I was really blessed to attend Jan’s memorial service and post-service party. It was great to meet some of her friends and family. I am thankful to have like-hearted people to mourn with and of course Jan’s grandkids are always a delight. Thank you to Matt, Stephanie, and Joe for arranging and sharing your lives, homes and families with me.
We had the privilege of spending Mother’s Day with three generations of Jan’s family. As I sat across the table from Jan and her kids, it struck me that what used to be routine is now precious: enjoying a meal all together. I caught this picture of Joe, Matt, Jan, and Stephanie:
I’ve known Jan for about two decades and have seen her care and love for my sister (Matt’s wife) and their family. When Delphine and Matt would go out-of-town, Jan could handle four young grandkids all on her own, an ability she likely acquired from raising three children on her own for many years.
Jan, you’ve obviously done a terrific job as a mother and grandmother, and I’m blessed to witness your legacy in the lives of your family.
As dictated by Jan:
Thank you to everyone who has responded. Your thoughts and words do not go unnoticed. Thank you for taking the time to share your care and love.
I can’t believe I showed Karin how to do a novena. I don’t remember teaching Karin how to do a novena but I’m glad she remembered.
Jan opens with: “I barf every day after PT and OT. So I’m thinking of limiting the time. Come back from PT: barf. OT: barf.”
Stephanie is here and helping plan Jan’s meals right now, among other things. Claudia says: “I think we need to get an ice machine installed. Tell anyone who visits to bring ice.” Stephanie adds: “cranberry juice.”
Jan says, “You can tell them I finally found my Legally Blond purse. Tell them they feed me too much.” In the background, Stephanie and Claudia discuss desserts.
Matthew (our regular blogerator) has been traveling for work and vacation.
“You ordered Diet Pepsi for every meal next week–even breakfast–so by Wednesday, we’re gonna hear: ‘Another friggin Diet Pepsi!’,” says Stephanie. “Because you like it right now. That’s the problem of ordering your meals a week in advanced.”
“That’s why I pick her meals,” says Claudia. Ah, is this fun or what?
Jan says treatment is making her so dehydrated that she gets Farmer Face. “The people at work were always getting after me for talking over the cubicles. I got a lot of notoriety for talking and making noise. ‘I promise I’ll change!'” Her forced quietude gives way to smiles like this after tea or water.
Visiting today with Claudia and Jan, Claudia said, in response to my asking her if she wanted to blog, “It’s the elderly watching the elderly.”
Jan: “We had Julie with us today so we had a perky person.”
Claudia: “Our topics of conversation: laundry, blow drying hair, which socks she’s going to wear today, which shoes won’t cause edema.”
Jan: “We thought when we got old we’d be talking about travel and fun things.”
Claudia: “Our parents always talked about bowel movements and we swore we wouldn’t and now…we’ve become our parents anyway.”
They are funnier even than this, you know. I can’t type fast enough to capture all the jokes.
Well, Delphine called me this afternoon to find out how Jan could blog from her own account and to say she is back in the ER. Bummer.
I took Aleta to visit Jan yesterday and we got to eavesdrop on a doctor visit, play in her room a little, and join her for lunch. Jan insisted on having clam chowder brought for me as well, and a Sprite for Aleta.
While we were sitting there, Jan got a surprise visit from a dear old friend and neighbor, Fi. This is Fi’s daughter Anna because Fi (Jan, you can correct my spelling) is too camera shy.
Over Delphine’s phone call to me, Jan related that she had another visitor yesterday and made a comment about lunch service that demonstrated to me that, as of 2pm today, Jan was her normal spirited self. 😉
Jan says she got duped. She thought it was a Diet Coke but it was barium. Boo. She is on a fluid restriction of 800 mL/day. I told her it’s what they had Curious George drink when he went to the hospital for eating the jigsaw puzzle piece. So this is Jan giving the barium the evil eye.
And here are some of her Christmas Eve visiters.
And here is the Diet Coke:
Also, Del gave Jan a pedicure recently:
She just got wheeled away for a CT scan. Before doing so, she requested her Diet Coke bar coded and secured. I love her priorities. “I don’t need a purse anymore. I don’t need hair,” she said. “Merry Christmas from (which hospital am I at?) Virginia Mason!”
Thank you so much for all of your support. Here’s a post on behalf of my sister, Delphine:
Father Magnano from Christ Our Hope church downtown came to visit Jan the morning of the day she went into the hospital. She said confession and had communion. We all participated in the sacrament of the sick and anointing of oil. She really seemed to be happy. Father Magnano, Mike, Claudia, and Jan.
Mike brought a mantle–a big soft scarf–made by Mike’s mom who is a breast cancer survivor. Each stitch represents a prayer, I think.