Amazingly adapted from my photo of Jan by my wife’s oldest son, Rick.
This is simply a follow-up to the KT Hiatus that was posted last week. The light of my life has gone out, and this is the official obituary of my late wife, Janice: The First Lady of Killing Time. She inspired and encouraged me to write every day on this site. I promised her when I went on hiatus that I’d “get my butt back to writing” just as soon as I could. Here’s a first baby step. I miss you, Dove.
When she was a young girl, Janice Yaeger was run over by a truck. She and her sister were attempting to help the victim of a car accident when a drunk driver veered across the median and left her on the side of the highway, clinging to life. Her legs were pulverized by the accident and doctors were considering amputation. Over a year and dozens of orthopedic surgeries later, Janice left the hospital; her legs rebuilt, and she left the hospital walking. She went on to become a dedicated dermatology nurse in her native Southern California, a devoted and loving mother of three, a youth soccer coach and a gifted artist.
The first cancer was diagnosed well over a decade ago. Doctors told her that she had almost no chance of survival. She not only beat the cancer, but she continued to work; taking her treatments upstairs in the hospital and then going back to her patients in the clinic.
The second cancer came a few years later-uterine cancer-not a metastasis of her previous occurrence, but a completely new fight. She was again told that her odds were slim. She beat it again, and kept her joyful and determined attitude so consistently lively that most didn’t even realize she was again being treated for the disease.
In 2010, Janice’s husband, Dave, lost his job in California and the family relocated to Virginia for a new job. Less than five weeks later, Janice was diagnosed for the third time with cancer. This time it was stage IV metastatic breast cancer, with metastases primarily in her bones. There is no cure for this type of cancer. All medical science can currently offer is a delicate balance of monitoring and treatment while she, like so many women, live in hope of a cure.
“I am not impressed by cancer,” is Janice’s response to this latest challenge. “It has been trying to kill me for years, so why would I let it now?”
Janice was diagnosed with her last round of cancer and given two to four months to live in May of 2011. She fought with every breath, not for herself, but for the love she felt for the lives of those lucky enough to be touched by her. The cancer never beat Janice. On October 6, 2014, though, she did relax and go on before those she loved to get in some practice time doing what she hadn’t been able to do for decades: run, jump, dance, and glory at the wind in her face as she raced free of pain, free of worries and free of everything but the angelic peace for her that she always tried to hard to make everyone around her feel.
I was with Janice for 12 years; married for seven and a half which doesn’t seem so large compared to the grand cosmic experience of Life, The Universe and Everything. She loved life, though. Loved it in a way I couldn’t even begin to understand and it just made me love her more. She was a beautiful woman, a beautiful soul and the world is better for having had her in it. It was too short, too soon, and I needed more time. But I married the best and most inspiring and interesting woman in the world and I don’t think 1,000 years would have scratched the surface of the amount of time I would have needed. I won’t say good-bye, my love. You’ll never leave me. You’ll always just behind me, holding me and keeping an eye out for me with the very best of those who’ve one on before. I love you Jannie. More than yesterday, but not half so much as I will tomorrow and everyday for the rest of my life.
She was beautiful and wise;
Strong as a force of nature;
Peaceful and calm in the heart of the storm;
She was a hurricane.
Janice Leah Marie Yaeger