Monday morning my best friend, Janet, passed away in her home. I had the great privilege of calling Janet my friend since we were 6 years old. She was my best friend, my confidante, and I guess you would call her “My Person.” She was always there for me and always willing to lend an ear. We could spend two hours on the phone talking about everything and later the next day, do it again. There was never any judgement on her part and no matter what I told her she would put a positive spin on it. She was simply a joyful person and an optimist.
Janet was also the most genuine human being with the best sense of humor you could ever know. I think that’s what drew me to her when we were kids. She used to say she had a “warped sense of humor” but then I guess I did too because we just “got each other.” It was more like a dry sense of humor that not everyone understood. I could just get on the phone and, in the midst of bad news, we’d end up laughing about on old inside joke. We had many of them from when we were children to the more recent situations which we would find hilarious. Even in her waning moments, her humor came out when a nurse asked her name for the umpteenth time, she got annoyed and said her name was “Joe Schmo.” But that was her to a tee. That was just so Janet.
Janet also was amazingly crafty as evidenced by all the needle points in my house as well as an actual desk that she built. She was an amazing seamstress that even made all the bridesmaid dresses for her daughter’s wedding. The picture on top of this post show just a few of the Boyds Bears she gave me for my birthdays. I will treasure “Janet’s Bears” as I call them.
Before Janet moved to Georgia, she lived in Orangeburg (upstate NY) not far from where I lived in NJ, and we spent many fun times with her family and my kids. When I moved here 18 years ago, I was basically adopted by her family so some of my best memories are Thanksgiving and Christmas when she would stay up to dawn sometimes getting ready baking last minute cakes and cookies. She was most famous for her cheesecakes. I guess you could call her the cheesecake queen.
Growing up in Stuyvesant Town we both had many of the same friends, but I must say I never kept in touch. But Janet kept in touch with many of them. She was such a sweet and caring person that she even went up twice to Manhattan to support her friend Peggy in her cancer battle—that last time when she herself was not even well.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this last thing: Janet was not known for her promptness, but we all accepted it. I remember once when she was at least 30 minutes late picking me up for the airport, I frantically told her I would miss my flight, and she said, in her calm and optimistic way said, “Don’t worry, we’ll make it.” And we did. Every time she was late, she just knew we would make it on time.
But no matter what I write here, there are just not enough words to express how much I loved and respected Janet. There will never be another person like her and no matter how many friends I may have now or in the future she is irreplaceable. I love you Jet. Come to me in my dreams soon—I’ll be waiting. Godspeed.
Love your best friend M