Nancy, Janice and me
Yesterday my aunt Janice left this life behind. She had been on hospice for some time. In late June I had the great fortune of spending a week with her and my cousin Nancy in Medford, Oregon. Despite her immobility and and obvious challenges her spirit and spunk was as strong as ever. The sign on the wall behind us in the picture was written by my Aunt Janice. It says: GOD - Gratitude Overcomes Depression.
What a gift to spend time together. That connection can never be taken away from me. Her advice, which she repeated several times a day was, "You just have to be grateful for every moment of every day." I couldn't agree more.
My aunt, uncle and cousins in the 70's
my father and my aunt
During our last week together we stayed up late watching The Sound of Music and we watched her (2nd) wedding video which is 90% dancing. We looked through photo albums and reminisced. Our big outing each day was to the "veranda" (aka her back yard) where we would eat a meal and admire the flowers, clouds, or sunset. I played "chef" for the week and Janice wasn't afraid to tell me she didn't like some of my cooking. She owned a Baskin Robbins ice cream store for decades and loved sweets. We ate lots of ice cream.Although she remained friends with her first husband, her true love she found later in life: Miro. I got to hear about their trips to Slovenia together and their love of dancing. At night we would put her blanket in the dryer and get it all nice and toasty warm for her. Every time we put it on her she would start singing, "Heaven, I'm in heaven . . . dancing cheek to cheek"
. . . I can't say what happens when we transition from this life but I like imagining my aunt Janice's vision came true and she is now reunited and dancing with Miro. . . Thank you aunt Janice for your positive attitude, spunky honesty, zest for life, sense of humor, laughter and love.