A Hard Loss

One of my best friends was called home to be with the Lord a few days ago.  She was one of our employees at Peggy’s Restaurant for years. A happy-go-lucky person who loved to laugh, cook , and sing!  She never met a stranger and was so much fun to work with and to just hang out with.
But she found out, on a routine trip to her doctor, that her kidneys were very bad and that she would need a kidney transplant.  We were all shocked, because if she knew something was wrong, she never showed it.  She had to go on dialysis and stayed on that treatment many years, but a kidney never came for her. The last time I saw her, Sherry and I ran into her  just outside the Dialysis Center and at  first I didn’t recognize her. Her cheeks were so puffy from her condition. She knew us though and jumped up and hugged and hugged us. I was so glad to see her!
Loretta and I ate so many meals at her house. She could make some of the best potato salad anyone could ever taste. Well, to be honest everything she cooked was delicious. But I remember the time she called and invited Loyd, Sherry, Loretta and myself  to dinner. Loyd and I were really going down on some turnip greens. They were out of this world good but I noticed that the meat Janis had seasoned them with had little crinkles in the skin. The next day at work I asked Janis what she seasoned her greens with and she said pigtails. I nearly fell over in the floor.  I told her I probably would never have touched them, if I had known that.  She was laughing so hard ! She said “You liked them, didn’t you?”  I said “Well, yeah!”  She said “WELL!”
One morning, Janis, Carmen Wilson and I were preparing to open the restaurant  at 4 A.M.  Carmen brought her CD player and some accomp. tapes. One was “I will always love you”, the Dolly Parton song that Whitney Housten made famous. Carmen was out front and Janis was back in the kitchen with me. They were singing to the top of their lungs to that tape, both of them trying to out-sing the other.  I thought I was going to die right there on the spot. My ears rang for two days. I never did like that song after that.
When we sold the restaurant, we lost touch with so many people we were close to. But Janis and her family always stayed in our hearts. We watched some of her children grow up, especially Iris, the baby girl. A lot of her children worked for us from time to time. We loved them all. We went a lot of places with Janis and it never mattered to us that she was black. She was such a pretty woman. People who knew her when she was growing up, said she was beautiful.
I will always hold her in my heart and I’ll just bet you that Loretta  and Sis came running to meet her,  and I believe they are dancing all over Heaven. One day I will be with them. Heaven is beginning to sound even more like HOME to me every day!

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Kevin Lovelace

I’ll miss Janis. What day did she die on?

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