Calling my grandmother Joyce a top notch lady does not do to justice to this wonderful mench. She was always putting others before herself and helping out in any way she could be it volunteering at her favorite museums, charity functions, homeless shelters or going out of her way to take care of her friends, family and neighbors. It is no mystery why this sweet, bubbly, kind lady from Alabama was adored by all. It is also no surprise she was named Joyce because she had such a joie de vivre.
One such volunteer group that was dear to Joyce’s heart was Bread and Roses. This is a cheerful cafe in Venice open to the homeless and is no ordinary soup kitchen, rather is a cafe in a beautiful setting where the volunteers act as waiters serving the homeless men and women at their tables. I used to volunteer with my grandmother when I was younger at this cafe. Now feeling a bit frivolous about my recent purchases and values, I intend on going back to Bread and Roses this month and helping out, though I know I have some big shoes to fill.
In addition to my grandmother’s volunteer work, she also had many interests which she passed down to me. At an early age my grandmother exposed me to the spectacular world of the arts, taking me to exhibits, shows and performances all over the city. We both shared a keen eye for detail. Like my mother, my grandmother was also very artistic and crafty. She would sew and work on needlepoints for hours. She also was quite clever and a crossword puzzle and Scrabble champ. However her green thumb is what I remember most vividly about her, and of course her lovely rose garden and exquisitely landscaped backyard.
Today I draw most of my inspiration from her and would probably not be the person I am today had it not been for her influence. She passed away a few years ago but I know that she is not far when I smell the roses. Happy birthday Joyce Marie! You are dearly loved and missed each day. ❤