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Two women in the UK smile, their heads resting against each other
19 December 2019

"The greatest gift is in giving"

Katharine shares memories of her mum Joan, and her guide for living well.

When supporter Joan Dyke passed away, she died as she had lived – strong in her faith and dedicated to helping others – blessing those in need. Here, her daughter Katharine shares memories of her mum, and Joan’s guide for living well.

My mother, Joan Dyke, was a devoted wife, a wonderful mum to three daughters and a special grandma to three grandchildren. And she was an industrious and hard-working woman who was never afraid to roll up her sleeves and help whoever, whenever.

Gratitude and giving

Mum never thought about what she hadn’t done or didn’t have but rather what she did have, always feeling grateful for the small things in life like the sight of the first snowdrop in the spring: “God’s promise of new life,” she would say. Mum had a great relationship with God which was a huge part of her life, being an active member of every church which she attended. Her religious beliefs made her extremely giving and very charitable. In her latter years, she spent her time knitting hundreds of hats and jumpers for children in other countries who had nothing, knowing that “every little helps”.

She sponsored several children through World Vision, and particularly enjoyed shopping for Christmas and birthday presents for her “fourth” child and reading their school progress reports.

Silhouette of a child in Kenya holding up a mug, with an arm tilting a kettle to pour water into the mug, against the backdrop of a sunset
Kamama, 6, from Kenya holding up a mug, to receive clean drinking water, against the backdrop of a sunset

Going home

Then, last year, Mum underwent extensive surgery and, despite battling heroically for 10 days afterwards, the odds were stacked against her. Realising her situation, she calmly wrote on her whiteboard (unable to speak due to surgery), “I’m now ready to meet my saviour.” We walked alongside her on her final journey and it was a true privilege to take Mum into the arms of God.

Legacy of a life well-lived

She really did live and die by the motto “the greatest gift is in giving”. And this was reflected in the gift she left in her Will to World Vision. So now, even after her passing, she continues to help and bless children who are in need.

Mum left such a big hole in our lives, but we move forward and take her with us in our lives by following her guidelines:

  • being proud of ourselves,
  • being happy with the small things God has graced us with,
  • and by loving unconditionally – the latter in particular personified our mum.

God took mum back, Hallelujah she is home.

Be there, always

Joan took an amazing step to continue standing with the most vulnerable children in the world, even after she had passed on. If you’d like to know more about how this works, please give our friendly Gifts in Wills team a call on 01980 84 10 60 or learn more about leaving a gift in your Will.

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