In 2017, the year I joined IN, I met Janna in my first Angell Tea Group meeting. She was a shy, quiet and affable lady whose eyes sparkled and who seemed invigorated when telling us about growing up in Bangladesh. Her love for her homeland was only bested by her love for her daughter Mynti. Janna worried about being a burden to her daughter, who took care of her, and an obstacle to Mynti’s personal life. Janna loved being in nature and enjoyed her outdoor walks.
In her daughter’s words: “In line with the Bengali tradition of having two names—a formal name and a more commonly used Bengali daknam or nickname—most people knew my mother as Polly, though some knew her by her formal name Jannatara or the shortened version Janna. She was an extraordinary human being—incredibly self-sacrificing; fiercely independent; and the ultimate change-maker for her family, which includes moving to the U.S. from Bangladesh at age 26. So many, if not all, of the good things in my life are because of her. It is a blessing to be her daughter, and it has been an honor to be her caregiver the last several years of her life.”
Janna passed away on February 6th of this year, after a significant health decline during the pandemic years. All of us in the Angell Tea Group are saddened by her passing. We will miss her.
Sharon H. retains all rights for the photos used in this article. She has graciously permitted us the use of both photos for this story. Thank you!