The sad news I mentioned the other day was that one of my bestest blog friends passed away on Tuesday.  Janine aka Skippy Mom, and I have been blog friends since about 2009.   I think we had an instant connection with each other after we admitted our love of snowmen and how, ahem, big our respective collections were.  Every time we saw a snowman we would send pictures of it to each other.

I twice had the opportunity to finally meet her in person this summer when I was in Virginia and was so excited to finally meet face to face instead of over Facebook or the phone.  But both times at the last minute, she backed out.  She told me she didn’t like the way she looked (frail) and while a part of me just wanted to show up anyway, I had to respect her wishes. 

About six weeks ago I noticed that she’d gone silent on Facebook.  I sent her a couple messages but no replies.  I knew that wasn’t a good sign.  A few weeks later I got a message on Facebook from her husband and he asked if he could call me – absolutely!

Like Tony, Janine had congestive heart failure caused by years of being anemic and never getting it correctly diagnosed.  Her heart then caused liver failure which caused kidney failure, and she was in a hospital in Washington DC hoping for both a liver and kidney transplant, just like Tony.  Once he told me she was on dialysis and had a breathing tube, I pretty much knew the odds weren’t in her favor.  Her husband was wondering how he was going to manage working and taking care of her after a transplant.  I didn’t have the heart to tell him that he probably didn’t need to worry about that.

But talking to Steven about Janine brought back every emotion I had while Tony was dying.  I would be so strong on the phone for him, telling him it was going to be okay, what questions to ask the doctors, etc., but as soon as I hung up the phone I’d burst into tears.  To say this week has been an emotional roller coaster is an understatement.

Thankfully her family was there when she passed.  I got this message a few hours after she died:

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This was Janine’s last comment here on the blog – it was from February after I wrote about trying not to eat my grief:

I think it is absolutely fabulous that you continue to lose the weight you want – I always think you look amazeballs anyway, and you do [I still want to know where you are hiding this purported weight. heehee] but if it makes you happy and you still are able to eat healthy and enjoy what you are noshing on [so yum] than YAY! skippyhappydance

I just got back on line after a roughish weekend and we have been voting in earnest for your delicious pizza . I SO want that pizza – but would blow my sodium limit for a week if I did it. I was slacking on keeping track of it after Christmas and it was a grand mistake [as you well know] but climbing back on the sodium free band wagon I can rest easy again, walk and breath a helluva’ lot better. But mygawd do I miss your/my pizzas. Sigh.

Thinking of you always Bizzy and saying my prayers. Love your attitude and your smile.. I can only imagine it is the most difficult thing in the world, but you are an inspiration to us all. Love you.

She sent me these three snowmen after Tony died and I have them on my desk to see every day.  It’s a daily reminder that no matter what happens in life if you have hope, joy and faith, you can survive just about anything.

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Just another reminder that life is short, and it’s a gift.  I hope you have a great weekend!  My Mom is coming over for the first time to see my new digs – she’s been visiting my brother Charlie and I think she’s ready to hang out with her favorite child.  Then I’ll see my twin sister on Sunday and hang out with my friend Jacky.

Janine you fought a good fight.  Please say hello to Tony for me.