Coping with Grief
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Hume --- Janet Marie Perdock (née Debo) passed away unexpectedly on September 15, 2023 in her home. She was born on January 2, 1949 in Orchard Park, New York to Kathryn and Robert Debo, who predeceased her.
Janet was raised by her loving parents to always work hard and love even harder. She passed those values on to her only child, Dawn (Burns) Portney, who is, in turn, raising her two kids and the pride and joy of their “Bamps”, Austin Robert Portney and Keira Rae Kathryn Portney, to follow in the love and light of their Bamps and their Great-Great-Grandparents.
Janet was retired from the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Department where she worked as a Civil Clerk in the county jail. Janet loved creatures of all kinds and loved being outside and in her garden. She loved browsing craft fairs, baking and walking in Letchworth State Park, but most of all she adored her friends and her family.
My Mom would never want a big fuss made over her or for anyone to be sad, so I will share here some of my thoughts that I shared recently with my friends.
For all of those who know me, you may have noticed that I’m rather radically independent. The main reason for my staunch independence is this woman right here, my Mom. While I know it hurt her in some way and every minute to not have me and her favorite kids living near her, she would never say it or even act sad. She was our biggest cheerleader and was always pushing us to do whatever we want. In fact, she wouldn’t give us her opinion, even if we begged her for it. She wanted us to be us, and to find our own way, whether she agreed or not. Now…when it came to others, while she might not have said it out loud, her opinions were strong and definitive.
My Mom and the kids’ Bamps would never want to worry anyone or be a burden. You see, as she lived, she also moved on. I have no doubt that my Mom chose to move on…to whatever it is that’s out there. I wish I could say that she is in a better place, but I’d be lying. The fact is that there’s no better place than with us, but that’s selfish. My Mom passed away in her home. She wasn’t sick (that she shared anyway…because why would she worry anyone?!). After losing her beloved husband, Herbert Perdock, earlier this summer, Mom worked so, so hard to recover from the role of caretaker and grieving widow. She didn’t do this for anyone but me and my kids. She knew that I needed her to be her and be ok and she was.
When I spoke to her right before she passed, she had a big giggle over all of Keira’s crazy adventures and was excited to hear about her Girlie cheering at the first home football game as varsity cheer captain…Mom was quick to remind me of how many games she sat through in blazing hot sun and freezing rain. She also laughed when I told her that Austin (always Goober to her) has entirely too many pets (When I was growing up, I always rescuing kittens, puppies, baby bunnies, bugs, butterflies, birds, barn cats…you name it. Never once did Mom say no or freak out, was rather she always the first one to run for a bottle, blanket, or box to help save whatever it was that I found. Now you all know where it all comes from!) She was also always laughing about how many extra kids I have with me. I’m pretty sure she was tickled pink to see me in exactly the same place with my kids as she had been with me.
I will forever miss her physical presence, but her spirit is just way too big to ever fade or be forgotten. Mom, while the list of things that we will miss about you is a country mile long, we will especially miss you making sweet rolls on Easter (with and without raisins for the picky ones), sponge candy at Christmas and your secret recipe caramel corn. I will miss our Annual Scrabble World Championship and our official scorekeeper. I will never forget how badly you would beat me when I was little and how proud I was when I finally beat you.
Thank you for everything Mom. My heart is broken and full at the same time. You did good!
Also, if you could, please stop by and let me know that you are with us and that there’s more for you out there somewhere. Please be creative…no cardinals or blue jay feathers…you know what I mean.
We love you forever and ever.
We will celebrate my Mom’s life every day and not on a single day. Please share a happy or funny memory here, hug your Mom, donate to an animal shelter and do something nice for someone. Most of all spread love and light as Bamps always did.