This is a journal that Lis gave to me in 2000. You can almost make out the title, embossed in silver letters: "beauty is on the inside."
You can see that Lis wrote a special message to me on the 1st page of my journal:
I use this journal to save special messages that I come across from time to time. Things to ponder and to teach me. I go back to this journal to find inspiration and solace.
These days this journal sits on the secretary in my living room. I leave a new page open every day. This morning, I stopped to admire all these photos of Joe and his friends that lay next to the book. I opened my journal and found a quote that could be the caption for all these fantastic photographs:
"When you meet someone who is truly great, he makes you believe you can be great, too..."
The following quote is the first one from this book which was my gift from Lis and Joe on Christmas morning.
"A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path."
- Agatha Christie, writer
Unfortunately, I can not crush cancer.
But I would if I could and I know I would have an army standing behind me, helping.
Here is to all the mothers whose hearts celebrate with my heart and love my son, Joe like their own.
Words are inadequate to express my deep appreciation for all the love and support for my children, Lis and Joe. Support from moms, step moms and the men who love their women and children. And from the moms yet to be.
Dog biscuits by his bedside. As Joe's illness progressed, he could no longer bend to the floor to give his sweet Mia water. Or get out of bed to walk her or feed her. But Joe kept biscuits by his bedside. Right next to his meds for nausea and the never ending parade of Gatorade, water, soft drinks, and his favorite tea, Earl Grey.
I am not telling any one who knows Joe and calls him friend, anything new. Those who love Joe know his big heart.
We are blessed.
Joe rests quietly as I type and Lis keeps him quiet company. A peaceful air prevails filled with the spirit of all Joe's friends and family. We are connected.
Brittany, Joe, Mom, Dee, Holly, Erin, Hannah, Lindsey, Gabby, and Lis Dec '12
I sit here writing in the dark. It's just before sunrise. Actually, a time of day I've grown to love. The house is still quiet. No one is awake. The day has not begun. There is a gentle feeling in the air.
My sweet nieces framed this photo and gave it to Joe on his birthday two days ago. Joe and I were admiring it last evening. A beautiful photo, but just a part of the large family and circle of friends we are so lucky to have...