Thursday, December 29, 2011


Today I woke up to a beautiful, December day typical of California winters. Some see it as dull and overcast: in reality, it's a crisp, dramatic display in contrast. The minute you walk outside it's a wake up call: a slap in the face, going from warm and safe to the wide awake winter calling you up to full alert.

It is my 24th wedding anniversary.

Mario and I were married on a day like this. I remember crossing the parking lot of the small church in Tracy, decked out in a white, flowing gown, followed by my sisters, in their bridesmaids gowns, all of us carrying flowers and freezing. We stopped in the middle of the lot, screamed our heads off, and laughed...and then went into the church, where my kids and my father were waiting in the entryway.

Mario was at the altar, with his SEVEN groomsmen -- and he had the flu.

Our wedding, like our marriage, was not an execution of perfection. It was full of unpredictable things that I could never have foreseen in the planning. Instead of perfect, it was fun. Instead of Bride's magazine it was a collaboration of family to be a labor or love. Our wedding was such a prophetic picture of our marriage that I could have seen the whole thing in full view (at least so far).

I have been married to Mario, the most predictable and steady man I have ever known, and have been given the endless freedom to be Janet:a Mahler symphony, a sizzling sparkler, a Marin Scorsese picture. I have been unpredictable and emotional...and full of gratitude for the man that God gave me. We love each other and frustrate each other and work together and admire each other.

We are a study in the beauty of contrast: a shocking California winter day.

A stunning display of drama and warmth on the inside.

I'm a little biased, but not much.

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