It has to start with Jeff

My first blog entry is about the person who is my inspiration for the blog and also where I got the name for it.  Jeff was a truly special, one of a kind man, who I was blessed to have as a cousin and friend. He welcomed everyone in and had this ability to make you feel special and important. He was just that person that everyone wanted to be around! One of my favorite things about him was his love for life and how he enjoyed living it everyday.  

photo Thats why 4 years ago when he was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. How could it be?  He was an athlete from the age of 5 and never smoked a day in his life.  He just did a triathlon with my husband a year ago. Not Jeff!! We couldn’t loose Jeff!! This couldn’t be happening!!  But it was and over the next three years, Jeff fought the fight of his life. Surgeries, Chemo, Radiation, more Surgeries, more Chemo, Highs, Lows and even with all he was going through he still had this light that shined through him and drew you in. He continued to live life and do his best to enjoy everyday. In August of 2013 the doctors told Jeff that there was nothing else they could do and he would have to start thinking about looking into the care he would need to live out his final days comfortably.  Jeff just wanted to go home, where for the next three weeks he spent each day with his wonderful wife Jodi and his two amazing kids by his side hosting visitor after visitor.  The house was non-stop and he welcomed everyone in with a hug and a smile.  One afternoon my husband and I were sitting on the couch with him and in true Jeff fashion he wanted to know everything that was going on with us and the kids. We chatted about things that seemed important but now seem trivial and Jeff listened to every word and said “You never know where your life is going to take you, so you just have to enjoy it and learn to Just Roll With It”

1237911_631136470240678_1980089882_nPicture taken by Jodi from that afternoon.

Two weeks later Jeff would be gone and I would find out that I was going to be a mother again. I will never be able to thank him enough for that advice he gave me that day.  The lesson it taught me is something I will cherish always.  Life is way to important to get hung up on nonsense. It is precious and meant to be enjoyed, so do your best to remember that and to Just Roll With It.

xoxo

Jill

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