I met Janet 3 years ago. Jim and I made a critical decision to sell our house. We were going to need help keeping it spotless throughout the process. I went online to find a housekeeper/cleaning service. However, I found so much more.
Care.com shared Janet’s profile and it was just what I was looking for. Someone to take care of the house that I could trust. We met a week later and she started soon thereafter.
At the time Jim was recovering from a couple of strokes and had several other complicating health issues. This was the biggest reason why we needed to sell our home of 20 years. It was a large house with a large yard and a pool. I found it hard to take care of Jim’s needs, the house and work full time. So selling it was necessary for our future well being.
So over time we became pretty well acquainted with Janet. She had a work ethic 2nd to none and exuded deep compassion for others. Her signature though was her eternal joy that she shared when she was around. Jim was always there when she and her team were cleaning. He enjoyed visiting with them.
I lost touch with Janet and her team for a few months, Jim had more issues and was now battling cancer too. This summer Janet was back. She showed me her hand with no thumb and as always was so upbeat and no complaints. Even though it was an extremely hot day and I know she was uncomfortable with the bandage wrapped tight all the way up her arm. Janet and her sister clean 5 houses a day. Not because they want to but – they have to. That is their life. She lives in a small home with her husband and 6 kids. The oldest is in college (on the Dean’s List as of Dec 2018 which is amazing considering all they are going through – but in a way that is just like Janet and her family), and youngest was just adopted by her and her husband 2 years ago to rescue him from drug-addicted parents and abuse. He was their third adopted child.
We spent a year prepping the home for the sale, painting, repairing and yes, cleaning. That’s where Janet comes in. Janet and her team were so into helping us get through the sale. They did so much to add to our homes presentation. She was also always so joyful to the extent, we didn’t know what her struggles were. So focused on our own. I remember her telling me about her thumb that wouldn’t heal after several rounds of antibiotics. I didn’t think that much about it though. Had heard of others that had similar issues but eventually, they always worked out okay. So I figured Janet’s would also have a positive outcome.
Then last November, her sister told me about Janet’s rare form of very aggressive cancer. I was so shocked. They were thinking her arm would have to be amputated. However, thankfully it was just her thumb…just her thumb. No small thing. The digit that allows us to grip and hold things.
She told me about the adoption in 2016 but did it in a way it seemed they were looking to adopt. I didn’t know about the abuse the baby had suffered at the hand of his biological parents…but that was Janet. She’s someone that is so upbeat and does not throw shade on others. I did start seeing her in a different light though. Someone who already had so much responsibility yet willing to take on even more – putting others first. That was even before the cancer.
I remember thinking, “You all did that with all you have on your plate??? Wow!”
Yes they did, fearlessly and selflessly. That is Janet.
This past summer I realized Janet was fighting a much bigger battle than I first thought. In fact, I began to worry about her. She was so reassuring with Jim and so positive, I failed to see till almost too late, Janet is in the fight of her life.
On Thursday I received a text from Janet. Her doctor told her the cancer was back. I could feel her fear coming through my phone. She said, “It’s terrifying to say it out loud. It moved microscopically through my lymph nodes to my brain. I now have cancer on my brain – 6 tumors total. I have to have brain surgery next Thursday.”
Janet and her family need a life-saving miracle. She needs to stay on this earth to care for her kids and make it the better place that she does with every breath she takes. I pray God grants her that miracle. Her children need her as well as the rest of us. She is the kind of person that goes through life doing good things and not expecting any applause. She’s the epitome of who we all hope to be like. She needs a lot of prayers.
When I was young, my sister read to me out of a special Christmas book about the littlest Christmas Tree, The Match Girl, Jimmy Scarecrow and others. Janet is someone that a story, in that special book, could be centered on; she is that special.
Please offer up prayers, get your army of friends to do the same. Let’s ask God to rescue her as she did Clayton. .