Dear Joyce, How is it that 16 years have flown by since that first day you entered our family here a the Pontotoc Progress? From the first day I met you your smile and your sweet spirit became entwined in my heart.
You have taught me a lot through these years. I have listened to you patiently talk to people on the phone and deal with them having the kindness of the Apostle John and the patience of Job.
Every morning when I came in the door that you were here, I knew I would be greeted with a smile. You never fail. You learned that job and took it to the next level. Your spirit has been the glue that has held us all together. Lisa was right when she said we can get by in the office without anyone except you.
You have faithfully carried out every day what needed to be done plus all those extra things like making sure we were reminded of an appointment, or holding phone calls until we said okay. You always kept this desk that I was envious of. It might be filled with paper in the middle of the day, but when you said good night as you left, it was perfectly clean. I never understood how you could do that.
And because we are a small tight knit family, our lives have grown together beyond the four walls of the Progress.
You walked beside me while I grieved the loss of three grandparents. Your sympathy and understanding meant more to my heart than you will ever know.
We have shared laughter and tears, joy and pain as we have walked through these years.
You always remembered the small things in life. Giving a little gift to us when our birthday came around, even slipping little bits of happiness on days that it wasn’t our birthday.
You have graduated your two children, married your son off to a sweet girl named Lindsay and become a Mimi since you darkened these doors.
Your family has endeared themselves to all of us. Your dear late husband Harold kept us in stitches with stories from his childhood. Who can forget his laugher? I yet hear it in your daughter Christy’s voice; and I see your smile on the faces of your son Michael and little granddaughter Emmy Jo.
I have watched you walk through trials and tribulations these past two years, and especially through the six months of your Emmy Jo’s diagnosis of cancer and loosing your dear Harold to heaven; and yet through all the tears and pain you have come out on the other side with a smile and words of encouragement for all of us.
Perhaps if there is a scripture that describes you perfectly it is Psalm 23. You are living proof that you can “walk through the valley of the shadow of death and fear no evil, for Thou art with me, Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.”
I know this is not goodbye forever, but I surely am going to miss your sweet smile and understanding heart each day. I want to give you the words of a poem, written anonymously, that means a lot to me and I pray they will minister to your heart. Good by my dear and may God go with you.
When evening folds its curtains,
And pins them with a star,
Remember you have a true friend
No matter where you are.
When your life on earth is over,
And its paths no more you trod,
May your name in gold be written
In the autograph book of God.