My Aunt Janice is a miracle.
My grandma had multiple miscarriages and instead of just taking her ovaries and being done with it, the doctor took bits of them at a time. Janice was conceived when Grandma had one quarter of one ovary left in her body.
Things were different in the ’50s, I guess.
Jan is the sort of person who seems gruff on the outside, but is a puddle of goo on the inside. She is a gifted potter, cook and quilter. She hacked back blackberry bushes and has large vegetable and flower gardens that she is always working on.
She’s the baby of their family but totally the boss.
Almost 12 years ago, my aunt got really sick. Her doctors misdiagnosed her for so long that by the time they figured out she had multiple myeloma, she had only 5 percent kidney function. She’s dealt with spin-off cancers, a bone marrow transplant, dialysis. She just kept fighting.
We’ve had 12 bonus years. We’ve had family gatherings and visits. The last time I saw her was in October, when she came with my cousin Clara and her grandkids, Maggie and Ben, for a harvest festival. She wasn’t feeling very well, but she was there. And she was Jan.
My beautiful aunt passed away last night, surrounded by her family. I am devastated for those of us who are left behind, but grateful she is no longer suffering. The last year has been … well.
Anyway, just … love you, Jan. Thanks for loving me, my girls and Eric so much.