Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

Joyce is Moving On Now, Getting Closer to the Light…by Robert M. Katzman

Joyce is gradually moving on to wherever we go when that time come for us. For her, it will be a sunny white Palace–very, very clean because Norwegian girls are like that–filled with puppies and children, because she has too much love within her for just one of anything.


There will be flowers everywhere and there will be horses running wherever she looks, because that woman loves horses. I hope when she needs me, she will squeeze my heart a little to let me know she’s watching me and caring, still caring.


Women like Joyce are like stars falling to Earth, but just for a little while to fill others with light and happiness. A moment with her in your life can be an eternity if you will let it linger. She has that quality as too many people already know, because so many are calling me.


She wanted to be at home when her time came, she wanted me to be at her side, she wanted all four of her children with her, and she wanted flowers everywhere. That is how it is today, and that’s how it will be. All of them came: first Rachel, then together Lisa, David and Sarah, crowding around her, kissing her, touching her, listening to her breathe.


I hope that beautiful woman somehow is aware that as she leaves us, she went on her way afloat a waves of kisses, a cocoon of kisses to protect her, then release her and allow her essence to dissolve into the clouds, into the the air and into the wind.


Joy may be moving on, somewhere, but Joy’s Racine, Wisconsin Memorial Garden will grow for a century.


She saw it from the outside yesterday, then she turned her lovely beaming face to me and smiled, telling me she loved it. That moment was a gift from her to me and I will keep it as I watch our Maple Tree grow and see our grandchildren sit under it and ask me questions about their Grandma and what was she like.


I will tell them to look up at a starry sky at night, or find a meadow covered with a uncountable wildflowers turning their petals up to the sun, filling themselves with warmth from 93 million miles away.


I will tell them their Grandma made people feel good about themselves, made them feel welcome whenever they came to her house and that when her friends or family had something to say, even if it was about pain and sorrow, she would never be too busy to listen. I will tell them their Grandma made their Grandpa become a better man.


I’ll say that was who their Grandma was. That is who Joyce is to me right now as she silently ebbs away. That is what I will hold onto when I think about what a gift Joyce has been in so many lives.

God bless you Joyce.

But then, He already has.

As I type these words and when I hear her breathing stop, the silence is so loud I feel like the Universe is clapping hands.


I’ll be seeing you, baby.

Wait for me, will you?


Your eternal paperboy


(Joyce Esther Bishop Katzman died at 5 PM, Mother’s Day, with her children around her, on May 14, 2017)

She is survived by her first daughter, Lisa Heather, married to Terry Wister, parents of Eli and Talia; David, our son, married to Nicole, parents of Emjay; second daughter, Rachel Jennifer married to Gary Farr, parents of Jakobi and Jericho; third daughter Sarah Hannah, now a UW college sophomore and who has exceeded her parents in their formal education.  Me? After 42 years together, I’m not so sure I’m surviving losing her.

These seven adults are truly wonderful people, caring, loving to me, so helpful to both of us when Joy was alive and so incredibly indispensable to me now when I’m falling apart.

If they are all this way, all selfless and giving, then its no accident that Joy was a major influential presence in their lives. The good in Joy rubbed off on everyone she came to know, and her children? Well, God knows they were all overdosed by her Viking Queen (my decades old name for her) decency, emotional openness, strong when they needed it and soft when their hearts cried out for it.

They don’t come any finer than Joyce Esther Bishop Katzman.

Joys obituary, originally written as a Mother’s Day gift to her, can be found and read by anyone below:

We Never Would Have Met, Norwegian Girl (http://www.differentslants.com/?p=1822)

It will be read by Rabbi Martyn Adelberg at her Sunday May 21st, 2017 memorial service in Racine, Wisconsin

As eternity capriciously decides these things, that 2012 Happy Mother’s Day gift became her unexpected eulogy because Joy died exactly five years later, on Mother’s Day, May 2017.


**This is a strange thing, but I just realized an odd coincidence, although rabbis tell me there are no coincidences. My wife Joy died on May 14th 2017 which I had only thought of as Mother’s Day.

But she converted to Judaism beginning in 1977 and the day she died was the 69th anniversary of the founding of Israel. After 42 years together, I think she was more Jewish than I am. It’s the oddest thing.

Whatever anyone may or may not think of this, it sure looks like someone really approved of her, besides me. Damn.

The New York Times: May 14, 1948 |
Israel Declares Independence

My hour-long story reading at WGTD 91.1 NPR Kenosha, Wis is now a podcast. The interview and story can be heard here:
With special guest star and featured writer Bob Katzman. Bob reads his memoir, “Audrey, Pink Bunny Slippers, Her Cat and the God’s Eye” and talks about his w…
Your comments are welcome, below, and please tell others I can be found here as a writer. I can also be hired as a speaker for organizations, etc, both here and in Europe. Seeking an agent.
Poet & Storyteller for hire for organizations, schools or private events
www.DifferentSlants.com to view recent and older examples of my work
Attachments area

Preview YouTube video Speaking of Our Words – June 30th, 2017


Comment by Keeko

May 14, 2017 @ 2:12 pm

This is absolutely beautiful. I hope that you whispered these very words to her that you have written she slowly passes into eternity. She will be smiling down at you from wherever she goes for all eternity.

Comment by Herb Berman

May 14, 2017 @ 2:42 pm

I’m so sorry, Bob.

I have nothing to add to your beautiful tribute.

Comment by Lynda

May 14, 2017 @ 3:03 pm

Beautiful thoughts

Comment by Glenn Gordon

May 14, 2017 @ 3:10 pm

I am glad you two are my friends.

Comment by Don Larson

May 14, 2017 @ 5:33 pm


The love you both shared endures eternally.



Comment by Charlie Newman

May 14, 2017 @ 6:02 pm

Prayers rise like smoke…

Comment by B.

May 14, 2017 @ 6:34 pm

you and joy made me cry ya big palookas…

Comment by Edward Cramer

May 14, 2017 @ 6:59 pm

I think I can speak for all your reader/friends/fans…we are all so sorry, Bob.
Your love for her shines.

Comment by Rose

May 14, 2017 @ 7:52 pm

Joy was the perfect name for your lovely lady. A beautiful tribute to her. Jesus said that ” love never fails”. You were so blessed to be loved that way. Rose

Comment by Marcia Salzman

May 14, 2017 @ 8:23 pm

So sorry about Joyce. Dick and I send our love and condolences to you and your children.

Comment by Garland Cole

May 14, 2017 @ 10:35 pm

My soul has flown to the garden of her departing view to see and smell the flowers outside her window, and to hear from the singing birds that visited her earlier today. My Spirit crys joy for the release from the suffering her body has endured and I cry in grief at the physical seperation having taken place between you both. I re-Joyce to have witnessed the love that you have for each other, and to know that some things are truly left undying. May she squeeze your heart often Bob, . . . often.

Comment by Eileen Schroeder

May 15, 2017 @ 3:07 am

Dear Robert…I am having trouble sleeping…it is the early part of the a.m….my thoughts are with you and sadness is with me… loss is a heavy one to carry…may God keep you strong and family and friends be closer to you…please let me know of the service of Joy.

Comment by Marcy Hawley

May 15, 2017 @ 12:39 pm

Dear Bob,
I am so grateful I had the opportunity to meet you both. My heart and thoughts are with you, your family, and friends, hoping that time will smooth the rough edges of your sadness. May her memory be for a blessing.
Marcy Hawley

Comment by Jackie Katzman

May 15, 2017 @ 2:49 pm

What you have written is heartbreakingly beautiful. Thank you for sharing this with us. My husband, Bernie and I are very moved. So very sorry about Joyce. God Bless you and the family.

Comment by David Griesemer

May 15, 2017 @ 3:49 pm

An ode to Joy. As passionate as its subject.
An epic love. Like we wish we had.
A love worth having. Worth losing.
One to make grand-daughters swoon.
One worthy of producing grand-daughters.
Vows lived. All in.
Nothing squandered. Not even pain.
Their story is our blessing.
“One crowded hour of glorious life is worth an age without a name.” -Mordaunt

Comment by Katrinka Threet

May 16, 2017 @ 1:21 am

A beautiful tribute to your wonderful wife,, she is more proof that the good ones always leave us much too soon for our liking!

Comment by Katrinka Threet

May 16, 2017 @ 1:22 am

I am so sorry that you are losing her!

Comment by Pat Favia

May 16, 2017 @ 2:22 pm

Mr Katzman,I am so sorry for you and your childrens’ loss. I wish I had a friend like Joyce,what a gem.
God grant her eternal rest
May Perpetual Light shine upon her

May she rest in peace Amen.Prayers and sympathy. Patricia

Comment by Astri Lindberg

May 16, 2017 @ 5:17 pm

Dear Bob,
As ever, your beautiful tribute to dear Joy was a gift to all of us. Thank you for sharing your
thoughts during these past few months. I know that your unfailing love brought much strength and happiness to her. What a beautiful marriage you made together! I send you
much respect and love,

Comment by Martyn Adelberg

May 18, 2017 @ 12:31 pm

Joy will be sorely missed by all who knew her. She truly lived life to the fullest—DESPITE her progressing illiness. As a member of our Temple
Board during our downsizing, she tried to impress disgruntled members to remain. There could be no greater honor to Joy’s memory than for all of the Jewish community to reunite as one family. On a personal note, my wife and I have lost a dear friend

Comment by Tyler

May 25, 2017 @ 12:19 pm

Truly beautiful Robert. I’m very sorry for your loss, but I’m positive she’s smiling at you from above.

Comment by Stephanie

May 28, 2017 @ 10:41 pm

Bob, I just learned the other day, of your Joy’s passing–am so sorry for this great loss of your beloved….
Came here to your site and read the several entries that you dedicated to Joy, and shared with others so touchingly.
Whew! The profound depth of your love for her just shimmered through your words….
What an exemplary partnership the two of you shared…and demonstrated to everyone you encountered over all these many years…certainly, embodying your
betrothal vows, to stand by one another ‘through thick and thin’ throughout your life together.

I am glad to have meet you both– and saw in meeting Joy only once, why you called her your “Viking Queen”. She carried that vibe– an incredibly strong and supportive lady in her utter simplicity and surety! I bet she was your rock of ages…and bet she will still be….

So, may the way forward, be for you, Bob, not, “the loss of Joy”, but instead,
“the light of Joy” and, “the love of Joy”…all the rest of your days.


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