On Wednesday, February 3, 2010, at 3:27 p.m., I received my first email from Joyce Rothman. Over the next month, we talked many hours about writing, blogging, being a mother of one daughter and the joys of being a grandmother. Joyce hired me to help her understand the design aspects of a blog and to teach her all about how to market her writing on Twitter, Facebook and all over the internet. Joyce wanted to learn SEO, but mostly wanted me to be a ghost across the internet while she worked on writing a book.
To get to know more about Joyce so that I could help market her better, she sent me this information in an email:
“Karen, my daughter and her babies – Lexi and Tyler are the most important people in my life.
I love cooking, gardening, reading, music (blues, especially), design and of course writing. Good wine, good friends, walking, smelling salt air and nature.
My favorite color is green and my favorite season is spring.
You asked, “Why do you like writing?” My answer is “To Make Sense of It All” – making sense of life, healing, growing, creating.
I’ve been writing for 30 years.
I live in a little coastal town that is dubbed “The Gateway to Cape Cod”. I moved here from Boston 7 years ago, fulfilling my long time dream of living in a village by a beautiful harbor. I wanted my life to be simple and it’s not quite there yet, but getting closer. I have 1 daughter and 2 grandchildren whom I adore. I’ve been a RN for 40 years and in my more energetic days; I worked in Intensive Care Units and Emergency Rooms. I went for the adrenalin rush until I burned it all up.
After I started meditating years ago, my writing jumped to a new level where answers to my questions started flowing out of me. They say that we all have the ability to tap into divine consciousness and I believe whole-heartedly that I had connected. Incredible wisdom came through me and I knew I had because this information was and is often so profound. That’s when the real growth and change started. My life today has no resemblance to those earlier years although I continue to grow and learn, overcome and change some more.
When I became more confident in my writing ability, I shared what I’d written with the hope that if it could have such a positive impact on me, others might also find the comfort, support, wisdom and love that we can access inside of ourselves. So, I began putting it out there and am getting feedback that it is inspiring others and giving hope. My memoir, “Making Sense of It All” is a journaled account of my life from three perspectives: my heart, my mind and the soul of my spirit.”
Then in July, she told me her terrible news. A few days later on July 6, 2010, Joyce wrote the following on her blog:
“Today I learn I have lung cancer. I feel like I’m writing this about someone else but it’s me.”
On August 13, 2010, my dad was diagnosed with several very aggressive cancers and on October 15, 2010, he passed away.
Joyce remained positive about her journey and through all the tragedy, we became friends. It wasn’t hard to love Joyce and I always felt better after talking to her on the phone.
For the past two years Joyce has been on a roller coaster of experiences and emotions while fighting for her life. Today, July 25, 2012, cancer finally won the battle and Joyce Rothman, at the young age of 64 has passed away. She no longer suffers pain, but her family and friends already miss her.
Joyce once wrote something that has stuck with me. Each time “something” happens or I meet someone new, I remember what Joyce said:
“I can’t help but think about me, with cancer, in relationship to all there is and what the lesson is. If my journey is part of all there is, then my journey isn’t just mine. It touches everyone in some way, just as everyone’s journey touches mine.”
Joyce touched my life with her compassion and loving friendship. I feel honored to know a woman who lived and died with dignity, strength and grace. God bless you, Joyce.