As the companion of my late sister Linda Barnes for twenty-five years until her death in 2002, Joan has been part of my family since 1975. With her death I feel as though I have lost another sister. We shared e-mails nearly every day and now I find myself with many things to tell her that I cannot. The law may not have recognized her as my family but she is. My husband and I will not stop missing her. Her cats, Griffin & Callie, are now safe in our home but you can tell they are waiting for their Joan. At least twice a month we dined with Joan at her favorite restaurant, the Bohemian Crystal in Westmont, enough times to have tried everything on the menu at least once. After Joan's urn is placed next to Linda's in the mausoleum, her family will gather there to remember her life, sharing stories around a table, which is what Joan wanted instead of a traditional funeral of "speeches and oratory." God, we miss her.