I’ve avoided writing for a bit as I was mourning the loss of my dearest friend in the world. Jane was my confidant, my mentor, my drinking buddy, my “go-to” for intellectual challenges, and a fellow music-lover. For fifteen years she was my daily conversationalist either in person or on the phone.
July 24, 2016, she passed from this world after a short struggle with cancer and then a debilitating stroke. There is a huge hole in my life right now.
Jane was, in fact, the impetus behind my going into the fabric world as a quilter. She had always been my staunchest supporter and rallied behind any venture that I approached. I had made a few pieces for her home and she encouraged me to consider quilting for others as a viable stream of income in my retirement. She even made the first and biggest donations to my “go fund me” page (gofund.me/Quilter4life) as I began to raise money to invest in a long arm quilting machine in order to be able to viably support myself in this area as a finisher of quilts for others.
In the sixteen years that I have known Jane, I have always been amazed at her ability to reinvent herself. As a freshman in college, she had a scholarship which allowed her to play Cello with the Shreveport , Louisiana symphony orchestra. But Jane realized early that her love of music was not to be a career but as a supporter. she left college early and married. From this pic, you can see why.— she was a knockout!
She had two kids and eventually returned to school to obtain a Ph.D. in English Lit and tenure, taught for a number of years at L.S.U. She took retirement and moved, without a job or any idea of what the future held, to Washington, DC., where she landed a job in the state department.
Tiring eventually of that, She decided to go into the Peace Corp. with a lot of planning and finagling, she ended up as Director of the Peace Corp in Malawi for two years, then Niger for four more. Out of that time there she eventually published a book fo short vignettes entitled The Color of a Lion’s Eye (amazon.com)
Late in her life, Jane met the love of her life. Fred Begun – Principal Percussionist of the National symphony orchestra. Never were two people so suited to each other. They added joy, and lively conversations to every room they entered.
Jane was predeceased by Freddy by 4 years. She often said it was the loneliest and longest 4 years she had ever known.
Losing Jane at this time in my life was like losing an arm. But I know that she is no longer in pain. I know the faith that she had provided comfort to her in her last days. I was lucky to get to say goodbye to her the afternoon she died. I will quilt the rest of my life for her; in her memory and to live up to the expectation she had of my talents. Be at peace, Jane.