My Dear Friend, Joan

Joan SToday I went to the memorial service for my dear friend, Joan Schloemann. She died May 21, 2013 while waiting for a liver transplant. It wasn’t to be…

She was my encourager and friend. I have so many memories of her. I’m going to try to write only the outstanding memories here. Our friendship goes all the way back to 1965 when she and her husband moved here as a young couple. We were young back then too!

About 16 years ago my husband had surgery. He had come home from the hospital but we were both struggling mentally, emotionally and Jerry, physically. Our family and friends, church and pastors were all supporting us but we were still struggling. One day Joan and her husband, Penn, came to our house with a large bag. They said, “Keep these as long as you need to. We just think they might help you.” It was a bag full of Bill Gather video tapes. Oh my, we played them over and over. They saved the day! They were so uplifting, full of energy and beautiful music. Listening to them gave us new hope, energy, life, love! We were changed!

About eight or nine years ago I retired from teaching a class of high energy 5th and 6th graders, Club 56, at my church. Pastor Shane, assistant pastor, at the time, asked me what I was going to do now. Oh, I didn’t know. He told me I needed to do something to keep myself from getting stagnant. I told him I would think about it. He said I’d better pray about it. Later he asked me what I had decided to get involved in. I still had no answer.

In September of 2006 a lot of our friends were at a pig roast at some friends cottage. Several women were sitting around a picnic table visiting. The subject of aging came up and how even though we all used to very busy in our church we now felt like we were sitting on the side lines. We needed something to keep us encouraged and connected. Someone said a newsletter would be good so we all knew what’s going on in each other’s lives. Then someone asked who could write it… Joan pointed her finger at me and said, “Anita, you are just the one to write this!”

“Me? I don’t know how to write a newsletter!” That night I was up all night. Truthfully…all night…writing a newsletter! For the main feature I wrote about the pig roast and put in pictures I had taken. Then I put in a section of prayer requests. I wrote up announcements of upcoming events, a Bible verse for encouragement. I wrote and deleted, wrote and deleted. Finally in the early morning hours I was ready to print it out. It was time to go to church! I took the finished copy to church and handed it to Joan! She was pleasantly surprised!

God used Joan to answer my prayer of what am I to do now? I’m in the seventh year of writing Prime Time News! It’s gone through some major changes over the years. Oh…it’s far from perfect. It comes out bi-weekly. Joan has been my encourager all the way. My brother, a writer, is my critic and I’ve learned so much from him. But Joan has been my encourager.

A few months ago I stayed home from church because of illness. When Jerry came home he had a gift bag for me! I opened it and couldn’t believe it! A Bone China cup and saucer! What a pleasant surprise! I collect them! It was from my friend, Joan! I called to thank her and ask why… Her answer was that she was trying to down size and she thought I’d like this to add to my collection! Oh my goodness…what a treasure from my friend, Joan.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank you, Joan, for being my good friend. I’ll never forget you. I’ll join you…someday!

About allinadayofme

I can't believe I'm in old age! I'm now in my eighties! I'm a child of God, wife to one, mother to five, grandmother to 15 plus two granddaughters-in-law! I'm a great-grandma now! I'm a sister, aunt, cousin, friend and neighbor. I'm a housewife and former ESL tutor. I love reading and writing. I've just retired from writing and editing a newsletter, Prime Time News, for seniors. I love genealogy, traveling, birds and animals, blogging and taking pictures.
This entry was posted in Bone China, Death, Friend, Joan, Me, Memorial, Memories, MFMC, Michigan, Prime Time News and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to My Dear Friend, Joan

  1. Iris Duff says:

    Joan sounds like she was a wonderful friend.
    We, too, love the Gaither music and go to many concerts. What a great idea to pass some recordings to you for your encouragement; how long did you keep them? I will keep this idea in the back of my mind. So sorry for the loss of your friend.


  2. Hi Iris! Joan was a wonderful friend. It helped to write about her… I don’t remember how long we kept the tapes, but I’m thinking until the end of Jerry’s recovery. It took what seems like a long time. But then we started buying our own tapes and now DVDs.


  3. Pam says:

    Nice memories Mom. Thanks for sharing, Joan was a special lady and we will all miss her. I know she and Penn were always the first people to come and greet Gene and I when we would attend church with you.


  4. Amy says:

    I had the privilege of knowing her too. She was indeed a special lady. The last few years she came and picked blueberries at our farm. She didn’t like them herself, but she gave them to her daughter.


  5. Zoanne Clark says:

    That was a lovely tribute to Joan. Wish we could have been there to celebrate her life. In 2011 at Christmas time I was wanting to make some of the hard rock Christmas candy and couldn’t find the flavorings down here. So Joan asked me what flavors I wanted and went to a drug store there in Midland bought them and mailed them to me. She wouldn’t let me pay her for them. They came over to visit us that winter and we went out to dinner with them, it was a very good Sunday afternoon.


  6. Cynthia Reed says:

    That was a beautiful tribute Anita. I just remember Joan being so central to our church life in Midland. If you wanted to know something, Joan was a good person to ask. She was a pillar on whom we relied. She was a good person to ask advice and she was truly interested in others’ well being. When with her, I felt a comforting reassurance.. She was capable, caring, faithful, hard working, and so loved her family, friends and church. I mourn her loss along with you Anita.


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