What secrets do you hide?
My life as Jane Kratzer Ball has ended. I died on February 13th, 2021 of a brain aneurysm. Born on August 19, 1945 with a Leo/Sun sign and in the Chinese Year of the Rooster, I was predestined to tell my story.
Those born on this day “value the truth very highly.” So here is my truth.
I was the second daughter of three born to Julius and Jacketta Kratzer. I grew up in a family full of secrets. The secret: my mother’s mental breakdown. That occurred during a year marked with the deaths of three family members and my sister’s birth. My life’s quality plunged after the age of five. We slipped away from our larger family umbrella and became united under a code of silence. I grew up frightened of everything including my mother and the possibility of losing my father, who kept our family afloat. My childhood memories disappeared with the stress.
It was due to my position of ‘middle child’ and my family role of being ‘the good one’ that I was able to partially escape my family fears. I think I appeared normal! I got good grades, held down jobs, lived in Europe as an au pair in Paris, and married my high school beau, Richard R. Ball. I had three children after the age of 30. I then reentered the working world as a single parent and forged on to graduate from college at the age of 42. All due to my Sun sign influence and my determination with, of course, the help of many years of therapy.
My ex-husband and I were the parents of three wonderful boys who were a handful. They were always foremost in my life. In fact, I worked for 35 years at marginal jobs to stay home with them, as much as I could. Since genetics gave all of us the gift of depression, I tried to be honest and answer all their questions about my past and I brought up subjects that I felt were important. It’s hard to find answers, let alone accurate ones, when they are buried with the dead.
I want to thank all the people that walked in and out of my life. Not all of them liked or respected me. There were many that I had trouble liking, probably because they were me. I was blessed with many lovers and friends and I thank them now for some very important lessons. Some taught me to be angry, to be assertive, to grow up, and to trust and accept love. Some left, others stayed. Everyone was important and for better or worst changed me.
My life was filled with animal friends that I loved and, far too soon, lost like Yo, Bib, Brandy, Max, and Sheba. I adopted all of them. I cherished all of their unconditional love. My dog Rosie was my current companion and I love her dearly.
My life was not all negative. I resisted that and explored life as much as I could. I traveled. I toured Europe when I was 21. (Had to leave home some time.) I was drawn to Paris and returned several times for more extensive visits. No matter the season I loved Paris. I also explored my oriental obsessions with a visit to China where I studied Chinese infant massage. Nurturing my Oriental garden gave me an outlet to explore nature, peace and my artistic bent.
I was a massage therapist for human, equine, and animal kind. I also worked as a photographer, art framer, trainer, window decorator, sales agent and bookkeeper. I had an interesting resume that didn’t even include the fact that I was also a lifetime career student. I bought books, took classes, seminars and lectures to satisfy my thirst for guidance and information. I was always driven to find answers.
I have been cremated and placed in an oriental urn that I bought in 2009. I am having a cup from each of my animals’ ashes added to mine and the excess spread in my garden.
I leave behind my special sons, Jason, Ryan and Adam and their wives and children, some wonderful nieces and nephews and my dog Rosie. I started too late in life to have great-grandchildren. My sisters Julia Susan and Jill Elizabeth survive me.
A donation of your personal truth to those you care about can make all the difference in their understanding of their world. It won’t hurt. If now isn’t the right time, then donate to Best Friends’ Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, UT. Or better yet adopt a pet. Animals can listen and keep your secrets until you’re ready to share! Just don’t wait too long.
-Jason Ball: My mom’s Will stated that her obituary; “not be changed at all.” That said, my mother never said anything about adding to it. As her oldest son, I want you to know something about my mom. My mom was stern, yet sweet. Fearful, yet confident. Powerful, yet vulnerable. That’s what I loved most about my mom, she was all of these things. Sometimes all at once. I love my mom, and loved her dearly! She taught me to follow my dreams, pursue what I wanted to do in life. She taught me to be an immovable parent. She and I found forgiveness in each other, and she taught me to be fierce in what I believe in. Like my mom, it is very hard for me to express and show my true feelings to people. I feel that in some way, I understood my mom in that regard. The bit of solace I take is that the weight of your soul on this earth, mom, will be felt forever in my life and the life of my family. And for that, I can’t repay you enough. I really miss my mom.
-Ryan Kratzer: To sum up my 43 years with my Mother into one paragraph? Well that can’t be done. I say this because her life was complex, full of secrets, half-truths, and outright lies. It was also filled with love. I live by one rule, and that rule is rigorous honesty, or what I like to call, “what's the truth.” The truth with regards to my Mother is: She loved her Boys. Her Boys loved her. That’s all I need to remember. That’s all that anyone needs to know. Now here is some more truth. She’s gone, and I’ll always miss her. But we are all a part of this planet, this universe, just like a wave is a part of the whole ocean, this isn’t the end; Nothing is more creative than death, since it’s the whole secret of life. My Mother, Jane Annette Ball, was the whole universe experiencing itself, and now my universe has a huge black hole in it.
-Adam Ball: What do you say when your mom passes so suddenly? I don’t really know. No mix of words can help me understand how quickly life, and more immediately, death can happen. My mom was powerful, amazing, stubborn, strongheaded, loved, and feared by everyone. For me, one of the most important things that I take away from this is that time is so precious. Never forget that. Try to talk to your family every day, no matter what! For one day they are here, the next they are not. I may have to live with that fact for the rest of my life, but I will never forget it, if that makes any sense. My mother’s life was amazing, and l will truly miss her every day. Love you mother.