Friday, May 4, 2012

A reminder of what is really important!

Joan and her oldest daughter, Holly, during a surprise party  

This is my friend Joan at her 60th surprise birthday party in 2008.  Joan is a good friend of mine who I met about 10 years ago.  Our daughters played volleyball together throughout their years playing club volleyball and in high school. 

Joan and I became good friends over the years.  I help her with her endless computer problems and she serves as my decorating consultant - helping me to make decisions.  We share the love of animals - especially our dogs, as well as good food, and shopping!

We enjoyed traveling to Brown County, Indiana, to appreciate the beauty of fall (and do a little boutique shopping of course).  We even spent a few days and traveled to the Biltmore Estates in North Carolina.  Joan loves antiques.

We stopped along the way to enjoy the beauty
Once a week Joan and I would always try to set aside time to meet for lunch to catch up on each other's lives. We'd make a point to find those little tea room gems located around the St. Louis Metro area to visit. 

Joan (right) with my mother-in-law at Biltmore Estates
On October 14, 2011, Joan suffered a brain aneurysm. Luckily for her, Joan was with a nurse when it happened and the nurse called 911 immediately.  Joan was rushed to the local hospital then transported by helicopter to a St. Louis hospital that deals with head traumas.

Joan has undergone several surgeries and has been back and forth from nursing homes to hospitals as medical needs have arisen.  She's currently in a local nursing home making some strides, but she is unable to speak, has limited cognitive abilities, and can't move the left side of her body.  She continues to make progress so her family is hopeful.  Doctors were amazed Joan even survived the aneurysm so the fact that she's even alive is a miracle.

Joan's family has obviously undergone a lot of emotional pain and stress. Joan's husband and three grown children have been by her side nearly 24/7 since October 14th. 

The family keeps friends and relatives updated on Joan's progress through Caring Bridge, a free website that helps keep loved ones informed during a significant health challenge.

Yesterday Holly, Joan's oldest child, posted an incredibly powerful post on the site.  Her post reads:
I feel like I should let my dad write today's entry but I know he is having a very busy day.  Today my parents have been married 42 years.  I am starting to cry as I write this because I am sure that last May 3rd they were laughing and reminiscing about their marriage and what fun trips they were going to take.  Now they spend their days & nights holding hands and giving each other kisses while they watch the Cardinals on TV or just sit next to each other.  I am sure neither would trade the past 42 years for anything but today, they are just thankful to have each other.  I have seen my dad love my mom in ways that have taken their marriage to a level that the rest of us cannot and probably will not, ever go.  It has been a constant reminder for me that there can never be enough "I love yous" or "thank yous" said in a relationship because you just never know what you might get.  So on this day, in honor of my parents, please be extra kind and loving to those in your life you care about.  It really is just about the only thing that is important in this life...the people you love. 
Something we all should remember!


  1. Great post and a great reminder that we never know what is around that corner. Never miss an opportunity to tell someone how much they have meant to you. You never know if you'll have the chance to say it again.

    It's not a maudlin way to live, it's a good way to live. Every time my kids leave the house and go on to live their lives, I tell them I love them. No matter what. It needs to be the last thing they hear from me.

    1. Thanks Marijke! It is a bittersweet reminder but you are so right, we just never know what is around the corner. Thanks for commenting!