Grief Creeps in Through the Back Door: In Memory

Happy Birthday, Joey! Today would have been your 20th birthday. 20 years old. That's such a grown-up number. We miss you terribly, but we know that you are resting with a loving Heavenly Father. We know that you are with Mark and all of our other loved ones who are now in heaven.

It's a difficult day for us. We're proud that you earned the right to return home early to Heavenly Father, but because families are meant to be together forever we will always feel a piece of us is missing on days like today. We cannot wait until we get to be with you again, son!

Here are 20 things I love about you:

1. Your kind disposition and your concern for others.
2. Your infectious laughter.
3. The way you treated your dad like your best friend.
4. Your ability to make me feel special when I would volunteer at your school.
5. The loyalty you had towards your friends.
6. Your beautiful thick hair, dark eyes and eye lashes, and soft skin.
7. Your love for Legos, Soldiers, Star Wars, and video games.
8. The way you made up fun games for Katelyn and James and tried to always include them.
9. Your gentle heart that always cared more about other people's feelings even over your own.
10. The courage with which you faced your cancer and all your ongoing illnesses.
11. Your faith and testimony in the gospel.
12. Your desire to always be good and your concern that you weren't good enough (which you were).
13. Your honesty.
14. Your dedication and hard work at school.
15. The respect you showed your teachers, leaders, and even your family.
16. Your gentleness with babies, animals, and people who needed you.
17. Your willingness to try new things and look for new adventures.
18. Your love of reading, well into the wee hours of the night.
19. The quiet way you said "I love you" just when we needed to hear it the most.
20. Your arm draping hugs that made me want to squeeze you and squeeze you and squeeze you.

I am sure you are with us today. I thank you for that. I thank you for gracing us with your presence for 13 whole years, for choosing our family, and for taking care of us even when we were trying to take care of you.

I love you, I love you, I love you, son!

Happy birthday!


  1. Jennifer, you are such a sweet loving person. Hugs to you on this difficult day. Tisha

  2. Jen, love to you and your whole family today.


  3. May the Lord minister peace and grace unto you.

  4. Let God bless you and give you strength until the day you could reunite again!

  5. Hugs and prayers to you and your family.

  6. So sorry, so sorry for that.

  7. Jen your strength is amazing. Prayers to you and your whole family on this very difficult day. I'm sure that Joey is so proud of all of you.

  8. Gosh, I have been thinking about you a lot lately. I knew his birthday was coming from reading your blog. Sending you and your family lots and lots of love and hugs on this difficult day.

  9. May God's grace, peace, and comfort be in your hearts and home on this difficult day and always.

  10. ginny6:05 PM

    Jen, this morning I was looking thru an old scrapbooking idea book-not reading it,just flipping thru it. A layout caught my eye & I stopped & read it. It was about how you were going to help Joey fight to beat his cancer. I was so moved. I thought about Joey & your love for him all day. You are an amazing mama. Hugs to you & your family.

  11. What a touching post Jen!! My thoughts are with you and your family on this difficult day. Hold your memories close and your boy will always be with you!!

  12. What a lovely and loving tribute. My thoughts are with you and your family. God bless.

  13. What a beautiful tribute to your dear son. Hugs to you and your family on this special and emotional day!
    Maureen aka Scrappymo

  14. Peace to you and your family. What a beautiful tribute to your beloved son.

  15. God bless your family today and everyday.

  16. Such a beautiful and heartfelt tribute. What a great Mom you are.

  17. JLBOhio9:59 AM

    That was lovely. Hugs to you and the rest of the family today!


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