wings and things

The Joe story 3

on June 21, 2012

THE JOE STORY (continued)

Gradually he [Joe] began not only to recognise me but to become more and more enamoured, enchanted, with the idea of a romantic involvement with someone. His memories, and his ability to verbalise these memories, had been refuelled by my interest and he began to ‘court’ me. ‘Sarah,’ with whom in his mind I was now conflated, had been his fiancee seventy-odd years ago (Joe was now in his nineties). Not only did he speak of her with extreme reverence, but he seemed to think that she was me.

The ‘courting’ began one day in the middle of his shower. He looked up at me from the commode chair and said, “Julie, I have something to ask you – will you marry me?” I was taken aback but, feeling that it could do no harm, and not wanting to seem hesitant and perhaps hurt his feelings, I said, “Yes, I’d love to, Joe,” at which he grasped my hand and kissed it saying, “I can’t believe you’ve said yes, Julie. I am such a lucky man.”

Once our ‘engagement’ had become established in his mind, Joe quickly gained confidence and began planning the wedding. Every time I was on duty a new chapter of the story unfolded. One of the most fascinating aspects of the Joe story was the way in which he plotted what was for him a future event, using very vivid reminscences of events that happened so many years ago. Coincidentally, I had just become engaged to someone else and this gave the experience with Joe a surreal weirdness. When I came to work one day wearing my engagement ring for the first time, Joe was one of the first people to notice. “I hope you like it, Julie. It took me so long to choose.” [pgs. 8-10]

Okay, just to give a bit of time perspective to the above, these actual events occurred in 1992, the year I began my PhD and the year Anthony I were engaged.  The PhD took a bit over three years to complete (Anthony and I married in 1993 and Ming was born in 1994, towards the end of the PhD). After that it took another couple for me to rewrite my thesis into book form for Fremantle Arts Centre Press and yet another couple of years for it to be published. The ironies then and now are rather extraordinary (well, to me they are!) I have two more excerpts to type up after which you will have to buy the book – hehe!

29 responses to “The Joe story 3

  1. This is such a heartwarming story! If this turned into a movie-you would definitely rank up to The Notebook and Titanic. Keep them coming 🙂

  2. ironies can be so uncomfortable, can’t they –I have had a few that felt like very bad karma coming home to roost –

  3. A Ph.D eh? I guess you are Dr. Jules then! 🙂

  4. Fergiemoto says:

    Beautiful – seems like you gave him confidence and hope!

  5. dcwisdom says:

    For context only? You have every right to be proud of those credentials and years of study, time, and effort! Ok…when does the book come out?

  6. Rhonda says:

    You are a true wonder Jules…I”m still pissed at Oprah!

  7. This is just such an amazing story! As others have said, it would make an awesome movie!

  8. […] short — and all worth reading….  The Joe Story – Part 1,     Part 2,    Part 3,      Part 4 Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like […]

  9. Jo-Anne says:

    What a wonderful story I think it was great that you agreed to “marry Joe” it would have made him feel special. Did he have many visitors? What did they think of your “engagement” or was he one of the many who was “forgotten”

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