On Saturday morning, I received a call from my director, who broke the news that my friend Janet had passed away overnight.
Janet was an incredible blessing, the kind of person who lived abundantly. There was always a place for you at her table, literally and metaphorically. She was open to everyone, and yet held her family and friends closest to her when she was faced with insurmountable health challenges.
I worked with Janet and was also lucky enough to call her my friend. We greeted each other as “Buddy”, we took walk breaks at work, we shared a thousand inside jokes, we talked endlessly about “The Walking Dead” and we played Words With Friends long after it stopped being cool.
We laughed more than our fair share. We made fun of life and work much more than we probably should have. We used our unofficial team catchphrase of “can’t make this stuff up” when reality was too funny to be believed. Somehow, we always managed to get away with it.
And when things got tough, we did our best to keep all of that going.
I was not alone in sharing an incredible friendship with Janet. She not only nurtured deep relationships with her family, she seemingly built amazing friendships with everyone she came into contact with.
She didn’t do it carelessly. She was deliberate and natural in getting to know people, listening to them, understanding them, and truly befriending them. She made everyone feel like the center of her universe, even when she had every right to be too tired or stressed to do so.
At work, Janet brought us together like no one could. She made it okay to laugh, to hang out together, and to get to know a bit about one another outside of work. No mistake, she was the heart and soul of our team. She will be profoundly missed by all of us.
Janet also had a way of gently pushing us to be our best.
I know she would want me to keep sharing what she often referred to as my “hilarious little stories” on this blog. Even more so, she would encourage me to ‘just keep writing’. She always did.
Rest assured, all of that will resume soon enough.
But for now, I just miss my friend.