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Across the Big Pond

Joy Veaudry 1950-2008

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Martin Bradburn

Joy Veaudry 1950-2008

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"Oh look it's Uncle Marty" Joy would say whenever I arrived. That she called Laurie and I family, is a great honor.

Yesterday morning I was in a real funk. This happens but in hindsight I should have known. Just before I left to go out to dinner with the old Heartlab crew, Bob, Joy's husband called to say Joy had flown away this morning. She was at home with her family as she wanted to be. I am sad that this courageous woman a fighter with a gentle soul is gone. The good guys lose one.
Joy had entered our lives when my wife, working at a daycare where Joy and Bob's twins Tom and Cathy were enrolled approached Laurie about being T & C's in home care giver. Laurie as well as B & J disliked the facility they were at and a deal was struck.
Laurie and I were welcomed into their home and became close friends with the whole family including older brother Jesse. My wife went through her pregnancy with our first daughter Lily while at Bob and Joy's. We were welcomed like family, and the many smiles and laughs we shared are the strongest memories. We watched as Tom, Cathy and Jesse grew from liitle kids to strong wonderful young adults.
We were not as frequent a visitors to the Ried/Veaudry home in the past few years, and this is a regret. Joy was unbenounced to us quite a published poet. She loved her animals, dogs, cats, chickens etc, You never knew what new member of the menagerie you would encounter in the garden, a place that was obviously of much solace to Joy. As with most of us I think that if we are parents then our legacy is our children, and Tom, Cathy and Jesse are three of the finest young people you could hope to meet. Joy and Bob must share credit for this great upbringing.
So Joy I hope your journey now is with less pain, our sorrow is for us because your passing is our loss.

The last poem from Joy's collection "A Clear Path Home"


Months later
as the weather finally warmed
and grass began to green
I noticed the chairs set
there just beyond the apple tree
still grouped
as if for conversation.

Wrapped in quilts
in early morning dark
we’d huddled there
exhaling clouds
that wove together
then vanished
against lightless air.

After the first exclamations of wonder
none of us spoke
not even the children.
Leaning back
our focus turned upward
and we watched stars fall out of Leo
one after another
fireflies in July dusk -

a sacred moment
beyond worship
a rare vision
of what it is
to be awake.
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