10 years ago I met Janet Silver. I was doing some volunteering at a small nursing home in Lebanon (Essex). Long story short, shortly after meeting Janet and her twin sister, Janice- Janice died. I found out that Janet had no immediate family- no one really. There was a guardian appointed by the state but he never had contact with her except with legal matters through mail correspondence. Basically- I snatched her up. ❤ I became her legal guardian. I told her I didn’t have a living mother and she had no children, so we would just adopt each other. We had lots of walks in the park where we would eat our pickle pimento loaf lunchmeat sandwiches (I know- ick- but we loved them). We made countless trips to Walmart. Trips to the Vet to have her dove, Ophelia’s med checked. She gathered with us in our home on many holidays. And then we took trips to her family’s headstone in Washington Memorial Park. She loved White Castle burgers, Big Macs and Steak n Shake milkshakes. She had such a sweet tooth for yummy candies. She was a favorite as the nursing home. She mothered everybody. She was so thoughtful of others!!! She absolutely LOVED animals. I think she owned every Disney movie made that had animals in it. When she would talk about dying and the top she wanted to be buried in, I told her she would not die alone and I would take care of all of it. I had just visited her last Thursday and taken her some White Castle burgers (NOTE! Jennifer Perry- who is part ANGEL- was with me and had the privilege of meeting Janet and Janet meeting her ❤ ). Monday I received an early call that she had taken ill and was in bed (note- Janet was NEVER “in bed”). I sat beside my sweet Janet most of that day. I sang hymns, read Psalms, prayed, and just talked to her. Residents and staff would make their way in to say good-bye. Especially, Keith- Janet was his table buddy. It sure was difficult for him to say good-bye. 😥 She was loved by all at that nursing home! At 4:30 in the afternoon Janet peacefully breathed her last breath upon this earth. She knew where she was going. She had accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior when she was a girl.
Come to find out yesterday at Shirley Brothers Mortuary- there had been a mistake and her policy did not include a casket and other necessities. Basically- it was about $3000 short of funds. I prayed! I called Clay and he prayed! I told God, “Father, I know what I have done for Janet is a kindness (even though I was the one who reaped) and I don’t believe we have to pay for kindnesses. Take care of me Father. Take care of Janet’s funeral Father! You love us both! Amen” Basically- Shirley Brothers switched up some numbers, found a beautiful, no longer sold, casket in the warehouse. When it was all said and done- the balance due was -0-! (Alan Dunbar- you are an angel)
Tomorrow at Shirley Brothers on East Washington Street on the 2:00 hour, there will be a memorial service. It will be a very small attendance. Some distance relatives of hers are coming. My precious niece, Catrina North, is coming to bless me (AND IT DOES) as she didn’t really know Janet. I am giving a eulogy because I want to honor Janet’s memory. She was this little known woman who spent the last 20 something years of her life in a small nursing home. She didn’t travel the world, find a cure for cancer, found an orphanage, or make headlines in the news. However, she did bless everyone in her small corner of the world. Her worth is far above gold, silver, or precious jewels. And tomorrow… there will be a middle-aged gal who will weep for her. Who will miss her. Who loved her… I really really loved her.
What will I take away from knowing Janet Silver? There is no “small” life. There are no “small” acts of kindnesses. They are each and all precious. They can be life-changing. Do not forsake the day of small things- for in the small things there is great love. I have a picture that Janet painted for me- it is of a male and female Cardinals. Anyone who knows me at all- knows what red-birds mean to me. It is my priceless piece of artwork. It is worth more to me than the Mona Lisa is to the Louvre in France.
So- in this precious Christmas season- don’t take for granted the smile from the stranger you meet in the store… the greeting from the cashier at the checkout line… your mother, father, brother, sister, husband, wife, child, or friend. There is no small life! Love them… really really love them.