When I was little my best friends mom was the coolest mom on the block. In the city maybe. She stocked the house with stuff I never got to eat like Pringles and licorice and junk food! We just never bought that kind of stuff. She would be the one to always drive us anywhere we wanted to go. To the movies, castle park or just to the mall. We would all pile into her station wagon and off we went.
Friday nights were the sleepover nights at Ashley’s house. Starting early in elementary school, the 5 of us best friends would head over after school to Ashley’s house and spend the night over there every Friday night. We would always have something good for dinner or maybe Jan would order pizza for us. We would always have enough gum or candy to last us through the night. We would stay up and watch movies, or MAKE movies! We played Barbie’s or babies. We listened to loud music and/or played Sonic the Hedgehog. A big chunk of me grew up in Ashley’s house as a kid. Her parents seemed like Ken and Barbie. They had a nice big house that was always clean and their fridge was always full. They always seemed like such a perfect happy family. Clearly I learned as I grew up that is never really the case. But regardless her parents always made me feel like part of the family! Ashley’s mom and I always had a close relationship. When they moved to Colorado in 7th grade, I was devastated! Jan bought me a ticket to fly out and visit them. Through the years Ashley and I always stayed in contact with each other! As we got a little bit older the whole family would come out every summer and rent a beach house for a week! I would always be invited to hang with them and they still continued to treat me like I was another part of their family! Jan would always make sure there was room for me or pack me an extra sandwich. She always was so loving to me and treated me like another daughter! As we got older she would be the cool mom to hang out with us when we went out drinking at the beach. She would buy us shots and make us laugh. She always did things that I never thought moms did.
When we were young (2nd grade) Jan gave me the nickname of Jamester which still sticks to this day. The whole Wiles family still calls me Jamester! Being Ashley’s best friend I always got to see the interaction between Jan and Ashley. They always had this funny inside language with each other that always made me laugh. Doo-doo. They always said that to each other and I don’t even know why but it always made me laugh.
I miss Janda’s smile and her tenderness! She always wanted to know what was going on with my family and remembered everything about everyone in my family. She was a mom ear when I needed to vent while sitting on the beach. She always did have good advice for me and I will always appreciate everything she was for me, and more importantly to her kids. My best girls. Amy, Ashley and Lisa were like my sisters growing up. We annoyed each other and probably still do. But I love that Wiles family like my own!
When I got a heartbreaking phone call from Ashley telling me her mom had died, all I could think about is how hard this was going to be on the girls. Going through it myself, I knew and still know what’s to come. I flew out to CO for a few days to be there for the funeral and it was beautiful. Nothing big or formal, but just perfect for Jan. Some of her ashes were spread on top of this beautiful mountain where her sister’s ashes had been spread 6 years before that. They kept some of her ashes to spread out here by the beach. Jan always loved the beach and was always that one thing that made her happy. That thing she looked forward to every single year. She would sit on the patio and read or just watch the ocean. That was her comfort place!
|This was the top of the beautiful mountain where we had the service.|
|Ashley's dad and Jan's boyfriend spreading Jans' ashes on the mountain top.|
|Jeff spreading Ashes. Thought this was a beautiful picture!|
Jan was an organ donor and they did take her eyes. Turns out her corneas were donated to one or two recipients that live in CA. Which, according to Amy, means she will see the ocean again. Warms my heart! I miss the lady and love the Wiles family like my own! I know it’s going to be a tough struggle with losing their mom. But now my mom and my Aunt Jan are in good company. Love you Janda Lee!