Saying goodbye is hard, especially at the end of someone’s life. My aunt, Janice wasn’t someone I saw often. She lived clear across the country but she’d always write to me, at least at Christmas. Her cards were filled with a wonderful note telling me about our family history and what was going on in her life. And what a life it was! She was an adventurer like her parents. Janice traveled the world. Because of her visits to Romania and Ukraine, our family was able to learn more about our family tree. She met with other decedents of our common ancestors and brought back not just important information but also photos and stories.
Janice was a closet author. She wrote stories and writeups for her local senior center newsletter, telling stories about her early life. Janice grew up as the oldest of three children in a small Lorain, Ohio neighborhood. If we asked her siblings, they would probably tell tales of her bossiness but also her love of animals. Her looks mirrored her mother’s. She had her same dark hair and mischievous smile. Janice loved her three daughters and grandchildren. She shared photos of them when they were small and proudly spoke of them whenever she’d write or call.
The love of her life, Gregor, enjoyed traveling with her as well as world events and culture. With Gregor’s passing, Janice continued her traveling life with friends, although a little closer to home. She loved traveling with her companions at the senior center, from visits to museums to lunch spots in California.
In recent months her health had declined. She had been receiving treatment for invasive cancer which has spread throughout her body. While her smile remained, she had been forced to give up traveling.
With her passing, she is once more reunited with Gregor and her parents and no longer suffering.
We say goodbye but I imagine her free of pain and enjoying her wings.
Gator Girl Extraordinaire