Sunday, December 5, 2010

Another Angel for us.

Sooooo. Heaven has another angel up there. Grandma Josie passed away on Tuesday morning. After being "asleep" and without any food/water/IV for ten days...she put up a very valiant fight. I can only imagine how strong her heart was. She surprised everybody by holding on so long. We just wished for her peace.

Her Obituary:

Jerad, my sister and I traveled to Pennsylvania for the services. It was quite a sad time for me. Although I have to say the services were absolutely beautiful, just as she would have wanted. My Grandpa was so proud for that. He would just well up with pride and/or sadness and say "Janel, this is just what she wanted. To a tee." He told me that repeatedly. We honored her life with our memories and I enjoyed spending so much time with my Grandpa. I got to hear many more stories about my family that I didn't already know.

Although 91 is a good life -her birthday was the same day as her visitation at the funeral home :( doesn't take away the loss. And for me, well, I have this picture sitting on my piano. A photo taken not too long ago. A four generation photo of Ally, Me, Mom and Grandma. And now two of the generations are gone. And I am, GULP, the oldest generation. I am not very fond of that fact.

The good part in all of this is that she is walking with Jesus now. She got to see her daughter again. And I am quite certain that Mom was up their making her birthday cake. I even caught Evan telling his best buddy that Ma had a big birthday present waiting for Grandma Josie. Man, that boy has learned his lessons the hard way. But Heaven to him is a good place. And he is right. It is. So she lives on in happiness and we are only left here to mourn another loss.

The Reverend asked if I would like to speak at my Grandma's service. I did, along with my Uncle Doug. Wow it was hard to speak through tears, but I did it for her. She would have wanted it that way. The best thing I can say about my Grandma is that she always made me feel special. I could do no wrong in her eyes. Not too many people loved me like she did. So I wrote down my thoughts the night before and spoke this at her funeral service:

I have had the privilege of having my grandmother for 38 years. Not too many people can say that. And what a grandmother she was. If you could picture in your mind a perfect "grandmotherly type" it would be my Grandma Josie.


Any picture that I ever drew for her would bring tears to her eyes. Any gift was the best gift that she ever received. Any meal that was made for her would keep her full for a week.

She had the most pleasant disposition of anyone I've ever known. She always had a smile or a kind word for anyone.
Along with my Grandpa, she taught me how to have a long and happy marriage. I never heard a harsh word come out of her mouth. They were married for 65 years, living in the same house on California Drive for nearly that entire time.
I moved away from Erie when I was 5 years old--much to my grandmother's dismay. So for years we wrote letters back and forth to each other. Upon my graduation, she gave me a book with every letter that I had ever sent to her. She had saved every one and now I have a treasure documenting my life.
Her life was filled with raising three children: Gail, Marcy, and Doug. She was blessed with four granddaughters. And eventually, much to her delight she got to meet 5 great-grandchildren: 3 boys and 2 girls. Visiting with them was a highlight of her days. Thankfully we were all together for one last visit in August just before she fell ill. Her backyard was one of my favorite places on this Earth. I have many memories there and a lot of them involve Grandma and her birds. She always kept clean water in the bird bath and the feeders were filled so her "friends" could come to her house. She was also very diligent about putting a half of an orange hanging out there so the Baltimore Oriole would come. She loved the Orioles.
Her life was not without hard times. She suffered so while watching her son and daughter in law both battle cancer. And god bless her for having to face the unthinkable: She lost her own daughter Marcy (my mom) just about a year and a half ago. And shortly after that her 7 year old great-granddaughter was diagnosed with leukemia.
And all that Grandma could say was why them? "why not me?" In her infinitely unselfish ways she wanted to take their place. Grandma Josie will always have a very special place in my heart. She knew how much I loved her. She knew how much we all loved her.
2 days short of 91 years. She lived a wonderful life and she should be proud. And in her own words, the last words spoken by her to my Aunt, she said
"It was all good."

Many of our family did not make the trip in for the services. I promised that I would take pictures. Jerad did the best he could. And I have them all here to see. I am guessing most of you won't want to look at them though because they are sad. But some of the McHenrys/Feislers were not there and some of our family too. So here you go:



  1. beautifully done Janel. my heart and prayers go out to you.

  2. Janel, Thanks for sharing, it is really appreciated. You did a beautiful job of capturing the essence of her personality in your eulogy. I am sorry I wasn't able to be there.
    I especially enjoyed seeing my brother with a beer to his lips at the luncheon!

    Lynn McEnery

  3. Jane,

    A touching and very appropriate recap of your grandmother. The McEnery family often came to the house on California Drive for holiday visits, or just to say hello, and Josie was so wonderfully happy to see us and full of smiles. While there were challenges, she had a full and robust life and she enjoyed it and her family immensely.

    Thanks for taking the time to pass along your thoughts.

    Kevin McEnery

  4. Janel -
    I was glad to meet you, Jerad & Melissa after I have been following your blog on Ally. Your grandmother, Josie, was a great woman and our family loved her. We spent so much time with them (Josie, Jerry, Gail, your Mom Marcy and Doug) when we were growing up and had wonderful parties/picnics in their backyard and at our house! We will all miss her.

    Karen McEnery

  5. Oh, Janel, what a beautiful tribute to your dear Grandma Josie. She was honored. So proud of you, dearest.