Normally, I refrain from personal posts, but sometimes life just seeps in and it wouldn’t feel right NOT to post it.
On Monday, May 24, 2010, I lost one of my best and closest friends.
Here is a photo of me and JoAnn (with the glasses) together at my son and dil’s wedding back in August 2009.
JoAnn found out that she had colon cancer in the second week of May. The doctors gave her 6 months time to live, she swore that she only had a month, if that. JoAnn died just shy of one month after finding out about the cancer…just like she said she would. She was 49 years old…she almost made it to 50…her birthday is in July. By the time 3 weeks had passed, we had just enough time to help her get her belongings in order and to help her find some peace of mind. She had just barely found out about her diagnosis and she was already on oxygen and morphine. Her brother cared for her for the short time that hospice was involved. She had just enough time to speak with her closest friends then, she died peacefully at home.
JoAnn was one of my best and closest friends. When I started my Elementary Teaching Career, after teaching 4 years of Intermediate school, back in 1997 or so, she was the one person who helped me survive teaching the 4th Grade. She had just finished one year of 4th grade. We were the ones way out in the field…far away from the rest of the grade level…and we stuck together and had a great start to close friendship. She and I have had many adventures together…personal fun, karaoke, crafting, beading, taking all kinds of classes…and just goofing around. We shared so many secrets and so many of life’s ups and downs…and through it all she has been there for me, my husband, my son, my mom and my dad, no matter what and no matter when. I know that I was as good a friend to her as she was to me.
To a wonderful, caring person, JoAnn Sakuoka…you were a true blessing.
your closest friend…
JoAnn Sakuoka was currently teaching at Iroquois Point Elementary School and was previously at Ewa Elementary School. We were both very active with HSTA while I was teaching and she continued to represent her teaching colleagues within HSTA. She also taught English abroad in Japan prior to being a public school teacher. She always said that she had some of the best times of her life living and teaching in Japan. Teaching: It was an experience that she cherished.