Monday, April 28, 2008


One Year Ago Today
Dear Joey,
One year ago today your awful battle with cancer ended. I hardly know what to think today. I'm trying very hard not to dwell on it. I feel ok, but I also feel like there is a tidal wave emotion about to come ashore any moment and I just might lose it.
It was an awful day and an awful battle. I am grateful that so many people find health after cancer, but frankly, it amazes me after seeing what you went through.
I miss you every day, but I think of you constantly. Hearing your little brother playing in your room, making the same noises you would have made brings me a great deal of comfort. Doing your temple work brought me some needed closure and a great deal of peace.
I still don't understand the "why" of your passing, but I also recognize that it is a great gift from your Heavenly Father that you were called home early, that you lived right and could live in His presence again. That makes me very proud of you.
I'm not sure what your Dad and I did to deserve you. I still make mistakes with your brother and sister and that makes me reflect on mistakes I made with you. And I made some big ones. I wish that I had been more mature, more patient, more understanding, and more knowledgeable of the future. I would have cherished every moment a little more.
I am grateful for the time that we had. I'm glad that I got to be the one to stay with you in the hospital (except when Dad could during your cancer). We had some very quiet, special moments during those visits. I'm glad that you let me come on your field trips with you and were never embarrased to have your Mom with you. I was surprised by that. I thought you would outgrow me so much faster.
I loved your long fingers and your soft, fuzzy skin. I loved your thick, unruly hair and the way your underwear peeked over your pants. I loved the way you laughed with wild abandonment. I loved holding your hand and stroking your cheek. I loved that you hugged me only half way with your long arms. I loved the way you'd say, "I love you, Mom" even when it was unsolicited. I loved you for many things, and I think that is what makes me miss you so much.
I often pretend you are coming home soon. That you really aren't gone. I don't understand gone, baby. I don't understand the permanence of your leaving. It makes my heart ache so much. I just don't think a Mom can just go on without their child. I certainly don't know how.
I've said it before, and I mean it. I'm not going on without you. I'm moving towards you. I hope I come close to being the kind of person that you were. I hope that I am someday worthy to be called back home to be with you and a loving Heavenly Father. Your father looks forward to that day as well.
I hope today (in whatever way time manifests itself there) you are happy and know how much we love you, how proud we are of the way you faced your unhealthy life, and how glad we are that you loved life and lived well.
I miss you, baby! I love you, sweetheart! And I'll see you soon.
Love,
Your Mom

21 comments:

  1. HUGS Jen...Joey is still with you, and it is so cool that you KNOW that.

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  2. Hugs to you and your family. You letter to your Joey is so touching...prayers to you and your family today!
    cari

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  3. Anonymous1:03 AM

    Hi Jenn, have been thinking of you the past few days, knowing this day would come up. Not letting go but moving forwards towards you is so how it is and I am so happy that you and your DH look at it that way. Joey will always be a part of you and never far away and I think he is very proud of his parents and I am 100% sure he loves you just as much as you love him. I will light a candle for you and your family today and also one for Joey.

    Corinnexxx

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  4. God Bless You And Be With You Today and Everyday!!!
    I have a 9 year old son and could only wonder what pain you and your family are going through!!
    Take care!
    Cecile

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  5. Jen, has it really been a year? Certainly not enough time to come to terms with it all yet. Not by a long shot. Peace be with you and all of your family!

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  6. Jen-a year is just a blink of an eye when it comes to a beoken heart, I've thought of you often this week and hope you are being kind to YOU!

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  7. Beautiful post, Jen. Just beautiful.

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  8. Wow - I can't believe it's been a year already. The blink of an eye. I'm praying for you and your family today.

    Lizzy

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  9. Jen, I'm so sorry for all the pain that you still have from missing your brave Joey, but I think the pain will always be there unfortunately. I know I deal with my own pain from losing my babies each and every day and I can only imagine how more intense it must be for you because you've grown memories with him for 13 years! You have been so lucky to have each other as mother and son... I KNOW it was a beautiful relationship! I wish you much peace and comfort, Jen!

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  10. Thank you for the reminder of how precious life is. I miss you as well Joey!
    And Jen.... you are one of the stronget people I know. I love ya!

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  11. Cynthia7:06 PM

    Jen, my heart grieves for you and yet I rejoice that YOU know where Joey is and you are moving towards him. What a sweet, sweet sentiment!

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  12. Jennifer,

    Your beautiful words have my heart breaking for you and your family. As a mother of a son I could empathize with you and feel your tremendous loss. I can't imagine what life is like after losing a child. I don't understand why a child has to suffer like Joey did and why he was called Home so early. What a beautiful & special child of God that the Lord would want him so soon. I believe that Joey is around all of you and loving his family. My prayers are with you today and I think of you & Joey a lot since I found your blog. I have been so touched by your sharing yourself and your loss of your son. I pray that you will continue to work "towards being with Joey" as you so profoundly put it. God be with you today and always!
    ((((Hugs))))

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  13. Oh gracious!
    Sob, sniff...I am in puddles.
    Thank you for the constant perspective.
    Thinking of you all--

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  14. Oh you are so awesome-such a strong person-I can just feel your love for Joey-and I know he can feel it too. Sometimes we don't have to be with someone to really be close to them. You will be with him forever-for he is part of you for eternity.

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  15. Jenn, I think of you and your family often, even when I'm not on message boards. :) I can't believe it's been a year. Thank you for sharing your intimate thoughts with us. There is such a powerful testimony in that. ((HUGS)) to you.

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  16. OH Jen, what a beautiful letter.
    And thankyou for the reminder of how precious life is and how important our children are in our lives!
    HUGS!

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  17. Thats a beautiful letter, Jen. Hugs to both you and your family.

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  18. Nichol1:57 PM

    Jen, I know I am late to comment, but I just want you to know that I think about Joey, YOU and your family often. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. HUGS.

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  19. I keep up with your blog daily to see how you are doing. I just can't imagine what you have gone through and how you have felt. Just remember that you have lots of us out here who think of you daily! Joey is surely watching from Heaven and missing you just as much. You will all be together someday!

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  20. Anonymous2:05 PM

    Jen... You don't know me, but I regularly check out your awesomeness at CX for creative inspiration and I checked out your blog for the first time today. Thank you so much for sharing--you have given another mommy some well needed perspective and make me think about what blessings they are. My own son is 8 and he is really turning into quite a stinker these days. Thank you so much for sharing--words cannot describe what an impact your letter had on me. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Natalie N.

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