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Posted on Thursday 6 September 2007 at 8:57 pm

Memories and Moods


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For the few of you reading this who don't know, on Tuesday I lost a dear friend when kileaiya suddenly passed away. For those of you who also knew Jo, you probably don't need me to tell you what a great person she was. For those who didn't know Jo, nothing I can say can convey just how warm, lively, energetic, and caring she was. Despite the lack of need or the inadequacy of my words to do her justice, I want to post just a few of my rambling and disjointed memories of her to help ensure that she is never forgotten.

My first strong memory of kileaiya comes from story reviews. She had seen some of my fics in an LJ community and came to my personal journal to read the rest. Most people in that type of situation might read old stories and quietly leave or perhaps leave a comment or two on favorites or the most recent stories to let the author know his or her work was enjoyed. Not Jo. She commented on every single story as she read it. I got literally dozens of comments from her within the span of a few hours as she read through my little collection. The one review that stands out in my mind now was on a drabble in which I had Tonks looking at a wardrobe trying to select an outfit in which to bury Remus. Her comment was something like:

You *points* made me cry!

In some ways that was typical Jo. A little bit silly, a little bit of internet slang, and a casual way of letting you know that she cared. I don't care how much I made her cry that day, it is nothing compared to what I'm doing now.

After her reading-and-commenting spree, Jo and I became fast friends. There are some people on the internet with whom you might sometimes interact. Those are kind of internet buddies in my mind. There are others that truly become friends. It doesn’t matter if you never meet face-to-face. It doesn't matter how long you know them. They are true friends. I just checked the dates on her comments on those fics. They are from 3 September 2006. She died on 4 September 2007. I only really knew her for almost exactly a year, I never met her in real life, and I can't believe how much I miss her already.

At first we chatted back-and-forth mainly through posts and comments on each other's LJs. She was the best about always popping in with something to say on just about every post I made, just to let me know she was reading and cared about what was happening in my life. At one point, I found a nifty little gadget that would tell you how often individual people had commented on your LJ. Jo not only had the most comments on mine, she had more than almost everyone else combined. When I told her about it, she checked her own LJ. I think I was the second or so commenter and we joked that I'd have to keep commenting to make it to the top spot.

At Christmastime, Jo made a post on her LJ asking if anyone was interested in card exchanges. I didn't much care about a general fandom exchange, but I certainly wanted to send something to her. When I went home at Thanksgiving, my mom was making stained-glass ornaments and I picked one out that she had made out of a lovely frosted orange glass with white for the fur trim at the top. As soon as I saw my mom working on that one, I asked her if I could have it for Jo. The colors immediately reminded me of the color scheme on her LJ. I sent it to her with a card and an explanation of the colors. She posted the day she received it talking about how much she loved it. I truly hope it made her smile even half as much as she claimed.

Jo and I would frequently help each other out when working on little projects. I helped her with code for her personal LJ and her James journal for her RPG. She helped me make animated icons and rip DVDs I needed for school. The last big project she helped me work on was a LJ mood theme. In early 2007, I was studying for my comprehensive exams. I tried to stick to a schedule of studying for certain hours and then stepping away from it and doing something else. During part of that something else, I was chatting with her on instant messenger and w somehow got to talking about mood themes. I mentioned that I wanted one but didn't have any good ideas because I didn't want something one-fandom specific (not Harry Potter, or Star Wars, or the like). I said I only had one small idea and it would never work. She asked for details and I explained that I love the Have A Day stuff. I have a calendar and every day of the year is a different smile face with a Have A … Day caption. I showed her some of the images online and she got so excited. She convinced me the idea was totally doable and too full of win to let go.

For weeks, I worked at that mood theme with her help. She found images for me, listened patiently as I described images I had and asked which would work best, debated upper-size limits for mood themes with me, convinced some of the punnier ones would make sense, and generally helped me make all the decisions necessary to create a mood theme from scratch. Without her energy, I would have completely given up on it but we worked on that mood theme together throughout January and February. By March, I was swamped with my comps and couldn't find the time to finish the Have A Day mood theme. Then when I did have the time, Jo was already withdrawing from the net and I moved on to creating the hp_wotm community. I only had four or five moods to go, but I somehow never finished them. In the past two days, I have finished all but one of those moods. I still can't find just the right image for "relieved." I'm going to keep looking for that "relieved" image, but I think I can go live with a mood theme that has 130+-1 out of 130+ images. So here it is. I only wish the first time I use it I could select a happier mood. If anyone wants to see all the mood images, you can find them here.

Jo,
Sorry I didn't get this done sooner. I hope you like it. Thanks so much for the help with it and for everything. Thanks for just being you and being my friend. I know with your bright spirit you've found happiness wherever you are. I miss you so much.
-Rachael
Melancholy
Feeling: Melancholy
Exploring: the Dumps

Comments:

Wild Magelet
wildmagelet at 4:15 am on 07 September 2007 (UTC) (Link)
You wrote that beautifully. Thank you for sharing your own memories of her. It's crazy how I keep expecting to see one of her posts appear on my f-list.

*hugs*

Oh, and the mood theme is fabulous. :)
Rachael
bratty_jedi at 4:42 pm on 07 September 2007 (UTC) (Link)
I think it will be a long time before I stop thinking "I can't wait to see what Jo thinks of this" or just looking for her posts on the flist.

*more hugs*

Oh, and the mood theme is fabulous. :)
Thanks :)
cuteej4
cuteej4 at 6:16 am on 07 September 2007 (UTC) (Link)
You and I connected with Jo almost the exact same way. I tried going back to see exactly when I friended her...it was only back in Janauary. About 5 or so days before my birthday. She was so nice and friendly right away. We talked almost daily and I even knew when she was hiding online...we even talked then. I still expect her to be online so we can talk about nonsensical things. It just feels unreal that she's gone.

She could best be described as one of those best friends you had when you were 5 and they had to move away. You still kept in touch but were never able to get together again.

I met you through an argument you guys were having over Heroes and one other show.

Thank you for posting this. I can probably use this for the video. Dang...if I get enough of everything, this video is gonna be really long and have a lot to read.
Rachael
bratty_jedi at 4:50 pm on 07 September 2007 (UTC) (Link)
I doubt it took long for anyone to become friends with Jo. How could you not love her?

There are at least two or three people on my flist who wouldn't be there if it weren't for kileaiya. You're one of them and I think it was an argument about Heroes and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.
gilpin25
gilpin25 at 7:44 am on 07 September 2007 (UTC) (Link)
That's really lovely and I'm sorry you've lost such a good friend. I friended her at almost the same time as you - I've been reading the LJ entries before I did start to get to know her a little, and I really was clueless about a lot of the things she'd had to overcome and face in her life.

The mood images are wonderful. The 'Determined' one makes me laugh and think of Jo, because that's how she was.
Rachael
bratty_jedi at 4:48 pm on 07 September 2007 (UTC) (Link)
She really was amazing. I mean, struggling with everything she did isn't an accomplishment in some ways because she had no choice. But remaining as optimistic, cheerful, and upbeat as she always was in the face of everything she went through? There she did have a choice and it is truly wonderful accomplishment on her part.

The "Determined" one is one of the ones she helped with the most. I thought it was too much of a stretch to go from Sherlock Holmes being a detective and determined to solve cases or something to the general mood of determined. She convinced me it made perfect sense and people would get it no problem.
author_by_night
author_by_night at 10:45 am on 07 September 2007 (UTC) (Link)
*Hugs* I didn't realize how close you two were.
Rachael
bratty_jedi at 4:51 pm on 07 September 2007 (UTC) (Link)
*hugs back* Thanks.
JD
lady_bracknell at 11:39 am on 07 September 2007 (UTC) (Link)
This is a really lovely tribute. I don't know if you saw, but isis_uf asked if people had happy memories of Jo that they'd like to share, she thought her mum might like to read them, so if you fancied sending this....

She'll be very greatly missed by so many people.
Rachael
bratty_jedi at 4:52 pm on 07 September 2007 (UTC) (Link)
Jo really will be missed.

I commented on isis_uf's post with a link to this post.


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