I was in Virginia on March 2, 2010, and it was not a good trip. A good friend passed away young, and suddenly. I don’t remember who told me the news, I just know I didn’t believe it at first. I assumed the message was wrong, and she wasn’t gone, she was just ill. This was not the case. The news broke my heart.
I first met Jessica during a trip to Poland/Czech Republic with WOLYRO in 1998. She was loud, outspoken, and sure of herself. I mean all of these things as a compliment. She was a joy to be around, and I was glad to have a chance to know her. We spent quite a bit of time during the trip getting to know each other.
The following Valentine’s Day she invited me to come down to Danville, Virginia for a V’Day banquet at her church. Her father said he would provide the plane ticket, and this made it possible for me to do a weekend trip to the USA while only missing a couple days of school. Funny enough I got my first (and only) black eye just before leaving because of “Surfing” in the gym at a youth group event. I hit the floor hard, and don’t remember the next few minutes. I brought some makeup with me, and Jessica Boozer helped me to try and cover my black eye before the banquet. We had a great time at the banquet, the whole trip was so much fun.
During the summer of 99’, I went with WOLYRO again to Austria/Hungary/Romania, and there was Jessica again. Another great summer with her, Justin, and Laura who had gone on the previous trip with us as well. There are plenty of stories to tell, and they are all great ones.
In 2000 or 2001, Jessica, Justin, Laura, and I all went to Disney World with her parents. We had a blast. I spent some time in Danville before, and after the trip to Disney. This was my first group of international friends I succeeded in staying in contact with for any amount of time.
I saw Jessica twice more after Disney, and then we didn’t stay in touch as much as we should have. Feb. 25, or 26, 2010 I received the phone call to say she had passed, found out when the funeral was, and drove down for it. I met up with Justin, and Regan (from the WOLYRO trip) and we went to the visitation. Afterwards we all shared a hotel room, and unfortunately my 20+ hour drive had me so tired I snored quite loudly all night. Justin and Regan were at a loss for sleep.
The funeral brought quite a few tears. I was sad at the loss of my friend. I was sad I hadn’t kept in touch better with her. I was sad for her children, parents, siblings, and husband. I was… torn up over it. I know people die, there is no guarantee young, or old, but I was (and still am) at an age when a peer dies it is shocking, especially when it is health related and not an accident.
There really isn’t a point to this, just… I have been thinking of her lately. I have been wondering where the time has gone, how her family is doing, how her children are doing. I have been thinking about how much I miss her. I am sad she is gone. I have also been thinking about how much fun we had together over the years. I am happy I was able to have her in my life, even if it was for a short time. I have met quite a few people over the years, and I can definitely say, Jessica Boozer Breedlove was definitely one of my favourites.