Rhymes prove a life-long love for wordsmith Joyce
ATERMINALLY ill amateur poet has revealed her lifelong dream to achieve fame through her writing.
Joyce Henders, 80, a patient at East Cheshire Hospice, has an incurable rodent ulcer, a type of skin cancer.
The Macclesfield born and bred former nurse and army clerk, who lives on the Weston, has written hundreds of romantic and quirky poems and songs, a few of which have been published in anthologies.
She even wrote and sang a song about the town for a competition run by the Macclesfield Express in the 1980s.
But although the nurses at the hospice enjoy Joyce singing her daily ditties, the great-great-grandmother has never gained the wide audience for them that she dreamed of.
Daughter Irene, 56, said: “She is an amazing poet and songwriter. Her poetry is on the front desk at the hospice and the staff there all love her poems.
“Even on her first day at the hospice she was singing the little ditties she makes up to the nurses.”
She added: “Mum and I used to do product slogan competitions together.
“And even though she has terminal cancer, she still sings ‘Goodnight Irene’ by Huddie Ledbetter to me.”
Joyce, who has three daughters, Irene, 56, Tracy, 47, and Diane, 49, seven grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandson, has lived on her own for 40 years after divorcing her former husband, Michael.
Irene said: “She has always been very independent and strong-willed and has always been there for everyone, taking in children from problem families.
“She has always been very caring.”
The lyrical whizz celebrated her 80th birthday in May with a karaoke party at the Pack Horse Bowling and Social Club on Abbey Road and although unable to stand, sat on the stage to give a rendition of John Denver’s ‘Annie’s Song’.
Irene said: “Everyone was crying their eyes out.
“You don’t forget my mum.”
The artistic gene has passed down to her daughter Irene too, a member of Macclesfield Camera Club who has had her photos published in the Express.
Irene said: “We look at the paper together at my photos.
“I am strong-willed as well but even if we have a disagreement she says: ‘I’ve always been proud of you’.”
●● Joyce Henders (centre) with her best friend Irene (left) and sister Pat on her 75th birthday