I Found This Today:
I received a bill from Joey's school detailing three school books that were missing when they withdrew him from school last winter. (Joey's last day of school attendance was the last school day in November of 2006). I felt angry. It wasn't a very nice response, but I am so tired of bills and connections to Joseph that are negative. It's frustrating to be reminded of him in a negative light.
Anyway . . . I started thinking about where he might have left his books. We've moved since he passed away, and although I have gone through things in his room, I thought I had already returned all of his school books.
Then I remembered his backpack. I didn't remember if I had ever gone through that or not. So I found it in his closet--unopened, still full of his life at that moment, as if it were frozen in time. It hurt so much to open it and go through it's contents. He should be at school right now, at this very moment; and he's not. He should be worrying over math problems, crushing on girls, and gagging over a bad school lunch. And he's not!
I found two of the missing books, but after only a few moments I just couldn't go through the pack any more. In fact it's still sitting on his bed. It just hurts too much today. I will do it later.
And that bill? It's sitting on the counter waiting for a moment when I can call the school and not feel angry because they really were amazing to us, and it's the computer and not people that sent the bill. And really I don't want missing books hanging over me.
So I'll look again tomorrow.


  1. oooh jen I can imagine that that must have been something very hard to do and be confronted with. It brings back the pain since you were of guard. Sending you a huge hug!


  2. I know you don't know me, but I've been following your blog since Joey was sick. I just want to tell you how much I admire you. This must be such a hard thing to deal with, and you just have to keep dealing with it. Hang in there. You are a hero!

  3. You don't know me either, and I too have been following your blog since your son Joey was sick. I am so very sorry for what happened to your family - not only for your son's death, but for this truly unfortunate bill you received.

    You are so very brave to share all of this with the world and I hope that you find peace in knowing that your son Joey continues to touch so many lives through your stories (both good and bad) that you share. God bless and I am so sorry.

  4. My heart stopped for a moment when you mentioned you found that unopened backpack, frozen in time. Big hugs to you!

  5. I'm another one you don't know. You're family has truly touch my life. Thank you for being so open and honest with your feelings. Our family has suffered many deaths of loved ones but never a child. You help validated many of the feelings that I have felt and continue to feel at unexpected moments. You are such a woman of faith & strength. A big hug to you during this time of unexpected bills and frozen moments in time. Truly a difficult time.

  6. Another person you don't know, but I've followed your story at 2peas and on your blog. And it's very interesting that you posted this now--I just went through the same thing this weekend with my son's belongings, only I'm four years out from his death. Doesn't make it any easier I'm afraid. A student wanted to borrow some hospital related items we had and I literally rushed through his stuff to find what I was looking for--if I was in that moment too long, I would have lost it. Hugs to you and prayers that the anger will pass for the moment so that you will be able to deal with the school.

  7. Jen and family...

    Again, so sorry for your loss. Words can't express my sorrow for your pain.

    I have been following your blog since Joey was sick as well, and cried with you when he passed. Big hugs to you and yours.

  8. Jen,
    This post touches my heart. I think it is those little every day things that we take for granted that sometimes bring the pain and make it all seem so final.
    Hugs to you today. You are so brave!

  9. oh. Jen. just huge hugs sent your way.

  10. Wow Jen - that has to be so tough! I remember getting bill after bill after our son died. We were trying to pay them off but unfortunately could only do so much at a time. I remember that anger I felt each time I opened one thinking those same things that you did!

    You're always inspiring to me!

  11. I cannot simply imagine what it was like to go back in time and go through that backpack. Wish I could give you a hug! You are an inpiration to us all.


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