Thursday, November 12, 2009

Jonnie's Day

My best friend, Jan, lost her grandson to leukemia 6 years ago.  Had he been able to beat his disease, he would now be time flies by! Jonnie was the grandson of my heart, as Jan is the sister of my heart.  We don't forget him - many of our conversations are filled with anecdotes and "remember whens" about the bigger-than-life boy who captured our hearts, and still lives within them.

Not only was Jonnie bigger than life, he was bursting with it!  The sparkle in his eyes, his smile, his insatiable curiosity and depth of his love for others transcended his young age.

Jan and I commemorate his birthday each year by traveling to a little beach town up the coast from where we live.  We stop in the flower shop and buy red balloons (they were his favorite), then park and take a walk on the beach.  When we're ready, we let the balloons go and send them on their way, each filled with our love, memories, and celebration of Jonnie's life.

We then go into town and have some of the world's best pizza at a little restaurant....afterwards, we head to the outlet center that is on our way home, and begin our holiday shopping for our grandchildren who are still with us.  Tomorrow is our "Jonnie's Day". I'm sure that Jonnie is watching us from afar, and that he approves!

If you are interested, the following is his website:  It was created by his other grandmother and tells the story of his journey with this terrible disease, how hard he fought it, and how he "made lemonade from lemons" by starting his own charity to help other kids with cancer - he was truly an incredible, inspiring young man.

And, please consider becoming a blood donor - you could truly save someone's life!


  1. Perhaps time heals. But nothing could erase memories, good and bad. I hope you will have the strength to do the same he did: hold on to the moments of happiness.

  2. What a wonderful tribute to Jonnie, he sounds like a beautiful little boy who was loved so very much and he was so special to think of others while dealing with his own burdens... have a wonderful day tomorrow and I will remember Jonnie with a prayer.....:-) Hugs

  3. What a wonderful friend you are to celebrate this young lads life with Johnnies Day. A tribute I'm sure she counts on and looks forward to. No one should have to face that anniversary alone.

    My dad has battled leukemia for around twenty years. My parents live 1145 miles away. I am torn each year as we leave because I always feel it is the last time we will see my dad alive. We will make that trip right after Thanksgiving. {SIGH}

    Have a good day and may God bless you for being a great friend!!!

  4. What a wonderful tribute to Johnny!

    Of course it brought tears to my eyes. I feel for his family, especially his grandmother - two of my grandchildren died so I know what a loss it is.

    Thanks for dropping by my place and taking the time to comment. I hope you're enjoying my grandmother's story. :)

  5. Such a meaningful way to remember a lost boy - your friend is very lucky to have you to share the day with her.