I stood in line with Paige, waiting to board the barge for Jen's Memorial. I recognized her immediately, even after not seeing each other since somewhere around 1982.
We started talking. About Jen, of course.
Paige was very gracious, telling me how Jen had always looked up to me, that she was sort of in awe of my strength, my style, my leadership, somehow apparent at the ripe age of 15!
I said to Paige, "You know, it's funny, but I always looked up to Jen. She was so strongly dedicated, so sure, so committed to success, such a good student. I always admired those qualities in her, and now you are telling me that we admired each other for the having some of the same qualities?"
It's funny what you learn about yourself thru the eyes of other people. It never occurred to me that Jen felt that way about me, even way back then. It makes me feel special that she looked at me that way. The way that I always looked at her.
My goodness. I am so sorry that you had to have to write that email. This must be a very difficult time for all of you- I truly cannot imagine what it must be like. I am so sorry. Jen is so lucky to have such loving people around her- we should all be so fortunate.
I was looking thru some old pictures last night and came upon a picture of Jen and I on the steps of Stuyvesant-we must have been 15 years old, sophomores, maybe, and goofy looking. She was still dancing at Joffrey every day, as well as excelling at school. I never understood how she managed to be so good at both things. Dedication and love, I guess. She had crimped her hair that day, so it was uncharacteristically wavy. Such smiles on our faces!
Jen has changed everyone that she has ever touched- I am proof of that. I am a better person for having known her, even if we haven't been in touch very much in the intervening years. My heart is with you and with Jen.
Naidre Miller (January 2001)
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