A walk with Joan

Today has been a true and real struggle. Last Thursday my aunt Joan passed away, too soon, after living for 65 glorious years.

I choose to honor her by speaking, alongside my sisters.

I post this today, here because she was an avid supporter of my travel blog. The most energetic encourager to my constant wanderlust.

Family Christmas
I’m up here today to talk about her as my role model.

Joan didn’t ever tell us what to do, she didn’t impose her opinion onto us. instead she tended to show us, through her example of life, what it is really like to live out your personal best.

A few days ago, I was raking her lawn and picking up acorns. I had ample time to think of all the things she has taught me….all of us. So I decided to make a list as if she verbalized her examples.

Take care of your health.
Get outside.
Eat your vegetables. Take your vitamins
Remember desserts in moderation.
If you’re going to have a drink, try merlot.
Sit up straight. Put your shoulders back. Posture is important!
If you walk, put pep in your step.

Be frugal with a dollar.
Save your pennies and travel.
Explore foreign streets. Experience new cultures. Eat adventurously.
Take road trips and go see what our 50 states have to offer.
Remind yourself that wanderlust is ok.

When you travel Send postcards.
When you’re home, Write letters
Do your best to take photos. (It’s ok to leave the lens cap on or if the timer didn’t work!!!) Just try your best.

Work hard. Work passionately. Geek out with geometric shapes and the quadratic formula…We all can impact many lives by what we choose to do with our service. Enjoy that unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Remember, never stop learning.

When you find quality friends,
Work hard to keep them. Share life with them often….a tea at home or travel the world. Listen well, they’ll appreciate that.

Be enthusiastic in your endeavors.
When you’re proud of others accomplishments – give them a good shoulder shimmy. (Joan’s excited move!)
Use your energies to volunteer.
Give your time to help make a difference.
Get involved in your community.
Join a club.
Work to be a small change in the world.
Be a role model.
Remind yourself: Positive attitudes will attract others with positive attitudes.

Respect this earth. Recycle. Treat a good lawn like gold and stay on the sidewalk. “John and Quinn-do not cut those corners.” Compost your leftovers and rake your yard. It’ll be peace upon your soul. Enjoy every flower!

Keep your hands busy. Sew. Make a quilt. Cook. Do a puzzle.

Practice your faith. Let Jesus walk with you. Do as he would. Actively participate with your church.

(Now remember, I’m speaking from Joan’s perspective)

Get married. Enjoy the profound bond with a life partner. Have a child and let your life be forever enriched. Teach them everything good.

Make the most of memory making. Get season tickets to a children’s theater. Take dance lessons. Enjoy a good Midwestern parade.

Take care of your parents. Tell them why you love them. Remember how they helped you and do your best to help them.
Love your siblings, even if you live different lives now, because they’re the link to your past.

Smile in adverse situations. Take a deep breath and stay cool. Keep your head on your shoulders and always stay humble

Remember where you came from. On occasion, eat like your ancestors. Know your family history. Celebrate it.

Show kindness through action, to everyone and everything. Express gratitude. Spread love through your relationships, your words and by giving life all you can.

To close: You may not remember any of these specifics. Today is difficult on all of us. But maybe, when you get home or when you think back to Joan, If you can remember one thing, remember this is how Joan did it.

Just try to live your best. With exuberance and gusto.

Let love be your guide.


About haileerustad

I love everything. I do things differently. Tending to avoid conformity. Accepting unknown adventure whenever its presented. My mission is to live, let life flow through me with endless energy. Exciting and empowering others to find their natural happiness. As life is, all perception.
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4 Responses to A walk with Joan

  1. April Slagle says:

    hey there you…and your family…really sorry to hear about the loss of such a cool lady as your Aunt Joan sounded like she was…I loved the way she moved through your words…bet she would have humbly loved them, too. Thinking of you often as I move through life…as you move to your own beat. Love, April

    On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 2:37 PM, Vida Es Perfecta wrote:

    > haileerustad posted: “Today has been a true and real struggle. Last > Thursday my aunt Joan passed away, too soon, after living for 65 glorious > years. I choose to honor her by speaking, alongside my sisters. I post this > today, here because she was an avid supporter of my t” >

  2. Susan Hahn says:

    Beautifully said Hailee. Thank you so much for sharing. I was unable to be at the funeral but my thoughts and prayers have been with you and the rest of our family for days. Take care, Love, Susie Hahn

  3. Brenda Smith says:

    Thanks so much for sharing the inspiration and wisdom from Joan’s perspective. So…so…true. I first met Joan when I started teaching at BEA in 1988. We coached vball and sball together. I taught PE and her math. She had so much wisdom and was a great mentor when I was 24 years young. I could hear her saying your words. My two children had her as a geometry teacher and respected her ability to challenge them and expect them to do their best. Thanks for your strength to share.

  4. Paula Tietje says:

    Haylee: You did an amazing job at Joan’s celebration of life. Thank you! I did not have a chance to talk to you personally but, several years ago, Joan asked me if I could recommend a safe locale in Costa Rica and if I had any contacts or connections there. After e-mailing Jen at Hidden Canopy, I gave Jen’s info to Joan to share with you. I hope you found Jen to be as gracious and caring as your aunt Joan.

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