Three Decades of Partying

Kelly (left) and Joleen on New Year's Eve sometime in the 90s

Kelly Meyer: 1 child, nurse

Best friend of 30 years: Joleen, 1 child, died ... in 2013 at age 47

"She was always there for me even when I didn't want her to be."

How did you meet?

Joleen became good friends with my best friend when I moved away when I was 11. I didn’t think she was nice enough to my friend so I didn’t like her. I moved back to the town I had lived in when i was 16 and we started hanging around and became best friends fast.

What was the friendship like?

Joleen (left) and Kelly
Joleen (left) and Kelly

We did a lot of partying together over the 30 years. We had so much fun!!! We traveled a lot. We drove out to California after graduation to live, but I wanted to go back home. She reluctantly came back with me. She was always there to pick up my pieces no matter what. She never judged me nor the losers I was with. We lost touch for a bit. I was on a bad road for some time in my 20s, and she would always come and find me and take me from where I was.

One year i had nothing for Thanksgiving and so that morning she went shopping and brought me a turkey, potatoes, green beans. All I needed. She was always there for me and me for her. We were like a couple, but no sex. LOL! We spent many, many holidays together over the years, always taking the kids somewhere, going away together on road trips, Sundays at the bar, lunch with the rest of the crew, dressing up for the St. Patrick’s Day parade. We were the “parade people.”

She had this smile and laugh that would light up a room. She was always happy even when she was hurting inside, and i always knew when she was hurting. She was my other half, my maid of honor, the best friend anyone could ask for. We had such an amazing history. We had an awesome life together. She taught me how to trust and how to rely on someone. She was someone i could ALWAYS count on to be there for me, no matter what! We loved going to concerts together. Aerosmith was her favorite. We must of seen them at least ten times over the years. I learned unconditional love from her. We were closer than sisters, than couples. It was so special and I miss her so much.

Describe how the friendship ended.

I went over to her house on a Friday at 4 p.m. on my way to CrossFit. I just popped in to say hello and visited for about 20 minutes. I don’t know what brought me there. I just stopped by and later it would be good bye. I went to CrossFit and then went home. About 8 p.m. I got a text from her telling me she was looking at pictures of the kids when they were little. She was crying and said she missed those times. She said her dad told her she was a lucky girl.

I got a call at 4:30 in the morning from our other bestie, Dawn who told me Joleen was at the hospital and she was there with her. Dawn didn’t know much, just that Joleen supposedly fell down some stairs and hit her head and was unconscious (funny, no cuts on her head only a purple, swollen, shut eye). She was transported to another hospital where they put a drain in her head and put her on life support.

This is what kills me. I took her to get her licensed renewed in October and she was filling out the paperwork and came across the organ donor part and I said, “Go ahead, check it. I’m a donor.” She did and because she was a donor, they wanted her organs ASAP and only left her on life support for five days. They did not even give her a chance. It’s something I have to live with, wondering if she had more time. Miracles do happen, but i know she wouldn’t want me to beat myself up, so I don’t anymore. I just know she is in a better place and is with me all the time. She sends me signs all the time. I love her and I miss her. My heart hurts so bad.

Joleen (left) and Kelly
Joleen (left) and Kelly

How did you cope with her loss?

Two weeks before her death I handed in my resignation from my job of ten years. I was going to go back to school to get my RN. I am an LPN, but I sunk into such a deep depression. She was the first major loss I have suffered and I think I’m very lucky to have that happen at 48 years of age, but I couldn’t do anything. I didn’t know what to do, how to cope. I numbed myself with drugs and alcohol for a while, started to see a therapist, and now I just take it one day at a time. She lets me know she is with me, like the other day I was on my treadmill praying to her to help me get through something that’s going on in my life and all of a sudden my treadmill went up to a 9 incline. I did not touch anything and I know it was her telling me, “I got your back sista.” “Sista,” she always said that!

Is there anything else that you'd like to add about your friendship?

She was such a huge part of my life and I will never be the girl I was before August 14, 2013. She was my son’s godmother, my maid of honor, she went through my divorce, bad boyfriends, tough times, you name it. She was always there for me even when I didn’t want her to be. I always thought we would grow old together. She will miss her son getting married and grandchildren. There are times when I just need to hear her voice and I can’t. She visits me in my dreams and she always seems to come when I need her the most. She knows me better than anyone on this earth and even with her gone, I can still count on her in my own special way.