April 18, 2011

Jennifer Gilligan

My best friend, Jennifer Gilligan. has passed. 
A little over 38 years ago Jen and I met through our husbands, John and Jack. 
As I remember it, I had just had my daughter Nicole. She was about 4 weeks old but I was deathly ill. Jack came by the house to see the new baby and introduce himself. He was waiting for John to come home and I couldn't lift my head off the pillow it was resting on. I was so ashamed but he made me feel so comfortable. He was really nice.

John came home, we all talked and made plans to have Jack bring his wife Jen and their 3 kids by.  It might have been days or weeks before that happened but when they came by I met the best friend I would ever have. Jen was a woman who shines. She was the very definition of woman, friend, mother, wife.  She truly lived for her kids.  She lived for her husband and she lived for her friends.
We were sisters from different mothers.  Jen was from New Jersey, recently moved to Palo Alto, California. She and Jack had 3 young children. Jenny, John and Michael. John and I had 3 young children, John, Adam and Nicole.  Jenny was maybe a year or two older than their John and our John was a year younger than theirs. Thier Michael was maybe a year older than our Adam and then there was our Nicole.  Jen was maybe one of the first "non-family" people to hold Nicole or to change her diaper. When Nicole was about 18 months old, Jen gave her her first haircut, a cute little shag cut. Nicole loved Jen. Adam and John loved "Miss Jen" too.
Our husbands both worked for Ma-Bell, the telephone company so they had lots to talk about. Jen and I both loved our husbands, more than life itself second only to our love for our babies and after a short time our love for each others babies.
Then we discovered a love for making our own music. We bought guitars. Jen bought a 12 string Ovation, I had a steel string Yamaha.  We played and sang every chance.....Jen is dead!
Cancer. Cancer killed her and god-dammit, I miss her.
Jen, I miss you. I love you. I miss you. I love you.

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