Jan, my aunt who was married to my Uncle Art, my mother’s brother, died the day before yesterday at age 91.
She was a classy lady with a determination to live life her own way. Let’s talk about the classy part, for that is how I want to remember her.
Jan, was really named Jane, but my family knows her by Jan for a funny reason, and completely understandable if you knew Uncle Art. When Art met Jan, he misunderstood her because of her Texas accent, and Jan it was for him and for his family from then on. Jan never minded that, in fact, liked it.
Jan’s home in Citrus Heights was white; white walls, white couch and chairs, white throw rugs and white dog. Her house was never dirty or messy; but she always complained about how ‘dirty’ it was.
She always presented a pretty picture of herself; hair in place, clothing up to current fashion trends, and real jewelry – no costume stuff.
So one day, I showed up on Easter. She had booked us in a very nice restaurant and because I didn’t want to bother her, I took a motel room nearby. But because I worked up until the time I had to leave from work to drive to Sacramento, I didn’t have time to pack.
Not a problem, because of the fashion outlets near the motel. So when I arrived in Sacramento, I found some of the stores opened and purchased a nice pair of white pants and a white jeans jacket. I thought I looked pretty sharp the next day with my new white outfit.
On Easter Sunday, the next day, we had to wait at the bar because the restaurant didn’t have our reservations, which put Jan out a bit, but we were determined it would be a good day.
So, the bar tender asked us if we would like something more while we waited. And I, trying always to make people laugh, said. “not unless you can think of something.” And he said, “I can.” I said, “Ok, what?’ Giggle, giggle, giggle.
“Well, you can take that sales tag off your jacket.”
It was hanging down on a long string from the inside of the top of the arm’s sleeve. Anyone could, and probably some did, watch it swing.
Oh, my gosh, I pulled that tag off, and put it in my pocket and laughed a self conscious laugh, and looked over at Jan. She was mortified: it was written on her face.
I just kept on like nothing happened, but wondered why that had to happen while I was with her? A bunch of my silly friends would have laughed it up.
So Jan, classy as she was, was not a happy person, even though she did have a sense of humor when she allowed it. She was depressed for as long as I have known her, and often made me feel sad after spending time on the phone with her. She just couldn’t rise above her sadness.
The classy lady is now at peace.