Fostering happiness
April 13, 2021
Farewell, ‘Alli’
April 13, 2021

We remember you, Rhea

The following is a tribute to Rhea Margaret Joseph, who died April 4, 2020. The first anniversary of her death occurred on Easter Sunday, April 4. One of her many aunts, Elizabeth Austin, penned the following in memory of Rhea’s life.

Rhea Margaret Joseph, RIP – My story

Life began well enough

Father, mother, brother, sisters

I was the youngest of my siblings

Born the day after Christmas Day, that’s a fact

December 26th, 1974—to be exact

Had a happy childhood, to be sure

We were not materially rich—but we were fine

Pre-school… Primary school…

Secondary school…my father taught there too

Extended family—many aunts, uncles, and cousins

Mother, father, brother, sisters—all stuck together like glue.

Then illness came—was not invited

It embraced my father first

Grabbed unto him and just would not let go

He fought the fight—held on with all his might

That was the man he was

But God said, “Come” and he obeyed

Went to the great ‘Beyond.’

It was so sad… to lose one’s Dad

Head of the family

But God knows best… and with saddened hearts

We were put to the test…Rest in Peace (RIP) dear Daddy (Lenny)

Face set like flint

My mother, Beulah, put ‘her fingers to the wheel’

She went to work…she tried her best

From dawn to dusk she worked

But she missed my father still…it was not a thrill

And life went on…from dusk to dawn

Then God said, “Come” and she obeyed

There was a sudden space…and we were left again.

My siblings…they were now married

And all had lives of their own

But we kept together in Spirit

For the seeds of brotherly and sisterly love were long sown.

So here I was, really on my own

Dealing with the vagaries of Life


Each day with its own laughter

But not without its own strife.

You know?

Life has a way of visiting us

Sometimes very gently…sometimes with a big fuss

But, in the Lord, we are really all strong

As we stand firm and brush off the dust.

But the dust keeps coming back quietly

We won’t ever always know

While it settles down silently and builds itself up

the illness comes in and grows…

We now sometimes face days of dullness

Sometimes days of happiness and hope

Sometimes days of absolute certainty

And then there are days of… “How shall I cope?”

Then, in the midst of my questions and answers

The Lord gave me a beautiful  prize

A beautiful, fragile, and bright little star

She was indeed the apple of my eyes.

I loved her, I loved her, and I loved her

For all of eight beautiful years

And the Lord said, “Take good care of her,

(Riley Elizabeth is her name)

And she will wipe away all your tears.”

Then He said, “It is time to come to Me now

But have no fear, she’ll see you again.

You gave her years of joy and laughter

And she took away all your pain.

So come, follow Me, my dear one

Come… slip quietly into my Light

You have run the race, my tender child

And you have fought the good fight.”

So…to everyone of you who knew me

Please know that I am still near

You may no longer see me or hear me

And may feel that we are far apart

But… trust in the Lord and know for sure

That I hold you all lovingly in my heart.


Eternal rest grant unto her soul, O Lord.

May she rest in everlasting peace, until we meet again, Amen.


Rhea…we continue to love you.


Editor’s Note: Rhea was once a production team member of Vision, the Catholic News’ youth supplement.