Janet As a Baby
Janet Rosemarie was born on May 22, 1995 at St. Peters Hospital in New Brunswick. She was born on the same day as her cousin Eric and they called themselves ‘twin cousins’. Janet made the front page of the Courier News when she was 2 days old pictured with her mother, Cousin Eric and Aunt Nancy.
Janet was an easy baby. Rarely cried, was always happy and most of all she slept! She slept through the night at 6 weeks and took 2-3 hour naps each day. You could put her in the crib and she would entertain herself and fall asleep.
How Janet Got her Name & Her Knick Name
Janet was named after her grandmothers who passed away. Janet was her maternal grandmother’s name and Rosemarie was her paternal grandmother’s name. When she was born, we felt that Janet was a very grown up name for such a little baby and we started to call her Janna. So from here on, you will read a lot about ‘Janna’ which is what her family called her.
For the first 5 years of her life Janet was called Janna. When she went to Kindergarten, her teacher started calling her Janet, even though on her form, it said her knick name was Janna. Well, needless to say, all the kids started calling her Janet and it has stayed ever since. While her family calls her Janna, all of her friends call her Janet.
Janet & Her Brother
Right before Janna turned 3, her brother Jimmy was born. Janna was as excited as could be. She immediately loved him to pieces. There was no jealousy whatsoever. She loved holding him, reading to him, showing him things, teaching him and playing with him. It was second nature to her and so she soon became Jimmy’s second mom.
As Janna grew up, she always looked out for her little brother. She would cheer him when he was sad, walk up and hug him, protect him, entertain him and play with him. She always was there for him. She cheered him on at endless baseball and football games. While at baseball, she taught the younger sisters of the other players cheers. Janna had a warmth about her that was contagious. Janna used to get upset if someone was mean to her brother. Just last year, she stood up to a 5th grade boy who was picking on him.
Jimmy and Janna enjoyed being silly around the house. They liked swimming in the pool, jumping on the trampoline, playing games, shooting baskets and watching TV. Janna always helped Jimmy do his homework and play on the computer. She was very patient.
Jimmy would always go looking for Janna at day camp. When he would find her, she would ask him how his day was going, what sports he played, how did he do… She would hug him and tell him she loved him all the time.
Jimmy looked to her for love, comfort and safety and she never, ever let him down.
Janna & Her Dad
Janna’s dad has always called her his ‘Lovebug’. He has called her this since she was born. When she got a little older, he bought her a gold necklace with a lady bug on it. He told her that no matter how old she got, she would always be his lovebug.
Janna and her father spent ‘Daddy Daughter Days’ together going to places like the movies, GIANTS games and Ice Capades. Her dad really didn’t want to go to Ice Capades; but went for her. They had a great day together. Janna was a Giants fan (just like her Dad) and loved going to the games and tailgating.
Janna’s relationship with her father was special. Janna could hold her own with her father and bust his chops right back. She would always hit him with some great one liners.
He taught her everything she knew about football (which was a tremendous amount). He taught her how to throw a spiral and she was good at it. Little did any one know, she could out throw a lot of the boys!
Janna often had deep conversations with her father. In Aruba they recently talked about having to do things for other people. Janna’s Dad told her ‘Sometimes you have to do things that benefit your family and not because it’s something you really want to do.’ Janna responded that ‘You have to be happy too. Sometimes you have to do things to make yourself happy.’
Janna and Her Mom
Janna was her mother’s best friend. They would talk every night about what happened at school, what was important in life, how to be a good friend and what special things were going on. Janna’s mom kissed her every night and told her she loved her.
They went to the mall often and enjoyed shopping together. This was a favorite place to spend some extra time. Janna was a pro-shopper and knew how to find a good sale. They enjoyed this special time together.
Janna was always the one to help her mother. She would always go food shopping with her mom and help unload all the bags and put everything away. She would casually complain that none of the ‘boys’ were helping to put anything away. ‘JIMMY!’
We miss hearing her yell his name.
Janna was the only one in the family that would always go for walks with her mom. They would take the dogs and it would be very frustrating because they never walked calmly. They ended up having to take two walks around the block, walking each dog separately. This was great time together and they talked a lot.
Some Friday nights, Janna and her mom would go upstairs, get in their pjs, lie in bed and watch ‘What Not to Wear’. They always cracked up over what horrible taste the women had in clothes and how desperate they were for a makeover! Janna said she’d never let ‘her’ mom look like that.
Janna and Her Grandpa
Janna loved her Grandpa to pieces and always called him. She loved talking to him and hanging out with him. She worried about him being lonely. Grandpa had a very soft spot in his heart for her. She reminded him a lot of his wife. Janna had never met her Grandma Janet, but had many of the same traits and their personalities were a lot a like. Janna always took care of everything when Grandpa watched her and Jimmy. Grandpa took her to the movies, out to play miniature golf and out for ice cream. He even took her to play real golf this summer!
Janna and Her Family
Janna was very ticklish. We would have tickle contests between her and Jimmy to see who could last the longest. Janet wouldn’t even let us touch her. She would start laughing before we laid a finger on her. She was always amazed that Jimmy could hold out until we counted to ten. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t do it. Their laughter was a beautiful sound.
Janna enjoyed spending time with her cousins Brianna, Eric, Ryan and Donnie. She especially looked forward to sleeping over Aunt Nancy’s house. She had many special memories on vacation with Brianna and Eric in Lavalette.
When Janet was born, she had a dog named Calvin. He was a German Shepherd that was rescued. He had multiple stab wounds repaired and lots of ticks and fleas removed from him. Calvin was very protective of Janet when she was born. He would not let anyone close to the bassinet if she was in there. He slept under her crib or outside her door. Janet would always lie next to Calvin and pet him. Our family had Calvin for 13 years before he died. Janet was very sad but was wise beyond her years. She knew Calvin was in pain and that heaven was a better place for him to be.
Later, we got Abbey, a shepherd/golden lab mix. Abbey came from Rawhide Rescue and had been in a shelter in Staten Island. She had 12 puppies that were in the pen next to her. Being separated from her pups made her sad plus her puppies were being given away right in front of her. Once she finally made her way to our house, there were endless messes to be cleaned up. Janet would laugh and hold her nose – while her mom cleaned it up. Janet had a huge soft spot for Abbey and all she had been through. Abbey took to Janet immediately and began sleeping on a blanket on top of Janet’s bed. Abbey weighs over 100+ pounds and likes to stretch out. When Janet would sleep with Abbey there would be little room left in the bed for her. She’d call her mother in to move Abbey’s butt over. Abbey would also have nightmares about losing her puppies, so Janet would wake up and rub her back (or nudge her with the foot) to wake her up.
In some short mental lapse, Janet’s parents agreed to get another dog, one to sleep with Jimmy. And so, Homer arrived (also from Rawhide Rescue) and the numerous cleanups and nose holding started again! As it turned out, for a few months, Jimmy’s allergies were bad and couldn’t have the dog in his room. So Janet, being the kind-hearted animal lover, had Homer (50 pounds) up on her bed too. So now, between her, Abbey and Homer, there was little room for her to move. She didn’t care and used to tell her mother, ‘It’s ok, I like it.’ The dogs sure did love sleeping with her. After Janet died, Abbey walked around her bedroom for weeks crying and looking around. She would smell Janet’s camp backpack (which was packed and ready to go for Friday) and then pace the floor crying. Abbey still sleeps on Janet’s bed every night. Many times you can here her sighing as though she misses Janet. She definitely does, Janet gave her lots of loving and would think nothing of lying on the kitchen floor with the two dogs.
Janet is best described as a compassionate, loving, caring, sensitive, giving person. She was considerate of everyone’s feelings, she loved beyond imagine, and cared about everything and everyone.
Janet exhibited something that has been described to her family as a ‘Quiet Confidence’. Never bragging or boasting. Always staying out of the limelight; yet exhibiting confidence in a quiet manner. It is this quality that made her who she was.
To Janet, her life was great. All that was important to her she had: family, friends, love and pets. She didn’t need much to find happiness. She found it everywhere she went; maybe that is because she brought it with her and spread it to others.
Janna was simple. While she loved Abercrombie and Pac Sun clothes and her iPod and cell phone, she also understood the value of a dollar. She was well balanced in that respect. Admittedly, there were times that Janna and her mom went shopping and mom taught her early the ‘unwritten’ rule that we don’t always show Daddy ‘Everything’ that we bought. Sometimes we just show one or two things and the rest goes up in your room in your closet and you ‘casually’ wear something new. Then when Daddy asks where or when you got it, you just smile. Her smile could melt his heart in a second.
She loved to shop and for her birthday last year her and her mom drove to Woodbury Commons to hit the Coach and North Face Outlets. Janna loved this trip and got two of her favorites things there – her purple, furry North Face and her Coach wristlet.
Things About Janet’
Her favorite foods were quesadillas with cheese only – no meat. Janet did not like to eat meat; she never wanted animals to be hurt or killed. The most she would eat was a little chicken. She like vegetables, mac & cheese, French fries and salad.
Her favorite TV shows were American Idol, The Biggest Loser, Hannah Montana, King of Queens, That’s So Raven, The Suite Life, High School Musical and You Want to Be a Rockstar. She loved listening to music on her ipod and liked all kinds of music.
She loved to write poems and create artwork on the computer. She was extremely talented.
Janet loved having people over the house and loved having parties. She always helped get ready for the party and enjoyed being with others.
Janet & Her Friends
Janet picked her closest friends based on very basic principles. She picked them because they were happy, fun to be with, trustworthy, nice and true. She was never phony and never wanted her friends to be. Janet had many friends but had a special group of best friends that called themselves the Super Seven – Janet, Celia, Sara, Sarah, Jess, Amalia and Monica.
Brianna has been one of Janet’s best friends since they were two. Janet had a special friendship with many girls – far too many to list.
Janet had many special, fun memories with her friends which will be shared in the future on her website.
Janet At Camp Sunshine
Janet loved camp. She looked forward to going to camp every day. During the school year, you couldn’t blast Janet out of the bed. In the summer time, she would be up and ready to go to camp right away. She’d have her bag for camp packed and clothes picked out the night before.
At camp, she waited for her friends with their group and hugged them as they arrived. She often hugged them goodbye too. They were a group of girls who had been together every summer for three years and they shared many laughs and good times. They looked forward to spending the summer months together.
This year, Janet finally talked her parents into letting her go on one of the day trips to a carnival in Pennsylvania. They were so worried that something would happen, but she of course, returned unharmed and had a great time.
Janet’s Journal from this summer was given to her parents by her camp counselor. In it Janet wrote about what she wanted to do and be when she grew up. She wrote that she’d like to be an interior designer or own a small shop, go to Penn Sate, get married and have two kids. At the end of her entry, she wrote, ’Even if None of This Happens, My Life Will Still be Great!’
She certainly did make every day great.
Janna had a competitive drive in her that not many people knew about. It would usually come out when we were playing pool volleyball in the backyard, playing basketball or having football throwing competitions. In her own amazement, she won the football throwing competition and it was great to beat all the boys (and grown men). She was awesome and could throw a mean football. She was also known to sink some great basketball shots. One of the best competitions we had was an impromptu game of ‘If I make this, you have to do whatever I say/want’ Mom of course started it, made the basket and started rattling off all the stuff Janna and Jimmy would have to do. Jimmy went next and said the same thing – he too ended up sinking his basket. So, it was up to Janna. If she sunk hers, she’d have the ultimate say over all of us. And so, about 20 feet out she put up the best shot and won it all. She threw her hands in the air and we were all amazed!
The sweet things Janet used to do just because…
Let Jimmy watch his shows
Help him feed the dogs when it wasn’t her turn
Check up on him at camp to see how his day was and tell him that she loved him
Encourage him at football practice that he was ok to run the lap with the equipment on
Help Jimmy do his homework
Play games, basketball and jump on the trampoline with Jimmy
Make up silly dances and songs with Jimmy
Play competitive pool volleyball (girls vs. boys) in the backyard
Write wonderful poems for her family and friends
Hug Jimmy for no reason.
Looked out for him in school and made sure he knew where to go after school.
Stood up to the older boys who sometimes picked on Jimmy. She put them in their place.
Questioned girls who said something mean to someone else at camp. She fostered niceness.
Help fold the towels, put her own clothes away and clean the bathroom – all to help mom.