I had a very special person in my life. My Auntie Joy was a rare human being, she was loving and generous to all. She had a style and grace that is seldom found in others. Her loss to cancer was traumatic and shattering for everyone. Today, my father sent a wonderful email to our family; it is a beautiful recollection of Joy.
Four years ago today we farewelled out beloved Joy. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her and I know you all share the overwhelming feeling of loss. Joy and I had shared memories of growing up with our Mum and Dad and of course our beautiful Grandma, Babushka. In those early days the family shared a love of animals. We were both young when a stray cat turned up in our back yard. We tried to find the owner to no avail and so Fifi adopted us as her new family. She especially loved Babushka and was often on her bed and sometimes under it as her secure spot. Fifi also loved to sleep on our Mum’s bed but I think she tolerated me and was not as affectionate as she was with the ladies. Joy adored Fifi and was definitely a cat person. Ian’s family were also cat people and so I bought Joy their beloved cat, Bob.
As a teenager I read a book about animal behaviour and the author extolled the virtues of the Chinese dog, the Chow Chow. When Joy was 10 I went to a breeder and came home with Cindy the pedigreed Chow Chow. I thought she would be my dog and took her everywhere but the ladies absolutely loved her so I had to share Cindy with the three of them. Every day Babushka cooked Cindy a special Russian meal with rice, vegetables and chicken parts. Mum liked to play tennis with her in the back yard and Joy of course loved her furry sister with the mane of a Lion. When I left home to get married the ladies would not give me back my dog and so Helena and I bought a lovely Labrador pup we called Caesar.
Growing up, Joy was a wonderful loving sister and our Dad absolutely adored her. But now Joy and our parents and grandparents are all gone except for me, a situation I never wanted nor expected to happen. However we all have our shared memories of Joy and her exceptional beautiful life. She was a great loving friend to everyone and she lives on in our hearts forever. Vale Joycelyn Rae.