Personal Note: I’m posting this as my “throw back” today because I know Jill will be returning to the island in the next week or so, and Mackinac just wouldn’t be Mackinac without Jill being there. I’ve loved her since our very first summer on Mackinac, and I count her as among my very best friends. She is everything I wrote in this blog back in 2009 – and much, much more. Her heart is huge, her spirit is sweet, and her friendship is forever. Love you, Jillski, and don’t fuss at me about posting this!______________________________________________________________________
FIRST PUBLISHED 10/29/09
I keep telling myself that one day this week I will sit down to write the “final post” for the season. I’m not ready to do that yet, even though today was the closest I’ve come to saying, “Ok – I’m ready to go.” And that is because today my good friend Jill left the island.
As I have said before, Jill is the communicator for Mackinac Island. If Jill doesn’t know about something that’s going on, then it must not be going on. She always seems to be everywhere at once, and when we were first getting to know each other, I gave her the nickname JIB (for Jill in the Box) – because she just popped up everywhere. At first I thought she knew everything because she worked at the The Island Bookstore. I figured there must be some secret information system that fed every little tidbit of news from every corner of the island into that tiny little store inside the Lilac Tree Hotel mall. But then I realized, no – it’s just that Jill knows everyone on Mackinac, and everyone knows her.
How in the world I would have ever kept this blog going without her constant stream of places to go and people to meet is beyond me. It probably would have been dead in the water by June. Jill was a Godsend.
On her breaks from the bookstore, she will walk down the sidewalk and have 20 people speak to her by name before she hits the first corner. She is hailed from the street, from taxis, from bikes, and from stores. She has this amazing ability to make you feel special. That’s what she did for me, and that’s what she does for everyone lucky enough to know her.
Watching the ferry pull away, I thought, “Now there is only one more important goodbye I have to say before we leave – and that will be to the island itself.”
Then it will be time to go home.
Have a great winter, JIB! Love you, my friend.