I hope that someday you get to meet Jan. At least have somebody like her in your existence. She is amazing. And I am very fortunate to have her in my life.
I met Jan when I was a 16-year-old college freshman. She was 18. I don’t think you could find two more opposite people on the entire planet. In fact, we might not even have tried to get to know each other if it were not the fact that we were on a camping trip and thrown together in a two-person tent.
When you share a tent with someone for 10 days, you kind of get to know them. And we realized that we balance each other in a very unique way. After college we were fortunate enough to end up living in the same town and have remained the best of friends for the past almost-30 years.
We celebrated our birthdays by making things for each other. I was a writer, and she enjoyed sewing, so one year I asked her to name some colors that she thought represented herself, her husband, Chris, and me. Using those colors, I wrote a children’s story for her about four pieces of fabric from different parts of the world that had their own journeys and ended up being tied together in a quilt.
The next year Jan gifted me with a quilt that she had made based on my story. She took those colors, found some fabric and made me a beautiful quilt.
Now I know that I can use it to cozy up in, and it’s even washable. But I prefer to hang it on my wall behind my desk so I see it when I go to work every day. And when I am in video conferences, I see it as my backdrop on my screen.
It makes me incredibly happy, and reminds me how blessed I am to have a person like Jan in my life.