Friday, July 1, 2016

Death of a Friend ... and Great Human Being

My friend Janis K. G. Loo died last night of ovarian cancer. She was a remarkable person, a hero of goodness & caring ... and strength. Janis & I met in 1978 and stayed friends over all those years despite her residence in her native Hawai'i and mine on the mainland. We seldom saw one another but stayed in contact, sharing our lives. I remember when she met her husband and when each of their five children came to them. I remember their two trips to China, a few years apart, to adopt two of those children. I remember when she gave a kidney to a stranger - because it mattered & she could do it; so Janis did it. That's the way she was. I remember all the times when she gave me support as I endured troubled times. She was always there for so many people, and now she is gone; and it hurts.

Janis was extraordinary in so many ways, but perhaps what most stands out for me is her constancy in caring. She did not vary or fluctuate in her caring, her presence, her acceptance and love of people, yet Janis did not lose any of herself - she was not a martyr; rather, she had a very unusual capacity to care, actively, without damaging or diminishing herself, while building up others.

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