Joan and I were good friends. We had a lot in common, even though she was younger than me; love for God, love for our husbands and children, camping, gospel music, our church family.
Penn and JOAN moved to Midland from Missouri after Penn earned his master’s degree. They were newly weds, with no children yet, just a cute little dog! We already had three children! In time they had a son, Chris, and a daughter, Tracy. Tracy and my daughter, Christy, became very good friends.
In 1978 Penn was assigned a job in Salvador, Brazil for two years. How exciting for them! We were very excited for them and looked forward to all communication from them. But we missed them and were glad when they returned home to stay.
There is so much I could write but I’ve got to keep this down to three events.
My husband, Jerry, was diagnosed with cancer and had major surgery. Recovery was so slow and we were so discouraged. Our children came when they could but lived such busy lives and most were far away in miles. Joan sensed our discouragement and called one day to ask if they could stop by. “Of course,” I said. When Penn and Joan arrived Joan carried in a bag of something! She took out a couple video tapes of Bill Gaither and singers. The bag was full of video tapes! She said perhaps listening to these would lift our spirits!
Oh my, we played those videos every day, listening and sometimes even singing along. Our spirits were lifted up, we praised God, just like she had hoped! What a difference in our lives! We finally returned them to her and then bought some for ourselves!
In 2007 Joan suggested to me that I write a newsletter for the senior folks of our church! I had no idea how to do such a thing, but she insisted we needed one and I was the one to do it! We were at a pig roast when she came up with this idea so when we came home I got on my computer and began trying out ideas for a newsletter! I was up ALL night writing and rewriting and rewriting! Finally, I thought I had it right and printed out a copy. We went to church and I handed it to Joan. The pig roast was the main feature with pictures. There was a section for prayer requests and praises. Other news and up-coming events were also featured. Joan said it was exactly what she had in mind! She said she knew I could do it! So every other week for eleven years I put out a newsletter! Joan was my biggest fan and encourager!
One Sunday in 2013 I stayed home from church, just not feeling well. When Jerry came home he had a package for me from Joan! I had no idea what it was and was thrilled when I opened it! A Bone China cup and saucer! She knew I had a collection and this would fit in beautifully! Neither one of us had any idea she would be leaving us for good this same year, a few months later! So, I have a wonderful reminder of my very good friend, Joan!
She was having physical problems. We all have problems, don’t we? But she didn’t get better. Finally she was told she needed a new kidney. She was put on a list to receive one from a donor. However, one was not available soon enough. Joan passed away on May 21, 2013. I couldn’t believe it and still can’t. I know, without a doubt, Joan and I will be joined together as friends, one day, when my time is up. Meantime, I have my wonderful memories of her.