|My husband Peter, Joyce & me at our son's wedding last year|
Joyce had been diagnosed about two-and-a-half years earlier and I had just newly been diagnosed with breast cancer and was still struggling with the trauma of it all.
I'm pretty sure I had that deer-in-the-headlights look and Joyce noticed. Even though she was dealing with her own fears, she took an almost motherly interest in me. Her attention and kindness helped calm me, as we took long walks through the retreat campgrounds.
In the months and years that followed, we continued to find time for each other, meeting for lunch or an occasional walk near her beautiful home in Redondo Beach. I don't remember a time when Joyce wasn't in treatment or on "vacation" from treatment, yet she managed to keep up her busy psychotherapy practice and relished every moment with her children and grandsons. She was always upbeat and positive even during some of her worst days when I would sit with her during chemo.
Last year, even though Joyce was again in treatment, she flew to Seattle to attend my son's wedding. Her presence meant the world to me. She danced the night away with the rest of us and looked so happy and beautiful.
I will miss her more than I can say.