We were home in Maryland at the end of July and before the visit, my oldest friend Jen called with bad news. Her mom, Judie, had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and it was bad. Things didn’t look good. I have lost other people to pancreatic cancer, and that it how is happens. Fast.
I have known Jen my whole life. When my memory fails me about our childhood, she fills in the gaps.
I do remember this: Her mother has always been energetic, smiling, happy.
I remember Judie teaching Jazzercize when we were younger – during the Jane Fonda and Olivia Newton John days of exercise – and incredibly, she kept going throughout her life, right on up to her diagnosis… teaching aerobics, step and zumba.
I was able to visit with Judie while I was home. For 30 minutes, she sat out on her back porch with my mom and me, talking about when I used to run around the yard with Jen… and also about the new generation of kids born to the girls in both families. She looked and sounded amazing.
As if you needed proof of all this, here is video of Judie (white shirt and blue skirt) one year ago, at age 73, participating in a flash mob during a retirement party at the local community college.
Thank you for all you gave us while you were here, Judie.
Your smile could light up a room and your girls will carry that forward for you forever.