Friend #191: Jessica

Friend #191: Jessica
Date and Location of Visit: Wednesday, October 26, 2011, Symphony Cafe, Evanston, IL
Known from: Junior high and high school
Last seen: November 2007

Jessica and I met on a cold and windy day in Evanston, home of Northwestern University.  Jessica and I met in junior high, and we only had one class together in the entirety of our high school careers: freshman English with Mrs. Newyear.  Every year, Jessica would sign my yearbook saying, “I hope we have classes together next year,” and we never did.

We had a lot of common friends and I saw her when the winds would join the orchestra, but what really bonded us was one memorable phone conversation.  Jessica and I were both officers in Tri-M Music Honor Society (like National Honor Society, but for people in band, orchestra, or choir).  We were having a Tri-M related conversation, but somewhere in the midst of it, we decided to hang out at least once a month for all of senior year.  And we did.  And the foundation for a lifelong friendship was laid.  We visited each other in college.  I visited her once she moved to Chicago.  And though we lost touch in more recent years, I have never doubted our ability to pick up right where we left off.

Jessica is a kindred spirit in so many ways.  She so highly values friendships, which makes her an easy person to connect with.  I remember conversations where we denounced the decline of communication from birthday phone calls to birthday text messages (so we make sure to call each other to say Happy Birthday).  And now, we all resort to posting on each other’s Facebook walls.  I knew if there was anyone who would appreciate my desire to connect face-to-face with my Facebook friends, it would be Jessica.

And she has found a wonderful niche for her connection skills as the Associate Pastor of Northminster Presbyterian Church in Evanston.  She is often the first point of contact for a family coming to the church, and there couldn’t be a better person for the job.  She also preaches (which is perfect for one of our high school graduation speakers), and she is the liaison the bulk of the church’s global work.  All this along with being a wife and mother.

There is a faithfulness to Jessica’s friendship and a solidness that doesn’t waver.  I know that if I were stranded in Timbuktu and hers was the only phone number I had, it wouldn’t matter how long it had been, I could call and she would do whatever she could to help.  But I have a feeling we’ll have a few phone conversations in the meantime.


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