Miss Joyce Bellard Tall Tales, Fiction, and Legend Tall Tales, Fiction, and Legend
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SUBJECT: Miss Joyce Bellard

Submitted by TallTailTeller from Acadiana on

Christmas couldn’t come soon enough for Joyce Bellard. For a rough, gruff, tough as nails and mean as a snake Acadian woman, Christmas held little in the way of sentiment. But this year Christmas was different. This Christmas would certainly be Miss Joyce’s last.

It started last Spring when a late season cold turned into a dry hacking cough that would cause Miss Joyce to end up out of breath and gasping for air before it subsided. Never one to run to a doctor for something that would run its own course, she waited for the sickness to pass. After the cough made her throat so sore that sipping water caused her to wince in pain, she decided that enough was enough and she would finally see the doctor.

She waited for hours in the emergency room of Moss Regional Hospital. The emergency room at Moss Regional Hospital is where all people go who cannot afford to see a doctor of their own. Moss Regional sees everyone, though the wait is hours long for everyone but the most urgent. Sitting there looking around waiting room Miss Joyce came to the realization she might be the sickest person there. Even before the doctor took one look at her throat and put her immediately in the cancer treatment ward, she knew that her diagnosis and prognosis would be grim. She had worked her last day and had her last birthday. If only she could have one more Christmas.

As gruff as she appeared and sounded, Miss Joyce was true. She kept confidences without question. She worked hard. She had a wicked sense of humor and a wry laugh that was both honest and surprising. She was a proud woman who had both sass and swagger. They were not empty affectations. She was as good as advertised.

We knew at Thanksgiving that the race was on. Miss Joyce was running hard but staying the course through Christmas was so hard. She was on constant pain. The morphine only kept the edge off. The cancer was eating away at everything, even her brain. Memories were disappearing and what remained sometimes morphed into unfamiliar remembrances. Miss Joyce whispered to ghosts that surrounded her. Sometimes her whispers were soft and loving, other times they were mean and harsh. She was having arguments with her ancestors long dead. Miss Joyce would not go quietly into the dying light.

Several days ago Miss Joyce slipped into the twilight that serves as the barrier between life and death. Not a coma, not a sleep, an existence between this life and the next. On Sunday, less than a week before Christmas, the race had run its course and Miss Joyce stopped running. She passed quietly in her sleep, one last sharp deep breath was her last. Miss Joyce was no more.

We leave in a few minutes for her final rest. Her friends and family will gather from around the south to pay their last respects and lay her in the ground to await the Day of Resurrection. For only a few people will she be long remembered and dearly missed. Miss Joyce would begrudge even those, not being one for maudlin sentiment.

Go from this place Miss Joyce. Go from this place and unto the next. And when you reach the table your Father has set for you, rejoice. Rejoice Miss Joyce, you race is run and you have finally made it home.

  1. 3rdbar ( from TEXAS says One more Christmas
    My Dad passed away last Sunday of stroke .. what I wouldn't give for one more Christmas with him.

    His race had run .. he is home.

  2. TallTailTeller from ALABAMA says My condolences to you and your family
    God Bless and keep you always. May the lessons your father taught you be in your mind when teaching your sons.

    Thoughts and prayers sent.

  3. Boatdood #15226 from SOUTH CAROLINA says Wow!
    TTT you have done a surprising job of recreating the passing of my mother in law just over a year ago. Same illness. Same process, and thankfully quick. She is missed by many. And my good buddy 3rd Bar, I can't tell you how sorry I am. My own mother passed of a stroke several years ago. She's still here though, in my dreams, as I'm sure your dad will visit you often.

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