|Gathering after the book signing...|
Joan is the lady on my right... (blue sweatshirt, blue jeans)
Blessings, as do friends come in a variety of packages sharing a wealth of gifts that may go unrecognized until the unspeakable occurs. This is precisely what happened this week as a treasured friend suddenly passed away.
Joan and I shared many passions; first and foremost teaching and children, but particularly the child harboring difficult circumstances. We shared the wonderment and significance of dreams and God’s role in our lives. We both felt you could never have enough colored pens and our mutual love of writing was a source of much banter. Our conversations came easy and frequently took us to diverse worlds in a matter of minutes.
Joan displayed her flamboyant personality with dazzling, sparkly tiara’s and boas. She was comical, witty and engaging but always candid and direct—she spoke her heart. Joan encompassed many traits I aspire to embrace.True to life, the glitzy exterior hid significant life’s struggles which made Joan stronger but nothing more noteworthy than the death of her husband of forty years in Sept., 2008. In Feb., 2011 Joan’s best friend Judy died who was our school librarian, followed by her beloved dog and Lizzy, her classroom pet lizard.
When I was notified of Joan’s unexpected death on Tuesday in my inner being I believed Joan died of a broken heart. Too much loss, too much sadness…It was through these circumstances I was even more thankful for the occurrence of my book signing in Ohio in November in which I was able to see Joan. She talked of her pride in my accomplishment and spoke of her own interest in publishing a book entitled, ‘Good Grief’. She had a desire to support others through the grieving process with laughter and joy.
I wish she would have gotten around to writing this book as many of us might benefit from it right now. Her friends will gather in Ohio today to celebrate her life, and it was truly one worth celebrating. Although I will only be there in spirit I know Joan entered Heaven’s gates uniting with Judy and Doug with her ostentatious gaudiness of Mardi gras beads around her neck and a crown of glory exclaiming, ‘Dear God, let the party begin!’
"To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die. "