My family and I have so many wonderful memories of our times with Terry. Jay and Andy, my husband, were close friends in high school. They reconnected when our daughters, who were just a few months apart, were about a year old.
From then on, we spent a lot of time together. When I went back to work after having our son, Terry babysat for my children along with the help of Uma who I remember most taking care of the Willen laundry needs in addition to helping with my children. I always loved the way the Willen laundry smelled. I was often trying to recreate it in my own home.
We soon became a part of all of Terry’s haunts and Halloween parties with our kids playing roles in the productions, my husband falling asleep in the casket with a beer in his hand, and me, always looking for what room Frannie the mannequin was inhabiting and trying to figure out where all the fake bugs were.
Terry eventually transitioned from home haunts to creating one for charity. My family helped with building the structure, playing roles, and helping with the business end of things but we were the ones who benefited the most, being introduced by Terry to a community of people who needed her help and support and were a pleasure to get to know.
Being Terry’s friend was at times difficult for me, a bug and rodent phobic person! Terry lovingly cared for all creatures whether they were Rosie the tarantula spider, the mice, gerbils, hamsters, or the newt and birds not to mention the dogs, cats, and outdoor creatures she and her family rescued.
We spent many weekends camping with Terry and Jay and our other friends. We had so much fun competing for the best-decorated tents for one thing. On one camping trip to Long’s Retreat, Terry and I left to go get some corn at a store. We found an old dilapidated house Terry wanted to explore for a future haunted house and a horse that was emaciated and abandoned. Terry refused to leave until we could report the horse's condition to someone which was difficult to do since it was a holiday weekend. Those were the days before Waze and Mapquest and we got lost, while the white Willen van started overheating as we were driving and I laughed so much my muscles hurt. We did not get home for hours and I’m pretty sure when we did get back to the campsite hours later than expected, we did not have the corn for dinner!
It was Terry who came to my rescue when we had taken our kids to a haunted hayride. I jumped off the wagon in the middle of the trip to help my son get his pumpkin and broke my ankle on both sides. I still do not know how I got back up in the wagon but my pride wouldn't let me tell anyone but Terry what had happened and how I was about to pass out. The minute the hayride ended, Terry went to get ice and told people what to do so they could help including finding Andy so he could take care of Evan.
If we were out running errands, I never knew what would happen next. I remember Terry wanting to stop at an empty lot to collect bricks that would make great headstones for the haunted decorating and me keeping watch hoping no one would catch us.
Terry and Jay often visited us at my parent’s place at Indian Lake. One weekend, Terry and I were taking the kids early in the week alone with the guys joining us later. I happened to mention that there was an ostrich farm on the way and Terry thought it would be fun to ask the owners if the kids could “meet” the ostriches. I stayed in the scorching hot van with the kids while Terry went to ask the owner for permission. Minutes went by and no Terry. Eventually, I learned that no owner ever answered the screen door but that a Rottweiler found Terry and trapped her between him and our car. The kids were hot and hungry and every time I opened the windows to let in air, tons of farm flies flew in the van. Eventually, Terry and I came up with a plan to get her safely into the van. This was just one of the dozens of adventures Terry and I shared together.
We also shared the joy of scrapbooking. We had so many laughs at all the scrapbooking events we attended. We were always meeting new friends who soon became lifelong friends every time we attended a crop because Terry and I laughed and laughed, never taking ourselves too seriously. Friends like Caron and Vangie, Debbie and Tina. We always made a spectacle of ourselves at those crops. Other attendees sometimes frowning at our outrageous laughing and fun.
We spent several vacations together with friends in Clearwater, Florida. We often traveled together on the long driving trip to Florida and made memories with our annual trips there and with the road trips getting there.
Many hours were spent at Oak Creek Pool with Terry and Jay and our other friends, having Friday night potlucks and pizza and watching our kids swim on the swim team. Once our group of friends created our own scavenger hunt. Jay, you were on our team and one of the challenges was to lay on the floor at Walmart and convince the shoppers that you were crazy. I know there are pictures somewhere but I recall I was worried I would need a change of clothes, we were laughing so hard! You were very convincing!
When my Mom became ill from cancer with only three months' notice, we were trying to keep our daughter, Elise in college when all she wanted was to stay at home with her Grandma. My Mom took a turn for the worse when it was time for Elise to graduate and move out of her dorm. Terry and Jay drove to Eastern Kentucky, packed up Jay’s truck in the pouring rain, cleaned Elise’s dorm room, and brought her home for us so that we could stay home with my mother. What amazing friends to have and that gift was immeasurable.
Terry, along with my scrapbooking friends, helped put together the programs for my mother’s funeral. I remember Terry always being there to help me during those days quietly in the background and then helping to pass out programs at my Mom’s funeral without my asking her.
As often happens with friends when we get busy with our kids, grandkids, and new things that enter our lives, Terry and I hadn’t spent much time together the last few years and I know there were times I let her down as a friend. I sure wish I would have thought to share with her how much I appreciated her friendship and all the good times we spent together.
Jay, Ryan, and Lindsey, Joe, our hearts are so full. Please know how much we appreciate our time together.