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  • jolwajda


She is my oldest friend in this life. I have thousands of memories of her, but the very very first one I recall is her showing up on my door step when we were five years old or so, at SIX IN THE MORNING, to come out and play. (We lived across the street from one another). While it's one of my first memories in general, I still remember thinking something along the lines of, “What the fuck? Go home. It's so early.” But I've come to learn, that's just Janine fashion: outgoing, blunt, up for anything, and beautiful. She knows me better than anyone. She knows the silly childhood stuff. She knows my first friends, my first boyfriends… my first of everything, she was there for really. I have met so many people across the country that have become good friends, who know so much about who I am and what makes me – me. But none the way Janine knows me. How could they? They only know who I am now, and who I was at that particular chapter in my life. Janine knows it all. The things I don't want people to know, things I'm deeply ashamed of, my deepest darkest moments and regrets. And how wouldn't she? She lived them with me. We grew up in a... unique place. A place I feel we could tell people about over and over again...but it's hard to wrap your head around what our adolescence was. We both get so much solace that at least we know. Together, we know. We lost each other for a few years, but with perseverance on both our parts, we found our way back to one another. Sometimes, on the rare times we do get to see each other and all the emotions that come with a visit together, I almost always have a moment where I look over at her and say something along the lines of… fuck man, we almost didn't have each other anymore. We both agree what a shit deal that would've been for both of us. When my dad passed away over the Christmas holidays six years ago, she asked me to visit her early in the new year. We spent three days holed up in her apartment through a snowstorm drinking, laughing, and crying...a lot. She knew my dad her whole life - the good and the bad, and there was such a great comfort for me in that. And a few years ago, when her brother Ryan suddenly tragically passed, we did the same thing, minus the snowstorm. We cried a lot, but man, we also laughed. Janine is just this force of fucking nature to me. Like a tree in the wind - strong. Resilient. She knows what she has to do to get through the hard parts in life, no matter how tough it is on her. I look up to her in basically every way possible. She is an unreal hairstylist. She has competed and won many competitions in her field. She also makes beautiful authentic indigenous beadwork earrings. Sometimes when I'm having a low self-esteem day, I'll put a pair on because I always get at least a compliment or two.

She made a beautiful life for herself in Halifax, N.S., and recently bought a house with her partner Tara who I just adore. Janine makes life easier for me in every way. I hope I get to keep her for the rest of my years. I couldn't get any luckier with a friend, or more accurately, a family member. J-nine, you're something else. I sincerely hope you know this.

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