Saturday, January 20, 2007

My recollections of Joann (written with love-ing)

Has it really been 10 days since you died? I had intended to write
something sooner but I suppose my excuse has been that I have been away and
that work has been busy. To be honest it is more about resistance, perhaps
to submit to this blog is my acknowledgement that I will not see you again
(in human form). I am grateful that it was Linda Nicholls who informed me
last Wednesday as she had previously arranged to meet Lisa and me for lunch
on that day.

In my copy of Anger, Boundaries & Safety you wrote "Randy, Such memories,
from Taiwan to now!"

In November of 1990 I travelled to Taiwan and Hong Kong with you, my father,
Jock and Linda Nicholls to offer Come Alives, I believe this was the second
year in this part of the world that Haven had offered the program. During
this trip we bonded, adjusted to a different culture and spent many hours
talking, laughing (and your occasional giggle fit), being easily embarassed,
and it was at this time that I started to learn from you. Four years prior
to this trip I was in a Come Alive which you led -it was then, in 1986 that
you really became a significant person in my life. Over the next 20 years
there was a constant connection which I know many others have experienced
with you -Joann, you were a mentor who trained me clinically, and you shared
with me much wisdom about living; I recall being introduced to developmental
psychology and humanistic perspective to personality styles in a way that
was interesting, exciting and I yearned for more. Even today when clients
and colleagues ask me where I was trained I answer that it was at the Haven.
I will miss seeing you sitting at your table when I am in the lodge for a
meal, miss you asking me how my life is going, how I have been since our
last meal, and your grin and that beautiful twinkle in your eye.

I remember when you were taking ballroom dance classes and my father was
your dance partner -the senior citizens in the class; when I saw you dance I
imagined that you experienced a flow, a freedom in your body, and that for a
few minutes you were able to transcend the physical limitations that were so
present for so many years.

I choose to hold these and so many other memories of my contact with you
over so many years. One more memory to share was when you presented at the
Victoria Haven Experience two years ago. We (the organizing committee) were
thrilled that you were presenting and that you agreed to do a book signing
over the lunch break. You were beaming at the end of the signing as there
were quite a number of the participants who asked you to sign their books
(like you were not expecting this to happen). I have no doubt that you will
continue to be with me for the rest of my life; I am looking forward to
being at your memorial gathering.

Randy Wong


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