Hi Everyone. It has been both a beautiful and incredibly difficult week for our family. A week of many tears, smiles, memories shared and visits from family and friends. We are so grateful for everything (and everyone) even at such a challenging time. I know it’s been a while since you have all heard from our favourite person – the one we love so deeply, our Jolene. However she’s unable to attend to her writing anymore – which has moved, inspired and given us all so much perspective on life.
I will try my best to wrap up this past week, as it’s been a roller coaster of emotions and I really want to let people know what our girl has been through, but more so the opportunity to reach out to her while she still can read or listen to messages and memories. Here’s a brief recap, only missing the beautiful visits by both family and friends that Jo appreciated so very much, and was fortunate enough to partake in.
Last week, we had a visit from our doctor who shared the devastating news that the tumours had progressed significantly, something that even Jolene had predicted based on her symptoms. We got right to the point and asked about our time, which we were told a “week to weeks”, as they call it. Jo and I let the news sink in – a day which we knew would most likely be here sooner than later, and then true to herself, my girl started planning a small family & friends gathering for the weekend – to help allow the kids some extra distraction, as we planned out how we would share the devastating news.
Telling Jo’s mom Connie was one of the hardest things (along with the kids) we knew we would have to do. She has been through so much – much more than any parent should ever have to go through, after losing her other daughter, Amy, only 4 years ago. She has been so instrumental in supporting Amy’s kids, all while still carrying on being a very present and loving grandmother to our kids. Hearing her best friend be diagnosed, struggle through her year and half long illness and to now be at the point of having to say goodbye – absolutely heartbreaking. But she needs to know she is so so loved and we will persevere – just as Jo wants us to.
Telling our oldest daughter Ryersyn, was the hardest and most crushing thing we have ever had to do together as parents. It’s hard to relive that small window of pain, but we’re happy to say she is carrying on strong (like her mom) and surrounded by so many who love her. She is such an amazing child and person who both her mom and I couldn’t be more proud of. She will continue to need the love and support of the community in helping keep things as normal and regular as they should be for any kid. We deeply thank all of those who have helped make this journey for her as smooth and happy as it could be – we truly are so grateful for this.
We just told the twins last night that mommy is going to stay somewhere where they make her more comfortable…and that she wouldn’t be coming back home…but rather be going to visit Papa. Heart crushing. However, we did it as a family, with Ry and Connie by our side as we truly are going to be “all in this together” going forward – and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Our youngest Campbell – took it the hardest, and made me remember/re-live how hard it was for Ry. Gallagher had difficulty processing it but had some really good questions which I knew helped with understanding things.
Jo had a beautiful visit with her dear brother Jesse and Ron last night – which she really enjoyed and are two men she loves dearly. Ry fell asleep with mom last night, knowing it might be moms last night in “our home”. The three of us just layed there together, like we used to do when Ry was young and reminisced about how we knew we wanted a child, and how she made us a family. It was beautiful. It was perfect. It will be forever in my heart. I let Ry fall asleep with mommy before moving her later. The twins and Ry then came to cuddle with mom in the morn, not knowing if this would be the last time they see her at home – although Ry knew in her heart.
And so, here we are – an hour before making our journey to Sakura House where we hope Jo can pass comfortably and away from home – where she wanted. And as I lay here next to Jo – I know that this was something she really wanted to share with all of you – all of you who have been so supportive of her journey. So Loving. She is forever grateful to have known and made memories with many of you and is so at peace. Her last request was for me to write all of you and ask if there is anything you’d like to say or share – this is the time to do so, as her new journey is shortly about to begin. Thank you for everyone who has joined Jo in this unbelievable ride they call life – it truly is grand.
We love you all so very much.