Monday, September 21, 2009

Remembering a beautiful life

She and her best friend used to race home from school to see who could get the first kiss of my chubby cheeks when I was a baby. She still had that same enthusiasm and eagerness to kiss my daughter. Whenever I payed my mother a visit, my mother would call and tell her to come over. She did, with the quickness just to hold and kiss and play with my baby. On Friday, September 18th around 11:30 p.m. she called my mother and they talked. My mother told her that she had spent the evening with my daughter. Aunt Jan wanted to see her too and that whatever she had to do, do it because she really wanted to see my daughter.
Around midnight, a drunk driver ran head on into the vehicle she was riding in, killing her instantly(wow, it's hard for me to write this). A wife, a mother of two, an aunt, a sister, a friend, a cousin, a well known musician - was taken away from us.
Later that morning, I arrived from New York, my husband knew but he never let on. I got a call from my cousins, one of whom was my aunt's oldest daughter, they never let on. I finally called my mom and asked if she had spoken to the cousin. She said, "no." Then I said she didn't sound too good. My mom asked, "She didn't tell you?" I asked, "Tell me what."
Whenever my mom starts off with, "Oh my God," then I know something terrible has just happened. Then she told me. It felt like someone had just knocked the wind out of me. After I let the words sink in "JAN...KILLED" a pain so deep erupted and I screamed out in anger, hurt, and confusion. How could a life so beautiful end so tragic?
She has always been the backbone of the family. I always joke and tell her that she should have went to law school because she was versed on legal issues. She always knew how to read through the fine print. If there were ever any issues in the family everyone went to her and by God she got on it and wasn't satisfied until it was done.
She was a talented musician and singer as well, serving as Minister of Music and even composing some of the songs for her church. During our family reunions she played the keyboard and always led the praise and worship hour. Who would've thought this year would be her last because this year unlike before, the holy spirit was present at our family reunion and the recreation house turned into a church sanctuary. It was a little emotional because we had just buried my Aunt Emma in May. So this was the first family reunion without her. When Aunt Betty got "happy," there wasn't a dry eye in the place.
Later during the family reunion, Aunt Jan entertained us with a bluesy rendition of "Stormy Monday. " She sang her heart out so we started throwing money at her feet. I'm so glad her husband was there to video the moment as he's done on many occasions. I think part of the reason why he did so were to capture moments that included my mother, who was dealing with lymphoma at the time. As strange as this may sound no one thought Jan would die before my mom.
And so the family is still in shock, and when it seems things don't get any worst they do when more members our family are killed in a terrible accident involving a driver who ran a red light. The death angel took not one but four members of our family over the course of the weekend. There's only so much the heart can take, right now all we can do is ask God to give us the peace He'd promised, the kind of peace that surpasses all understanding. I'm also thanking God in advance for his angels of protection over my family and everyone's family.
I can't get angry with the drunk driver who took away such a beautiful life. Aunt Jan had so much to offer, she still had a lot of living to do. She had two daughters; one who is about to graduate from college and the other who is about to graduate from high school. She was planning a party for them and she was excited as well as emotional about the upcoming chapters in their lives. My heart aches when I think of her husband and daughters. My only peace is in the biblical verse: Earth has no sorrow that heaven can't heal. As time goes on my prayer is that they will eventually heal. I pray that God gives them all the strength. And I pray that the girls go on to become the women their mother would be proud of. I also pray that Robert, her husband, finds the peace that God promised him. I pray for my entire family. Rest in peace, my dear sweet Jan. The angels in heaven are rejoicing!

1 comment:

  1. This is my first time at your blog. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. I could feel the pain through your words. I will pray that God comfort you and your family during your time of bereavement.