"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase"

Martin Luther King, Jr.



Thursday, September 22, 2016

In Her Words

September 21, 2016


Today is the 1 year remembrance of Mom's death.  I've shared many photos and thoughts on my personal Instagram and Facebook, but the Blog was so important to Mom.  It needed to be updated, especially today.  I promised myself that I would not stop and eventually turn it into how we all cope and "Kerry On."

Last night I was in Mom's email account cleaning out the junk mail and came across a few special gems in her banking folder that had been misfiled.  These emails were between her and Kylie from April 2015.  Mom was helping assist with a psychology project to interview someone who had to adjust to an illness or chronic condition.  Kylie asked several wonderful but difficult questions; which allowed Mom to really think and express her situation in her own written words.  I love reading things from Mom and I hope you enjoy this also.  It's obviously very special because you can see where she was mentally and emotionally just 5 months before her death.  She shall never cease to amaze me!  I've complied several of my favorite parts below.  I would also love to see Kylie's actual paper one day because I'm sure it's very beautifully done!




During these seven years my rewards as a mother have been more than one could ever imagine. My children have been "the wind beneath my wings" to put it lightly. The most supportive loving family any mother could ever ask for. From graduations, to marriage, to grandchildren, to new careers, new homes, I have seen them grow into wonderful caring adults. And my granddaughter grow from just a child to a beautiful young lady.  

Reaction from others is always very encouraging and heartwarming. I have had such a wonderful group of friends and of course my loving family supporting me through all these years of fighting. Cancer has changed my life and the way I view the world...
I think maybe the biggest thing I see is how much people take for granted their life, many don't see how each day is so precious. It's through situations like mine that you really appreciate what you have and not want for the materialistic or self centered desires. Cancer in a way has been a gift to me and my family, to open our eyes to the importance of love and friendship. It's brought us closer to God and prayer for support. Most of all to appreciate how greatly we've been blessed and to just breathe that in and embrace it every day!

It's been a hard thing to think about goals and future when you've been giving a diagnosis like mine. However I have found that you have to live each day to the fullest, enjoy every moment and live as though you are going to live forever, cause if you think you have no future you would go crazy!
We always try to have a goal of some activity or fun thing to do. Whether it be a family vacation, a weekend get away, planning a party or wedding, something to focus on and look forward to.

I pray a lot and I try to stay as positive as possible, keep a smile on my face, because if today does happens to be my last day I would want to be happy one!


Love Kerry



Sunday, September 4, 2016

Memory Lane


It's been so many months since I've written here. I used to make sure to update the Blog monthly, but times have changed. I can't believe we're approaching the 1 year anniversary of Mom's death. Honestly it's completely surreal and only feels like a few months have gone by. I can't say it's been a super "happy" almost-year but we are all trying very hard to smile, stay positive, enjoy life, etc. We've had happy times such as family time together and especially the birth of our newest nephew. The hardest part is that we all just miss her so much. Life is not the same without her.

I've been accused of being mean and depressed. I've frustrated people with my occasional moments of grief and sadness and I've lost some friends along the way. It's unfortunate that people don't see it and they can't understand; because everyone deals with loss of a loved one differently. I am clearly occasionally still sad. My heart swells up and I get that feeling to pick up the phone and call her. No one can tell you how to deal with this. Everyone is different. It's not fair for anyone to expect me to deal with this great loss how "they think" I should. I know that Mom would want me to be happy and enjoy life and celebrate joy in her memory. I know that I will get there one day, but it's way too early for me to feel that way. It's all part of the healing process.

The way I cope right now is to live in "Memory Lane". The family and friends who follow my Instagram have seen it more than anyone. I like to look back at photos and place them in the present thinking back to that time. I remember how it felt and all of the details. I'm just wired this way and I always have been. When I was younger dealing with sad moments I'd sit in my bedroom doing similar things, but probably listening to Mazzy Star and Mom would yell up the stairs "Why are you listening to that depressing music, go outside and do something!" So now when I'm feeling this way I go drive my Jeep outside and blast my music of choice as I grieve, heal and pray for comfort. On the outside I smile and do all that is expected of me, but sometimes inside it's a struggle. All I can do is Kerry ON! I do it with the help of my faith, amazing family and friends that understand and have stayed by my side.

Since Memory lane has been on my mind, I have a few Moments to share. Yesterday, September 2nd of 2015 - I was on a plane home for a long weekend that turned into a month and my last moments with Mom. I remember each day, especially looking at the photos. I remember the special moments I wanted to freeze in my mind and heart. I remember everyone's love and support to help us through each day of last September. Today, September 3rd of 1977 - my parents were married. Because two people loved each other, they started a journey which I am extremely grateful for my entire past and childhood. I love both of my parents more than one can imagine and think they are both amazing. I am so proud of who I have become and where I came from, especially of the growth life experience that still lay ahead.

I can't thank you enough for all of your continued love and support towards my family. Everyone has truly been super amazing and you know I love you... To the Moon!

Love & Hugs... Kerry ON!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

SMILE



The beautiful legacy which is our amazing Mother is certainly felt in each of our hearts and in all that we do each day.  She is so much a part of us and she always will be.  Remembering her grace and kindness warms our  hearts and our sweet memories bring smiles to our faces.  The occasional tears pour but we reach out to each other for comfort.  Our faith brings us hope and guides us through the difficult paths we face.  We have good and bad days.  We realize as time goes by that it's normal to grieve in our own individual way for as long as we need.  The outstanding part is that we are all doing really well considering the great loss we have been facing.  Mom wouldn't want us to be sad and she would want us to enjoy life just as she did!  Of course she knew more than anyone that sometimes that's easier said than done but we all continue to KERRY ON and Just Smile!

Love & Hugs,
The J's