From sally in NZ – she must sense I’m scared

He aha te mea nui o te ao?
He tangata! He tangata! He tangata!

What is the most important thing in the world?
It is people! It is people! It is people!

3 Replies to “From sally in NZ – she must sense I’m scared”

  1. I wrote something like this the day Joan died but it disappeared into cyberspace. On the night of the celebration of her life, I am trying to remember what I wrote. It went something like this…..Joan Brown is so high on my list of extraordinary people that I barely know where to begin. She was so welcoming and kind, not in a gushy way but genuine and real. She was so accepting of things that mattered and so intolerant of things that did not. Her assessment of the situation was so spot on….most of the time. As a young teacher moving south for my first job, she welcomed me into her home for several weeks until I found somewhere to live. What an extraordinary thing to do? I loved those weeks living at 53, cared for in every way, the transition into working life made so much easier. All this when she was still working as a nurse and looking after Jane! How did she do it all? Her dedication to Jane is something that only those who saw it first hand can have any understanding of. If Jane was having a lovely evening with friends, Joan would patiently wait until the evening came to an end and then at whatever time was necessary begin the challenge of getting Jane to bed, never moaning or complaining…..she must have been exhausted! As Rachel said today , Jane’s amazing quality of life was down to Joan and her never-ending, tireless, selfless effort. My favourite memory or memories, it was almost a ritual, for many years after leaving the safety of number 53, was going back for Sunday lunch, retiring to Jane’s sitting room upstairs, Joan appearing after her attempt at the Sunday Telegraph crossword ( and a little snooze) to thrash it out collectively using every dictionary , encyclopaedia and thesaurus in the house until we gave up accepting that realistically we would neve quite get there! If only we had had the Google search facility….we may have actually finished a crossword. In our efforts we laughed and shared the joy. The other truly remarkable thing about Joan for me was her memory. She remembered EVERY detail of every memory of my bizarre family, she loved the stories and once more….shared the joy and the sorrow. I am so sad that she has gone but so pleased and privileged to have known her. I never felt anything but unconditional acceptance from Joan……having a partner who was a nurse may have
    helped! Rachel, you did Joan proud today, both ceremonies were as beautiful and true and honest as Joan was herself. A good job some might
    say….somehow she would let you know if you had not!

  2. Hear, hear Declan. You have expressed far better than I ever could everything I love and have experienced about Joan; a truly remarkable woman who has given so very much to us all. Thank you.

  3. I never met Joan, but I absolutely loved hearing stories from all the Dwyers – It never failed to bring a smile when I heard one of her anecdotes or something she had said. Like Rosie, she was a true character and I know she will be missed so very very much. xx

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