Joey's Story

In the spring of 2009, our five-year-old son, Joey, started having debilitating headaches. They were so bad that he would throw up. He had just been to his kindergarten check-up and checked out great, so we didn't think any more of it than perhaps migraines or seasonal allergies.

Then, on April 22, when we were supposed to be having a picnic for Earth Day, we were rushing Joey to the hospital by ambulance instead. It was on that day that we were told our precious, vibrant, happy, energetic child had an inoperable brain tumor.
Joey, right, was always crazy and full of energy.

You can read about that day here: How Dreams Are Shattered.

I can't even begin to explain the feeling that squeezes you when someone looks at you and says, "Your child will die." Every parent's nightmare, realized for us.

We battled Joey's cancer, called an anaplastic astrocytoma, for almost fourteen months. You can read excerpts from my Caring Bridge journal here, here, here, here, and here.

On our Make-A-Wish trip. Joey, center, puffed up on steroids.

On June 10, 2010, when he was just six years old, we gave Joey to the angels. I live the moment that he died in my arms over and over, sometimes not even believing that it really happened to us. You can read about that here: Unhappy Crapiversary.

Joey and his journey inspire a lot of what I write. Writing and talking about him help me to deal with what happened to him and what is still happening to our family. While sadness and pain will always reside in my mama heart, I try to find inspiration from the short life that Joey led. He was a darling, sweet boy with an ever-present smile and a positive, adventurous outlook on life.

Even sick and suffering, Joey knew how to make us laugh.

As cliche as it sounds, his death should not be in vain. I hold it up as a reminder to appreciate what we have in life - the moments, the people, the opportunities. We all know that life is too short. I strive to live it the way Joey did: with laughter, love and liveliness.

If you want to read more posts inspired by Joey, just type his name in the search box in the upper right corner. If you find something that strikes an inspirational chord, please share with someone whom you feel needs it.

To learn more about Joey, read Remembering Joey: What I Loved About My Son.

For tips on talking to your child about death, click here.
For grief and grieving resources for children, click here.

Thank you for reading and helping us remember our sweet, beautiful boy.

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