My dear Amy Jo,
I had all intent to write to you when you were well enough to read or listen. But you, of all people, know my procrastinating and "late" spirit. Lol.
Although we spent so many hours together during the workday for years, I'm most grateful that retirement gave us more personal and bonding time to just "be." I'm reflecting on how we talked about everything! No topic was ever off limits. We felt like all of the world's problems would be fixed if they would just listen to lil ole us in Nash County. Lol. Our running joke, even of late, was that nobody could develop a good process for anything broken better than us. Ha! As I type this letter, with a broken heart, I miss those days. Whether one of a zillion car conversations, of which we swore there needed to be a reality show based on them, or the times we sat in the office, living room, restaurant, doggy park or shared a walk-- they are all moments that I will treasure forever. A friend indeed.
There's so much to say, but in the confines of "process", I'll stay within some guidelines. Speaking of that, one of my most profound memories of you was when I was in your office whining about a mere sprained ankle, momentarily oblivious to the fact that you were going through chemo treatments at the time. Smh. You listened intently to me, then in classic "Amy Jo" mode, told me, "My dear, it's a part of the process." Instantaneously, I felt so silly, complaining about something so small when the process of your cancer journey was so monumental. I have shared your words of wisdom countless times since then. The latest wisdom came from your comical side, of which many didn't get to see. Your sending me a text from your hospital bed letting me know that Nordstroms Rack was having a big sale, and you were worried that I'd spend too much money, let me know that you were having a pretty good day. A friend indeed.
As I searched for Bible scriptures that captured the strength and genuiness of our friendship, these two settled sweetly in my spirit. Before getting to align each one with the beauty and spiritually sound friendship we have, Scott informed me of your passing. To that, my heart breaks in shattered pieces of sadness, yet grateful for God's signs and wonders....I felt the urgent nudge to write...to A friend indeed.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing."
This is so fitting of you. You encouraged me and others, even in the midst of your most difficult challenges. You supported me in thought and deed through our work years, our business, and helped me sort through every crevice of my personal life. It was you, my sister, who talked me through and encouraged me when facing a decision regarding Mama. I remember sitting in the parking lot of The Heritage House in Windsor, getting your advice. I followed it. You were right. Thank you for the many years of encouraging my heart, lifting my emotions and building my spirit. A friend indeed.
"Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends."
Well, we know you didn't and wouldn't literally lay down your life for me..we probably talked about that in the car too. Lol. However, you, figuratively, laid down your life each day for those you love. You were such a selfless person. I often teased you about prolonging my retirement because you thought that Leon needed our help opening the next school year. Lol. Those extra 6 months were a blessing though--- it gave us more time to get to work late, take long lunches and leave late together. Thank you for laying down your life for me in so many ways. A friend indeed.
In closing, I am so so hurt and feel a little selfish in that I miss your presence from this earth already. I have tears for me and your Goddog, Khloe (your Khlo Khlo). That dog is crazy over her Amy Jo! We both love you so much. Most of all, my heart pains for Scott, Jessica and Jonathan, because you loved them more than life itself. You, in a NY minute, would literally lay down your life for them. That love is infinite and they will feel it each moment for the rest of their days. Know that you taught me so much about many things, but especially bravery. What a display of courage, bravery and strength you have shown us all. My dear Amy, you are proof that Friendship is not quantitative but qualitative. You solidified that Sisterhood is a spiritual bond of true and authentic love, care, concern and support for each other. It has no boundaries of race, socio-economics, neighborhood, religion or politics. Thank God that we had both. You are free now! Take your flight, pink but pain-free! Rest in peace, my sweet angel
BTW, I'm sure they're loving your fancy beautiful purple nails in Heaven. 💗 I picked up sweet tea from Smithfield's in your honor today. Khloe and I also made a Target drive-up run. I sure missed you keeping her 10-lbs of diva ferociousness calm at both places. She showed off extra royally today!
Your co-worker, retirement partner, business partner, your sister, and your forever friend indeed,
Lisa Cherry Singletary