joyce momont

in memory
joyce momont
joyce momont, committed red ribbon ride crew member and volunteer died thursday, october 19 due to complications from multiple myeloma.
the above picture was taken of joyce and myself at the closing ceremonies for the 2004 red ribbon ride.
joyce was one of the most amazing and pure souls i've ever had the honor of knowing. we first met on the 2002 twin cities->chicago aids ride where she was a crew member and i was crew director. then 77 years old; i was blown away by her never-ending energy and passion for the cause. she continued to crew for the inaugural red ribbon ride in '03. due to multiple myeloma she was unable to continue to crew the ride for the next few years, but that didn't stop her from being the most dedicated of volunteers. every wednesday she was in the ride office stuffing envelopes, processing checks, organizing supplies and generally keeping the rest of us on our toes.
this past summer i had the pleasure of getting to know joycie in a completely different way. she agreed to speak to the riders and crew at the closing ceremonies of the 2006 red ribbon ride. during our conversations regarding what she would speak about, i learned about her daughter (who committed suicide), her acceptance of her son andy's coming out and subsequent hiv diagnosis, her complete joy when her son met, fell in love and married his partner kim.
when so many people would choose to view these occurrences as hardships or failures, joycie chose to take the experiences and go forward. she was an ardent supporter of glbt issues, a fighter of hiv/aids and a deeply religious women who believes that god put her on earth to do good work and to honor all people.
joycies trademark was her purple sequined hat. that hat was worn whenever she was doing work in the glbt & hiv/aids community. i remember seeing her once at a benefit for minnesota aids project; i hadn't expected to see her, but across the room, i saw that hat sparkling. her other trademark was her smile. i can honestly say in the 5 years i had the honor of knowing her, i never once saw joyce without that amazing smile.
one of my proudest moments was watching joyce speak to the riders, crew and friends and family of the ride, with andy and kim on either side of her. the support and love that that family has is one we would all be lucky to receive.
to joycie, with love - you will always be the heart and soul of the red ribbon ride and my life is better having known you.


Jason said...

What a touching tribute, and thanks for your aids awareness work.

tacnik said...

although everyone is unique, some are irreplaceable. we can only thank the stars and whatever gods look on us that we got to have some of them in our lives. i hope time softens any 'sharp corners' and leaves you only with the love and smiles from this wonderful partner on the road of life.

et itur ad astra.