Stories: Who We Have Lost

Janet Loy

Who did you lose to Covid 19? Janet Loy (2 of 2)

Lowe and Loy shared much through various phases of their lives and later in life became very close again. Lowe remembered a night from their childhood together when they were having a sleepover and watching a movie when they encouraged Janet to get up and dance for them like the actors on television.

“I was going ‘go Janet, go Janet!’ and all the other sisters were cracking up in the background,” said Lowe. “It was like once she started something and you encouraged her to do something bad like that, she would go for it.”

Lowe said that something she has struggled with since losing Lowe was the feeling of not being able to say goodbye. Lowe was in the hospital with congestive heart failure when they were able to have Loy’s celebration of life memorial.

“It’s like I never told her goodbye,” Lowe said. She most remembers Loy for her willingness to give people whatever they needed. “I think she stayed broke half the time because anybody that wanted anything she would give a handout to and didn’t require for it to be paid back,” Lowe said. Loy was a source of happiness and encouragement in her life, especially after losing her husband.

“She taught me that if you’re gonna do something and you want it bad enough, no matter what anybody says, do it and don’t put it off,” Lowe said. “After my husband died, I didn’t want to go anywhere or do anything and she encouraged me and always brought me laughter and joy.”

Lowe said that the loss of her best friend is fresh every day. “It’s like part of me is gone,” Lowe said. “I get to the phone getting ready to call her, and I realize there’s nobody there to answer.”

Lowe said that Loy was a great Christian and that she knows Loy is happier in heaven with all her other loved ones who have passed. It is still hard for Lowe to not have Loy here with her, but she finds comfort knowing she is with God. Lowe said another important thing to know about Loy was how much she loved her grandkids. “They were her morning, noon and night,” Lowe said.

Chelsea Russell, Loy’s granddaughter-in-law, can attest to Loy’s love for her grandkids. Chelsea Russell started dating Corey Russell when she was fifteen, which meant that Loy, who lived with Corey and his mom [Kim Russell], was a grandmother figure to her as well.

Chelsea Russell said that Loy helped Kim Russell raise her son and that because he grew up without a father figure in his life, Loy had stepped up and played a significant role. “I can see now the respect for women she instilled into him because of the way he treats me and the way he raises our children to treat women,” Chelsea Russell said. “A lot of that came from her and the strong woman she was.”

Chelsea Russell said that even when Loy was in her upper sixties, she would still drive 45 minutes just to babysit the grandkids so Chelsea Russell could go to work. “Having her guidance and help and willingness to be a present woman in my boy’s life was something that meant so much to me,” Chelsea Russell said.

Chelsea Russell shared how she did not grow up with a very close family, so when she married her husband, it was a foreign feeling having people be so involved. Chelsea said that it took a lot of getting used to, but once she grew in motherhood and matured, she was so grateful for all the things that Loy taught her and did for her family.

Chelsea Russell said that it is hard not having Loy here anymore and that she knows things will not be the same without her. Chelsea Russell said that she is expecting her fourth child soon and that it is hard knowing Loy will not get to be there to meet and hold them.

Kim Russell said that even in death, her mom had hope and peace. Kim Russell said that the last time she talked to her mom was on the phone before she passed away. “She squeezed the nurse’s hand and said, ‘tell my daughter it’s gonna be okay.’” Kim Russell said. “I was like ‘yeah mom it’s okay, you’re gonna be fine,’ and she said, ‘no Kim, everything’s gonna be okay.’”

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