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.
If you have something that you would like to see posted here, feel free to post it here as a reply. Many of you have asked if we read your posts, we do! I have read all of them to mom as well, your comments are making it through and we all love to see and hear about your experiences with mom. Feel free to share stories or pictures.
This one is from Marcia Tiffany (a colleague of moms from Head Start):
I have worked with Jan for over seven years, as her Office Assistant. Our two favorite topics of conversation….our grandkids (I have nine and two great-granddaughters) and…..our Lord Jesus Christ! We were prayer partners. Whenever I had a heartache, or concern, I would run to her cubicle, tell her the situation, and she would pray. She would do the same with me. We both love the Lord so much and He is a constant in both our lives.
(September) 4:00 pm, Friday, we walked to the parking lot together. As I started to get into my car, (we were parked side-by-side) I noticed she was sitting with her head down. I walked over to her and she looked at me, with tears falling down her cheeks. She kept saying, ‘Marcia, I am so sick, so sick.” She asked if she had a fever, which she did. She was trying to decide if she should go to the ER or an Urgent Care on her way home. She kept saying she didn’t want to drive so far, just wanted to go home. I prayed with her, we talked for a few more minutes and she started to back out of the parking space. Just then, Colleen and Maxine approached her and began talking with her. So I said goodbye, and left. Little did any of us realize that would be the last ‘working’ day for Jan!
Jan sent a note to me, and I quote. “Hi Marsh, miss you! I have time to hold any specific prayer needs you have for yourself and family. God has given me this opportunity to pray and offer thanksgiving, so please send your requests and needs and I will fold you into my heart. (I have a very strong heart they say).” I wept. With all she was going through, she asked for my prayer needs!”
That’s mom for sure. Thank you Marcia
After all the Thanksgiving parties, I made the decision to stay in Seattle to spend some more time with my mom as she battles to get off the ventilator. As Matt and I discussed last night it is hard to imagine that only a few short months ago our mom was running around chasing our kids. Mom loves being a Grandma and quite honestly she is very good at it. She has an animation and joy for life that all the kids are drawn to. Her passion is infectious and we all miss it very much.
As I sit with her, I try and cut through all the bells, honks and dings of the equipment by thinking about some of my recent memories of my mom. I was blessed that she lived with my family for the last two and a half months prior to coming over to Seattle. At this moment the one memory I keep playing over and over in my mind is the first time she put on her back brace. Over the previous weeks, mom was dealing with very severe back pain that was basically a side affect of the myeloma cancer. The first time she put on the back brace–the minor relief it gave her, she was inspired to do the jig. I remember it clear as day, after all the time she had spent with her walker she took this moment of minor relief to do the jig. This is the type of memory that surfaces time and time again with my mom. She can take even the smallest ray of light and turn it into the sun.
Though it is very difficult to see mom in her condition, I know if anyone has the strength to move past this…she does. She will fight with all her passion in the hopes to once again do a little jig for all of us.
I LOVE AND MISS YOU MOM
I ran into this picture the other day on my phone and every time I see it reminds me of “Butterfly Kisses”. This is the name my mom has given to the day she found out she had cancer. Mom got the call from the doctor and after she hung up the phone she laid her head in her hands and began to cry softly. Maira came over to her Grandma and started to pepper her with soft little kisses all over her arm. I am sure Maira will never know how much that exact timing meant to her Grandma, but I will!!
Jan Frank is my sister’s mother-in-law, my brother-in-law’s mom, my nieces and nephew’s grandma, my friend, and so much more. Here’s a photo of Jan from when we went whale-watching together.
Jan was recently diagnosed with multiple myeloma, which you can read more about here and here. Pending insurance approval of medically advanced bone marrow transplants, she will begin treatment with radiation and back surgery followed by chemotherapy and the bone transplants.
Jan is not one to sit still and loves to chat. In her fragile state, we thought a blog was in order to help you keep up-to-date with her progress and also keep her in touch with you. Please feel free to comment and ask questions. I know the community of cancer fighters and survivors is strong in the blogosphere.