Happy Birthday, Joy! One More Tribute and Thanks…

Thank you for being with us through our “Celebrations in November.” As you know, this month we have said ‘goodbye’ to Joy and her sister, Linda, and celebrated them going home to Heaven on the 16th and 17th of the month. I will never be able to tell you how much your notes of kindness and love have meant to me and my family as we shared with you the Avalon Goodbye for Joy. I shall always remember the things my children, Tamara and Jason, and grandson, Dace, and all of you who were there did to make it so very special. I think of it every day and am so blessed by the memory of it. Writing these things here helps me process through this grief and I appreciate your support more than I can say.

This is the last day of November and I want to share one more thing with you. November was also my amazing Joy’s birthday month. She was born 11-26-41… it was yet another “first” without her. We’ve had the first birthday and first Thanksgiving without her and the first Christmas quickly approaches.

Tamara wrote a “Happy Birthday” post within an announcement of her mother’s death for those outside her immediate circle. She’d kept the event to herself until words she was having trouble finding came… And that day came this past Sunday. I wanted to share a small portion of it with you as there is a message within about how to honor those that live for others. Like my wife…

“Music and food she loved, wildflowers, and photos that captured her time here on Earth surrounded and lifted us while we took turns speaking the things we knew of her. And it was THERE that the words came. Not just from me but FOR me and mine…from all that spoke. So much laughter was heard and so many tears filled these cracks and crevices that exist throughout us now that she is gone. But they were healing tears because THE WORDS her husband and her siblings and children of her blood and those of her heart and her cousins and grandson permeated the atmosphere. Who she really was in life finally burst through the murky memories the hell of her later years was keeping her true beauty shrouded in. 

Our words broke those chains…

She made us better and we discussed that day, those of us that knew and loved her most, how the best way to honor her was to go out and make someone else’s life a little better and watch the ripple of her go on and on… then hers is a life well lived. Hers and ours.” 

The woman my daughter speaks of was an adventurous 17-year-old who dropped out of high school in our Avalon to come to be my wife in California when I was stationed there in the Navy. She gave me two incredible children, enrolled in college in her 30’s and, ultimately, obtained her Master’s Degree as a summa cum laude grad which allowed her to teach everyone from the gifted and talented to severely mentally challenged people. Because of her own painful life experiences, she had a profoundly empathetic heart. She cared for the dying and dismayed constantly. As my son eloquently phrased it, she was our “broken healer” and magnificent in so many ways. We shall treasure her always.🙏❤️🙏

As usual, I pray for help for those involved in the wars going on in the world.  I pray that this holiday season we can find ways to help as they painfully exist on the front lines. Our God of Love wants us to love each other.

Poppa B.