Saturday, March 26, 2016

Funeral of Janet Taylor - September 21, 1959 - February 23, 2016 - Age 56

At the church they had a screen which showed photos of highlights of Janet's life.

As I headed to my car - Scott had given me direx to the Somerton United Methodist Church - I thought, OMG, they're gonna bury their daughter today.

 Paul Taylor. The caption read something like traveling to Paul's graduation from Cornell. He's an etymologist.
Janet and her mom were members of The Sweet Adelines, dedicated to "barbershop harmony."

At one of New Directions Bonfires at Tamanend Park, Janet and her mom Irene came, dressed in hillbilly clothes. They played a washboard and clanged together some pots and pans.

It was wonderful!

 I was looking around for her casket and then I saw the urn, next to her photo.

I'd brought my camera and was glad to see many other folks did too. 
Here's mom Irene Taylor. When I saw her, here's what I said, Oh, you look great, Irene. I stopped dying my hair a couple years ago. Do you know who I am?

You look familiar, she said.

Then I told her and she remembered me and said she was happy to see me.
Here's Lew Taylor, who did remember me and said, "I thought you'd come."

BTW, everyone was in really good spirits, talking and laughing, introducing one another. 

 Jonathan and his folks came up from VA, possibly the city of Radford.

Jonathan told me that lots of deer have given birth on their property. His folks bot him a camera/video cam and he photographed them.

Jonathan, 26, studies graphic arts online and designed the religious candles by the pulpit.
Jon's mom, Laura, talks to Patricia, younger sister of Janet. Patricia is a social worker. Her beautiful daughter came. She's in college.

 "The Country Gentlemen," a barbershop quartet were fantastic! They performed two religious songs.
This young feller was beautifully dressed in a grey shirt and grey sneakers.

I like em almost as much as the sneakers I painted last night. My neighbor Patrick liked em and told me not to wear them to the funeral, as did Scott.

Here's how I looked. Am wearing a sweater whose stains I painted over last night.

 Lew and Irene prepare to read a poem they wrote about her.

Lew said, Janet once asked me why I'm not more emotional?

Well, he was certainly emotional at his daughter's funeral. Lucky he had his white hanky with him.

Before they read the poem, he spoke briefly about her mental health issue and the med she took for it, a new one back then, prescribed by her doctor at Friends Hospital. He also thanked Project Transition and pointed to a couple of folks in the back from there. 
 Hard to see. This is a Rose that Janet painted for her dad.

A sheet was handed out called Remembering Janet.

Highlights: Janet Elizabeth Taylor, the first of our three children, passed away unexpectedly at her apartment in West Philadelphia.

Janet from her early childhood had always been precocious in many kinds of ways - particularly art and history. She was award a history medal by Frank Rizzo - there was a photo of that on the memory board.

Graduated from Swarthmore College where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Following graduation, awarded a no. of scholarships, she took one at the University of Pennsylvania, until she had to drop out due to illness.

She had always aspired to be a librarian, which she was for a period of time, but ultimately moved into a mental health program called Project Transition.

It served her well for 11 years until she was able to move into her own apartment.

Shortly before her death, she and her family had a lively dinner together which made it an even greater shock when she was found deceased. For her, we shall always be grateful as a person and a daughter.

May she be forever blessed.


The pastor then asked us to come outside for the "committal."  There's her urn which will be buried alongside other "saints" of the church, he said.

He also mentioned that it's better than being buried  "the other way."

 What a glorious day! The magnolia was in bloom.
 Paul! Paul! I kept calling. I wanted to get a photo of her brother Paul. He's quite shy. I sat with him a few moments and told him a story of an insect collection I made in the eleventh grade.
At one point, we were asked to come forward and give memories of Janet.

This older gentleman rose from his seat and said he and Janet were pen pals.

I read my poem

March 26, 2016

Janet, this thing we call
Life gave you a hard ride
at the start
a beautiful girl strapped
like a rodeo rider to a
wild, cantankerous beast.

You held on,
tossed, over and over
down into the
chaos of a thunderous
better to have been
born blind, but
what choice did you have?

Thorns dwelt deep
in your mind, drilling
its way through your
innocence, deeper
and deeper

Until merciful God
raised his fist and
cried Enough! And allowed
you to dwell in
the land of Shangri-La.

There, you read the books you loved,
painted a perfect rose,
dreamt of your
lost loves, and of
Adam, who won
your heart, then
perished like a
smashed window.

Swimming in the
pool back
home on Herschel
you watched the
clouds travel by

what it's like to be
old and fading
like your folks.

Never did you dream
that back home a
quick sharp pain, like
needles in a pincushion
would send you reeling,
all the way to
Heaven where a
gleeful God

awaited you.

“Spose I've got a
lot of explaining to
do,” he smiled. “You've
got the stuff of
the Saints of old.”

He kissed her
still warm cheek
and bid her have
a seat. She felt
whole for the
very first time
whole and
totally understood.

No comments:

Post a Comment