about Jordan - by Friend, Raychel Swayze
I have often heard people say that you do not know how amazing someone is to you until they are gone. Jordan proved this statement to be wrong. During her short time on earth, Jordan proved to me that she was an incredible person; with the biggest, caring heart in the world. It was obvious to me that Jordan would be the girl who would change many lives, including mine.
My friendship with Jordan began in nursery school in 1996/1997, and I actually remember our first meeting. Many kids were shy about leaving home and entering a new part of life, but Jordan wasn't. She eagerly approached me wearing one of the many girly hand made dresses she had, and immediately a friendship was created. With her beautiful, contagious smile, and caring ways, I knew from a young age, this girl was going to be a very special person in my life.
Throughout our young childhood friendship, I can remember us spending many days together both inside school and outside. We had many "play dates", birthday parties and attended many functions together. I can vividly remember going to see Sharron, Lois, and Bram with Jordan as well as the Velveteen Rabbit, and having endless amounts of fun.
Jordan and I shared a passion for sports. One of my favourite memories was when we were competing for track and field records at public school. Although Jordan was a year younger then me, we had an ongoing five-year rivalry. Every year, in the 100-metre track event, we would challenge each other for the record. Jordan always wanted to beat mine, and I had to improve the following year knowing that Jo could take my record if I didn't pick it up. In the end we had an even two and two records on the Beavercrest Track and Field record board. It was something we loved to compete over for all those years, and afterwards, many laughs were shared.
We always played soccer together, whether it was Markdale Minor, elementary, and finally high school soccer. I loved to be a teammate with Jo, as she was a great athlete who tried her hardest every shift. It didn't matter what the score was, Jordan was always a great and encouraging leader to all team members. Last year in high school soccer, we were line mates, which was beyond exciting. Every goal we scored was celebrated with an over-reactive celebration. We looked forward to every Tuesday and Thursday and would nudge each other in the halls saying things like "one more day till game day", or sneaking out of class early because "we had to fill the water bottles".
In the last few years, since Jordan was in high school we had become really close again and a great memory was sharing our first Europe experience together in October. It was easily the best ten days of my life spending time with Jordan, and being able to see how happy she was near the end of her life. Our entire group had the most fun anyone could have and shared many memories while on it. After, France and Spain, Jordan and I were consistently talking, whether it was lunch at school or texting during the evening. Finally a free weekend was available where neither of us had sports. On a Saturday in October, Heather Richardson, Carmyn Crawford, Jordan and I got together for our evening nick named the "Fantastic-4". We went to the movies and saw Paranormal Activity Two. I was quite afraid, but Jordan clearly wasn't. She had the entire audience in laughter with her funny jokes against the movie. We then went to Walmart and Jordan said "Guys! I have my mom's debit card… we can buy anything we want!" The final verdict was no-pulp Orange juice, but it had to be Simply Orange, along with Cool Ranch Doritos. We made a stop at the Movie Store in town, crazy as ever to get more scary movies. After, we returned to Jordan's house, it was decided we would watch Jo's childhood favourite "The Little Princess". Following the movie, the idea of mattress surfing down the stairs came about, but we had one problem… we didn't have a mattress. So, off we went to Heather's to pick one up. Upon our return, Jordan had to make sure the surroundings were safe, she put a foam cushion around the wood stove and insisted we wore helmets down the stairs, even though we barely moved. When Deb and Dave returned, they questioned why we had a random mattress… Jordan simply said "Mom, Dad, it's a sleepover, we have to sleep in the same room silly!" When I look back now, I find it amazing how a group of teenagers could get together and enjoy an evening of acting like little girls again with so much laughter and fun. But the best part was we were able to do some of Jordan's favourite things.
Jordan was truly one of the most amazing people to ever have been in my life. She was beautiful on the inside and out and cared so much for other people. She was more concerned about others and their well being then her own. Jordan also provided great advice for me in any situation whether it was boys or schoolwork. She always made sure she gave you confidence whenever you needed it. I admired Jordan's strength that she held all of her life, and more recently with her fight with epilepsy. She never let it bother her, and carried on always telling me she was fine. I've always been beyond amazed with all that Jordan had accomplished throughout her life and her will to want to do better at everything. She was an incredible person, and continues to be a great role model for young people.
Jordan has taught me some very important lessons in a short period of time. She taught me to live life to the absolute fullest, and to never stop caring about others. She provided me with strength and confidence and to be successful in life. The amazing thing about Jordan is she continues to be with me every step of the day, and continues to be with all of us. I refuse to play "Just the Way You Are" on my own, but rather wait till I hear it on the radio, or while out somewhere knowing that it is Jo's way of saying I'm here. Everyday I put my necklace with my Jordan Angel on knowing that Jordan is apart of my journey. Like everyone, I miss Jordan more than anything, but it is important to cherish wonderful memories we've created with her and continue to live with Jordan in spirit. One day while on the computer I came across "Forever Friendship" and I think it describes my friendship with Jordan:
"Sometimes in life, you find a special friend. Someone who changes your life just by being apart of it. Someone who makes you laugh until you can't stop. Someone who makes you believe that there really is good in the world. Someone who convinces you that there really is an unlocked door just waiting for you to open it. This is called forever friendship. When you're down and the world seems dark and empty, your forever friend lifts you up in spirit and makes that dark and empty world suddenly seem bright and full. Your forever friend gets you through the hard times, the sad times, and the confused times. If you turn and walk away your forever friend follows. If you lose your way, your forever friend guides you and cheers you on. Your forever friend holds your hand and tells you that everything is going to be okay. And if you ever find such a friend, you feel happy and complete because you need not to worry. You have a forever friend, and forever had no end."