Monday, July 16, 2012

In Memory of Joan Gillespie 1937-13th July 2012

Today I learnt that a dear friend had passed away. Nothing is as final death. Not illness, not sickness, NOTHING.

I've known Joan since 2002, May actually. I was working at the Austin Hospital at the time.

We seemed to hit it off straight away, age made no difference, nor the fact that she was wheelchair bound and using a respirator to survive. See Joan was a polio sufferer, yet suffer she did not.

She helped everyone, she had a smile for everyone. She was a beautiful person.

She always put everyone else's needs above her own. In fact when I saw her on Thursday, whilst she was an in-patient, she was more concerned with getting out and about again, than worrying about her health. She was worried people were missing her already (She'd been in hospital one week)

She would do the shopping for many patients, buying Tattslotto tickets and generally just being useful for those that couldn't get out. Being wheelchair bound made no difference to her.

Her lovely husband John, made much of this possible, John was Joan's right hand man, literally.

Joan (and John) would regularly present a Sunday session on Inner FM, Melbourne 96.5FM Much of the music was requested by Joan and Johns' friends.

Some of Joans' Milestones

1937 - Contracted polio and lived in an Iron Lung for the next 30 years

1967 - (approx) released from the confines of the Iron Lung

1980 - (approx) Met John, her partner

1990 - debut on radio

2011 - Victorian Senior of the Year Awards - Veteran Community Award

 Joan was an avid listener to 3AW Melbourne radio, as well as a prolific poem writer, which were often broadcast on 3AW radio.

I have previously written about Joan (and Charlie) here My Hero

Joan loved the work she did, it may have been voluntary, but to Joan it was work and very rewarding from what she always told me.

Joan, you will live in my memory forever. I looked up at you. My problems seemed like baby goldfish. Yours were the sharks of the world.

Thank-you for being my friend.

Thinking of you John at your great time of loss.

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