Ten years ago today, my dear grandma became my guardian angel. Although she has been physically absent from this earth for a third of my life, she has been present in my heart every day for the past ten years. I was fortunate to sit by her side during my last week of summer break before I flew home to start my first semester at the University of Mississippi. Less than 24 hours after my plane landed at Memphis International Airport, I received the dreaded call that she was gone. I made the tear-filled journey to Oxford three days later, and I became friends with my next door neighbor, a person from my adopted hometown who shared my history, values and quirks. It is still hard for me to believe they'll never know each other, because they share so many similar traits. If she could have picked my future husband, she would have chosen Jonathan Hardin. A decade later, the role she plays in our lives is more apparent than ever. Most obvious is the homegrown business that shares her name. Gerald & Joan has forced us to have conversations about our home, family, and children, and it has also allowed us to spend more time focusing on the areas of life that truly matter.
Next week, we'll honor Joan's legacy by putting down roots closer to our families in a home where we'll add millions of beautiful new memories with the people we love. In the heart of our new home is the studio that she and Jonathan's grandfather, Gerald, inspired. The studio will officially open for business on Tuesday, September 10, her 80th birthday, and with it comes everything Jonathan and I dreamed of when we first began discussing the idea of Gerald & Joan.
Thank you for your love and prayers today and every day. We are so grateful for the outpouring of support we've received since we launched Gerald & Joan in February, and we're proud to be starting this next chapter with you.
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