My Jody

Sunday I went to Cedar Rapids to visit my niece Jody in the hospital.  Many of you know that she is the baby sister I never had.  I’m the youngest in my family.  Jody was born four years after me.  For several years my sister and the kids lived in a trailer home on my parents farm.  We ran back and forth between the trailer and my parents house ALL THE TIME.  She was my bestie…I’ve loved her like most people love their sister.  She’s super precious to me.


Jody has been dealing with recurring breast cancer for six years.  She’s been the most amazing trooper doing the brunt of raising their five kids while her husband David worked long hours to support them.  In November she found out that the cancer moved to her liver.

We all know that liver cancer is a bad one but Jody stayed super upbeat.  She was the bravest gal I know.  At one point she had done weeks of chemo, losing her hair and feeling terribly sick only to find out the treatments had done nothing.  In fact, the cancer got larger.

The docs changed her chemo giving her some wicked stuff that pulled her out of her everyday life and put her on the couch and even in bed.  This last month has been especially hard for her.

Jody spent several days in the hospital…thrilled to finally be home.  Sadly that was short lived…  She went back to the hospital last week and there she has stayed getting worse and worse news.

For those interested, Jody’s blog is HERE.  She hasn’t been able to update for awhile.  If you want to read a story of a woman of faith…her’s was the blog to read.

Karl, Kelli, Georgia and I went to see her on Sunday.  It was a hard trip.  All the feelings from Kramer being there were rushing back…but that gave me strength even though it was super sad.

I’m no doctor but seeing Jody, made me believe that we were nearing the end.  Everything was so much like Kramer…I talked with the family and they didn’t seem to know.  It was the biggest struggle for me.  I know how precious that last bit time we had when Kramer knew he was going.  He said the things he needed to say.  We said the things we needed to say.  I didn’t want my precious niece to miss the opportunity so I (not knowing if everyone was going to hate me) took another niece with me and talked to the nurse asking a few questions.  She asked if we wanted to talk to the doctor and I said yes.

Before long the doctor showed up and had the hard talk with us.  Jody is at end of life.  The doctors have thrown everything at her that they know to do.  The cancer has turned very aggressive and the end is near.

Jody had slept most of the morning but later, after we heard the news, I went in to tell her good-bye.

I tried to be brave.  I tried to tell her all the things…How precious she is to me…the amazing mom she is…considerate, loving daughter she is…hard working wife….I reminded her of all the good she did in the world.  She has been the parent volunteer for EVERYTHING!  I told her she only had a few more days and asked her to continue to brave and go when Jesus came for her.  I reminded her of all the friends and family who would support David as he continued to care for their five kids.  Then I asked her a favor.  I asked her to go take care of Kramer….and give him the biggest hug when she got there.

This was one of the most emotional days of my life…crying, hugging, laughing but most loving on Jody and my sister’s family….so now.  I wait.  I pray.  I pray that passing is not a struggle.  I pray she can let go of her precious family.  I pray they can let go of her.  I wish the phone call will never come…but I know it will.

Jody made my childhood happy.  She made family easier to understand.  She shared craftiness with me.  She really means the world to me.  My life was better because she shared it with me.  Here or in heaven, she’ll always be my Jody.

If I’m gone for a day or two, you know where I am.

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35 thoughts on “My Jody

  1. Stoney Monte

    When I finished reading your entry, I sat quietly for a moment, not knowing what to say. Then I remembered the song Eric Clapton wrote when his son died. “Would you know my name if I saw you in heaven?” I thought of that song because you are asking Jody to hug your Kramer when she gets to heaven. I think you just made her passing easier because now she has a new purpose and another way to show her love for you. Holding all of you in my heart, Stoney

  2. Lori Douglas

    I’m crying! I remember when Jody ended up in our dorm room in Mn. Well that ended in a tour of IA to bring her back home. But Jo, that is when Roger saw you for the first time. He was shingling Dad’s barn. He asked him who that girl was with Lori. He had his eye on you then which lead him to go to the piano burning party. Im glad you got to tell your Jody goodbye. I know you are as special to her as she is to you! Big hugs from from afar.

  3. Elle

    God Bless YOU for having the insight and then the strength to ask the hard question , tell Jody and educate the family. You already knew how important to have those final conversations and you lived the example that hopefully the rest of her family can follow giving themselves the comfort that we know comes with having those conversations.

    GodSpeed Jody in your transition to Heaven. May God hold you and comfort you, protecting you and carrying you Home.

    Hugs to you Jo!

  4. Susan the Farm Quilter

    Thank you for having the strength and honesty to have the conversation with the doctor, Jody and the family. Yes, it hurts like nothing else will ever hurt, but at least you get the chance to tell the people that you love everything we don’t say, we just assume you know. With my dad on hospice, I’ve asked the nurses to be brutally honest with me since I am his only caregiver. I want to know…I need to know. I pray that all those who love Jody get the chance to tell her just how special she is to them and has been such a blessing to them. Praying for you…this is the time to rest in the arms of Jesus and let Him share your pain. Drive safe.

  5. gayle tucker

    You found the words to ease you buddy through the final door.I know she is so relieved someone finally acknowledged how sick she is. It gave her permission to say her goodbyes and remain in control. Cancer death is quiet. A drifting away with everyone asking a person to come back who no longer has the strength to do that. Now they can grieve and accept death is inevitable. My friend, who was dying from pancreatic cancer was consoling his brother when he said, “Death comes racing on a fast horse, never altering its stride.” He was telling him he could see his destiny and he wasn’t frightened. We who remain are the frightened ones. Jody goes with Kramer to another piano burning.

  6. Susan

    This brought tears to my eyes. You, your family and Jody and her family are in my prayers. May God’s peace be with you all.

  7. Sheila

    Thank you for taking time to share Jodi’s story. I’m sorry you had to go through this, but am thankful you had time to have that difficult but very precious time with her. Please take whatever time off you need. Just remember that we are are all here holding you up in prayer and love. ❤

  8. Erin

    Oh no, Jo I’m so sorry. I’m sitting in an airport crying as I read this. I don’t know you, I don’t know Jody but to think a mom of 5 kids has lost her battle with cancer is just too cruel. I’ve been reading your blog for a long time now and for this to come so close after losing Kramer… you and your family must be just so heartbroken. It seems there is nothing else to be done but to hope that Jody’s passing is peaceful and that the family can support and lean on one another during such a difficult time. My thoughts are with you.

  9. Lace Faerie

    What a blessing you are to Jodi and her family. The guidance you were able to provide them through another end of life transition, though wrenching to you, will give them peace of mind in the years ahead, knowing they were prompted to say goodbye.

    You and yours continue in my prayers. May the Lord give you peace.

  10. Gloria

    What a blessing you are, Jo. The relief Jody got from your honesty, your telling her what she’s meant to you, all that love filled her with peace and the comfort to bid all farewell as her journey takes her into Jesus’s arms and the big hug to Kramer. God Bless one and all!

  11. Donna T

    Such sad news and so soon after your beloved hubby passed. I am so sorry Jo. Will pray for your family.

  12. ShirlR

    I am so, so sorry, Jo. I know from your blogs how much Jody means to you. My heart goes out to you and to all the members of your family. I will pray for Jody that her journey to see our Dear Lord is easy, and also for comfort and peace for you and all the members of your family. The Lord bless an keep you all during this time so soon after your beloved Kramer’s passing.

  13. Judy1522

    I am so sorry you are going through this again. You have helped your niece and her family so much and they will be so grateful that they had the time to say the things that needed to be said. I am keeping your family in my prayers.

  14. Arrowhead Gramma

    My prayers are with you and all of your family during this time. Know that Jody will give Kramer that big hug from you when she sees him on the other side.

  15. Candi

    Words can’t express my sorrow that you are losing your Jody. I pray that you and your family can find peace during this difficult time. My love, hugs and prayers are going out to you and your family.

  16. Lisa B

    Jo, you are a brave woman to face all that pretty much alone. You could teach hospice/ grief volunteers. I wanted to do this with my MIL but everyone was in denial of her pending death and since she couldn’t talk family assumed she couldn’t hear us even though the hospice person said she may be able to. What a great example you are setting and leading for your children, and others that read your blog. Jody’s family and yours are in my prayers.

  17. Stearns Carol

    It is comforting to have a faith so strong that you know where you are going and who will be there. Words can’t express how we are feeling for you and your family.

  18. Valerie

    I am so sorry that you and your family are experiencing another major loss. My heart goes out to you and yours.

  19. Kim LeMere

    I’m so glad that you got to go and say your good byes to sweet dear Jody, she has been on my mind the past few days. May God bless her and keep her in his loving hands.

  20. Janine

    I am so sorry to hear Jody has been so sick. This had me in tears, I can’t imagine you & your family! Just know she will wrap Kramer in her loving arms for you. Bless you, your family & Jody’s loved ones at this time. Hugs, Janine

  21. Diana

    So sorry Jo, this darned cancer has the last word on life. I have a friend that is battling liver cancer as I speak, and I do not know when it will take her, nobody but GOD knows. The Doctors have done all they can for her too, and have stopped chemo for her. Jody will rejoice in HEAVEN with Kramer. Isn’t it a good feeling to have them together on that day.

  22. LeAnn Hileman

    I am so sorry, crying for you while I write. I too had a niece 4 years younger than me who has passed on having battled anal cancer. May God comfort you and yours and give you all strength and finally, peace.

  23. Linda

    Tears ….many tears for you and Jody…I have read her blog many times…what a woman of faith…Many angels are around her now…

  24. Janet

    Your experiences are able to help other people and that is priceless. What a blessing to the family for you to facilitate the hard talk. To ensure everyone says what they want said.

    I’m sorry you are going through this again, especially so soon. Hugs and prayers.

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