MEMORIAL SERVICE BULLETIN
The memorial service bulletin included an insert in which my kids shared their thoughts on Jan. Each of them would have liked more space to write, but each of them spoke so beautifully of their Mom and Mom-in-Law.
Julie Ann: When I was a little girl, I asked Mom why she always said, 'I love you' whenever we would say goodbye. She told me that the last words she wanted me to hear was how much she loved me so if anything happened I would never doubt how she felt about me. Like most moms and daughters we had our ups and downs, but we navigated through to a place where we had a great friendship. We shared a love for knitting, traveling, reading (especially the 'Outlander' series), and watching chick flicks. I admire Mom for being as generaous with her heart and soul as she was with her resources--qualities I hope to have not only in myself, but to instill in my children as well. Mom left us so suddenly that there was no chance to say good bye, but Mom, I have NEVER for one moment doubted that you loved me and I hope that you knew that I loved you too; so much so that I don't know how I am going to do this next part of life without you. I am so blessed that the last picture taken of you, just moments before you left us, was you hugging me--a priceless treasure of my mother's love. Thank you for being an amazing woman and a wonderful example of a wife, mother and grandmother. Your are the best! I LOVE YOU!!!
Mike: Jan left us only a few days ago and her loss was, in a literal sense, felt around the world. More close to home I will notice her absence daily from the lives of Julie Ann, Ryan, Keira and myself. The first time I met Jan was while cooking dinner at Julie Ann's home. Julie Ann and I were having one of our first dates. Jan was leaving on a trip to South Africa for two weeks and could not wait to see this new boyfriend for herself. Over the years she proved to be exactly as advertised and so much more. She was friendly, warm and genuinely interested in knowing what and how I was doing. She would say I was her favorite son-in-law--I would remind her that I was the only one. Jan was generous with her time and gifts to me and to others. You had to be sneaky if you were going to pay for a meal. I will always remember the many trips to warm Southern regions and even a few to the North. No achievement or special event would go unnoticed by Jan. Most conversations would include Bethany Beach in Michigan along with an inquiry as to when I thought I could make it there. Jan was always makiing an effort to be with friends and family. She meant so much to so many--her passing will resonate long into the future. No beach or pool will be complete without Jan by it. She was not only my mother-in-law, she was my friend.
Joel: A I reflect on my mom's awesome life I keep coming back to one pharase: "Make a difference". My mother was all about making a difference in every area of her life. She wanted to make a difference for single mothers. She wanted to make a difference for her family, her husband, her daughter, her son and daughter in law and her grandkids. My mother made a difference in my life. Her servant heart challenged me to put others always before myself. She never thought of herself as better than anyone else and she made everyone around her feel comfortable. She taught me how to conduct and run a business; and mentored me as to how to treat my clients and my employees with love, respect and friendship. She always talked to me with a joyful heart and would not ever consider saying goodbye without making sure I knew she loved me. She was a wife to my father that modeled how marriage should be lived. She loved Jesus so much and reminded me all the time that life is so awesome because we love our God; and Mom showed that love with her passion for music and worship. She loved being Amma and my kids were so fortunate to have her in their lives. The memories they share prove that Amma made a difference to them. Mom I love you so much and I will continue to live my life to honor your legacy. I will never forget you and I will cherish the 39 years we had together. I can't wait to see you again!! I love you.
Kelly: I am so blessed because I had the chance to love two moms the way I have. God knew just what I needed when I married Joel. I was to gain a mother and a father in law who would help me become even more a woman of God, with a heart for truly loving others and a compassion for those often forgotten or ignored; and a person who believes in the power of prayer and the power of a hug. It is these qualities my mother-in-law, one of my closest friends, embodied and taught me; and I can only hope she knows that I am trying to live my life with the same compassionate heart which is a testament only to what my mother-in-law taught me.
I have read these comments several times and each time they bring tears to my eyes. Jan was so proud of her family and the wonderful marriages her children were enjoying.
I want to say thanks to them for expressing themselves so beautifully.