Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas in the Trenches

As I talked with the customer service representative from ATT, she innocently asked, "And how was your Christmas?" A rush of thoughts flooded my mind. My son is states away and I didn't get to see him this Christmas, but I know I will see him soon.

Yet Christmas 2008 will always be known as the year we lost Janet.

My brother Brian's wife, Janet has been a joy to know and inspiration to me (though I know she hated being called an inspiration). Just several weeks ago Brian, Janet and myself went out to eat at a local coney island restaurant (the kind that seems to be everywhere in Metro Detroit). Janet's spirits were high and she was witty and engaging. On Christmas Eve, I shared the room with a different person. Janet was in a hospital bed in the living room. I couldn't tell if she even knew I was in the room. Barbara, Janet's mother had prepared Spaghetti, which was apparently a family tradition. Sometime when I had just about finished my first serving of the angel hair pasta, Janet stopped breathing.

Both of my grandmothers died of breast cancer. My father's mother died of the disease before I was even born. I think of all that Janet will miss, but most importantly I think how less rich my life would be, without my sister-in-law, Janet.

The visitation is tomorrow (Sunday) and the funeral will be a local Catholic Church. Information on the funeral is at Griffin Funeral Home. Contributions in Janet's honor can be made to the Young Survival Coalition.

I keep thinking of the tagline she created a few months ago: "F*ck Awareness: Find a Cure." (You can still buy the stuff online). Yes I get her point the pink ribbons seem a little trite when you are facing death.

God, I miss Janet tonight.

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