Jamie Stock, a Libertyville cheerleader and friend of mine, saw the waterworks and walked up the empty bleachers. I cannot remember what she said, but I do remember that she hugged me for a long time. The gesture seems strange when I step back now to think about how little we interacted back then. But the hugger in question was Jamie, one of the warmest souls I have ever known.
Jamie was everywhere. If she wasn't the focus of your high school pictures, then she was in the background smiling at a friend and laughing before the punch line. She was in her cheerleading windbreaker or homecoming parade dress. She was always a nice hello and could have been a best friend to absolutely anyone.
Jamie had a seasonal waitress job at a local brewery after graduation. We all saw her during our homeward college breaks. I asked her once if she remembered my bleacher breakdown. She gave me a cautious look, not saying anything. Was she worried about embarrassing me in front of my friends?
I'm sure she remembered just as well as I will remember her. For evermore she will be smiling and warm. I will miss her greatly.
". . . you will find us always loyal and true."