My Friend Joan

Whenever I am faced with a seemingly unsurmountable obstacle, I ask myself, has Joan done this, would Joan do this?  And it lets me go forward.  Why?  Because she picked up and moved three boys several times during her husband’s lengthy naval career.  When my dog died she had me bring photos and her favorite toy.  She made a collage of the photos, and put some of Chani’s ashes in a baggie in a large teddy bear that Chani took to the park the day before she died.  Joan sewed on a felt heart, and trimmed it with lace and tiny red and white beads.

I have the teddy bear here in the Rocky Mountains, one of the few personal things I brought with me 2 1/2 years ago.  Nine years ago my husband and I decided to get married, elope.  We asked Joan’s husband, the Captain, to marry us.  He disappeared to the dining room for a moment to compose himself and came back and said “yes,” he’d do it.  He wrote the vows himself and I typed them up for him.  I sent my husband over to their house that morning while I went to the hairdresser and got dressed.  It was a lovely wedding and luncheon for us and six guests who were at the elopement.  Then we headed off … but that’s another story.

Jim and Joan are like my parents, at least they were when we were out in California.  We miss them and the neighborhood’s not the same without them so we’d probably never go back.  They had a bet every year on the Army/Navy game, and it was an $8 bottle of wine.  Now Buck’s buried at West Point, and Jim will be, one day, at Annapolis and when we go back East we’ll visit both.

Good friends are hard to come by.  Jim and Joan, Buck and Sally, are dear ones that are missed now because they’re gone or 1,000 miles away.   Enjoy your friends.  Live a good life.  Be happy.  It’s great to know people who’ve been married over 60 years!  If I could only live that long…. Cheers, Dee

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