Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A day for JOYce 2009

On September 28, 2007 my dear friend Joyce passed away. She and I had been friends since 2000 when we met our Freshman year at BYU-Idaho. We were neighbors our first year and roomates our second. Joyce and her twin sister Joan became great friends of mine and have stayed that way ever since.  In 2005 Joyce was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.  She faught her battle with cancer for a year and was blessed to have it go into remission. We were relieved. During that time, she was fortunate enough to become pregnant with a little boy. During her pregnancy her cancer came back and she resumed treatments throughout her pregnancy and delivered a beautiful healthy baby boy named Jacob on December 19, 2006.  It was 9 months later when the doctors realized that Joyce's cancer had taken over some of her major organs and there wasn't much they could do. Surrounded by her family and loved ones she passed away.

I think about Joyce alot.  Her death hit me hard, not only because she was my dear friend, but also because she was my same age and had a child 5 days older than my own.  I struggled with the fact that Jacob wouldn't grow up knowing the amazing person that is his mother. I know he is surrounded by a loving family who will not let him forget her, but as a mother I just wanted to hold him and tell him also.

I remember one experience about Joyce that I want to share. When we were roomates we had a goal to have apartment prayer and scripture study every morning. We would roll (literally) out of bed around 6am and congregate in the living room. We'd pray and read scriptures half awake half asleep and then be on our way either to the shower or back to bed.

I don't even remember what spawned this, maybe it was something she saw on a movie, (Joyce loved movies) but one day Joyce told me that when she woke up in the morning she was going to sit up and say as loud as she could, "I'M BACK!"--like "woohoo! I made it another day!". Of course the idea totally made me laugh and I completely forgot about it until the next morning when my alarm went off. A minute or two later I heard someone down the hall yell enthusiastically "I'M BACK!!!". I totally busted up laughing.

I don't want to forget Joyce. Her birthday is November 5th and I want to honor her life in some way so I invite you to join me in a day for JOYce. On this special day I invite you to celebrate the life you have been given. Wake up in the morning and yell out with gusto "I'M BACK!!!". Embrace every moment and savor the simple joys you get to experience everyday. Hold the people you love longer and tell them not only that you love them, but what you love about them. Let love flow and don't hold it back from anyone or anything. Hold your children. Squeeze them and tell them how much you love them and how proud you are of them.  Hold them a little longer and savor every second. Make a phone call or write a letter to someone you love. I challenge you to spread love like a wild fire this coming November 5th and simply love♥. Let the phone ring and the dishes sit in the sink and every other unimportant thing wait. If anything, do it for Joyce, and Jacob and Stu who will be together forever, but who may be missing the presence of their wife and mother a little bit more on that day.

♥♥For Joyce♥♥


Katie said...

That is heartbreaking! But it is also inspirational and reminds me what matters.

Emily Horrocks said...

I'm so sad for Joyce having to leave her hubby and little one for a little while. :( They will miss her so much. Nov 5 is on my calendar as a day for JOYce. What a great way to remember your friend.

Thanks for the reminder of what really matters...and how those little things in life that bug us just don't matter. Every day we are here is another day to rejoice.

GASagers said...

Melissa, you have an amazing blog. I appreciate you sharing it.

Alicia (Stone) Sagers

Natalie said...

I still can't watch the movie Charley without thinking of Joyce. I didn't know her well, but I don't ever remember her with out a smile. Joyce and Joan are amazing people! I look forward to having a day of JOYce! In honor of those great people who lived everyday to it's fullest . . .I hope to be like them!

The Taylor's said...

I love you, Melissa! Thanks.

Lisa said...

I grew up with Joyce and Joan since kindergarten. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and tributing a day to JOYce. It broke my heart when I heard about her passing, especially with her little boy. But, you are right, they will be together again and we can celebrate her life by sharing our love with others. Thanks!

Melissa said...

Thanks to everyone who celebrated a day for JOYce! One of my favorite memories from yesterday was playing birdies with Lucy. We pretended we were birds and she was the momma bird and I was the baby bird. Priceless. And I think I told her I loved her about 15 times that day. Can't say it enough.