One of my best friends is extremely structured. I have tried to think of other words to use, but they would fail to communicate just how goal- and list-oriented sweet Jane is.
From what I understand, Jane was one of those kids who liked -- no, loved -- to follow the rules. One of those kids I might not would have identified with as a small child, had we known each other way back when. She did what was expected and she did what was right, and she did it all very well. She continued to follow rules, meet goals and make and check off lists throughout elementary, junior high and high school, during college, and beyond.
Jane and I had just graduated from our respective colleges when we realized we were kindred spirits. We grew up in the same county and had met a few years earlier through mutual friends, but in 1999, we found ourselves in the same city, at the same stage of life, and uncannily, living less than a mile from one another. Even more important than that, though, was the amazing connection we realized we had, even though Jane was very structured and I was very rebekah (fairly free-spirited and whatever-goes).
You can probably just imagine the conversations that began our frequent lunch, dinner, pool, errand-running, grocery shopping and mini-road trip dates:
Jane: "What's the plan?"
Rebekah: "Hmmm...I don't know. Why don't we just play it by ear?"
Throughout our first month or so of friendship, Jane and I realized we could benefit greatly from the other's very different personality, and decided to take advantage of that. For instance, I actually started planning things in my personal life (which was pretty new for me), and Jane started planning to be spontaneous more often. :-)
Time went on, Jane moved to New Orleans to get her Master's, relationships came and went (and sometimes came back and went again), job led to other jobs that led to careers, friends got married and had babies, Jane dealt with her mother's illness, and future plans were contemplated and pursued in both of our lives. There was drama and laughter in the midst of it all, but even though we lost the opportunity to grocery shop together, we didn't lose the opportunity to keep in touch and benefit from the other's unique personality traits. We squeezed in phone calls and coordinated trips home to the coast when possible, and time even allowed us a rare and much-appreciated road trip here and there.
Time also allowed us some incredible life moments, including Jane's reunion with Matt, whom I was honored to watch her vow 'til death do they part last Saturday evening. Anyone who witnessed that day (or any part of their relationship) could see that Matt is more than just a college friend and former study buddy of Jane's. He is more than a welcome surprise who came back into Jane's life at just the right time. He's even more than a well-learned onocologist who understood her mother's disease and treatments more than the average person could. No, we could all see that Matt is Jane's true soulmate -- someone who appreciates who she is (lists and all) and who loves her for every precious trait that she has.
So it was no wonder that despite the few loose items that were yet to be checked off Jane's mental wedding day list right before she walked down the aisle, she could enjoy a deep breath of relaxation at the realization that yes, she had checked off another life's goal and huge moment. Confident in who she is and where she's going, humble enough to learn and accept criticism, armed with the knowledge that she has honored her parents in the most touching of ways, continuing her ongoing goal to be the Proverbs 31 woman she so gracefully is, Jane could radiantly walk down the aisle to become Mrs. Matt Varner with the purest of hope and most profound security that a lifetime of love and happiness awaits them both.
Beautiful bride? You'd better believe it.
2 Comments - 2 Kudos
This made me cry. You described her so well. I cannot believe after all these years... that I actually missed this day. We have known each other for a lifetime... and I am also on the far-opposite end of the spectrum as far as personalities go. I have always admired her for her strength of character and resolve. I hope and pray that my little girls can grow up someday with a little bit of: Jane, Amy, and Rebekah.... I would be very proud indeed.
Posted by Çhrï§†ïñå on May 23, 2008 - Friday 4:23 AM
tell Jane I said congrats when you speak to her again... thanks!
Posted by hibbs is what they call me on May 23, 2008 - Friday 8:58 AM