I’ve known Jean since first grade and we were best friends through grade school and high school. Although we never lived in the same city after high school, our friendship lasted a lifetime and whenever we got together or talked on the phone, we picked up where we left off.
There are so many memories over these 65+ years, where does one start. Music played a big part in Jean’s life. When we were young, I loved to visit the Wilting home because there was music and singing in her family – which I missed in my own home. On the other hand, Jean liked coming to my home where there was travel and adventure – which she missed in her home.
In 7th grade Jean was chosen to participate in a city-wide Catholic School choir concert. At the last minute I got to go too as an alternate. That was a special experience to sing with a couple hundred voices!
Jean joined my family for weekend camping trips and a trip to NYC when we were in 8th grade. I remember sitting around the campfire, Jean playing her Ukelele and us singing folk songs.
While I was living in Stuttgart, Germany, Jean and friend Pam made a trip to Europe. I joined them at the end and after we dropped off Pam at the Zurich airport, Jean and I drove into the mountains. As we drove through the spring-green colored valleys and up into the ski areas, we sang along with John Denver to “Rocky Mountain High.”
Years later, the month before Jean entered Manor Care facility, I spent several days with Jean while Henry visited friends in San Francisco. Every day I drove Jean to the Homestead Day Care in Longmont and of course, we sang along to John Denver’s music during the drive.
Music lit up the spirit in Jean to the end.
For me, Jean was an inspirational influence. When I was down or troubled, I just needed to talk with Jean and she would pick me up and share some insight or wisdom.
Jean is gone from this earth but her memories and her spirit will always be with me.