Through the years, I have made many friends in the television industry. Although we tend to live all over the place, we still find ourselves thrown together in any given city in any given state, all working to get a broadcast on the air and then we hop back in our cars and planes and go home. We never really having the chance to tell one another what a pleasure it is to work together. As “tv people”, we can find a lot of negative in the jobs we do….but secretly….we love it and can’t even consider any other options. And we love those that we work with.
My dear friend & co-worker, Janice Devine, passed away yesterday. It was a complete surprise to me. Having heard only the weekend prior that she had been ill for over a year and that she was in hospice, I didn’t know how far along she was or what the situation was. I have known Janice since the beginning of my career. She was often one of the graphics operators I was paired up with when I first started working for CBS and she and I, through the years, often found ourselves working together for other companies as well. When I heard that she wasn’t doing well and wasn’t taking calls, emails or texts, I realized it must be urgent. But I didn’t realize HOW urgent until the word came of her passing on Sunday, January 14th. I was at work in Bloomington, Indiana, working a basketball game, and the word was like a punch in my stomach.
Here’s the thing…for as long as I knew Janice (which was probably 17 years or so), I never really got the chance to tell her how much I enjoyed our time together. She was a genuine, bright, shiny light in this world. A woman who was ALWAYS smiling on the outside, even if things around her weren’t so shiny. I can’t recall ever hearing her speak badly about anyone (which would be a first in the television industry), I never saw her upset and I don’t remember there ever being a time where she was down or unhappy. She was always on…and she was always happy…and she was an excellent friend & co-worker.
I know she died of ovarian cancer, I know she fought for over a year and I know she kept it quiet. A lot of people on social media were surprised to hear that she had fallen ill. I wish I had even a couple minutes just to tell her what a pleasure it was knowing her and being her friend. It has been almost 6 years since she & I worked together. I recall chatting with her on Facebook a couple times since the London Olympics but they were usually short conversations. It saddens me that I didn’t have the time to chat with her more. She was truly a diamond in the rough.
Rest in Peace Janice. Thank you for being such a great friend and mentor. This world is a sadder place with your passing. You will be missed greatly and you will always be in my heart.