I think everyone struggles to stay in touch with people as we grow older. It is especially difficult when you live far away from someone. Gavin and I have struggled with how to stay in touch with people who are important to us while still making time for our own family. We have such little time with Zoe that is not spent feeding, medicating, going to appointments, bathing, dressing etc. Now that Ailsa is here, it is even more difficult to find any extra time. When Zoe is well, we want to spend every spare minute playing and doing fun things with her. When Zoe is not well, all of our time and energy is taken up with caring for her. Gavin's grandmother passed away last year and we regretted that we were not able to write her as often as we wished we had. So we have made a resolution to make time to stay in touch with people. We have been better at updating this blog and keeping people informed about what is going on in our lives. But we know this blog does not replace a handwritten letter, email, or a phone call.
We just found out that a woman we used to work with in Philadelphia died this past week. Both of us remember Joan as a very sweet and dedicated teacher. She would get excited and share in your joy. She always had something encouraging to say. And even when Joan was frustrated with a person or a situation, she still would comment on the positive. Sadly, we lost touch with Joan in the last few years. When we first moved to Toronto, I kept in touch with email. We also visited with Joan when we went to Philly for my brother's wedding when Zoe was a baby. We even talked about visiting with her this past December but recognized that it was the holidays and we weren't in town for very long. As it turned out, we would not have been able to visit with her anyway due to Zoe breaking her arm. But still, I do regret that we did not keep in contact.
Joan gave us a tree ornament that says "Our 1st Christmas" after Gavin and I announced to our colleagues that we had snuck off to the Caribbean and eloped. We still hang this ornament on our tree every year and talk about how sweet it was that Joan had gotten us that. Such little gifts that meant so much.
That is how I remember Joan- always sending out a Happy Birthday email or getting a little something to let you know she was thinking of you. Joan had taken care of our fish while we were away on that Caribbean trip and we brought back a little hand-blown glass fish for her as a thank you. I hope she kept that fish and it made her happy to think of us.
Joan gave Zoe a pair of very cute pajamas that now fit Ailsa. We put them on Ailsa last night and thought of Joan. We are thinking about her family (Joan was always bragging about her children) and feel thankful that we got to know Joan. We can only imagine the pain her family is in now. We know Joan will be very missed.
Zoe at 13 months. Joan got to see this picture because I sent it to her in a thank you email.
Ailsa this morning at almost 10 months.