First Thank EVERYBODY from the athletes; Brew. girlsLax and Field Hockey and football teams to Mahopacs football teams, friends, Janette's co workers from Trans America, St. Vincents in NJ, friends, neighbors, family... we fell your support and love.
Here was the Eulogy I wrote over the week to honor Janettes life incase you were unable to attend Fridays service. I will miss here dearly but thinking of the memories with her brings her to life for me.
“First off, I Love Putnam County, it may be the tiniest county in NYS but its filled with the biggest hearted people in the world. I see supportive faces, from Brewster, Carmel, Mahopac and beyond. Father Gill spoke earlier of the “Mystery of Faith”, a concept difficult for most to understand….for now, I would just like to understand the mystery of the appearing of ziti trays , baskets of food, fruits, and coolers of beer that I discover on the front porch and kitchen table every time I come home. Thank You All for that! This community is so supportive, I’m actually wearing Lou Riolos’ Shoes right now as I speak; I couldn’t find mine so he gave me his. … thanks Lou!”
As I look around, I see a church filled with the light, love and warmth of family and friends. My family thanks you all for COMING.
This morning Janette was scheduled for treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering instead we will ALL be treated to witness her incredible life and union with God as he accepts Janette Aracely Padilla Lambert with hugs and kisses into the Kingdom of eternal Peace and everlasting Joy.
Though Janettes life was cut short due to dreadful disease she lived life with gusto, exploring new worlds, meeting new and different people and always willing to experience the new and unusual.
Janette was raised in Ecuador by her abuelitos until school age when she was sent back home to her parents in the Dykman area of Manhattan where she attended St. Nicholas of Tolentine parochial school for her entire education. Her connection to God, the Catholic Church and our blessed Mother grew from those formative years being instructed by Nuns. She saw her family struggle financially while growing up and decided to leave home after HS and get a job at Chase Manhattan Bank as a teller. She sent money home each month to her mami living in the projects to help out while paying her own rent as well.
Ten years later, working off a tip from a friend of mine about a beautiful Latin Girl who managed his pharmacies banking account, I discovered an Amazonian Goddess at the bank where she had been promoted to assistant manager. A few minutes standing and staring around, the Manager asked if I needed help. I quickly said no and continued to gaze upon the beautiful Angelic face before me while patiently waiting for her to finish business with a busy old busybody from Mother Cabrini Nursing Home.
Needless to say, the lady never left Janette’s side, impulsively I approached her anyway and drop a deposit slip on her desk with a note asking for a date. At the time, everyone in the bank had their fingers ready to press the RED BUTTON, the beautiful young woman whom I had never known or met picked up the note and read it. She looked up at me, back to the note, up to me again and nodded smiling, “I’d like that.” I grinned ear to ear and slipped out the door without triggering any alarms. I was immediately transported to heaven thinking about her.
It was the classic fairytale; city girl falls for country pumpkin (which is how she referred to me) with my boyish good looks. I want to thank my friend Bill Ryder for that tip. Little did he know, that day he lost a wingman but gained a loving family in return.
Well, I proposed to Janette months later and we began our adventures together. At the time Janette had never been further north of Yonkers and was in for a shock. After we were married we moved to Brewster where the country folk lived. Janette left chase in the city and landed a position as Asst. Manager at Mahopac National Bank. We settled in to our little nest and began living a good life. Over the years we eventually had 3 beautiful children together Emma, Kove and little Luke Van, all of whom look and have Janettes beautiful personality thank God! The youngest, Luke looks like me which was from my mother, but that’s another story.
In time she realized I had never grown up & how silly I could be and began telling people she had one more child, referring to me as the 4th and largest of her children. So in fact Janette had 4 children and we laughed about that often. She always made me smile with her fresh and unique view of life. She was honest, pure and simple and I loved that about her.
She quickly got involved in the kids activities within the community; Emma’s Girl Scout leader, member of the Brewster PTA, classroom mom and the responsible one getting us to church on Sunday.
While bumping into her at the kobackers, the bike trail, neighborhood or football field, folks would often inquire how she was feeling, she always smiled, gave a long and sincere “I’m fine… …how you doing… you look great”? She made people feel like they were the center of the world. Just yesterday a mutual friend of Janette’s shared a similar story that brought tears to my eyes. She bumped into Janette while on a walk and somehow while chatting and inquiring about her health, realized after a few minutes she was telling Janette about herself. Janette stood there eagerly listening with admiration and complete happiness for the woman. That’s how Janette was; she made everyone around her feel like they were the most important person at that moment, and in the world.
She made her love manifest through her actions: she was quick with a smile; the Inn door was always open: an extra place was always set at the dinner table; and, she always made you feel as if you were part of the family. Once again she made love manifest through deeds and was an example to us all on how we should live our lives through Christ’s teachings that we should love thy neighbor as we would love ourselves.
We our all blessed with memories of her love and kindness.
Even when she became ill beginning this epic 10 year sojourn battling the dreadful disease Janette maintained an elegant disposition about her, always poised with grace and dignity. She thrived and more importantly to her, she kept her family’s life exceptionally normal despite setbacks over the years. Her 3 strong children are a testament to that. She also allowed me to be her white night caring for her when needed. I desired to have that position of caregiver; she was my beautiful little woman, I her big strong man (which she often called me} when she was not calling me carajo, which for years I thought meant honey in Spanish. Later finding out it loosely translated to idiot.
She was a strong woman who always said she loved me very much but did not need me. That pretty much kept me inline and I had always admired and respected that about her. This was a testament to how tough and resilient her constitution was. She treated the disease, as a mere inconvenience not an obstacle to living. Instead of collapsing under the oppressive weight she simply doubled down and got stronger, always knowing the kids, family, friends and I were there to support her in her time of need.
In the beginning of her disease she questioned why her?? after many conversations with neighbor Jay on the porch or bust stop she realized this was not an act of God at all.. just the opposite. God was the responsible one for the strength that inspired her to get up each morning, be productive at work, play with her children, ride a bike, take a walk, travel, explore, go swimming, make love and be happy. And happy we were, with many adventures and stamps in our passports to prove it. THE TAN LINES FROM OUR ADVENTURES MAY FADE OVER TIME, BUT THE MEMORIES OF being with and loving HER WILL LAST for eternity.
I know she is here among us and feel her warm smile upon me and it is with that spirit I am grateful for and having spent 20 years of love, family, fun and sun with her.
Janettes family extended beyond Prospect St. and our provincial village of Brewster, and If you haven’t had the opportunity to meet and speak with them please do so at some point.
At this time Id like to recognize Janettes extended family from the lower latitudes as I have prepared a few words to say to them in Spanish.
MUCHAS GRACIAS A TODOS POR AYUDARNOS Y SIEMPRE ESTAR CON NOSOTROS Y COMPARTIENDO NUESTRAS VIDA JUNTOS.
JANECITA LOS QUIERE MUCHO COMO YO Y MIS HIJOS EMMA, KOVE, AND LUKE. Thank you.
Janette is now married to the lord and watching over me as I am charged as both mother and father. I promise to my children; Emma, Kove and Luke, to be a loving & supportive father, and to keep the spirit, love and memory of your mother alive, and as she would expect, to continue this adventure called life together as a family!
At this time I want to thank you all for coming today and celebrating Janette’s Life! I know Janette would not want you to leave this house of worship feeling empty and sad so please take a moment and imagine leaving our home at 22 Prospect St. after a night filled with salsa dancing, feasting on arroz con carne y gondules, laughter and smiles and far too much fun to mention in the house of the Lord. That is what Janette would have wanted.
Thank you all for your love & support