Teaching to Learn and Learning to Teach


A Conversation with Joan and Ted

God is faithful! That’s the message I came away with after spending an hour or two with my grandmother’s friends, Joan and Ted. That is the summary of their life stories.

How did they meet? God worked it out. Ted had wanted to be married for a long time. He would pray for a wife but he didn’t really have a social group with women in it. He cared for his mother until she died and worked at the post office. He met Joan by going on a few dates with her sister :). He got along with her sister, but they didn’t fit. Then he met Joan! He was 54 when they married and she was in her 40s. That was 32 years ago. Neither had been married before. “We’ve made up for it since,” he told me.

How did Ted end up working at the post office? He would have been happy doing anything. His father didn’t like working in a factory, but Ted wouldn’t have minded, but His cousin heard of a job opening at the post office. Two weeks later he was working there in a job he loved. He continued to work in the same place until he retired. They’ve now been retired for around 25 years. They said they have been enjoying life ever since. I tried to correct them and say “But you’ve spent your retirement serving too.” They corrected me by saying, “That’s a large part of enjoying retirement!”

They also talked about how they ended up getting into my grandmother’s retirement home. They never could have imagined being able to afford living there, but a realtor put the idea into their heads as they sold one house and bought another. They got on a wait list as they fixed up their house. When the retirement home called them one August saying they had an apartment available, they declined it. The home called again on Labor Day and Ted said yes. Their house went on the market September 11, 2001. Joan asked Ted, “Do you still think this is a good idea?” He said yes. Their house sold in 2 days to a descendant of the man who built the house. It sold for more than they asked and was paid for in cash. They doubled their money and moved into the village before the housing market crashed.

Joan and Ted spoke on how they couldn’t have imagined or planned a better fit than what God had in store at the retirement home. It combines their “love for old people, music, and service.” Joan is a part of the choral group there and she plays the piano for several chapel services. Ted is the resident helper/fix-it man. They take people to appointments and to the grocery store. My grandma even has them book her doctors appointments to make sure they are free. If the doctor calls her about an appointment, she has them call Joan. They help the different chaplains, including my grandfather, and the different residents over the years.

They talked about my grandma as a favorite of theirs. They told me that different residents respond differently to pain and old age. Many are crotchety, but it doesn’t matter how much pain my grandmother is in she doesn’t respond grumpily. They said that they will be in the E.R with her because she is doing poorly and even then they can laugh together at something that happens. What a sign of the Spirit at work! They talked bout what a joy it is to serve here. They aren’t just serving her though, they are serving all of us who love my grandmother and can’t be there. It’s nice to know someone is watching out for her and is available if she needs. We’ve adopted them. They are such an example of a life of service lived for God. They may not have children, but their lives as a faithful man and a faithful woman have led to many spiritual children. May I live a life worthy of the call of my Savior as they have.

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3 Comments so far
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jenn, you’re so great! i miss you!

Comment by becca baughman

[…] Don’t doubt the Lord’s provision. […]

Pingback by 28 Lessons Learned in 28 Years « Teaching to Learn and Learning to Teach

[…] Joan and Ted, the couple who were huge servants to my grandmother and grandfather, spoke of her uniqueness […]

Pingback by Reflections on Death « Grace-filled Life in a Fallen World




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