Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A time to remember.





















This post is the post where I record a handful of things I want to remember about Spencer's mamma, mostly for Spencer, and myself, and any children we might have one day, who I will want to help remember this grandma that they didn't get to know here. She will be part of them, as she is most certainly part of Spencer.

  • She was born in Salt Lake City.
  • She lived in Missouri when she was a little girl. 
  • Her family was part of the first LDS branch in Liberty. They met in the (in)famous jail.
  • She also lived in New Zealand when she was a little girl.
  • She loved the culture, and the poi ball dancing, which she apparently had great skill at.
  • She loved Christ, simply and straightforwardly.
  • She had/has a testimony in the atonement, which for her meant that we didn't need to be perfect, we just needed to tap into Christ's grace as perfectly as possible.
  • She met her husband in high school. (They went to rival schools.)
  • When he got home from his mission she asked him when they would get married. When he said, "Oh, about two years," she answered, "Okay, then I think I will go on my own mission."
  • And she did. To Norway.
  • She and her husband were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple, by President Thomas S. Monson.
  • (Thomas S. Monson was also influential in her not extending her mission, so she could come home. It is a pretty good story.)
  • She loved her five children dearly, and rumor is that they were her crowning jewels.
  • She also loved her grandchildren dearly. Their laughter and play brought her some of her sweetest moments when she was sick, sick, sick.
  • She had great respect and admiration for other cultures, and tried to learn all that she could.
  • She also welcomed several individuals from other countries to live with her family. I think in part because she wanted her children to have an international perspective. It has rubbed off on S big time.
  • Because of the above at least three women refer to her as their "American mother."
  • She was her mother's favorite child. (Or so says all of her surviving siblings.)
  • She cared deeply about education. It was probably her lifelong mission.
  • She loved her students. And they loved her.
  • She was so proud of Spencer for finishing his (very hard) masters. Everyone thinks the hope of attending his graduation kept her alive.
  • She was a better cook than everyone says.
  • She'd wake people up on their birthdays by singing to them. And she would decorate the table just for them, special. (I think children were allowed to open their gifts in the morning, but I could be mistaken.)
  • She loved Christmas, but she (or her husband) made everyone dress formal. Even for opening presents.
  • They did the Christmas Eve new pajama tradition.
  • Her birthday is my dad's birthday, May 26.
  • She spent her second to last birthday with Spencer and I in LA, helping Spencer with his architecture exhibition, TIMEless. (As I recall she even swept and cleaned the huge exhibition space, cheerfully.)
  • She had a beautiful smile, even when laying in her last bed.
  • When one of her daughters asked her what she wanted to do before she passed, she answered, "Climb a mountain."
  • She did that too. A summit to the top, with help and love from others.
  • More.

(If you are Spencer, or one of his sisters, or his brother-in-laws, or someone else who knew Janice, please write me stories and memories, so I can keep them safe. Thank you in advance.)

4 comments:

steenblikrs said...

Thank you very much for all you have done for me during this difficult time. Im glad you could be a part of the writing about my mother.

Love you.

Spencer

steenblikrs said...

She Loved riding bicycles (and would ride to work whenever she could)

I only went fishing once or twice with ether of my parents and I think it was always my mother taking me.

She loved a good spontaneous kite flying in the park.

She loved adventure, hiking, camping.

Rachel Hunt said...

My dear Spencer, you are welcome very much.

Love you right back.

And thank you for adding your memories.

Rachel Hunt said...

From Heleen Juwett (one of the very welcomed foreign daughters):

The most significant thing I remember about Janice, my "American Mom" is her willingness to do something fun. At the most crazy moments of the day Mom would all of a sudden start smiling and say "let's do something fun!"
Another thing I remember is about the day a small earthquake happened and the ceilinglamps where shaking. She was so excited about it, she started calling all her friends to inform if they had felt it too.

I don't know if singing at the bed of the birthday boy/girl is something not familair in America......it is custom in the Netherlands to wake the birthdayperson with birthdaysongs (usually very false, who can sing a proper tune early in the morning?) and than hand over the presents.