Saturday, June 06, 2015

Reflections of a year without Joan

One year ago today, my sister in-law Joan took her last breath. Even though a year has passed, I still find myself thinking more of her last rough month or two rather than her 58 healthy years. I would have thought that by now the memories of her being sick would have faded and I’d only remember her as her usual healthy vibrant self. But maybe seeing her in the hospital was such a stark contrast to the way I’d always known her that it affected me more than I realized.

But when I do look beyond that, I miss the extra spark of energy that she added to any family get-together. You always knew when she had arrived. I miss her stories and her laughter and her talking proudly (also known as bragging, but ‘talking proudly’ sound nicer) about her kids and grandchildren. I wish she could have held her new granddaughter and been here to see her younger son start building his house. I wish she could be working in her garden and planning motorcycle trips. Even though I don’t understand how it all works, I know she’s now in a place where there’s nothing but happiness so we don’t need to feel sorry for her that she’s missing out on anything. We can feel sorry for ourselves but it doesn’t help much.

I hope Joan's first year in heaven has been amazing. I can only imagine all the laughing and partying she's been doing with her friends and family who have gone before her. I guess it’s their turn to hear her laughter again.

I'll end with
the words that Spencer shared at Joan’s funeral.
My Auntie Joan was one of those few people that everyone loves.  And not just because she often brought giant tubs of gummy bears to family events. She had a great sense of humour and laughed a lot.  I have happy memories of sitting around the fire pit at Grandma & Grandpa’s and hearing her laugh and laugh at Jordan’s crazy stories and jokes.  She made us all feel special.
The other nieces and nephews probably feel the same way I do, but Auntie Joan made ME feel like her favourite.  She laughed at my jokes and always humoured me. I would wear ridiculous T-shirts and she would always laugh, even when she was in the hospital.  Auntie Joan was the queen of laughter.
She gave the best gifts and musical cards.  Whenever we received cards from her, you wondered what song would spill out when you opened it.  We savour all the cards and my smaller sister Neve always makes up adorable dances to go along with the music.  She plays with them until the battery dies, but she’s trying to save the card she got this year because she knows there won’t be any more from Auntie Joan.
Uncle Greg and I like to bug each other.  My Auntie Joan would always take my side.  She was the one urging me to get him back.  I have lost my ally.
I love you Auntie Joan, and will never forget you.


Anonymous said...

Lovely tribute, Spencer.

Daniel said...

Yes, we too have been struggling with keeping her lively self being the dominant way of remembering her. But it's not at all hard to bring her laughter and life to mind.

I so enjoyed Spencer's tribute - it captured her essence so well.

Wish we could have been there today to remember her with the family - hope you had a rewarding time.

Anonymous said...

I am trying really, really hard not to cry as I am sitting at a public table, but it's a losing battle.

So much love to all of you today.

xo Sio