Today’s word is brought to you by Joyce Hamilton Webster, WMS Cheerleading Coach Extraordinaire. She is the first on my long list of people I will be personally soliciting for a special word. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Joyce, but am totally enthralled with her submission. And I’m not talking the Christian Grey type of submission, Wink, Wink. So, Glitter, here I come. And I’m not talking THAT type of c…, well, never mind.
So, let’s talk about Joyce. I’ve known Joyce for many, many years. While we were only a year apart in high school we didn’t exactly run in the same circles. We knew “of” each other at best. WMHS was not a large school so I think we were all technically aware of each other in some way or another. Anyway, Joyce was a cheerleader. I was not. She could make really awesome posters. I kept my writing skills to journals expressing adolescent angst. She had spirit. I had bi-polar disorder. She was perky. My “highs” came from potential gateway drugs. Glitter poured from her soul. My soul was looking for a new owner. I admired Joyce for making the most of her high school years because I totally regret the way I tried to blend into the background and pretend like I wasn’t there. I definitely needed more glitter.
Fast forward several years and the onset of the Facebook revolution. I got in touch with so many people. It was way more fun than a reunion because I wasn’t drunk and making an ass of myself at a single event. I could make an ass of myself every day! But one person who surprised me was Joyce. We learned that we actually had some common interests. And I learned that she holds a PhD in sentence structure! While I had learned some new things about Joyce there was one thing that remained the same – Glitter. That girl is an amazing cheerleader.
Shortly after reconnecting with Joyce on Facebook, my son relapsed with neuroblastoma. My world fell apart. I was fortunate to have my Facebook community to rally around us, support us, pray for us, and love us. Joyce was one of the ringleaders of this effort. When we started our treks to NYC, Joyce was always making sure that Ben got a card while we were at the Ronald. She took good care of Madeline, too, making sure that she felt like the special princess she is. For Ben’s 9th birthday, Joyce pulled her cheerleading efforts into a call that brought an amazing onslaught of birthday cards from all over the world. Ben received over 250 cards. The love he received – and felt – was absolutely priceless.
In addition to sharing her glittery spirit with my kiddos, she was present when I lost my karaoke cherry. I was so scared getting up on that stage to belt out my rendition of “Some Kind of Wonderful,” so she stood up close to the stage so she could be my focal point, much like a Lamaze coach. Karaoke has turned out to be one of my favorite sports and Joyce makes an awesome cheerleader for that, too. I have to state here that NOBODY, not even Stevie Nicks herself, does a better Stevie Nicks than Joyce. You rock the mic, girlfriend.
So, it’s no surprise that Joyce has been nominated for WSYX’s community segment called “Champions”. They’ll be filming her tomorrow as she coaches her group of cheerleaders at WMS. I’m so excited for her… the fact that she might get adopted brought tears to my eyes. Oh, wait. That’s Wednesday’s Child. Wrong segment. Anyway, I couldn’t be prouder of you, Joyce. You’ve got SPIRIT. Yes, you do.
Oh no! Time’s Up.
Thanks, Joyce. You have glitter coming out of your You-Know-What. I love how we’ve reconnected and how you’ve showed your love and support. And when I was released from jail, which you are one of just a handful of people who even KNOW that story, I imagined there was a gigantic sign emblazoned with “CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR RELEASE!” in that special print that only cheerleaders know how to do. The guards were holding either side as I ran through the middle (in my XL blue jumpsuit and shackles), ripping your beautiful sign to shreds. The glitter covered me as I ran through my sign to the other side where my brand-new life was waiting. Your support definitely took away some of the fear I’ve faced in so many situations. And I still have some of the glitter in my hair – a reminder of your love for me.
Love you, sister.