Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday's Walk...Janis Lynn

In searching for a photo from my senior year in college, I was bombarded with sweet, sweet memories of one of my closest college friends....Janis Lynn MacLeish.  I met Janis in the fall of 1993 when she came to Taylor University Fort Wayne.  She was in my wing of Lexington Hall.  Although, I was her RA, Janis taught me so much about life and living in a very short time that I often felt she did a better job leading than I ever could.  Life was never the same for me after she and I became friends.  It was oh, so much better! 
The room brightened when Janis finally awoke and entered through the door of one.  She befriended the likes of anyone and made no enemies...except for the girls who were jealous of her for one reason or another.  Her laughter echoed throughout the halls everyday.  One knew when Janis was away for the weekend for it was creepily quiet on campus.
Janis called our closest circle of friends, "The Clic".  There were 5 members with 2 honorary members.  We were inseparable for the most part...at least in spirit.  Janis was our leader...we all had our strengths that played well off of and with each other, but Janis held us all together as only she could.  One of the funniest things we did was have a bathroom stall decorating contest on our wing of the dorm.  People would walk further just to come down to our end for the bathroom because of it.  It was hilarious.  Janis' stall was called "The Lair".   We got all gussied up one night in the spring and had a girls' night out.  I'd post pictures, but they're best left in the 90's if you know what I mean.  Fashion is so much more fashionable these days. :) 
I did not realize how full my photo album is with photos of Janis.  She's in so many...and with such expressions, too.  One never knew what she'd be doing in the background (or foreground for that matter) as you snapped a picture.  Back then, we had to wait to see what our pictures were like...I can only imagine how many I'd have had digital been around back then.  The camera loved Janis.  Janis loved the camera.  The picture I've posted of Janis at the beginning of this post is her impersonating a penguin in front of my dorm room.  I loved penguins and had all sorts of them around...including her that day.
We became so close that year, we found ourselves calling each other by our own names.  People would call out to one of us in the hallway and we'd both answer them...and laugh and laugh at the fact that we did.  The pizza delivery guys constantly put our names on the order wrong. 
Janet and Janis...lived next door to each other...both tall with long blondish hair and blue eyes...constantly seen with each other.  We had the same love for our friends.  They meant the world to us.  We had a quiet side that we only shared with our closest friends.  Had crushes on the two of the best looking guys on campus, but wouldn't let that interfere with our friendships with them. 
She was so kind to befriend me and give me crash courses on some of life's greater things...all the while laughing at me, with me and near me.  That year went by all to quickly.  I graduated and moved back home.  She transferred to the Upland campus.  We made sure there were weekends for getting together again.  It was awesome, but never the same as those days spent next door to each other.  One weekend when we both were in Ft. Wayne visiting our friends at TUFW, we had all gone out together and hung out, but after awhile Janis wanted to take a walk.  We walked around campus, talking and laughing at what we'd done here and there...if those walls and walks could talk!  But, we ended up in front of Wittmer Hall where the TUFW sign was...and we sat on top of it and talked for awhile longer.  I'll never forget thinking that she could be anywhere with anyone she wanted and she chose to be here with me.  She made whomever she was with feel as if they were the most important person around...and at the time you were to her.  We talked about how good it was to be back, but that it wasn't the same anymore.  She was saddened by how time changes things...as was I.  But, we didn't let that get us down...before you knew it we were back at Lexington Hall "breaking in" through a window to get in for some sleep because no one was around with a key.  (Note: no window was broken during the afore mentioned "break in").  We were never without a laugh very long.
Or so we thought.  January 13, 1998 silenced the laughter of Janis Lynn MacLeish.  God called His daughter home that cold, wintery day.  Her big heart that shared and showed love to so many, broke that day for a final time.  I remember getting the phone call late that evening.  Not Janis...not yet.  I need her.  Janis was the glue that held us all together as friends.  "The Clic" leader couldn't be gone. 
In true Janis fashion she brought all of her closest friends together again.  And she was in the center of it all...beautiful as ever!  All of us there that knew her from TUFW fit onto one bench (a rather long one, mind you).  We all knew Janis' love and friendship the same...not one more than another.  As we said our goodbyes, we stood in a semicircle in front of her casket.  The Janis we knew was now laughing it up with her Lord and Savior, wanting us to stop the tears and start laughing probably. 
Even 12 years later, she had me laughing out loud as I see her face in my photos.
It was a good walk down memory lane tonight.     

12 comments:

  1. What a truly beautiful and loving tribute to your friend. Sadly, some of those that touch our hearts the most, are the ones that our time with is cut short. God love you, child, for remembering your friend with such heartfelt words and Christian love. Yes, looking at her photo, I can imagine she is filling Heaven with her bubbly laughter. ♥

    Thank you for sharing her with us. :)

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  2. I am sorry that you had to lose such a good friend. Heaven has gained another angel though.

    Your memory is so beautiful, and precious.

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  3. wow. that is such an amazing post. poignant and joyful.

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  4. oh I am so sorry about the loss of your friend, and so glad that you could remember her and tell us about her today. She sounds like a blessing in your life and in the lives of others... even her memories are a blessing. thanks for sharing with us!

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  5. :( So sorry that you lost her so early in life. She sounded like a beautiful person sharing the joy of the Lord! :)

    Have a blessed day!
    Sherry

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  6. Hi I am Nicole from ColiesKitchen.com I found you on a blog hop and wanted to drop by and say hi. I really like your blog, and am now a new follower. I would love to have you stop by Colie’s Kitchen if you get a chance.

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  7. What a beautiful tribute to your dear friend, gone so soon. :( I'm glad you have the peace of knowing your friend is safely home with our Father in heaven.
    Taylor is only an hour or so from me. My dearest friend here in Indy attended, though probably around '87/88. We took our kids on a "fieldtrip" there to see the Samuel Morris statue when we studied him in school.
    Blessings,
    Toni

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  8. Hi Janet. I too am a 'Rose'! I've always liked that middle name.

    I came to visit from your comment this morning and wanted to let you know that your e-mail is not linked to your google account.

    Now, I'm off to read a bit on your blog!

    Thanks for stopping by.

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  9. What a beautiful remembrance of a shining light in your life.

    It is memories and stories like these that become the true immortality of a lovely soul.

    She sounds like she influenced your life...and although we have just met it seems you are carrying her tradition on in fine spirit.

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  10. Thank you, Jenny! (I think I fixed the email problem, too.)

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  11. What a truly beautiful tribute of a very special friend that will always be a part of your life's memories "down memory lane". God blessed her with the gift of love, friendship, laughter...forever remembered by dear friends, such as yourself...

    Blessings & Aloha!

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