Shortly before Labor Day in 1987, I met the finest person I’ve ever known. It was an instant connection. Lots of fun and childish hijinks.


And then we grew up together. Everything I know is colored by her wisdom and her humor. She’s gone, now. I can’t write anything about her that would do her justice. But I did find an old piece of writing that almost works. 

For her 39th birthday, two years ago, I made a list of the 39 reasons why she is more awesome than anyone else on the planet. It’s long enough that I wrote a practice draft, which I still have. (The card is gone. But it had a cowboy farting glitter on the cover!) . Here it is:

  1. We wear the same shoe size
  2. Finding a strand of your hair in a random place always makes me smile.
  3. You’re sweet, kind and generous, even when I’m driving you nuts.
  4. You teach me things
  5. Two words: great food
  6. Even when you laugh at me, you laugh with me.
  7. You speak Liz
  8. You helped make my kids the people they are
  9. You remember more about my life than I do.
  10. I can make you laugh.
  11. Best hugs ever!
  12. You’re creative.
  13. You’re brilliant.
  14. You’re crazy smart.
  15. You’re probably the sanest person I know.
  16. You’re definitely the kindest person I know.
  17. … and the most generous.
  18. You can always recommend a good beer or wine.
  19. You can always recommend a good friend.
  20. You married Dave.
  21. You let me recycle jokes and stories.
  22. You can make anything grow.
  23. You always look happy to see me.
  24. You can find beauty in anything.
  25. You see the best in everyone.
  26. You taught me to try to do the same.
  27. You’ve made me happier, smarter and more polite, and, embarrassingly, a little cleaner and tidier.
  28. You always have snacks.
  29. You always have gum.
  30. You send the best cards.
  31. You always know the best way to do something.
  32. You’re always authentic.
  33. You’re brave.
  34. You challenge yourself.
  35. You work hard and you play hard.
  36. I’ll never get to the bottom of your depths, but I’ll always want to be near you so I can try. I’m always in awe of you.
  37. You really, really listen to people.
  38. You look after me and you protect me.
  39. You love me.

About pantsinspace

I'm an inch deep and a mile wide. Not literally. But literarily, sure.
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2 Responses to [untitled]

  1. kim says:

    This…is all so Jo. I will be forever grateful to you for sharing her with me! Without you, I would never have known her and that would be so terrible. To never have had both of you. You are not allowed to leave me now or ever.

  2. Joseph Fernandez says:

    Thank you for sharing this memory of Jo. Between offers to join ‘Occupy Seattle’, rides on icy ferries and sips of ‘Ivarita’ on Seattle’s restaurants on piers, there are amazing memories of Jo that we got to share….And so, thank you, Liz for the Big 39 that aptly sum up the gift of Jo’s Life.

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