Monday, March 27, 2006


A strange thing happened to me today. Well, it started over the weekend. I dug out an old journal I had kept from the mid 70's to 1980. I do not know why I felt compelled to find this journal in a musty old box after all of these years on this particular weekend, but I did. During that time, I chronicled our years in Kansas City and what it was like going to law school the first year any women had been allowed. Pretty much, the journal ended with my Dad's death in Helena. I wrote about my last conversations with him and the last time I ever saw him alive. Tears came to my eyes as I recalled clearly seeing him up in bed with his glasses on and reading. He looked fine but he wasn't. His heart was really messed up. I flew back to Seattle that day in May, 1980. Within two months, he collapsed at home and that was it.

Tucked inside the cover of this journal were various newspaper articles and quite a few announcements of the engagements and marriages of my high school buddies. Also, there was a card with a picture of mountains on the front. I opened it and realized it was a note from my college room mate who was also my Junior High and High School friend. Tina sent her condolences about my Dad's death. She knew my Dad well. All of my friends did because he was our Junior High Principal. The words were very touching and heartfelt which is why I must have kept it. It started:

"Dear Janet,
What can I say...nothing to lessen the pain, I'm sure. When I read your letter my first reaction was to cry..for your loss and mine and the world's. I told Paul [her husband] 'Mr. Lane was my friend, my principal, even my boss at one time..and he was so young, always joking.'....."

It went on to talk about faith and the death of her grandfather that same month. Tina was my Southern Baptist friend and though I was and am an Episcopalian, we agreed on the basics. We always respected each other's faiths. After all of these years, I value the letter she sent me at one of the worst times of my life. And this happened yesterday.

This morning, the first e-mail I had was from Tina. Goosebumps! The last I had heard from her was a card at Christmas time. Her e-mail was to inform us her father had died---of a heart attack. It was just so....weird that I had been thinking about her yesterday and had read her card. So I sent her back the same thoughts she had sent me 26 years ago. God bless and keep you and your family, Tina.

Or maybe it is not weird. Maybe some things are just meant to be.

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My camelias bloomed for the first time--Spring's new life.