Dear Aunt Jeanette, love you, Shane

A dear friend to my Mom, and a source of many, many warm memories, my aunt, my Godmother, Jeanette Holohan, passed away Friday morning.

How exactly aunt Jeanette encountered Mom shortly after I was born was never fully outlined, they had talked a little bit about the job Jeanette had at the local grocery store in Fairview, NJ, and Mom just striking up a conversation with her out of the blue about something seemingly random. That sounded like Mom, ready to reach out to anyone and make a connection. And that sounded like Jeanette, ready to lend an empathetic ear.

Aunt Jeanette was a warm, loving soul whose friendship to Mom, during me and my brother’s earlier years, provided her with a kind of acceptance and understanding she needed during dark days. Mom loved her so much she made Jeanette my Godmother, and Dante’s and my aunt. Through the years she would talk of her in the way all timeless friends talk of each other, with that knowledge that here is that other person that really understands me, that really gets me. We each need that so much in life. Mom and Jeanette provided that for one another.

I have great memories of being over Jeanette’s, being babysat by her daughters, and having dinner. We lived down the block and all I wanted to do was to hang out there. Lena Horne, the Muppets, and spaghetti.

Life takes many twists and turns when you face the difficulties my Mom had so contact became sporadic. Richelle deserves credit for helping us re-establish a connection, which helped me reconnect her and Mom after she had stopped swirling after her husband’s death.

My thoughts and prayers are with her daughters and friends this morning. Their Mom left a huge impact in my life. I hope I’ve learned some major lessons from her. The power of the random connection, the importance of friends and unconditional acceptance, love and working to understand one another.

Her kisses, her hugs, her voice saying, “love you Shane, you be good to your Mom sweetie” will be with me till the day I die and I hope I am as good a friend as she was.

Love you too aunt Jeanette, miss you,


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