Burlington-Janet Renee (Schauer) Freeman, 58 went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, March 22, 2020 at her home. She was born on September 17, 1961 in Glendive, Montana to Lucille Lachenmeier and Robert Schauer. The world would never be the same again after this. This feisty little redhead would grow up to be all of 5 feet 2 in stature (on a good day) but a giant of a personality. Though her childhood would be a rocky one, Janet would eventually meet and marry the love of her life Jerry Freeman in 1982, thanks to the US Navy. It was a whirlwind romance (to some) but was most assuredly God’s perfect plan. This would prove to be the best decision of her life and will remain one of her greatest joys in this life. Together with the three girls from her previous marriage to Tony Martinez, Janet and Jerry would add two sons to the family and many, (too many to count) pets as well. Janet loved many things in life, but none more so than her family. She was a mama’s girl and always grieved her mother deeply after her passing. (After losing her I can begin to see why my grandmother’s passing was so hard for her.) She loved her siblings. All of them, maybe some better than others, like all siblings I suppose. Five have gone on before her, Bobby, Robin, Randy, and an infant set of twin sisters Regina and Roxanne. She loved the three remaining Lynda, Jeff, and Kenny though they have been separated by many miles over the years. Her home and resources were always open to them if they needed her. She loved her many nieces and nephews and even got on their nerves trying to look out for them like most good aunts do. But she loved them. She loved her aunts and uncles—the entire Lachenmeier crew. They meant so much to her. She loved her sons. Michael, her blonde hair, blue eyed boy, and Matthew her tan skinned, brown headed baby. She was proud of their accomplishments in school and life. Including degrees, jobs, and the marriage of her youngest son Matthew to Holly. She wasn’t perfect and she would tell you that, but she loved them. She loved her girls, Michelle (Michael), Melissa (Aaron), and Mindy. She was proud of them and welcomed Michael Martino and Aaron Milligan in as sons-in-laws. At times I know she loved them more than us actually. She really enjoyed Michael’s sense of humor and mother-in-law jokes. When grandchildren came along though, she found her true loves and reasons for living. Morgan (Nathan) Jones, Tommy (Taylor)Jones, Hunter Spleitoff, Michael and Aaryn, Joshua Milligan, Michael (Mikey) Martino, Brooklyn Milligan, Megan Martino, Mia Martino, Ryder Milligan, and Miley Martino were her little loves and source of great pride. She was especially proud to become a great grandmother to Kayden and Konner Spillman.
My mother loved camping, going to bluegrass concerts with my dad, crocheting, collecting thrift store finds (including vhs tapes), her dogs, Mexican food, the game show network (America Says, specifically) and her friends.
As a kid I remember looking at her and thinking she was the most beautiful woman in this world. I can remember watching her put on make up and still remember the smell of her Maybelline foundation. My mom could sing and draw. She loved letter writing but had a hard time with spelling. In fact she had a hard time seeing the amazing person we all saw when we looked at her, even if she was in front of the mirror. She was hard on herself for past mistakes and got stuck on past hurts. She struggled with an addictive personality and battled every day to live her best life. She was the bravest person I know. My mom sought help and was supported by my dad every step of the way. I mention this only because I know my mom would want people out there still afraid of stigma to get help. Go to rehab, get counseling, see your doctor—there is too much life to live and miss if you don’t. This is real life, this isn’t fill in the blank, make everything roses. My mom loved all the things I mentioned above—and had to fight to do that. Addiction isn’t something that cared about what you love. It takes you to the depths of despair and takes everything you have and everyone you have away from you. It shatters families and dreams, unless you fight it and that is what she did. I am so proud of my mother and what she did to give us what she could of herself after having to battle so hard in this life. She was far from perfect like I said and sometimes she struggled with that—but she didn’t have to be perfect to be the best mom she could be for us. That is who she will always be, our perfectly imperfect mother. It’s not goodbye mom, just a see you later. Even with a recent lung cancer diagnosis mom didn’t let it win—no she lived life on her own terms and not even cancer could change that. Little mama life won’t be easy without you but you’ve left quite a bit of your spirit here and I know we will be just fine until we see you again. Forever your Honeybee. PS.
We love you more.
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