I invited her to spend a week with me there. It was a much needed getaway for her, and we had a wonderful time. She was a great traveling companion. In January of this year we spent two weeks together in Oaxaca. Jane loved to travel, and our plan was to go to a different part of Mexico each year. For 2016, however, she and her cousins had planned a winter trip to Hawaii. She was so apologetic when she told me. "Please don't think that I don't want to continue going to Mexico with you, but next year I'll be going to Hawaii."
Jane did not get to go to Hawaii, nor did she and I take the Mexican trips that we had discussed. In September she was diagnosed with cancer. The disease spread very quickly, and a couple weeks ago she went to stay with her sister where she received hospice care. I was able to visit her last Monday. She was feeling good, and in good spirits. We talked and laughed for an hour. Today, I received word that she had passed away.
Dear, sweet Jane, you will be greatly missed. I am so grateful for our years of friendship.