For a long time, we had to clean up the messes, to deal with the crap, so Jane as a person became an annoyance, a person who kept making lousy choices and expecting to bail her out of the ensuing messes. They'd spend a week on a cruise ship and we'd be the one shuttling Mom back and forth to the hospital (from 30 miles away, mind you) because she needed to see Jane. So it's been a very long time since we remembered the Jane we knew before they moved to Florida.
The Jane who was so excited at becoming an aunt that she couldn't wait to tell her coworkers, who promptly started calling her AJ, for Aunt Jane, a moniker that stuck. She came down to visit when Game Teen was six weeks old and doted on him, dubbing him "WonderBaby" (one word, always one word).
The Jane who loved Michael Crawford so much that she flew out to Vegas with a bunch of other members of his fan club and watched him in "EFX" every single time he had a performance the entire stay. (And took about 300 blurry pictures to prove that she was there)
The Jane who enjoyed Broadway musicals so much that she attended two of the pre-Tony Award banquets and rubbed elbows with more than a handful of stars and in every picture, is positively beaming at being in the presence of people she admired.
The Jane who, at her heart, was a clown. I found a full roll of pictures that were clearly meant to be of her department at work in front of the Christmas tree for their holiday greeting card. In the first, she is making a goofy face. By picture 36, she had stood with her back to the camera, given rabbit ears to several people and caused general mayhem. The coworkers gradually joined in, so that by the last picture, not one of them had a serious expression on their face.
The Jane who could be generous to a fault, taking people to dinner, buying gifts and generally making sure that those she loved had smiles on their faces.
The Jane who loved bird watching so much that she went nuts coming to Florida. She scared us one of the first trips down "OH LOOK, AN EGRET!!!!!!!!" that it became our rallying cry to get every one in the car to laugh hysterically.
The Jane who would dream big, despite her physical limitations. Yes, it frustrated completely, but she had a positive attitude (ok, denial) until the very end.
So now, once again, we run around and tidy up the loose ends for Jane. She requested a cremation back when Mom passed and wanted her remains spread. The extended family is dwindling and are spread far and wide, so there will be no service. In talking to Ed's cousin Susan yesterday, we got to laugh and reminisce. It was good, because that call reminded us of all the things that made Jane lovable.
And all the things that are going to make us miss her so very, very much.