Trying to represent Janet’s friends is an awesome task…there are so many of us. In visiting with some of her friends, certain words are heard many times:Thoughtfulness…Fun…Open…Time.

Janet is a role model for the rest of us when it comes to thoughtfulness. She didn’t just think about writing a thank you note or make a phone call of encouragement…she did it. Many friends recall those notes and phone calls.

And when it comes to fun, Janet defined the term. Her theme parties will never be forgotten. Again, many of us think it would be fun to host a theme party, but we need to wash the windows, clean the oven, polish the furniture and cook and bake. But Janet did it! …Just call up friends, send out some invites, buy some hula hoops or Fred Astaire movies or dig up some Star Wars costumes…and go for it. Light candles so you can’t see the dust. Buy theme food from Sam’s Club. As our mutual friend, Ellen, says, we’ll never look at a Fred Astaire Ginger Rogers film without thinking of Janet…if, indeed, we ever look at those films again.

Janet knew how to fish for fun. No fish locators, depth finders, fancy rods and reels and spectacular files of the scientific fisherman for her. We learned how to fish with cane poles and worms off the dock at the cabin on Lake Kapetogama.

Open: Janet was always open…her door was open…her mind was open…her heart was open to all who met her. If friendship can be defined in terms of feeling safe with each other, we had that safety with Janet. She and we could bounce ideas off each other, even politically incorrect ideas, without fear of a put down, or a put off. She was open to her friends varying life styles, philosophies and religious outlooks. To be a friend, did not mean to be the same. The differences were precious.

Time. We all have 24 hours a day, but Janet knew how to pack in 48. If there is one word that enters every conversation about Janet, it is time. Time for princes and paupers. Time for oldsters and babies. Time for work and play. Time for family and friends.

It’s really ironic that her time with us was cut so short. We had no time for a “Minnesota goodbye.”

Twyla Ring