A Modern Day Cowgirl

In 2011, I learned a friend I’d known since 6th grade was fighting for her life.  She was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer.  She became chemo resistant. In the last nine years, she has continuously been on some form of super powerful chemo or other clinical trial.

The bracelet in the picture is something I made to remind me of her. When it would catch my eye, I knew I was supposed to wear it that day and pray for Jackie.

I wore this bracelet on Sunday to her memorial service. It won’t be returned to my jewelry organizer, instead it will now be placed in my journal and I’ll write about her and our friendship and how short life is. I’ll mention all of our shenanigans in high school. I’ll cry, like I am now.

Ya’ll, life is so dang short!

Jackie was a rancher. A modern-day cowgirl. Single. Tough as nails. And she was gorgeous. No, seriously, she was a model in her younger life. Every photo of her, even during chemo and with no hair, she was strikingly beautiful.

She fought hard for nine years. Her goals were to see her kids graduate from high school and then to see her daughter graduate from nursing school. She met her goals and then her reward was heaven.

I don’t have anything profound to write here other than to tell ya’ll…….the bracelet is now retired …….. and I’m sad. It’s been a part of my life for 9 years. Whether I reached out to Jackie when I wore it or not, it was a connection to a longtime friend. I knew she was fighting and I would say little prayers for her throughout the day.

I have all the boring clichés running around in my head…

  • tell your people you love them,
  • hug them,
  • take time to go to lunch or dinner,
  • make sure they know you love them…..

As I sit here reading through our text messages over the last 9 years, I realize a few things:

  • We mentioned meeting for lunch at least 5 times. We never did.
  • God was a huge part of her life and she leaned on Him hard throughout her very long battle. She always mentioned Him.
  • Taking the time to pray for people and letting them know we are, touches their hearts in ways we will never know unless we communicate it.
  • I am grateful that God brought her to my mind so many times. I am grateful I took a minute to type out a quick note to her. I am grateful my prayers were heard and made a difference.

What will I take from Jackie’s life and death?

Jackie was determined to stay alive for her kids. She fought hard. She had a central focus because she had no choice if she wanted to be alive for the important things in her life.

I hope we will ever have to be that laser focused to simply sustain life. The lesson for me is the focus.

God gave all of us

gifts and talents

and it’s no accident that we are here

in this very time in history

to accomplish something important.

We are unique.

Have you thought about your purpose lately? What do you think makes you unique? What gifts and talents do you know God has placed uniquely in you? I’d love to hear all about them.

And friend,

let’s get together for coffee…..and ACTUALLY follow through by setting a date.

Very Humbly Yours,

Jennifer Edwards

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