My mom. She was many things. She hated the name “Janice”. She loved her kids and grandkids so much – we are her legacy. She was an artist, and now I appreciate her paintings more than I can explain. She used to blot her lipstick on envelopes, pieces of paper, junk mail……her lip imprints could be found anywhere. She used to drive like Mario Andretti, though I was never scared. She was an amazing dancer back in the day. Some songs would make her cry even if she wasn’t sad. She always had long fingernails, and they were super strong. My Dad never called her by her name, at least where I could hear, but instead called her “babe”, “honey”, etc. She had friends from all walks of life, from tons of different races, and made equality a way of life not a byword. Okay, so she met my Dad in a bar when he was in the Navy, and may have been nine years older than he was, but hey she was smoking hot and had pull. She was a real estate agent for over 20 years and her clients became family; most were repeat customers multiple times. She was not afraid to stand up to anyone, especially when someone was being a bully to someone weaker/smaller.
She had an amazing laugh. One look would shut up 100% of her kids – no yelling needed. She loved to play the slots in Las Vegas or Laughlin. She was an amazing cook, and as an Italian always made way too much food. She was generous to a fault. She was 5′ 3 1/2″ most of her life – and yes she always said the “and a half” part. She was pretty witty for most of her life. She could be awfully scary too (remember, she was Italian)! She was an imperfect soul that I loved immensly.
Janice “Jan” Lorraine Gates Fakelmann Minard. You will be missed and will remain forever in our hearts.