I’ve known Edwin for many years. Not that I’ve actually met him, but I know him through my friend, Joyce Gosnell, who has been his tutor and mentor for six…going on 60…years.
I’ll call her and she’ll say…”I’m off to see Edwin”. Or…”Another tragedy happened in Edwin’s family. His brother was shot and killed today.”
And, plaintively, I continue to ask, “Can Edwin read yet?” The answer is always, “No, not yet”.
I was delighted when I received the copy of the news article about my friend, Joyce, and her friend, Edwin. I think you might enjoy reading it too. Click here.
Joyce does many, many wonderful things for others. She is a professional clown and has graduated from prestigious clown schools around the country. Her clown persona is famous in the KC area. When I say professional, that’s exactly what I mean. You can see her below as “Molly”.
Professionally, she was president and CEO of a mortuary advisory business, a company she started fresh out of college. She traveled extensively, spoke to various mortuary groups in the U.S. and Canada and published a professional mortuary magazine. She retired from that life-long business 10 or so years ago.
She also does many good things for lots of people. She “adopted” the three children of her single-parent hair dresser so they could each spend a day alone with her once a month to do something very special…all day long… and give their mother a break.
For almost as long as I’ve known her, she and her family have delivered Thanksgiving dinners to shut-in’s. For years she prepared and delivered meals once a week to a dozen or so homeless AIDS infected women who were living under a bridge in Kansas City until they found shelter elsewhere. Well…the stories about Joyce would fill a book.
She’s a good friend to many…and I’m one of the lucky ones. She and I took the ride together, and were allowed to “drive” the Goodyear blimp, after she spent something like seven years trying to get the flight arranged. The crew pulled the blimp out of the hanger, we took a rather extended ride over Houston, had our turns at the stick, and landed only when the weather looked a bit threatening. In retrospect, I wonder how much it cost Goodyear for that trip for just the two of us? I remember Joyce took the pilot and crew each a rum cake from her famous cookbook of family recipes.
We also spent a day she arranged on the USS Topeka, a Los Angeles class nuclear sub, submerged in the Pacific. She’s taken a solo luge ride on the Olympic slide at Lake Placid, driven race cars, been at the top rung of the longest/highest rescue ladder the fire department in KC owns…now my memory fails to remember more. Christmas in her family is totally about others who are less fortunate.
Here’s another picture of good friends taken when they came to visit Brit and me last summer…Joyce on the left, Ann and Peg, all from the KC area. All good friends of many years.
Joyce has been appointed by the courts in KC to represent juveniles in certain cases. I can’t recall the legal term for what she does…maybe “guardian ad litem“…but she evaluates information from attorneys on both sides, the family and the client and submits her findings in writing to the court, which they usually follow. It’s a tough, tough job.
Tomorrow she’s going to Santa Fe to deliver a eulogy at the funeral of the daughter of mutual friends. The daughter had stage 4 cancer for four years and fought a good fight…and gave us hope that Brit might live longer.
Joyce is a “book” and a dear friend. Whenever I would think things were getting the best of me while I was caring for Dane, then for Brit, mostly from not getting enough sleep, I’d think about Joyce who spent 16 years taking care of her husband. She was his primary caregiver in their home and only rarely during those 16 years did she get more than three hours sleep in one stretch. She’s a wonder and constant source of inspiration. I wish you could all have the good fortune to meet her some day.
Joyce and I usually travel incognito. Here were are at KCI heading for Houston for our blimp ride…or maybe San Diego for the sub trip. I donno which.