When I asked Shelly for the first time about her mother, she answered ‘well, she was just a housewife’. Like there was not much more to say… But this was not the case. Shelly’s mom was the living breathing soul of their little community. College-educated, she was dedicated to her family and had a talent when it comes to the art of human happiness.
Juanita Francesca Merte Andrews, known to friends and family as Joan was born on 2nd of June 1941, the last of fourteen children of Ignatius and Pricilla Andrews. In her life, she was a mother of seven children herself and a ‘village mom’ of all children in the settlement. Her heart and her house were filled with compassion. She always had a place for someone to stay; she was the person to go when you need someone to speak to and find support. She was a loving, caring person, an excellent listener and had the right word for everyone. People were coming from all the area to talk to her and find a solution to their problems and doubts.
But she was a real legend in baking. Famous for her cooking she was baking for everyone. She liked to feed people, and everyone was welcome to have a meal. Her other great passion was assembling puzzles. She would buy the biggest ones for her family so everyone can participate in the assembly and have their time together. Then she will frame it and put it on the wall.
Joan lived a long and very fulfilling life. She was called home on 14th of September 2004, and many, many people came to support the family and accompany her to her last journey.
There are no war, travel or career achievements in this story, but there is the story of a woman, who dedicated her life to make others happy. And this is something worth celebrating.