Mad for…Jane

Day 40 of 365:

We are so hilarious, I feel bad for the people who don’t get to listen to our conversations and enjoy our hilariousness. I like you, D, because you join in on my weirdness. D is short for “Dirt” by the way, which is the very affectionate nickname I gave Jane Mullin years ago. When I don’t call her “D” it just feels strange to me. Despite the fact that she’s a little bitty slip of a gorgeous woman, she IS older than me, older than DIRT you see. It stuck. Sometimes, she even gives me a birthday present with no card inside, just a little medicine jar full of dirt from her backyard. She’s not the kind of gal who gets offended when you insult her, INSTEAD, she smiles and calls you something even more offensive. Then, you both giggle.

Meet Jane. She’s the mom to two completely brilliant DePauw Tigers, Conner and Katie, and the wife of the best sports dad with whom I shared the stands for many years. She’ll be annoyed that I am telling the whole darn world that I think she’s one of the finest and most genuine, loving moms I have ever encountered. Her kids have a fantastic work ethic and they are high achievers, because she knows what she’s doing. She is the very face of love.

Do you know that night when you were laughing so hard and you tried to stop, but you looked at the person and laughed so hard you no longer had oxygen and there were only tears but no more noise? Yeah, this is that friend. She drinks a little more beer than you think someone that size could manage. Also, she cusses. Furthermore, she sends long lovely letters offering prayers when she finds out you’re sick. When you respond to her fabulousness by being sentimental, she replies, “SHUT UP, Shell….you are being such a girl!” Then, you forget your bad day and you let out the best real laughter in a week.

Her claim to fame at SLDM is the fact that SHE is the one who “issued sanctions” against a certain rival elementary school whose coach cheated BADLY in a 4th grade hoops contest years ago. That Catholic parish shall remain nameless here, to protect the innocent. Nevertheless, for years, our quiet protest was the “loss of sainthood”. We never published “St.” in front of their name on our internal game schedules after that. Oh yes, it’s as petty as it sounds…but if you have a sense of humor and you know her comic genius…it really IS that funny.

In addition to all of this, Janie is unbelievably selfless and compassionate towards others. She’s utterly without guile, and she genuinely wants success and joy for everyone around her. Despite her silliness, she is a person who seems to always chooses to serve rather than stand still. Her life is filled with examples of self-sacrifice and smiles galore. She loves her family and her friends, and wow do we all love her back!!

Thank you, D, for always being so darn encouraging. You never fail to cheer on all the athletes, lifting up others along the way, the same way you do your family and your friends. It’s inspiring, and it makes us all a little better for knowing you. It’s a beautiful thing to make a friend whose life may take a different path, whose face you may not see as often as you’d like but to know that it’s possible to do that without really ever growing apart. You always tell me “I love you like a sis”. Right back at you, D!

I like this little quote, my hilarious friend, “Serve the Lord with Laughter!” It was spoken by St. Padre Pio and it reminds me of you. THANK YOU FOR THE LAUGHTER. I LOVE YOU, D!

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