Jane and I met in early 1991. We had both gone to the same temp agency to apply for a job. We were there at the same time and chit chatted while waiting for our separate interviews.
After our interviews, we were taking the dreaded typing test, together. Then, the call came in from a local bank that had gone belly up and they needed two fast typists. We were called in individually and offered the job. Said it would be about 10 days, but the pay was good. It was to start the following day. I accepted and left.
The next morning I arrived on time and there was that same lady from the temp agency the day before.
We worked side by side for the next 10 days. Jane had extensive banking experience, coming from upstate New York. I, on the other hand had none. The only thing I had going for me was that I could type fast.
Soon, our days were up and I said my goodbyes to employees left behind in the wake of their bank folding. I went to say goodbye to my immediate supervisor and she looked so surprised and said, "What are you talking about? You're leaving?" I told her that the temp agency said the job was for "about 10 days" and the 10 days were up. She said, "You are not going anywhere. We really need you."
Thus, began my career in Banking.
Because the bank had gone belly up, the FDIC had stepped in and unknown to us, the bank was up for sale. After a few months of working there, Bank of America bought it.
All during this time, Jane and I became closer than ever. She was older than me, married to Bob. She told me their only son, Kenneth, had passed away at age 14 from Leukemia. You could see the pain in her face as she talked about him. He had been gone at that point about 12 years. They had relocated to the Southwest right before we met.
If I would make a mistake on paperwork, she would kiddingly scold me. I started calling her "Ma". There were many people at the bank who really thought she was my mother.
After being a temp for 11 months, Bank of America hired me permanently. Jane followed 2 weeks later.
Through the years, we remained close, calling each other often. She sent a thoughtful gift when my Jack was born.
Her husband, Bob, was the nicest, gentle and kind man. He passed away in 1996. Attending the funeral was hard on me, but, I was there to support "Ma".
Jane is the one I complained about here several months ago. She was alone, lonely and became very demanding. We had a good talk in early December and I told her that I thought she was being too demanding of me, that husband was very sick and I could just not drop everything and run to her when she wanted me too. I pointed out that she had her other friend, Rhonda who lived 2 blocks away and that Rhonda would help her as well. Once she saw husband, she realized just how really sick he is. She apologized and then told me that she had cancer in her left breast and needed surgery to remove the whole breast.
Right before we moved here, I took her to the hospital for the surgery. She came through fine.
We became close again, like in the early days. She knew of our impending move to beautiful Colorado. One day she said, "Boy, I'm gonna miss you girl". When getting off the phone with her, I would always say, "Love ya Ma." Her reply was always a chuckle first, then, "Love you too."
"Ma" left this world in the wee hours, Thursday morning, May 2nd. She has joined her Bob and beloved little boy, Kenneth.
Thursday afternoon, while sitting outside, a Monarch butterfly was circling my porch. I kept watching it, darting in and out of my porch. Through tears, I said to this butterfly, "Hey, Ma. I see you."
Goodbye "Ma", my friend, mentor and "other mother".