My aunt, Jane Boyce, lost her battle with cancer earlier this week. As family members gather today in Kansas to say their final good-bye I am taking comfort in my memories. Her official obituary has vital facts but you don’t get a sense of her personality and why she’ll be missed.
Jane was my mother’s sister but she was only four years older than me so our relationship was more like cousins. Whenever we were visiting my grandmother or vice versa, I had instant companions with her and my uncle (who is just one year older). As we grew up she was my guide in all things important to kids: boys, music and fashion (and did I say boys?). I would tag along with her and her friends and she never complained or more importantly, ditched me!
Jane had two twin beds in her bedroom at my grandmother’s house and I got to use the spare one whenever we visited. We’d lay there at night talking until one of us would drift off to sleep. We also got into trouble together at times as Jane reminded me recently about some tough girls we nearly gotten into a fight with as teens. She was scared but I wasn’t; I knew she’d take care of me.
Once Jane started her family and I started going down my life’s path we didn’t have many adventures together but always stayed in touch. She was definitely a girl who liked to have fun and was way cooler than me no matter what age we were. Just seeing the messages on her Facebook page, cards and gifts these past weeks have shown how many people she impacted. They tell the story of a life well-lived even though it wasn’t as long as we would like.
When Jane told me she was diagnosed with cancer 13 months ago she was determined to fight it. She did everything possible to stay on earth longer but it was not to be. Only six short weeks ago she was told the prognosis was terminal and she didn’t have much time left. Her remaining energy was devoted to tying up loose ends, planning her funeral and spending time with friends and family.
She made such a long list of songs for her funeral that we teased her for being the only person with a playlist at their service! Although all her family will miss her, my heart goes out to my cousin, her only child, who was there for her every day during her battle and was Jane’s pride and joy along with Angel’s three children.
Good-bye, dear Aunt and friend. I will see you when it’s my time. Until then, I’ll remember you always and especially when I hear this song (yes, it was on the playlist).
“Dust In The Wind”
I close my eyes only for a moment, and the moment’s gone
All my dreams pass before my eyes, a curiosity
Dust in the wind, all they are is dust in the wind
Same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see
Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind
Now, don’t hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky
It slips away, and all your money won’t another minute buy
Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind (all we are is dust in the wind)
Dust in the wind (everything is dust in the wind), everything is dust in the wind (the wind)