I moved to Washington in 2014. I’ve been on a crazy path of growth and learning since I crossed this state line. The first thing that I started to miss while being away from home was the food. I ranted about it in Facebook and one of my Facebook friends suggested I try a restaurant called “The Quarters.”
This one hurts y’all. It hurts bad.
It took me almost a year or so to actually visit the restaurant because well, I never believe people when they send me to places that are supposed to taste like home—New Orleans.
December 15, 2016 my ex had stayed over because well I’m needy like that and she would always oblige. She came straight from the gym and the next morning for some reason I wanted to try “The Quarters.” She was always down for a food adventure. We stopped at a Goodwill—one of my favorite places—dressed her up and went on our way.
I felt at home the second that we pulled into the parking lot. The restaurant sits in the middle of a quaint space in Auburn, Washington. I walked through the doors and was instantly amazed by the art and music. We were instructed to sit wherever we pleased, so we did.
There were notebooks in the middle of each table. My nosey behind grabbed one and started thumbing through the pages. It was nothing but love and raves about the food and atmosphere. This place was home to many.
Then she came… Jade. Like the light she was, she smiled at my ex and I and made us feel like we were having a conversation with our favorite cousin. She was so full of life. I don’t think there was a moment she was never not smiling.
She had the perfect name. “Jade (crystals) is said to bless whatever it touches, serving mankind across the globe for nearly 6,000 years. Jade is most valued for its metaphysical properties. It is the ultimate "Dream Stone," revered in ancient cultures, as well as today, to access the spiritual world, gain insight into ritualistic knowledge, encourage creativity, and dream-solve. It is cherished as a protective talisman, assuring long life and a peaceful death, and is considered a powerful healing stone. An amulet of good luck and friendship, Jade signifies wisdom gathered in tranquility, dispelling the negative and encouraging one to see oneself as they really are.”
$40.00 would get us the best breakfast I’d had since I’d been in Washington. Jade would check on us as often as she could. She steal time to talk with us, telling us about her wife Chef T and their kids. She’d share her struggles about their restaurant and stepping out on faith and she’d fill us with love and encouragement for living life to the fullest. She was an open book like myself, which I found odd since she was a Scorpio. We’d leave with full hearts and belly’s and I’d never stop thinking about her. Some people just leave lasting impressions.
We promised to visit again.
A year later, on the same date we’d visit again and she’d remember us like she’d just seen us the day before. She’d give us free dessert and bad news that cancer was trying to beat her down. We’d both shed tears and hugs—Jade and I— because I know this pain all too well having a Mom that had to fight it twice. Jade was a fighter. She had so many reasons to just be alive. Her wife, her kids, and their business that was much more than a place to make food and money. “The Quarters” was/is a safe space for communion. So, what is it with a missing piece?
She’d always make it her business to spend as much talking time with us as she could. She was a walking blessing, giving to others even when she didn’t have much. She always reminded us to let the poor and hungry know they were always welcome to eat at her family’s establishment for free.
So here’s that age old question. Why do awful things happen to good people? She was a good people. I’ll always remember that smile on her face when we saw her for Easter and stayed for an Easter egg hunt, which I was bad at by the way. She told us where the good stuff was and well, epic fail. Still, one of the best times I’ve had in Washington. She and her wife are always doing things for the community. That’s why this hurts.
I’d been off social media for the longest and today I log in to see that she lost. I’m still processing. Watching her wife in pain was a stab to the chest. Jade’s energy has faded into the universe and I can’t imagine what life will be like for her wife and her children. What do you do when you lose your heart, you’re backbone, you’re air?
For you, I’ll learn to take more risk.