Monday, July 12, 2010
In memory of Joanie, who recently died. This is the only picture I could find of her. She is here with my grandson Rhett, almost three years ago.
She fought a very strong fight against breast cancer and lost the fight. I feel very sad.
Joanie was a bright light with red hair. She was an active and positive person. She was married to my brother for not too long a time.
We went to many garage sales in Ojai together and she would grab just about everything that interested her and buy it. I remember her haggling with Mary Steenbergen over a mirror at a garage sale for a local school.
She bought a home up here as a second home and it started out totally empty and ended up full of all of her things that somehow went together and created a fun and interesting atmosphere.
She had fallen in love with the mobile home on one of her visits up to Ojai to visit my brother. It had been occupied by a woman for twenty years who loved it and the garden was beautiful. There was a cross breeze through the house that came up from the Ventura river and the ocean. A huge oak tree on the property that sheltered the house (and caused a lot of mess too).
She had fabrics and knick knacks and pottery and furniture and all kinds of little things everywhere.
She had wonderful taste.
She didn't get up here very often and recently not at all.
When she used to come up sometimes we'd swim in the pool. Her cell phone rang constantly and usually it was her daughters or her son. She was very close to her family. She was a Santa Monica girl and had a huge SUV full of garage sale acquisitions.
I once accompanied her to an oncologist in Santa Barbara and we sat in her office and talked about cancer for almost a half hour. The woman told Joanie sometimes cancer can be managed and for long periods of time, even 20 years. Joanie wanted to go back to Switzerland for more treatment but the oncologist said she couldn't recommend this. Joanie went anyway.
As often happens when people die I wish I had had one last visit with her.