Over the years, Joan became a colleague, mentor and friend. Our relationship got much closer when we created a class together on PTSD and dementia. We exchanged ideas in flurries of emails and multiple meetings.
Once the class was over we continued to meet for dinner and lectures, and Joan invited me to join the networking group she hosted.She was so proud of the fact that as of the month before she died, the group had been meeting for 17 years – without an agenda, officers, minutes, or even a pot of coffee.
Then, last year, Joan allowed her photo and a few facts about her life to be used for a program I designed to challenge age stereotypes. Nearly 200 people attended the event where they learned that at age 84, Joan took ballroom, ballet and Pilate’s classes every week. She couldn’t attend because she had just returned the day before from a trip to Alaska.
We set up a lunch date to catch up after her trip – but never met. Little did we know what that week in October would bring for her.