This is Janine, at Grammy Wilma‘s 90th birthday party six years ago.

We got word this evening that she died, suddenly, of unknown cause.  Janine was one of my mother’s favorite cousins, so much so that mom made Janine my middle name, though my mother has rarely seen her cousin since their childhood growing up in Florida.  My mother left Florida when she went to college, and recently Janine had been living in Marietta, GA, taking care of her mother Marjorie who died this past fall.

I remember once spending a day with Janine on a visit to my grandmother.  It was over spring break, and Janine took me to the beach.  I body-surfed the waves for what seemed like hours.  I got the worst sunburn of my life that day!  I remember boasting of it in social studies class on my return, making a big deal about not being able to lean back in my chair because of the pain from the SUNBURN I’d gotten in FLORIDA.  I was what? 12 years old? I think I was in 7th grade.

Mom was planning on visiting Janine this March.  They’d been corresponding often over e-mail.  I’m so sorry they won’t get to hang out this spring.  I’m sorry I didn’t know Janine better!

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