I met Jarom when we were 14. We had Mr. Facque’s honors biology class together (for the record, the teacher wisely chose to pronounce his last name “fake-way”). That first year of high school, we didn’t interact a lot, but over the summer between 9th and 10th grade we spent a little more time together because of mutual friends. We were seated alphabetically in our sophomore world civ class – Hillery was followed by Lee and then Lewis, so poor Jessica was doomed to be the middleman for the notes Jarom and I passed back and forth. Junior year we had no classes together, but had become best friends; we exchanged notes during passing period, ate lunch together, hung out after school and on the weekends.
There is absolutely no way I could have pictured then the way our lives would turn out. I’m sure whatever teenage ideas I had about romance and marriage and love involved a lot of swooning and candlelight dinners and serenades. It’s been so perfect to discover that I hate romantic crap like that, and what I really love is my best friend.
We have beautiful kids. I adore them – and I love how much Jarom adores them. I hate to be grieving the loss of one of them, but it’s so much better to be going through it with Jarom. He hurts with me. He brings me donuts. He laughs with me. Everyone suffers uniquely, but his feelings are the closest to mine of anyone in the world, which makes it so much easier to talk and complain and cry and remember together.
At 16 years old, I felt like Jarom was steady and constant and he understood me. Our friendship just seemed to fit. I’m glad I can say the same things after 6 years of marriage, but also add that he’s patient, hilarious, generous, selfless, quirky, and just what I need. He’s still my best friend.