After a six year fight with alzheimer's disease, my grandmother finally lost the big fight. As a family member and one of my greatest role models, I'll forever have a special place in my heart for her. After a weekend of goodbyes, I was inspired to share my goodbye in hopes of memorializing the wonderful woman she was and will always be...
Before her death in 1968, Helen Keller said, “Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there’s a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see.”
Rather than mourning the loss of a mother, grandmother, friend, or lover, I ask you to celebrate this passing, as Janis Manly has made her way into another room. A room full of new life and vibrant memories that were once lost. So as we gather here this afternoon and scratch only the surface of the amazing life she led, smile for her journey.
Although she has passed, something beautiful remains. Her spirit, which will find its way into the people and things she loved. Janis will forever live in the color orange, our family freckles, and all the memories she’s left behind. She will become part of all the things she cooked; “Palm Tree” salad, pot-a-fu, dill pickled pork chops, and the ginger she used in almost every dish. You’ll find her in the bottle glass windows, indoor plants, and Devils’ Walking Sticks. In wool couches, breezeways, touch latches, and rope wrapped around the stairs. She'll make her way into the crooked eyebrow that edges up the left side of my face. And she'll become that bright tube of lipstick or the loud patterned shirt. I’ll see her in fire works, Bow Mar signs, and waves of every lake. You will find her in Jim, in the memories in memories of Mayme and Limon, in Gretchen, in Kurt and in Gene. Parts of her will find their way into her grandchildren, the ones she told to call her Gran-Jan, and what is left of her beautiful soul will become part of her most cherished friends.
You will be forever missed, Gran-Jan.