At CSP, we consider February 4th a national pink & green holiday in honor of our beloved Jen Bunich who we lost six years ago today. Lord knows, this city of gal pals needs a giant pink & green hug right about now. And Jen B has been here waiting.
For the last two weeks, I have felt Jen’s presence. She always shows me signs that are unmistakable. I couldn’t figure out what she was telling me though. I had a feeling she was around to welcome Jen Pagani and show her the way. I am convinced these two Jens are angels sent from above and will soon be partners in crime in the heavens above! Those of you mourning the fresh loss of your beloved Jen P (the other pink & green Jen P as we liked to joke:-), you will soon be in for a real treat. You may think you have an idea of just how many lives Jen P touched, but you won’t truly grasp it until you experience her celebration of life. When you see and hug and share stories with all of the wonderful people Jen P impacted, you will be blown away. That’s because Jen P is also an angel. Your angel.
When I lost Jen B, I could not believe that one human being could do so much for so many people and function every single day – as a new mother, as a full-time ad exec, as a wife and as a friend to so many. These two Jens are just alike, they are angels who were here on earth for too short of a time. And we are all lucky enough to have known them and call them our friend. So just when you think you can’t handle another tear, you will see signs all around you that will let you know that she will be with you forever.
My angel Jen B was with me this past week when I needed her most, yet I had no idea what was to come. When I say Jen was showing me signs two weeks ago, they perfectly aligned with my mother falling ill. My mom is a 20-year vaginal cancer survivor. Her treatment back then was BRUTAL, I don’t even want to begin to document the amount of pain she endured and is still enduring. Her life was spared and she has lived a very healthy 16 years. But the last four have been plagued with a series of life-threatening illnesses, several surgeries, multiple staph infections and endless side effects from medications that has left her in a wheel chair. My family knew that mom’s next surgery was going to be the game-changer. The one that leads to a new chapter in all of our lives. Well last Wednesday, that emergency surgery arrived and off to Florida I went.
Here comes the cool angel part. My mom made it through her surgery, but this next week will tell what lies ahead for her – all we can do is pray for her to be out of pain. While my big sis and I were in mom’s room, I heard a ukelele player set up shop right outside our room. He played the song “Somewhere over the Rainbow” and packed up his things and started to leave. I was in shock, I had tingles all over my body. I knew that song was cued up just for me. “Somewhere over the Rainbow” was Jen’s favorite song – it was her wedding theme, it was her honeymoon theme and it was her funeral theme. It was her song and I love it to pieces. I asked the ukelele player why he played just that one song and was this a routine thing. He said no, not a routine, but someone, he did not know who, called him up there to play just that song. My sister and I hugged and cried. We knew that Jen was in the room with us sitting in the empty chair beside us. My angel, giving me a hug just when I needed it. And it felt A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.
I’m not sure what I did to be so lucky to have my own personal angel, but I must have done something right. So to the Smarties in our community who are heavy with heartache and pain due to the loss of a beautiful friend, be open to the signs that are coming your way. They will guide you throughout your life, you just have to be open to them.
Today, reach out to your besties and schedule a lunch, a shopping date or a GNO just because. Life is busy, especially after kids. You have to make an effort to keep those friendships going stronger than ever.
Here’s a big hug from all of your CSP gal pals and a very special hug from our angel, Jen B. We still miss her dearly, every single day.