Thursday, March 3, 2011

Twinklings of Joseph

Every so often (sometimes very often), I'll be going about my day, just doing normal everyday things when I'm struck so hard by a memory of Joseph that I have to take a really deep breath just to keep going. It happens in obvious places, like whenever I drive by our old house or am in that neighborhood where we wore a path with a stroller to and from that park. I drive by and I can just see Joseph and Holly bundled up together in the double jogger and me trying to get there fast enough to let them loose on the ducks!

Sometimes it happens in more unexpected places, like a coffee shop. I was standing in line the other night, trying to figure out which of the 1 million choices of coffee combinations I was going to go with when my eyes fell on a little box of chocolate milk. All of a sudden my eyes teared up and I was back in Memphis with my boy, and we were all sitting around a table, overjoyed that Starbucks chocolate milk was the one thing Joseph would eat when he was feeling sick from the radiation. That little box of chocolate milk was always a treat for him, though, and I can recall countless sleep-deprived mornings with me driving through Starbucks for a coffee and him sitting back there hoping it was a chocolate milk morning, too!

There are so many opportunities to remember him, really. Just some days they strike me harder than others. This little memory I cherish because it was just him and me. I'm thinking Holly was napping and Allen was at work. We were looking out our back door at squirrels, as Joseph was prone to do, and we noticed an animal I was sure he probably hadn't seen before. He asked me what it was and I said, "That's a chipmunk! I don't think you've seen one before. Isn't it cute?" He cocked his head to one side and I could see him running through his mental list of "animals I know," and he came up with, "Das a chicken?" I told him "No, honey, a chip-munk." He looked puzzled again asked, "Das a monkey?" I could tell he was sure mommy had lost her mind, mixing up chickens and monkeys because surely chipmunk wasn't a real word. I always smile when I think of that little conversation.

I'm not really sure this post has point...I just felt like talking about Joseph. I hope you don't mind! I guess with the Joe P. Rally Run coming up, a lot of people have asked about how we're doing and are remembering Joseph especially.

We are really looking forward to this year's race on April 16th. It is going to be in Nashville again, at Centennial Park. There will be a kids' Fun Run at 8:30, so be sure to get there a little early if your kiddos want to race against the Chick-Fil-A cow. We will be there, bright and early, and look forward to seeing lots of you! There will be all kinds of booths set up from local businesses/restaurants and Starbucks has offered to provide the coffee. If you haven't already registered, you can do so here. We are so grateful to all our awesome sponsors who are making this possible, and to Jennifer Barr, who is heading up the race this year. I just know we are going to reach our goal of $30K.

Thanks to all of you who have already supported this race and to those of you who have become fundraisers. It is so exciting to see us getting closer to the goal. I have this little dream that maybe one day a family will get the news that their child has a high-grade brain tumor and instead of no good options, they are told, "Oh, we have a great treatment for that. No big deal!" And they would live to have lots more birthdays and fun discoveries and memories together as a family. Wouldn't that be amazing?

See you all April 16th!!


Jean Joiner said...

thanks for sharing these things. joseph is definitely missed. we hope to be there for the race...just have to work out some of the details. looking forward to it!

Brea said...

What a sweet memory of Joseph. What a precious child. I can only imagine how much you miss him every day. I remember him every time I see you. He is not forgotten.

Sarah-Jane said...

yes, wouldn't that be amazing. I registered Phil and I today, but held off on the kids b/c Bella is determined to run the 5k:) shocker.
I had just checked the blog this morning wondering if you had posted.
Guess I was thinking about little Joe P and his Momma.
I love when you post these and I get a little glimpse into your brain.
love you sista.

nana-bear said...

Thanks for posting Gillian.I too check the blog often fact yesterday!! I love that God gives you those special memories .I need to get some posters for the race.Joseph was such a fun little boy.We all miss him.I guess I need to get registering for April 16th.It will be so fun to raise money for research so one day there will be a cure.We love you all .O.M.B

suzanne morris said...

I love that picture! I love that boy! I love your family!

Kathy said...

Thanks for sharing this sweet memory. I'm smiling through the tears. Missing Joseph with you today.
We just got back from the Rally Foundation Fundraiser and there was a huge poster of Joseph on the wall along with other Rally Kids. The founder of the Rally Foundation spoke and she said that every day about 46 children are faced with the fact that they have cancer. She said, "Wouldn't it be wonderful if one day the doctors could say that they have a cure for whatever type of cancer a child has?" That's why you have the Joe P. run!
Love Kathy

Lynn T said...

Loved this Gill. I laughed so hard at the chipmunk story and cried reading the chocolate milk story. Love you.

peggy drinkard said...

you write so beautifully, (I'm a friend of Lynn's in Tuscaloosa.) Maybe Starbucks would bring the kids some chocolate milk!) God bless you and thank you for sharing your thoughts and life and thereby blessing so many of us.
what a wonderful story about the chipmonks.
don't little minds work wonderfully? We ARE fearfully and wonderfully made. May God continue to comfort you powerfully and sanctify your pain. (as He so evidently has done.)Blessings to you and all yours.

Laura said...

Thanks for sharing Gillian.

Christy said...

Oh my goodness, I just love that story. And I love that Joseph thought it would be perfectly normal to see a chicken or a monkey in his backyard.

Is it ok if I race the CFA cow? That would be my only chance to beat anybody. Hmmm, but what if he beat me? Then I'd have to live the rest of my life knowing I couldn't even outrun the CFA cow. Nevermind ....

The Stafford's said...

Hi Gillian,

You do not know me, but I used to work for your Dad at ICON. Anyway, I have been following your blog for several years and can't tell you how much it has inspired our family.

We have since moved from Nashville to SC and therefore are unable to participate in the run, but I would love to make a contribution. I attempted to follow the link, but was unsuccessfu. If you have a moment, please let me know how we can donate to this very important event.

Warm regards,
Joe Stafford

Allen and Gillian said...

Thanks, everyone, for the sweet comments! I am so sorry the link was not working. I have fixed it. Thank you, Joe, for letting me know!

WYO Gramma said...

I still check once in awhile. Love hearing how you are doing. I prayed often for Joseph and you, and although we have never met, you and Joseph will always hold a special spot in my heart. God bless you and may your dream of cure be answered.

Deb D. said...

So very sweet to hear Joseph stories. I visited your site again because I haven't forgotten him. Though we've never met, his life touched mine and I care about you all. I hope the 16th goes wonderfully!

abbiegrace said...

Gillian, I love the chipmunk story. What a sweet memory. I'm so glad you shared it.

Eveie was telling me the other day about how special the 1st grade service project was at ICS. She said you were up there. I was so happy to hear about it.

Wish we could be in Nashville for the race! It sounds like so much fun. Will it be an annual thing? If so, I hope we can make it up there sometime in the future.

Chloƫ said...

this is for Joe P.

Gill, I get interuppted (unexpectedly) sometimes by things that remind of Joe P, and I only met him once. He was a great, vibrant, fun fellow.

You will have many more memory moments, all happy, but some tinged more with sadness than others.

I guess we are all transient gifts to each other in this world, and it's good to remember that every day.

Love you gill
X chloe