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#953677 - Tue Dec 04 2012 09:34 PM Aunt Janice, May You Rest in Peace
Jazmee27 Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Tue Mar 09 2010
Posts: 634
Loc: Pennsylvania USA
[Note: I’m very bad with things like this, so it took me a while to get it straight—Janice was my great-aunt. Mom was able to calculate her age because it’s thirty years more than her own—but I’ve always been able to calculate it because of the fact that she was eleven years older than my grandmother, who was the only sister she had left anymore].

She wasn't young, but she *was* in relatively good health.

Tonight, Mom got a call from her husband, Bill, to let her know she passed away this afternoon of a heart attack. “It was very sudden.”

Bill’s currently making funeral arrangements to have her buried near where they live, which is about three hours from me [there isn’t a time yet, but he’d like the funeral to be Saturday as “it gives people time to travel.”

I wasn’t as close to Janice as I once was, but we talked on the phone at times—about anything from the weather to the books we like to read.

Once a year, on Memorial Day, Janice and Bill came with the camper—or, in recent years due to weather or some other reason, with the car. Then, the second weekend in July, they “came down” to Grandma’s because he had a picnic in the area—and Janice wou,ld always spend the day with Grandma [Janice’s birthday was on July 11, and Grandma’s is June 26, so “Sisters’ Day” was kind of like a birthday celebration].

I feel bad for Grandma, because she and Janice would instant message every week—unless there was some problem preventing one of them that week, in which case they talked on the phone.
_________________________
(1) Young I may be, but even young people are entitled to their opinions.
(2)Attempting to silence me doesn't hurt me, but the silencer.
(3) I must remain true to myself.

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#953701 - Wed Dec 05 2012 12:08 AM Re: Aunt Janice, May You Rest in Peace [Re: Jazmee27]
Jazmee27 Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Tue Mar 09 2010
Posts: 634
Loc: Pennsylvania USA
I was remembering how, when I was younger, she and I exchanged taped letters, and I got so sad I had to get up (I was lying down, and the tears got on my pillow). It’s just so hard to believe that such a vibrant personality is gone.

I remember visiting her when I was in my teens, and they lived in Ohio. I think I visited at least once after they moved back to Pennsylvania, but I’m not sure.

About two summers ago, she came up to see my apartment—and to meet Ethan. She was absolutely tickled pink that my little guy’s her favorite color (blue).

She was a “big personality,” talking real loud because, she said, she was in the habit due to Bill having a hearing problem.
_________________________
(1) Young I may be, but even young people are entitled to their opinions.
(2)Attempting to silence me doesn't hurt me, but the silencer.
(3) I must remain true to myself.

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#953728 - Wed Dec 05 2012 04:54 AM Re: Aunt Janice, May You Rest in Peace [Re: Jazmee27]
mehaul Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Wed Feb 03 2010
Posts: 6500
Loc: Florida USA
Sorry to hear about the tragedy in your life, as in one too many. May the holidays pass with some joy for you and may the coming new year bring better life experiences.
Hope you have someone to feed and water Ethan while you're away. From your prior postings, I'd suspect your head administrator would do it but you will be gone over a weekend and that might require someone else.
_________________________
If you aren't seeing Heaven while you dream, you're doing something wrong.
Dreams allow escape from the passage of Time.

The ultimate activity is the Dream.

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#953886 - Wed Dec 05 2012 09:50 PM Re: Aunt Janice, May You Rest in Peace [Re: mehaul]
Jazmee27 Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Tue Mar 09 2010
Posts: 634
Loc: Pennsylvania USA
Thanks, Michael.

I told Mom I’m still thinking about whether I’m going—the service has been scheduled from noon-one and the funeral from one-two. This means Mom would have to pick me up around nine in the morning (as I stated in an earlier post, it’s about three hours away).

Bill asked Mom tonight if I’m going, and she answered truthfully that (a) she isn’t sure, and (b) that I don’t travel well. When she repeated his response, I was so touched I burst into tears—he told Mom that I’m more than welcome to come, but if I don’t, he’ll understand—and Janice would, too. [A lot of last night’s anxiety was over whether or not someone—most likely, Bill—would be upset with me if I didn’t go. As for me feeling guilty… I wouldn’t, because I’m really not keen on going. I would have said ‘no’ already, but for whatever reason it seems I need the approval/support of certain people—Bill because I don’t want to upset him (again) and not talk for years, and—as of this afternoon—Grandma, who asked me if I was attending. Mom reminded me that the only person who’s oppion matters is my own—and that I must make the right decision for me. I have until tomorrow night—at which time I hope to have spoken to Tiffany and Georgette regarding Saturday.
_________________________
(1) Young I may be, but even young people are entitled to their opinions.
(2)Attempting to silence me doesn't hurt me, but the silencer.
(3) I must remain true to myself.

Top
#954008 - Thu Dec 06 2012 01:43 PM Re: Aunt Janice, May You Rest in Peace [Re: Jazmee27]
Jazmee27 Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Tue Mar 09 2010
Posts: 634
Loc: Pennsylvania USA
One doesn’t like to talk ill of the dead, but, sometimemes, not doing so ignores the most recent chunk of a person’s life (it can also cause confusion, as the actions of certain family members are hard to explain). The unfortunate fact was, Janice was slowly isolating herself from everybody (always somewhat bossy and a “take charge” person, in recent years it was more, “it’s either my way or no way at all.”)

About fourteen years or so ago, she started a fight with my great-aunt Anita because Kara, Anita’s daughter, didn’t send Janice an invitation to her baby shower (first, she wouldn’t have gone anyway, and second, she had long ago burned all bridges with her nieces and nephews when they were growing up). Anita got mad because, as she pointed out, Kara was an adult and was therefore no longer her responsibility. Janice got upset because of the way Anita was talking to her, and told her off (this was, by the way, at the Memorial Day Picnic—the time I refer to as the “annual family meltdown.” There has tended to be family drama during the Christmas and Thanksgiving holidays as well, but not to the same extent]. Charlie, Janice’s brother (the only surviving one at this point) rose to his wife’s defense, leading—eventually—to Janice’s letter stating that, so far as she was concerned, she had no brother. [I bring this up because Bill was talking to Grandma yesterday, and was delighted to learn that Charlie is, in fact, going to the funeral. “He said he thinks it’s time for bygones to be bygones.” And, the last time Janice and Charlie saw each other—also at the Memorial Day picnic, “they talked a little, which was a great start.” At first, she and Bill—who was fed a misrepresented version of the story with Anita as the villain and his wife the victim—were going to leave if Charlie and Anita came. Grandma told her, firmly, that she didn’t have to go anywhere—that there are so many guests at the picnic that she could avoid him—but neither was she to cause any trouble.]

Another surprising )in a good way) development is that Charles Junior—known to the family simply as Junior—is flying up from Florida to attend the funeral (the last time Janice and Bill were in Florida for their annual winter vacation, Junior wanted her to call him once they got close to where he lived so they could meet for lunch. Unfortunately, in her mind, everyone had to contact *her, so it never happened.)

And I have decided not to go, based on the reasoning reflected above—I don’t travel well (my legs get tired the longer I sit in one place without moving, and the longer I’m out somewhere, the same is true. Plus, I slow down the progress of anyone with me, as I’m so much slower than they are. And, as an added bonus, it’s supposed to rain on Saturday).
_________________________
(1) Young I may be, but even young people are entitled to their opinions.
(2)Attempting to silence me doesn't hurt me, but the silencer.
(3) I must remain true to myself.

Top
#954033 - Thu Dec 06 2012 03:52 PM Re: Aunt Janice, May You Rest in Peace [Re: Jazmee27]
Jazmee27 Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Tue Mar 09 2010
Posts: 634
Loc: Pennsylvania USA
The last time she went to a restaurant, she walked out resolving never to go there again because a two-month-old baby was wailing, and the child’s mother upset her by telling her she was ignorant.

E She fought with people at the hair place, too—so, needless to say, she wasn’t popular in the community or among the neighbors closest to them.

And what drove a wedge between her and the family—the biggest one, that is—was how she treated Grandma after their youngest sister, Jean, passed away: being local, Grandma was left to make funeral arrangemebnts. She got the director of the funeral home to postpone a meeting until Wednesday (Jean died on a Tuesday in September 2009) so that Janice could make it to the meeting [but she decided she didn’t want to drive the 2-1/2-3 because the funeral itself wasn’t until Saturday. So, Grandma went ahead and went to the meeting—as well as taking care of Jean’s few belongings from the nursing home she’d lived in until she got sick with the infection that landed her in the hospital [Janice did briefly visit Jean, but it wasn’t exactly a pleasant visit, and she left soon after].

At the funeral, Janice turned on Grandma for taking charge—and went so far as to accuse her of “yelling around” at the cemetery (when just the opposite was true).

When Janice made a big deal over Jean’s tombstone, wondering if there was enough ensurance money to pay for one, Grandma let her buy it—saying she’d pay half of the cost if she could, but she didn’t hear a word about it until last Christmas—when she received a card with a picture of the tombstone].

Still, in spite of everything, those closest to Janice Baker will remember her as a commanding presence—and mourn the loss of at least parts of the person that she was.
_________________________
(1) Young I may be, but even young people are entitled to their opinions.
(2)Attempting to silence me doesn't hurt me, but the silencer.
(3) I must remain true to myself.

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