Thursday, October 25 brought news that our dear friend, Janice Naibert, had died. For years I knew she had trouble breathing and we would wheeze together through brief phone conversations, and even though she considered slowing down of late, never once did she disappoint by not sending out an order. While I know that other "doll people" depended on Janice too, it was my love of a little French doll called "Bleuette" that brought me to Janice first as a customer, and then as a friend. While I never did get to meet her in person, that did not matter during all the times we chatted about dolls and dogs, Beagles in particular. She mourned with me over the loss of my rescue Beagle in 2007. When I was in Maine, we would always talk about meeting at "G Street" - a fabric store near Washington, DC. Unfortunately, each party's health kept that from happening.
From Janice I bought fabric and trims, patterns and sewing kits, doll bodies and wigs imported from France, but came away knowing I was more than a customer, as were so many others. One has only to read the posts on the various doll groups - Bleuette, Rosette, French Fashion - to know the loss we are feeling. I am saving all these posts in the hope that I can print them out to send to her son and her husband, so they know how much Janice was loved, and how many lives she has touched. No one came away from knowing Janice without a smile. Toot, Toot, dear one. We are tooting your horn for you, in ways you never did for yourself, in your humility. The doll world would not be what it is without the things you did for us. Rest easy, dear friend, and know how much you are missed, and how you were treasured.
My prayers go out to Janice's family, especially her son who is doing his very best to send out the orders his Mom could not get to before this final illness. What a son! His Mama would be so proud.