Thank you to all our family and friends who traveled from near and far to comfort our Dad and the rest of our family. We loved hearing the stories about how Mom touched your lives.
We were so grateful to those who joined us at Mom’s “Celebrations of Life” both in Vero Beach and Union City! And to those who served the wonderful and delicious receptions at Christ by the Sea and First United Methodist at Union City... we will be forever grateful!
Many have asked for copies of the Old Testament Proverbs 31 Lesson and the Remembrance Talks shared at the services.
HERE THEY ARE:
Proverbs 31 - Old Testament Lesson
- Sherri Patchen
10 A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
The three of us were sitting at the kitchen table in Vero, as Dad openly shared his love and admiration for Mom to Pastor Bruce... “She was the best wife, she is so beautiful and kind. She always encouraged and supported me, and made me look good. She took care of our home, our family, our friends and everyone she met. She took such good care of herself - exercising and eating right. Not only was she my wife, she was my best friend. She was perfect!”
When dad finished, Pastor Bruce replied. “Ron, you are describing the Proverbs 31 woman”.
As I sat there with Pastor Bruce and Dad, I thought “she is...isn’t she?” And it made me not only want to go back and read that passage, but to learn more about the “Proverbs 31” woman and how this passage related to mom’s incredible and blessed life.
Years ago, when I first read this scripture, I interpreted it more like commandments and a checklist of unattainable expectations put on women and wives. I remember thinking, What woman can do all that? How is this even relevant to “today’s” woman? How could one not feel like a failure, if attempting to “be” and “do” all those things required of a “Godly Woman”
But reading Proverbs 31 again, in this season, with new eyes, and an open and overwhelmed heart, I realized it is not doctrine... this passage is the “Wisdom and Poetry of Proverbs”. So instead of reading these verses like a check list of what women ARE and ARE NOT. I read it like a DESCRIPTION of who we are, and what we could become.
Proverbs 31 is a “description” of the type of “virtuous woman” and qualities that a mother wanted her son, King Lemuel, to look for in a wife.
The original Hebrew word for virtuous is Chayil (khah' – yil). It means a force, an army, strength, able, substance, worthy, capable, strong, valiant
What I learned, is that this scripture describes a virtuous woman as the one who leads her home with integrity, discipline, and more. All the virtues she is practicing are aimed at making the life of her husband better, teaching her children, and serving God.
Mom loved reading and writing poetry... especially the poems that rhyme. I’m sure a number of you have either received a “Sally Poem” or have heard her recite one of them. What’s neat about this passage...this poem....is that is was originally written as a Hebrew Acrostic... a poem where the beginning letter of each line spells out a word, message, or the alphabet. An example is the poem Kim Dawson penned on Mom’s prayer cards, and like the framed Sally poem written by Pat Thompson.
Can’t you just picture Mom writing this poem for her son or her grandsons? Or making sure all her daughters and granddaughters had clear instructions for which to live by after she was gone?
What I learned from a Darlene Schacht quote is that the Proverbs 31 woman isn’t so much a lesson about getting up early, sewing clothes, or buying a field, or achieving perfection.
The heart of the matter is the Proverbs 31 woman is dedicated to walking in virtue. She cares deeply for her husband and children. She puts the needs of her family before her own desires. She is a woman of noble character who walked by faith. What a powerful description of Mom!
Mom spoke the truth and earned the trust of others. She was a hard worker and purposeful with her time. She found joy in giving of herself to others. As a counselor, teacher, and friend, she was a “quiet influencer” to so many people. She remained joyful in the midst of her circumstance, worshipping right up to her last days on this earth.
Mom made it clear that she wanted today to be a celebration of her life! And knowing my mom the way I do, she also would be honored if we left today being better versions of ourselves than when we walked in.
Mom would agree that - What we leave IN our children is much more important that what we leave TO our children.
So here are some practical tips for Mom’s family and friends about living a Proverbs 31 life!
* Remember that you are worthy of God's grace.
* Be truthful and faithful.
* Love others, be good to others and pray for others.
* Work hard in everything you do.
* Wake up early and start the day with God. Pray every day and praise our Lord.
* Study and learn. Enrich your life with knowledge and understanding and become well rounded in your skills.
* Take advantage of opportunities in business and charities, helping others, and caring for others.
* Be strong and endure hard times. Put your faith in God to help you when you feel lost.
* Love and honor yourself; dress well, exercise, behave well.
* Find a husband who shares your values and love of God. And if you are a young man, look for these qualities in a wife.
* Fear God and honor him in all things.
* Remember that you are praise worthy and will be rewarded for your work.
Dad, you got it right how you described mom, except for maybe one thing...Mom wasn’t perfect... and as she wanted us all to know, she wasn’t “Saint Sally” – None of us are perfect, nor does God expect us to be.
Only Christ is perfect! And Mom chose Christ to abide in her and to depend upon Him. She was able to do all things through Christ who strengthened her... and was always ready and willing to be PERFECTED by God.
Those of us who know and love Mom, know that she did work hard to become a woman who honors God. She grew to know that she was worthy of God’s Grace. She was truthful and faithful. She loved others, was good to others, and prayed for others.
In honor of Mom, Let’s inspire one another to do the the same. Amen
In Memory of Sally Jones
- Linda Petrilla, November 13, 2019
Psalm 1:1-3 - blessed are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers, but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night. They are like trees planted by streams of water, which you’ll do fruit in its season, and their leaves do not with her. In all that they do, they prosper.
How I Met Sally:
-Both signed up to visit FLUMC children’s home
-I picked her up – she was waiting for me.
-During our ride, she talked about all her children and grandchildren.
-what I saw, her friendliness, very verbal, great communicator.
-Most importantly what I saw, the depth of love for her family, her caring and acceptance, her delete in each of their special abilities, gifts, and unique personalities; Her transparency, authenticity, sincerity.
-Upon arrival, she laughed and apologized, “Oh my! I’ve done all the talking!”
-During our time at the children’s home Sally was extremely interested in all the children and their stories and excitedly took in all the surroundings.
My next experience of getting to know Sally. She and Ron came to our Sunday school class. I may not have known Sally as long or as many years as some of her friends. But I knew Sallie in in through our Lord Jesus Christ. I knew her heart for Jesus.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. I knew her heart for Jesus. Her deeply held convictions and beliefs about her holy God, his word, Jesus Christ, in the Holy Spirit… Her faith. Sally did not hide her light under a bushel basket, but her light shone brightly for all to see. Her face and smile radiated the glory of God. It reminded me of Moses coming off Mount Sinai after seeing God face to face.
Bible verses quickly came to mind to describe Sally.
Proverbs 27:19-as water reflects the face, so once life reflects the heart. Matthew 12:34-4 out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
In our Sunday school class I observed the devotion of Sallie and Ron to each other and their love for each other ... which easily extended caring compassion and helpfulness to others. Ron’s humor and quips amused Sally as she would smile, shake her head, and only occasionally roll her eyes. All is if to say, “that’s my Ron!” In our class, we begin and end with prayer. One Sunday, as I was looking around for someone to pray, I heard this very sweet prayer, which was so heartfelt coming from Sally. I don’t remember the words, but I remember her gentle, loving spirit, with which the words were spoken.
When I learned of Sally’s diagnosis, I immediately emailed our Sunday school class, who join together in prayer and concern for Sallie, Ron, and their family. Our class is a family of Christ and Sally and Ron are part of their family.
Upon Sally and Ron‘s return to Vero Beach, I visited with Sally and Ron two times. During both visits Sallie exuded a piece that can only be described as Philippians 4:8- The peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Our Lord blessed Sally with the absence of pain and the peace that only he can give. As Nehemiah 8:10 states “The joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Sally’s joy in the Lord was truly her strength. My first visit was Sally, revealed her limited verbal communication. However, she looked deeply into my eyes and held her gaze, communicating her soul of love and joy. My second visit was Sally. She was resting in bed and now nonverbal. With one hand she held the cross Ray Lynn Kestor made for her. With her other hand, she held my hand with a firm grip… Firm as her foundation in the Lord. Sally lived in her dying as she lived in her life. Living secure in her identity as a child of God, abundantly blessed, and in turn a blessing to others.
Sally leaves a legacy of a life well lived for God and our Savior Jesus Christ – Well done good and faithful servant.
I would like to close with scriptures to honor Sally as a servant of God with a heart for Christ. Romans 8:18 – For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Joshua 24:15 – But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the Gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you were living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the lord.
To quote Neil Anderson in his devotional book, Daily in Christ: “The object of our faith is not the tangible reality of this physical world. The object of our faith is the invisible God and his revealed word. God’s people enter in eternity of glory and blessedness.”
2 Timothy 4:6-8 - I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
My favorite song- Victory in Jesus - last verse:
I heard about a mansion he has built for me in glory, and I heard about the streets of gold be on the crystal sea; about the angels singing in the old redemption story, and some sweet day I’ll sing up there the song of victory. Chorus: Victory in Jesus, my Savior forever! He saw me and bought me with his redeeming blood; He loved me ere I knew him, and all my love is to Him; He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood.
My Grandma, Sally
Dec 16, 1941 - Nov 6, 2019
- Rylee Klomp
Thank you all for coming today and celebrating my grandmother’s fruitful life. For those of you whom I haven’t met or don’t know me, I’m Rylee Klomp- Serene’s eldest and Sally’s granddaughter.
My grandma, Sally, was delivered on December 16th, 1941 on a very snowy night. With the doctor unable to make it up the hill to deliver her, her father delivered her in their home. Upon finally getting a checkup they found out that my grandmother was born with a heart murmur. Typically, babies grow out of this, but my grandmother said that she never did. A heart murmur is, and I’ve googled it for all of us already, an unusual sound heard between heartbeats caused by an abnormal amount of blood flow across the heart valve. To be quite honest, it’s probably what made my grandmother so loving, that abnormal blood flow over the heart valve. It was a gift that kept on giving her whole life. She spread that extra love to everyone. It was outpouring and plentiful. Everyone knew it, felt it and could see it.
What more could she have given us? She was always young at heart, living every day and life to the fullest potential. She wanted things out of life that surprised us all and she went and did them. There was no time to waste! What better day than now to go to church, walk 5 miles, get a round of golf in, go hang gliding and have dinner with the family? There’s time right? She always made time. She always found all the time in the world. She made the most of every minute and included you in those minutes. But most importantly, most of those minutes were given. She gave away all her minutes to be with others, help others, and give back. Between charities, church, the communities she lived in- if there was an event, donation, and time she could give to, she did it. She’d have given it all away to make someone feel valued, most importantly, loved.
Walking quickly became a staple in her life and therefore in ours. One of our most cherished memories, shout out Girls Gone Wild, was walking with her and her friends and collecting the change on the way. Grandma never missed a walk, and when any of us stayed at her house, either came and kept up or stayed home. So, if you wonder why all of the Jones family walks like their pants are on fire, it’s because we’re all keeping a Grandma Sally pace..
This woman waited for no one--not at the grocery store, the mall or the beach. And those are just the leisurely activities! Think about shopping in rush hour holiday traffic! There’s another kind of walk, though, that she’d take. These were the one-on-one time walks with Gram that she’d take us on. It was during those long walks around the town, the lake or on the beach, where we’d get our best storytelling, listening time, or even heart to hearts. I think we all have our own “walk with grandma story” that we cherish and that we’ll walk on with forever.
With the holidays around the corner, I’m reminded of the holiday parties my grandparents hosted at their home for the neighborhood and church every year. Not only was their love shared with our family, but it was spread throughout the town at their home with a visit from Santa, gifts for all and food to spare. She insisted on gifts for anyone under the age of 18, and once her grandkids grew older than the requirement...she still allowed it, because I don’t think anyone, especially her, was ready for us to grow up. This has grown to be a cherished family tradition and my grandmother’s favorite time of year.
Though we’ve grown older, I don’t think any of us will forget the year of the Beanie Babies. One year, during the Beanie Baby craze, my grandmother put on a scavenger hunt at Christmas time. She had spent the entire year collecting these Beanie Babies, herself, gathering friends to help her and even sending my dad to McDonald’s on his business trips out of town to pick up the rare ones. After all this collecting we got to search for our collection, that will be worth tons of money someday, which is why I still have them all saved..but it was the thought that counted. She was always great at surprises, always good at a scavenger hunt and would make the rules out of a poem every time. She was such a giver, and couldn’t stop, chronically. Every time you’d visit her house, she’d have a new treasure she’d found at the store, leftover from an event, or just found cleaning up one day and would surprise you with a new set of knives! A new hat! Or a new... whatever that was.
My grandmother was never one to have a favorite. In fact, she’d resent the idea of a favorite. It was a skill she had and a feeling she conveyed that made you feel like you were the only one in the room, the only one in the world, and the only person who’s trials, tribulations, accomplishments and goals mattered. She had the ability to convey confidence in yourself that you didn’t even know you had before talking with her. She made you feel like you had the answer the whole time and she was merely there to listen as a sounding board. You were allowed to call her day or night no matter what time. She’d be there to listen, pick you up, or calm you down and tell you she loved you. If it was late at night, it was followed by the most cherished memory of them all, the Bon Nuit Cheri lullaby. She’d sing us this song tucked in our beds, rubbing our back and singing as many times as it took to get us grandkids to sleep. I recall our parents also having to call her because we’d ask for it to be sung to fall asleep in our own homes, and granted there were a few times we all still needed it in college after a long week. And she was always ready with no judgement or having to ask.
There are 9 of us, 9 grandchildren, who don’t live near each other (Indiana, Florida, Pennsylvania, California, Ohio), and yet, my grandmother never missed a single event. I don’t remember ever looking into the stands, audience, field, auditorium and not seeing her. If you’ve visited my grandparent’s condo or cottage, you’ll notice photos from a photo shoot that she asked us all to do. It was a whole day of each grandchild in their athletic gear getting their individual and group shots taken to show how diversely talented we all were. Granted some of those sports and activities had changed over the years, but she would go to multiple events in a night to make sure everyone felt loved, seen, and knew that she was proud of you even if that meant going to a graduation at 6, stopping by a swim meet at 7, and circling back around for a scholar award at 8. And to top it off? She’d know all our friends, their parents and grandparents. She’d tell them how proud and impressed she was by their grandkids, children and selves because she couldn’t help but take notice and grant praise to everyone she encountered.
Growing up, not a visit to see her went by without a round of cards or Rummycube until 1am. And ya know what? She never let us win. You had to earn it. And you couldn’t pout. If you weren’t having fun, you wouldn’t play. Those were the rules. Because one of the biggest life lessons she taught us was, if you’re not having fun, why bother doing it? And if you’re gonna do it, do it with a smile.
My grandma once told me that growing up she never really felt important and had a hard time fitting in. But by the looks of all of you here today and the 18,000 people who’ve visited her Caring Bridge site, I’d say she was more important than she ever realized to more people than she even knew.
I’d call my grandma a role model, our Wonder Woman. She’d be upset by my saying so, because she didn’t believe in the idea of a hero. She said “we all make mistakes and that’s a lot of pressure to put on someone to ultimately be let down and end up disappointed. But my grandmother has never disappointed. I cannot remember a time in which anyone has been disappointed in her actions, words or intentions. And for that, I’m proud to call her our Wonder Woman, and more importantly, our grandma.
I think the hardest part about writing this has been knowing that I cannot do this justice like my grandma would have. She always knew what to say. She had a way of making every situation better; able to put you at ease with her words and presence. She would have taken this huge group of people and comforted them so effortlessly and gracefully. She did that better than anyone else.
Finding out our grandmother had cancer to me was not at all how I’d imagined I’d handle it. Looking back on it, I thought: most of a cancer patient’s battle is mental, and my grandmother has the best mental game of anyone I know, this is beatable”.
Being an athlete my whole life, mind over matter was the most powerful skill one could learn, and my grandma had it down pat. Even if she angered or felt unconfident, she always found a way to find the positive and use it as a motivation. It was a light switch you could visibly see. So, when our grandma was diagnosed I thought this is beatable. But what really mattered was that she never faltered in her mind set. She was the most positive person I’ve ever known to handle such a diagnosis.
In her Life’s Story book that I had asked her fill to out as a Christmas gift one year, she wrote about her father’s (Grandpa Mac’s) final weeks and how fondly she remembered him never going into depression through it all and the paralysis. That she hoped if this ever happened to her, she’d do it with grace and a smile like he did in her final days. In reality, I think she did it Sally’s way. With humbleness and grace she softly assured “life is good, and I have been blessed”.
Truly we are all blessed to have been a part of her life and I feel beyond fortunate for our family to call her our Grandma. Life is good, and we have all been blessed.
Sally M. Jones - Memorial
- by Steve Jones
I would like to Thank my Family, that has the faith in me, to let me speak to you all today. Especially after this very moving Video provided by my wife and the 3 very eloquent speakers. One of whom has been dealing with her own tragedy. Martha Hilbert was one of Mom’s closest and dearest friend. Martha’s husband Bill Hilbert and one of Dad’s closet friends that passed away just 3 days prior to Mom’s passing. Martha’s strength to speak about her memory of our Mom is a testimony to their friendship and her faith. Martha, we appreciate your kind words and, we all love you so very much!!
Mom had a blessed and exciting life. That’s how my Mom wanted it! We each have our favorite Memories of my Mom. She would Lighten up the room with that Radiant Smile of hers. Mom had that infectious smile when greeting others. She just loved people. She had a beautiful giggle/laugh when telling or listening to a friend’s story. Mom was full of love! My Mom was a good listener and what she heard she kept to herself. She loved being a sounding board for others and would always be the first to lend a hand.
Mom also loved so dearly her husband Ron. Prior to marrying, Mom knew he was the love of her life. She saw great potential in him! She mentioned to me that Dad was especially caring, that he had a vision, he had a plan, and that he knew what we wanted in life. Mom knew they were a match!
Mom loved her children and was always proud to brag us up if she got the chance! She raised each one of us to be able to take care of ourselves. She let us succeed, She let us fail, yet she was always there to listen and help in her positive caring way. As a kid, when we fell down, she would just say or possibly sing… “Get yourself up, Brush yourself off, and Do it All Over Again.” As you could see, Mom had that I can do anything spirit.
Grandchildren - Mom loved, loved, loved her Grandchildren! If possible, she would always be present for a birth, a birthday, a sporting event, or any special event. Some people may think Mom had the condition of FOMO - Fear of Missing Out! Maybe or Could be?? Really, Mom just really loved her grandkids and she wanted to be personally present to celebrate each of their special accomplishments!
My Mom was always One to enjoy the moment. She loved to live!
I remember that giggle of hers that she had while talking about something she really loved!
Mom Loved Adventure - She loved to be active, loved to experience new things, and she loved to travel.
Some of the things Mom would do...
Walking ….. Well, Anywhere Mom possibly Walk…. Catch up if you can!!
Downhill Skiing …… Love it, sounds like a wonderful time, we will have fun !!
Para-hanggliding….. Why not she would say with a laugh!?!,
Parasailing behind a boat…Ok…. Let’s do it!!?
Sea-kayaking – Sounds like fun, hope we can see a Manatee!!,
Let’s make a trip - … Ok….When can we go?
Visit a new destination …… I have not seen that… Let’s go??
Love a Challenge - Actually, Mom loved a Challenge. Many of you that know Sally well enough to know that she is a bit Competitive in games! She always loved a game! Cards Anyone? Gin Rummy? Shanghai Rummy? Mahjong? Or we can always play a favorite game of hers Rummyicube? What you do Not know how to play this game Rummyicube?… It is easy… Let me teach you! Then she had you hooked.. !! She has even probably given a few of you her this favorite game of Rummyicube.
Sally also loved her Golf, Tennis, and especially Walking. I0,000 Steps a day was a must! What,.. she didn’t have enough steps in the day? She may take another short walk or walk in place until she would reach those 10,000 Steps!! If the weather was unpleasant and she couldn’t get outside… there was always a Crossword puzzle or Suduko puzzle out there to solve!
Organizer - Mom was an organizer, a master at organizing. I really think she did it for her love of people and she had a lot of energy and loved organizing activities to see other people happy. Mom was always an organizer for Fun Or for a Special Cause! Here is just a few… She organized - Church Youth Retreats, Tureen Dinners, Relay for Life Events to Fight Cancer, Kentucky Derby Parties, Pool Parties, Super Bowl Parties those she started having way back in the 70’s. She loved writing letters to see others recognized for their accomplishments. She loved the idea of making others feel good. She just simply loved just putting a simple smile on another face.
Mom loved a good Prank / And Loved even more to get Even. She loved to get the last laugh. The pranks she was a part of were elaborate and well thought out. Just ask the Daggett family about the Halloween Gorilla story or many of the Union City High School teachers about the pranks that involved my Mom.
Let me tell you about a time Mom helped me with an April Fool’s joke in the mid 70’s on my 4th grade class. Mom and I hatched out a perfect April Fool’s joke. Mom helped me cut up soap into small squares. We then covered the soap morsel squares with some delicious chocolate and let it harden. You should have seen me, a proud 4th grader, walking into school caring in a baking sheet of the precious morsels of chocolate covered soap into my 4th grade classroom!! I was getty with excitement and couldn’t believe my Mom was letting me do this prank? I remember, I could hardly conceal the anticipation of the tasty surprise for my teacher and all my classmates. I asked each not to eat until all the surprise treats were handed out. I remember the shear surprise on my classmates face as they each bit into the their chocolate covered surprise as I yelled April Fools!!! I remember the classroom erupted in laughter and maybe a few kids clawing the bitter taste off their tongues. As I laughed and everyone else laughed, we all agreed it was a funny April Fool’s joke. I remember seeing through the crowd of laughing students there was my Mom at the back of the room giggling away. I remember thinking, wow, I have a cool Mom! Different time, Different era kids! Don’t try this at home….
Guidance Counselor & Teacher. - Mom’s main passion was helping others. She loved teaching, loved to care for others and loved to help those students in need. She always saw potential in her students. She guided them to see the potential they each had in themselves. Mom worked to help her students believe in themselves. Mom was always there with a helping hand or willing to lend that compassionate listening ear.
Once Mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Mom decided she wanted to spend her last remaining days at their Florida home beside the ocean. After being there this past month, I know understand why she wanted to be so close to God’s great creation.
Guardian Angels- Mom always mentioned she had 2 Angels looking after her. She was Very sure of this. I am Very sure of this! I personally witnessed the Compassion, the Non-quit Attitude, and Loving Care of my 2 Sisters … Sherri and Serene.
Sherri and Serene were basically beside our Mom 24/7 with little sleep, just wanting to be there to aid in our Mom’s needs.
Sherri, my older sister was relentless in searching for all the right doctors, taking time to talk with her medical colleagues, researching for other diagnosis, and looking into additional possible procedures. Sherri carefully communicated about Mom’s health journey with the Art and Grace to all friends and family over the CaringBridge Website. Sherri mentioned that God led her thoughts on what she was to write. The CaringBridge Website was an outlet for our family to quickly let others know of Mom’s journey through her cancer. As a family, it was also our way to slowly heal and feel the love of others.
Serene, my younger sister was full of Healing Compassion. Serene was relentlessly diligent about All the personal care Mom needed, in regards to what and when Mom ate, what music would uplift Mom, and taking the utmost care to make sure Mom was comfortable and at Peace. Whatever was needed Serene was there!
Sherri and Serene, All of us Thank You for your Compassionate and Exceptional care for Mom! We know each of you would have it no other way!
We feel that God’s hand was with Mom and the entire family each step of the way. Mom never complained about her cancer and she did not let her cancer to get her down. She accepted the cancer with a smile and kept God close by her side. Mom knew whatever happened was God’s will. As a family supporting and caring for Mom we daily received God’s blessings each and every step of the way. There were many instances that when we needed the right parking space it was available, needed just the right Doctors the perfect one was available, if something was thought of…..a solution presented itself, when wondering what we were going to eat for dinner….. a meal was delivered by a caring family, when receiving prayers for Mom’s journey would be without pain and in peace….God made it so. We received God’s blessing that he gave friends and family the opportunity to say their last words to Mom. Mom had that way of receiving those words and making everyone feel better knowing that everything was going to be OK. Each and every step along our Mom’s journey we feel that we received a God Wink. A Wink from God letting us know he was there. God was listening to the prayers and Mom passed away Free of Pain and in complete Peace!
God was calling his child home. God was using our Mom.
Maybe it taught us to smile just a whole lot more?
Maybe it taught us how to love more? Maybe it taught us all that life is fragile and each day is a gift?
Maybe it taught us that life is worth living and if we are living, then we should live it positively with joy in our hearts?
Maybe it taught us to hug a loved one or a friend more?
Maybe it led a few more followers to a Christian faith?
Maybe it strengthened our faith in the Lord?
Maybe it taught us to just lend that Listening Ear?
Maybe it taught us should enjoy each day in a Caring Way.
Whatever it taught us, it taught us that life is much too short !!!…..
Maybe all of this was God’s plan all along.
One thing I know, my Mom is certainly Smiling down on us now, knowing we are here worshiping in God’s House and celebrating her Blessed Life!
Mom will Always Be with us! Mom is all Smiles now! Mom is Giggling in Excitement that We are All Here!
We will all Dearly Miss You Mom! I Love You Mom!
Make a donation to CaringBridge to keep Sally’s site up and running.
Wednesday Nov 13th, 2019
Calling hour 11am - Service at 12pm.
Christ by the Sea United Methodist Church
3755 Highway A1A, Vero Beach
Friday Nov 15th - Calling 5-7:30pm
Saturday Nov 16th
Calling 10a-12p - Service at 12:30p.
First United Methodist Church
42 E. High St. Union City
Interment will be private, at Evergreen Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please donate in Sally’s memory to:
Sally M. Jones Memorial Fund
Union City Community Foundation, P.O. Box 512, Union City, PA 16438.
1110 35th Lane, Vero Beach, FL 32960
Florida United Methodist Children’s Home 51 Children’s Way, Enterprise, FL 32725 .
Sally was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and friend like no other. This beautiful woman profoundly touched our lives and the lives of so many others in such a personal and special way. The world has lost an incredible woman, and Heaven has gained an Awesome Angel. We are all so grateful and blessed to have had her in our lives.
We will share more details about upcoming celebration and memorial events when they become available. Your prayers and support for Mom and our family during these past two months have far exceeded anything we could have ever imagined. We will be forever grateful!
The Jones Family
"For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing." 2 Timothy 4:6-8
We are grateful for all of Mom’s prayer warriors. Prayers are being answered. Although Mom did have a bit of a stressful Saturday night, she has been resting comfortably since her last medication at 7:30 Sunday morning. When the daily hospice nurses have visited, they have been pleasantly surprised how incredibly comfortable and peaceful she has been without the need of any “medical” comfort measures. Her healthy lifestyle and true grit has been in her favor during this transitioning time. She is definitely blanketed with the comfort and peace of the Holy Spirit.
As a family, we have had a few additional health and loss challenges to face. We so appreciated everyone’s patience as we chose to cocoon ourselves in the condo over the last couple days.
Yesterday was especially comforting and joyous as we all hung around mom’s bed and sang along with Nilsa, the hospice music therapist. We sang “You’ve got a Friend”, “What a friend we have in Jesus”,”Bridge over Troubled Waters”, “Somewhere over the Rainbow”, “You are so Beautiful”(dad’s request), and “In my Life” by the Beatles. This special family time can be best described by one of mom’s last spoken words “We have it made!”
As primary caregivers, our past few nights have been sleepless for us, as we took turns staying awake with mom. She continues to defy all odds! Just when we think she may be leaving us to go home with her Heavenly Father, she rallies back.
Just when we think she no longer can communicate, she finds the strength this morning to lift her hand after Steve says good morning. And a wink to Serene after she starts playing the song “Hear Comes the Sun”. There was a moment, after positioning her, where I asked if she could see the ocean and she answered with an “uh huh”. Dad walks in later, saying “hey Sally, I hear you have been talking to these girls” and she answered, “uh huh”. She continues to give even in her last hours!
We all are so grateful for the love, prayers and encouragement we are receiving from you all. Her friends here at Sea Oaks have been so incredibly supportive and present. A few friends and her sister were able to stop by today for a few precious moments of “Sally Time”. She continues to be blessed to be a blessing to those whom she loves! And she loves pretty much everyone she meets!
Caring bridge has been such an awesome venue for which to share mom’s story and honor her legacy! She shared that since she was handed this unplanned life path, she prayed that the remainder of her shortened life could be used to help change other people’s lives for the better.
She sure has changed those of us in her family and we have witnessed her influence in friends and family both near and far. Our hope is that her prayers have been answered through the extended reach offered by Caring Bridge. Thank you all and God Bless!
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 | Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
We will choose joy in the midst of our circumstances!
I can’t think of a better word than BRUTIFUL to describe this intensely brutal, while amazingly beautiful, journey we have been on with Mom over the last 2 months.
These past few days and nights have been particularly BRUTIFUL for all of us. We have witnessed Mom at her strongest spiritually, while at her weakest physically! We have treasured every quiet, non-verbal moment with her. We have been overwhelmed and overjoyed when a word or two would come out, or an “OK” sign was given when talking about something she agreed with...or a “finger point” at something she didn’t agree with. At the same time, it has been disheartening whenever she is minimally responsive, sleeping, or merely withdrawing from the world and people around her. Touch and wordlessness have taken on new meaning for us all!
We have been blessed daily by mom and dad’s friends and family bringing over delicious food, gorgeous flowers and their compassionate, and “present” selves... to laugh with and comfort mom, dad, and our family. At the same time, we recognize the hearts aching behind the joy and the laughter.
We all are brutifully navigating unknown territory. One moment we, as a family, are heartbroken at the thought of living life without Mom in it... yet at the same time, we are rejoicing that she will soon be whole again... walking and dancing in Heaven!
What a privilege to be on this journey with Mom and our family! Each of us are doing our best to be intentionally focused on mom’s non-verbal cues to help her live her best and most comfortable life.
Mom has always been a “walker” and a “doer”. And lying in a bed, trapped in her broken body, unable to even eat ice cream, has been boring and surely frustrating for her! Thank goodness televisions have music channels and she is blessed with a view of the ocean from her bedroom window.
Wednesday was another Brutiful day. Mom had been wanting to get out, to see and feel the Ocean Breeze. She had been bed bound, for over a week, per recommendation of the hospice nurse... as it wouldn’t be safe to move her or take her out of bed. But who are we to follow all the rules?!?
Wednesday afternoon was breezy, sunny, and dry. Just perfect to hang on the lanai. After asking mom if she wanted us to try and get her out there, her attempt at a smile, her sparkling eyes, slight nod, and feeble raise of her left hand was all we needed. We gave her a little Dramamine to help her tolerate the movement. Then the four of us successfully transferred her to the reclining wheelchair! Hallelujah!
It took some creativity to get the flat wheelchair out of the bedroom, through the living room, and onto the Lanai. But once she was rolled off that ramp, she gave us the most demonstrative thumbs up she had given in days! She was so happy and peaceful. It was a magical time... we took pictures, we laughed, and we talked about positive things while mom listened.
There was even time where we all were quiet. We merely listened to the Ocean and watched Mom joyfully take it all in...she even started to moving about her bare feet like she was dancing! She was in her “happy place” and she had her family by her side. Some of her friends saw she was outside and came right over. Dad and Mom even got some special time, just the two of them. He was actually giddy when he received a “thumbs up” after he gave Mom a foot massage! As the sun set, mom drifted off to sleep. Team Jones brought her back safely to her bed.
Throughout the entire next day Mom slept beautifully and comfortably, taking only enough fluid to get down her crushed pills. But by sundown, the brutal moment that we all were prepared for, but silently dreaded, became a reality...mom could no longer swallow. The night was long. I didn’t get much sleep...Mom was experiencing breathing and pulse irregularities throughout the night... her first signs of distress.
By Friday morning, the sun rose over the ocean, mom was awake and aware, but no longer “comfortable”. We all joined mom on and around the bed. Music playing, she lifted her hand in praise! We prayed for her and assured her that whatever happens, she will be ok AND her family will be OK. It was BRUTIFUL, especially when mom mustered up whatever strength she had left to give us her “OK” gesture acknowledging that everything WAS going to be “OK”. It was a BRUTIFUL time for our family and a precious memory we will treasure for the rest of our lives.
The hospice nurse arrived soon after. She took Mom’s vital signs and strongly recommended that she start on low dose “comfort” medication regimen to ensure that she remains comfortable, pain-free, and without any distress.
As I post this journal entry, Mom is sleeping comfortably in bed next to my dad. Thank you all for keeping them both in your your prayers. We will be forever grateful for your continuous out pouring of love.
While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
God doesn’t promise us that this life we get to live will be easy and without tribulation, but what He does promise us is that we will never be alone! What a Brutiful Life! ... Let’s live it to the fullest!
Be strong. Be brave. Be fearless. You are never alone.
Last Sunday afternoon Marcos, the musical director at Christ by the Sea, graciously and skillfully played hymns non-stop for an hour at the foot of mom’s bed. Some of mom’s friends joined the mini concert to be with Mom and experience the beautiful music. Some of us also attempted to sing along! Mom especially responded to the up beat songs! What an amazing worship experience. Thank you Marcos!!!
Ever since Sunday, Mom has been resting comfortably in her bed. Still no need for pain meds. She hasn’t been able to get up to a chair, but she has been joined by family and friends in her room....and some in her bed to keep her company.
The week continued to be filled with worship music from you tube videos on our phones, to the christian music station on her television. An awesome surprise was Nilsa, the music therapist from Hospice. She brought her guitar and soothing voice. She even took requests! She sang for mom and the family two different days. On Friday GiGi’s two great grandchildren were here and requested “let it go”! It was a special family time with 4 generations!!!
Dad is still reading cards and all of your Caring Bridge comments to mom daily. It’s a special time for both of them.
Thank you all for your prayers! We keep praising God that Mom is not in pain. Although she has continued to decline neurologically, she still understands and communicates with facial expressions and hand gestures ...when she is awake.
The best thing is that she is still actively worshipping! There is nothing more powerful than watching Mom lift her arm to the heavens with open hand to the worship music!
Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD. Psalm 150:6
This last week has been restful, quiet, and a special time for the 5 original Joneses! Mom is so happy to have all of her kids here in Vero with her and dad. The week has been one of visits from out of town family and friends. Her Sea Oaks friends have joined her on her Lanai, taking in the breathtaking Harvest Moon, and sitting with her as she looks out over the beautiful and powerful Ocean.
She is spending most of her time in bed sleeping, but when she is awake she enjoys listening to praise music and relaxation tapes. She FaceTimes with her Grandkids. She loves holding hands with friends and family who join her in her bed to be present, and love on her. She and Dad share special time daily when he reads her the cards and letters that come in the mail. He also reads the CaringBridge comments that inevitably put a huge smile on her face.
Mom’s ability to communicate verbally is now markedly limited, but she speaks volumes with her eyes, facial expressions, and hand gestures. She can no longer sit up, but hospice has provided us with a high back wheelchair that reclines. It was raining most of today, so we couldn’t try it out. She is looking forward to going “for a walk” tomorrow. God willing, we will work on making that happen for her.
She can’t make it to church, but her favorite organist from their church, Christ by the Sea, is planning on stopping by the condo tomorrow. She absolutely loves his music and is looking forward to his special visit!
It is hard for me to put into words the tremendous gratefulness that our whole family feels towards the Sea Oaks Family. From the day mom arrived here, her Sea Oaks friends have dropped by homemade meals EVERY night. And some nights we even get two! Other days breakfast and lunch is even brought by. A handful of her snowbird friends have traveled down to Florida earlier than planned just to be with her. Other friends have flown in just to see her and bring by cards, flowers and food!
All the calls, cards, emails, and texts from her out of state family and friends have brought such joy to Mom and Dad! We are all so grateful for the outpouring of love and support from you all! “I thank my God every time I remember you.” Phillipians 1:3
Keep the prayers coming!!!! Our greatest source of joy and peace is knowing that mom is comfortable, positive, grateful, and PAIN FREE... NO pain meds needed!
Treasuring every precious moment with Mom! God is Good!
“Life is like the ocean. It can be calm or still, and rough or rigid, but in the end, it is always beautiful.”
After asking her whether she wanted to join, she perked up and said “yes, please.” We let her know that whatever she wants, we can help make it happen! Serene and I found a swim suit that was 4 sizes too big, yet “made it work.”
Once mom made it to the pool, the mimosas started pouring and so did her friends from all the condos by the pool.
Mom initially was under the umbrella and then couldn’t resist joining a few in the pool. Steve carried her into the pool. We got her on a floatie! She was beaming! What happened next was magical! The rest of her friends jumped in the pool to join her, clothes and all!
Friends are the Family you Choose!
Grateful for each and everyone of you who love our mom and let us be a part of your Sea Oaks Family!
Mom has been sleeping well, eating well, is pain-free, seizure free, and headache free. She has been spending her awake time with friends and family either down by the beach, or on her back deck with the ocean breeze in her face! We even had communion down by the beach with their new Pastor and friends.
One of her friends is even looking into finding a way we can get her on one of those wheelchairs with the big wheels. It would be so great if we could take her for a walk on the beach! We couldn’t do it today, because the surf was so high that there wasn’t even a beach to walk on!
Overall Mom’s spirits are high and she remains positive. But when friends aren’t around, she gets bored. She is missing being able to walk her 10,000 steps a day. Her body and her voice are getting weaker, but her mind is clear. She tires easily, but pushes herself to stay engaged and enjoy every moment with her family and friends.
We want to thank all of mom and dad’s Vero Friends who have visited and brought the most amazing meals! It has meant the world to mom and the rest of the family! It’s given us the freedom to stay present and focused on mom.
Serene, Steve, and I are so grateful and blessed by our incredible spouses who love us and love our mom! They continue to support us being away from our homes! It’s been a special Jones family time... just the 5 of us again! Cherishing every moment!
God is Good! Living Life to the Fullest!
Gratefully... the Joneses
Despite best efforts to treat this horrific disease, Mom’s condition has deteriorated much faster than anticipated.
The last 5 days have been extremely rough on Mom physically, mentally, but not spiritually. She has been through two Emergency Room visits, a Neuro ICU admission, IV meds to correct electrolyte imbalances, stop her seizures, and help clear up confusion. She went through a procedure at University of Miami to temporarily drain out extra fluid that was putting pressure on her brain.
It was a life saving procedure that afforded mom some precious time of mental clarity, with no headaches, and no seizures... but she was drained and exhausted.
Facing another surgery to permanently divert fluid off her brain was more than she could handle. She said she did not want the surgery and her surgeon agreed. We left Miami via medical transport. Mom was home, in her own bed, overlooking the ocean by 6pm Monday evening.
Mom, with the support of her husband and three kids, have made the choice to take a step back and put the current chemotherapy and radiation treatment plan on hold. She is still taking the rest of her meds.
The Palliative Home Care has been converted to Hospice Home Care in the comfort of mom and dad’s Vero Beach condo. This will give mom time to rest and heal from all she has been through these past 5 days... we are currently taking it day by day.
Mom is still positive, has energy, is pain free, and wants to live her best life! She has a rare and aggressive type of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) with the “double whammy” leptomeningeal carcinomatosis (LC). LC is a rare, and usually late stage complication of cancer in which the disease spreads to the membranes (meninges) surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
As one of her doctors said “Sally, you have been dealt a bad hand of 5 cards in a game where you need 10.” So however she plays her cards, there are no bad moves, the end game is known... and she will win the ultimate prize!
Friends and family who want to stop by are welcome. Please call Ron, Sherri, Steve, or Serene, who all are with her in Vero, to see if she is up. She gets filled with positive energy when she is with people she loves and who love her in return!
Keep praying and sending words of encouragement. Mom is lifted up with the cards, texts and caringbridge comments that you all are sending!
Update: Mom’s surgery started later than planned. She was rolled into the OR with a smile and positive attitude. Biopsy went well. Tissue samples collected, processed, and sent to outside laboratory.
She is stable in the recovery room waiting on an ICU bed. She woke up grateful that she was still able to talk.
Plan: ICU overnight. Discharge to home tomorrow or Saturday. Will await for earliest pathology results on Monday.
Site created on September 9, 2019
Sally, my mom, radiates kindness, joy, gratefulness and positive energy! She loves God, her husband, her family and living life to the fullest with joy and purpose. Her energy level and activity surpasses most women her age and she strives to be “doing something” every day.
A month ago she was dancing at her 60th class reunion... a successful event that she chaired and coordinated! Today she is in a hospital room looking out over Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie awaiting tomorrow's brain biopsy surgery.
Over the past month, this woman, who is usually determined to walk her daily 10,000 steps, and play golf and/or tennis 3 times a week has rapidly declined. Her walking pace drastically slowed down and she ultimately bowed out from walking with her girl friends.
She was experiencing intermittent, debilitating back and leg pain, losing weight along with her appetite. She also was experiencing some headaches and dizziness. She tripped a couple times, and she just “wasn’t her bubbly active self”.
This past week, at home, was a rough one for mom and dad seeking out answers and doing whatever they could to get her relief!
Last Thursday morning, Sept 5th, she experienced a severe “back and leg pain attack”, which resulted in her shaking and passing out. Mom doesn’t even remember what happened, but it was the scariest experience of my dad’s life!
Steve and Dad took her to the emergency room at St. Vincent Hospital in Erie. She arrived in pain, very weak, dehydrated, and somewhat confused. Her initial exam, blood work and diagnostic tests were all perfect and inconclusive for anything wrong!
Recognizing the need for further investigation, the ER staff handed her care off to Internal Medicine Hospitalist Extraordinaire Dr. Akash Patel. He admitted her and ordered additional investigative tests.
By the next morning, Sept 6, mom was professionally and compassionately given the shocking news that there were lesions in her brain and lower spine consistent with metastatic brain cancer.
Talk about shock and awe! Mom received the news with her “can do” attitude, a sense of peace that flowed through her, and a confidence that God’s will be done... and that He will lead her in this battle!
She was immediately started on medications to prevent seizures, and to decrease the swelling and inflammation in her brain and spine. Her memory and confusion improved, her shooting back and leg pain went away... and she started looking and feeling so much better and more like the Sally and Wonder Woman we all know and love!
The last few days have been filled with prayers, phone calls to and from friends and loved ones, hospital visitors, flowers, and a beautiful crocheted prayer shawl from FUMC of Union City! (She takes it with her everywhere)
She is being taken care of by a super star team of medical professionals! She has been through screening and diagnostic tests in an attempt to find a possible source of cancer somewhere else in her body as another explanation of what is showing up on her MRI! Nothing has been found!
Although it looks on the MRIs (pictures of the brain and spine) that it is brain cancer, no cancer cells were found floating in the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF), which is the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The infectious disease team is also running further tests on the CSF collected to see if there could be a “long shot” non-cancerous cause for her brain lesions and symptoms.
No stone has been left unturned to try and find another place in her body, other than the brain, to obtain some tissue to biopsy! Getting tissue is a MUST to help us know what she is facing so treatment can begin!
She needs a biopsy of at least one of the brain lesions. The upside is that one of her brain lesions is close to the skull and easy to get to. The downside is that it is very close to major veins and critical speech and memory areas.
Mom has a wonderful neurosurgeon, Dr. Daniel Muccio! She really likes him and has confidence in him as a person and as a surgeon. He has been caring, comforting, knowledgable, available, compassionate, and an all around excellent health care provider! He has consulted with other specialists and neurosurgical colleagues within and outside the hospital system to come up with the safest and most effective way to get tissue to confirm a diagnosis.
And with a diagnosis, treatment can start!
She is set for an open image guided brain biopsy surgery tomorrow, Sept 12, at 1pm at Saint Vincent’s hospital. Using the computer for her surgery will guide the neurosurgeon to accurately and safely biopsy the lesion and help him avoid any other critical brain structures.
Mom has a strong faith in God! She is confident that He is the ultimate healer and that she is totally wrapped up in His protecting arms! She is a fighter and prayer warrior who is now asking for your prayers... for tomorrow’s surgery, for her husband, her family, her surgeon, his team, and for a solid diagnosis to guide the next steps of her treatment!
Mom feels and appreciates your love and prayers! As a family, we all are grateful for everyone who has reached out with calls, cards, flowers, and prayers. Thanks for your support and patience as we navigate this next step in mom’s journey.
We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! Philippians 4:13
“Because no matter how small an act of kindness or generosity or simple positivity you put out into the world, it will make a difference.”
—Wonder Woman comic
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