16 Aug Janice (Jan) Shively
Janice (Jan) Shively
I nominated Lady Jan (Janice Marie Eby Shively) for membership in the Order of the Royal Oak because of her lifelong dedication and self-sacrifice for the benefit of others.
I first met Jan one Sunday morning. A friend of mine, Chuck, and his girlfriend, Karen, felt sorry for me because I did not have a girlfriend and they tried to include me in everything they did. As we walked into church, I told them to “Go ahead, I am right behind you.” I did not lie because I was right behind them, I just did not tell them for how long. And so, as soon as they started walking down the aisle, I started looking for a seat. When I saw several empty seats in the middle of a row, I darted in and watched them look all around for me; however, as the service was just beginning, they had to take a couple of available seats.
Ah, victory. I had been able to ditch them. And, as I relaxed from my sly and somewhat devious enterprise, I suddenly realized, three or four seats away, sat a very attractive young lady. As the first hymn was announced, she noticed I did not have a hymnal near me, and she slid over so she could share hers. Immediately I thought “When we finish singing, if she does not move away, I certainly see no reason why I should.” Well, she didn’t and neither did I. After the service I introduced myself and after some small talk, I asked her to spend the afternoon with me and the two friends I had ditched; after all, I was sure they would forgive me once they met this very attractive and thoughtful young Lady, with whom I had managed to acquire a date.
Well, we continued to date, and I learned she had been working 30 hours or more per week while attending high school (milking and feeding 50 cows and 150 hogs, as well as plowing, planting, and harvesting), in order to help her parents, save her grandparent’s farm after Jan’s grandfather developed senility. In addition, because of all the stress, Jan’s mother had developed grand mall seizures which severely limited what she could do to help prevent the loss of the farm.
When I met Jan, she had started college and was driving two and a half hours to and from Ball State University each weekend so she could try to continue helping her parents as she had in High School. I took the opportunity to drive down to Ball State University each Friday evening and take her home to help her parents over the weekend. I would also try to help over the weekend, which I am afraid was probably mostly so I could spend time with her. Then each Sunday evening, I drove her back to Ball State University. This lasted for one semester, by which time she concluded she was unable to effectively perform either responsibility and so she chose to forgo her dream to become a veterinarian, and instead, dropped out of college so she could help her parents full time.
Eventually we married, in 1971, and while I saw her constant kindness directed toward others each and every day, it was not until I suffered a severe stroke that I personally experienced the fullness of her faithfulness and dedication. For several years I was bed ridden and completely disabled. Jan worked fulltime while caring for me and raising our three teenage sons. As I began to recover from the stroke, Jan spent her evenings reading my lessons and typing my papers so I could complete the Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees.
Sometime after my recovery from the stroke, my mother’s spine gave out leaving her disabled, and then, once again Jan provided the needed care for several years, until my mother’s passing, after which Jan’s mother became disabled due to aging and Jan provided the needed care until her mother’s passing several years later.
Jan has truly demonstrated our LORD’s teaching in Matthew 22: 36-40: 36 "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" 37 And He said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets."
Jan loves spending time with family, nature, bird watching, Holland America cruises (particularly to Alaska)