This week a person I worked with on her writing reminded me of my friend Jess. Jess passed away in November of 2013, and the piece I wrote about her has been read by people all over the world (find it here: https://treesoftransition.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/saying-good-bye-to-jess-gelso-andres-processing-the-death-of-a-friend/). Writing that piece about her helped me process the suddenness of her passing. I now need to process a bit more of missing Jess.
The student I taught had almost the same voice tone as Jess. Jess’s voice was a high female voice, but it had a whispiness to it. Jess would sort of “laugh-talk” when she was telling something funny.
Even how this student talked with her hands reminded me of Jess: big, graceful gestures that accented her wrist.
Jess had worked as an ICU nurse, and the student I worked with also had a passion for helping people. Jess helped me grow in my artistic skills (through teaching me to hodge-podge), and she just liked me for who I was.
Our friendship drifted apart after she got married, and I perhaps was a bit too opinionated about wanting to help her grow. I was just trying to help her, but now I know pushing hard just pushes some sensitive people away. I’m not sure if this was why we drifted apart, but it happened. I’m so thankful we had one last text message exchange the summer before she passed.
I still knew she was my friend even if we wouldn’t talk for years. Hearing and seeing someone sort of like Jess brought back my memories of her, and they made me thankful I knew her: a caring, artistic woman. I’m glad there are other people in the world that remind me of Jess.
By M. H. Campbell