I have a mother named Joyce. She taught me an open door and an open pool when we come to visit Las Vegas. She taught sincere questions and thoughtful answers about difficult topics. She taught some very helpful emails about relationships and miscarriages. She taught a happy laugh and a warm hug. She taught once an English major, always an English major.
She taught send a box of your favorite books and See’s candies (the greatest chocolates) to bring comfort. She taught sharing her experience with miscarriage and offering helpful advice to an emotional niece. And not judging me for my feelings and frustrations. She taught everyone grieves in a different way and that is okay. She taught patient and kindness with myself because healing takes time. She taught work hard to stand up for children’s education and have a voice and opinion and to stand up for what is right. She taught reading books as therapy and that books are friends. She taught asking my kids how they are, how old they are, what they like to and listening and caring.
She taught run a 40 (?) year long book club with specific rules ie. read the book before you make everyone else read it (in case it’s lame), no repeat reads, starting time is 9. She taught sending out a huge list of past read book club books. She taught that you actually need to read the book and have a good discussion, because isn’t that the point? She taught eating good food at book club, because isn’t that the point? She taught becoming lifelong friends with the book club “ladies of the night”, because isn’t that the point.
She taught love your family and kids no matter what. She taught venturing to Ukraine for a two year service mission and learning a very non-English language. She taught fly out to see your East coast daughter and grandson as often as you can. She taught love your “grandwonders” because they are the gifts for surviving your children. She taught have a continuous “favorite aunt” contest between the two aunts. She taught family comes first.
Top left: Aunt Jenny, mom, Aunt Joyce. Bottom left: texted Joyce a picture of my organized bookcase and she sent this gem of her husband, Steve, in the old days. Right: Steve and Joyce at my parents for my dad’s famous spaghetti.