And now it’s our turn to grieve.
Our feisty and tough, sassy and kind, determined and hard-headed, funny, sarcastic, and precious mom has passed into the arms of Jesus.
No more pain. No more suffering. No more loss. She is with my little brother, my dad and all those who went before her.
She was tough. She had a tender heart for babies and funny cat videos and jokes.
She helped raise our children and so many others. She thought I was amazing.
She was strong and strong willed.
She peeled and diced the most potatoes of any person and fried up the biggest pan for anyone and everyone.
She was an unsurpassed baker and loved feeding people. She hated her new kitchen appliances with all their buttons and beeps. She used her dishwasher as a file cabinet.
She hated that I used grocery home delivery for her. She was fiercely independent but bound by her dependence on me as she struggled with health issues. I failed to be as gracious as her demands in time and energy conflicted with my time and energy.
She loved TV and evangelists and shows like The Voice. So many phone calls started with “Hey Meliss, are you watching….” even though we told her repeatedly we rarely watch TV.
She was fiercely loving to me and cheered me on in everything I accomplished. Stubborn and determined. Once she set her mind on something she would not let it rest until it got done. She wanted a shofar of all things so made me book a trip to Israel. She hated traveling but wanted me and Savannah to go no matter what and bring her back a shofar. We leave next week for a holy land tour and will bring back her shofar.
She loved her flowers and her yard could never have enough. Just last week adding succulents to a birdbath she was determined was a planter.
She was particular about grocery brands and shopped her thousand catalogs of decor and weird objects for hours on end. She loved her bling, her earrings, her coordinated outfits. Her collections of chickens and all manner of “motifs”.
She could never get enough time with me. She loved our “scenics” — driving all around Skagit County again and again. Especially when I took her in her beloved “Buttercup” – the yellow smart car with eyelashes and a new vanity plate “BTTRKUP”. She loved that people laughed and waved and stopped to ask questions about her car when we would be at the gas station or even driving around town and people will wave us down to ask about gas mileage.
The river was hers. The view of the mountains from her living room brought her great joy. She loved the moon and would always call to see if we could see it too.
She would cuss like a sailor but hated nasty jokes. She could be crude and rude or quivering chin tender hearted.
She worked hard all her life and hated that she had to retire. She gave us a strong work ethic then complained that we work too much! She loved Sponge Bob Square Pants because he taught people to be diligent! Last week she couldn’t figure out why I don’t have more free time. She is just sure that as “the boss” I should come and go as I please and spend more time with her. I tried to explain that “the boss” means you work more, not less!
Saturday afternoons were our usual day together unless I had to take her to an appointment during the week, which was becoming more common as her health failed. She loved the backroads or just sitting down by the river at the steelhead club eating a burger.
She thought I was perfect but I am not. I sat with her Monday night and held her hand, put lip balm on her, listened to her talk about a chaplain at the hospital named Mary who had spent two hours with her that day listening to her life story. She wanted me to lay in the bed with her but I did not.
Last night I laid on the floor with her holding her hand and saying I’m sorry — but she was gone. I had just left her in a hurry last night after bringing her home from the hospital, filling new prescriptions while she sat in the car. I was hungry and grumpy. I sorted her meds and got her some food — I told her I was going to get her on a new kick -/ eating fresh rolls from Little Thailand. She wanted to start eating healthy stuff because the nutritionist at the hospital convinced her to try some recipes. I did a couple chores and told her I had to hurry so I could get back to Bellingham for my workout. I didn’t give her the usual kiss and “love you” as I hurried off and told her to “stay upright” for real– always my parting words after so many falls. I called her right after my workout to tell her to make sure she put on her “fallen and can’t get up” button. And to see if she ate her fresh rolls. She didn’t answer. I went home and called twice more. I called my aunt who went to check on her and found her collapsed on the floor. Gone. She would be so mad that we called 911. She would be so mad that we saw her laying there. She was prideful about that but we all were there and we held her hand and we cried and screamed. Loss. Guilt. Waves of nausea. Tears. Hugs. Numbness. Surreal fuzzy distorted conversations. People coming and going. Police. Firemen. Chaplain. Funeral home people. The cart. The sheet. The final goodbye. Gut wrenching. Nauseating. Overwhelming. Yet peace and comfort knowing that she believed in Jesus as God’s son and she was wrapped in his love and forgiveness. My first best friend, my mother, my mom, and forever known as Gooie.
Rest In Peace. Love Belinda. Can’t wait to see you. Upright in heaven. No more waddling. Reunited with Bob and dad. 💕💕
Janice “Gooie” Brown passed away Tuesday, October 16, 2018 in her home. She was born March 6, 1942 to Clifford and Elizabeth (Capaan) Cook. She loved cooking, baking and taking care of her family. She loved dressing in her matching clothes and having her hair looking “just right.”
She is survived by her four children, Tom, Belinda, Angela and Anita; 11 grandchildren, Savannah, Carissa, Nicki, Shania, Mark, Vanity, Talia, Briann, Matthew, Tanner and Corey; two great-grandchildren, Amelia and Romeo; brother, Dennis ‘Magoo’ Cook; sister-in-law, Bonnie Cook and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Clifford and Elizabeth; husband, Robert L. “Duke” Brown, Sr.; son, Robert Brown, Jr.; sister, Brenda “Pearl” Van Woert.
She will be dearly missed and always in our hearts. Soar with the eagles. We love you.
Please share your memories of Janice and sign the online guest register.