Janice lit up her path with her amazing smile. She had a gift for making anyone she met seem special and important.
She loved all of her 57 years of life, and lived them with vibrancy and passion. She was a doer and a fun seeker.
Our lives intertwined over the years through our common interests in art, the outdoors and our kids. She had tremendous insight and could sum up a situation or person at first glance, usually with an opinion attached to it.
Her life took an abrupt turn four years ago when, while skiing the slopes of Mount Mansfield in Vermont on a beautiful winter day, she took a call on her cellphone and learned that her mother and brother had been killed by a drunk driver in Florida. I still don't know how she made it down the hill.
A few months later, Janice was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. She had surgery and follow-up treatment, and was soon skiing again and getting on with her life.
Janice was able to accept the support of friends and family because she was so open. She believed it was a good thing for her healing.
But, unfortunately, her life was once again interrupted - this time by a malignant brain tumour.
She had surgery, radiation treatments and chemotherapy, and still never wanted to give anything up. Even after being told she would never be able to ski again, Janice took to the slopes and proved that whatever she set her sights on, she could do.
For a time, Janice enjoyed a regular life. She took morning walks on Mount Royal with her husband, Richard, and their dog Moose no matter what the weather was like.
She adored her daughter, Jordan Lee, who cared for her tirelessly, and her son Jarrod. She was always overjoyed to see her granddaughter Renee, named after Janice's late mother.
One of her greatest joys, aside from her family, was playing her tambourine in a band. She would seem transported to another place, and wanted to take as many friends as possible with her on that musical journey.
She was up for anything, any time. It was often hard to keep up with her.
But sadly, this past May 5, surrounded by those who loved her, Janice left us. Like the Butterfly, a name she chose for herself during those last weeks, she flew from us. But her imprint will remain forever in our hearts.
Helaine Kliger is Janice's friend.
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