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I know this email might come as a shock to you and that is certainly not the intention.  Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of when Joe left this earth.  As his wife I knew him quite well and as each of us remember him and the part he played in our lives as a coworker, friend, father, son, patient, family member, brother, etc. I feel Joe would say these things to each of you. 
"Thank you for the part you played in my life.  Thank you for what you gave to me and the love you showed.  Thank you for all your help as I battled for my life and for all the prayers and gifts for me and my family.  I appreciate each one.  And I really thank you for helping my family in my absense.  They have needed you as the pain has been great.  And thank you for how you have helped them to go on in life without me.  I am having a blast in the presence of God and am waiting to see you some day. Make sure you know Jesus so you can join me.   Press on and keep getting to know God more!"
Love to all,
Joe

It has been a year of wonder for me and the kids....some days we have wondered how we would survive the pain.  Other days we have stood in awe and wonder of the goodness of God to us.  It has been a journey with God for each of us and we have learned so much...we will never be the same for the road we have traveled. 

It has also been a year of joy as our family has changed again.  Mallory got married in July and I now have a wonderful son-in-law named Rob Williams.  We had a wonderful wedding celebration and we have learned to walk on and find joy in the middle of tears.  Today is Mallory's 26th birthday!  Austin and Laura are stationed in the Annapolis area and Price is a junior at University of Texas.

For me personally, I have learned so many things!  I did not think anyone 50 years old could learn so much.  I have learned to lean on God and learned that he is the best husband ever.  I learned of his faithfulness as I have walked thru the valley of the shadow of death. I have not run from the pain but have embraced it and for that I am a better person.   I have not felt alone although I have been lonely at times.  ! I have learned to enjoy single life, quite nights alone, made many new friends and have even learned to swing dance...Joe would have wanted me to keep dancing! I have learned the trashs fairy does not visit my house anymore and I have to take the trash out!  I have learned to oversome in this season and most of all I have learned the art of letting go.  Change has helped me grow.

Many of you have called wanting to know the blog address.  I have journaled about the walk thru grief and this past year on www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com if you are interested.  I plan to write on more topics this next year. 

If you are fighting cancer right now...don't ever give up the battle!  Fight hard and trust God...Oh My...overcome in the battle!  Life is worth fighting for!

Blessings and love to each of you.  Thanks so much for all you have given to help our family.  We wouldn't be where we are today without your love.  Keep in touch via email...kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.com

Letting go, celebrating Joe's life, stepping forward and discovering new life,

Kathleen

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