The first - and most obvious - reason being that I have to express in writing that Jill - my wife, my best friend, Rory's mommy - passed away quietly in her home on the afternoon of Wednesday, November 12.
The second difficulty here is striking the right tone. Though she rarely gave herself the credit, Jill was gifted in her ability to clearly communicate what was always an emotionally charged topic. This was her point of control. She controlled the message. She found the funny, shared it, and put on the serious sombrero when she felt the time called for it. And you stayed engaged and supportive throughout our tumultuous journey.
The third - and potentially most difficult of the difficulties in writing this post - is expressing the impact Jilly had on me and countless others w/o sounding cliche. And while cliches are cliches b/c they are most often true, they also have a tendency to be glossed over when read. Jill's life is not meant to be glossed over. It was too precious, too meaningful. And while I can truly only speak from my personal experience as her student, boyfriend, fiancee, husband, and best friend, I've read and heard innumerable ways she has injected her brand of positivity into your lives. Cliches be damned, here's a touch, a taste of Jill's beauty...
- Jill's smile lit up a room. (And if you ask me, it still does.)
- Despite her ongoing joke that "it's all about me," Jill was as selfless as they come. No matter her personal challenges, her first thoughts and actions were always for others. (I recall several occasions when she'd be wiped out sideways from a treatment, opening her eyes, and letting me know we need to get that special birthday gift for so-and-so.)
- So comfortable in her own skin, she made others feel at ease w/ her and w/ themselves, making for a very relaxed, inviting environment to build a relationship. (It's what wooed me.)
- As she'd be the first to tell you, Jill was funny. (I can't tell you how many times I got soaked with water by the sink sprayer on April Fool's Day. Pure joy for Ro and Mommy.)
- Above all else, Jill was positive. No matter the circumstance, if the hill got steeper, her positivity meter climbed to meet the challenge. And here's something personal. Never once - not one time - while on this 'roller coaster ride' did Jilly ever ask 'why me?' She held the cards dealt her way and tried to play the best - longest - hand she could possibly play. And she did it w/ a freaking smile.
‘I won’t give up on us.’