Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Honored to Be Jenni's Mother-In-Law & Josh's mom

As I write through tears, I know that my words will in no way express all that I want to say or all that I feel.

I have many "thank you's" to express and the first is to Jenni.

"Thanks for being the best daughter-in-law ever". I am so thankful for all the fun times that I had with Jenni...visiting Josh and Jenni at Pembroke, visiting at their house in Rockingham, and celebrating their new home in Hickory. I was so honored that Jenni asked me to help take care of her through her two transplants. We spent many days at the clinic, hospital, apartment and Caring House and I treasure the closeness that we had together. I told her many times what an inspiration she was to me and to so many. Her faith and her courage were unbelievable. Through everything, she never complained. I thank her for loving Josh and being so devoted to him. I can't count the number of times that through her ordeals, she was worried about Josh. I am so thankful for the time that I had with her. I am glad that I could be a "stand-in-mom" until she was able to be with her mom again. There are no words to express the love that I had for her and how much I will miss her.

Thanks to Josh for being such a wonderful husband and son. Josh, you have amazed me with your faith, strength and courage through some difficult times. I have watched you take care of Jenni and many could take lessons from you. Your love and devotion to her has been evident to all. I love you and am so proud of you.

Thanks to all of you who have kept us going. Your words of encouragement and your prayers have helped in more ways than you can ever imagine. Please know that we have appreciated all that you have done whether it was a prayer, a phone call, a card, a hug, a comment on the blog, a donation, money slipped into Josh's pocket...whatever you did, we thank you. The outpouring of support from the blog and from family and friends has been overwhelming.

A thank you to all those that we have met in the waiting room, who have given us support. Our hearts go out to the families that we said good-bye to when they lost their loved one. Please know that you are all still in our thoughts and prayers. For those who are still waiting for a loved one to recover, our prayers are with you.

This special note to Selena's family: We still think of you and pray for you. Mary, I have read all your messages on the blog. Your words of encouragement have meant so much and we still think of your family. My email address is debbieroach@hotmail.com I hope to hear from you.

Keep praying, as the next few days will be very difficult. We trust God to see us through and we are comforted to know that Jenni is healthy and happy.


Anonymous said...

I have never met your family and was led to this blog through a request for prayer via Facebook. First, let me say that I am so, so sorry for your family's loss. Please know that I've been praying and continue to pray. As a complete stranger, I have been so touched an humbled by Jenni and your family's courage and strength. I have also been incredibly touched by the outpouring of love that you've received from around the world and the amount of compassion that I've had the privilege of witnessing through this blog. Thank you for sharing your story, letting us into your lives and for helping to restore my faith in people and community.

Anonymous said...

We have been so blessed to get to know your family in the waiting room at Duke. All of your families faith and courage inspired us to be stronger. Please know that you will continue to be in our prayers. It is evident that Jenni was an amazing woman who has touched many lives with her grace and courage.

The Coley Family
From Mt. Pleasant NC

Anonymous said...

I would just like to give you a special thank you for raising Josh to be the man he is today. Words can never express the grief that the entire family is going thru, but I know with God in the picture things will be much easier. Just know that Josh and the Wallace family are in our prayers and thoughts for the days to come.

Kerry said...

Please know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers. I have known Jenni and Judy since I was little, but have lost touch with them over the years. Although I have not been to this site before today, I have prayed for Jenni and the entire family for a long time! I know that there were lots of angels welcoming Jenni home last night...and I am glad that she is no longer suffering. I also know that there are no words that can heal your grief, so please just know that I am thinking of and praying for all of you!

Karen W said...

You all have been in my thoughts and prayers thoughout the day. I have also put you all on our church's prayer list and asked some of my friends to pray. I can only imagine what you're going through, but as you all have testified, our God is so good. Jenni is resting with Him and I pray that God will bring you all the gift of comfort and peace.

We only knew Jenni for a short while last year from church. She was a sweet person to be around and there is no doubt of the lives that she has touched.

Anonymous said...


What a wonderful tribute to Jenni and to Josh. If you remember, Josh was my student teacher, and I came to love him so much. I taught Jenni in Honors English her senior year at RSHS. Jenni and Josh are so special. There are no words to express my sympathy and my sadness; however, Jenni has received the ultimate healing.

Josh and Jenni were a very special couple. Their love for one another was evident through their actions and their looks. What a beautiful young couple!

You expressed your understandable pride for Josh, and he is one of the best Christian young men I have ever met. For the short time that he and Jenni were together,they had to face so much heartache; and they were always smiling when I saw them. I knew when I met you and your mother where Josh got his kind, loving way. You also became the mother Jenni lost. Marie and I grew up together, and the two of you would have loved each other so much. Marie was very special, too.

May God take care of you, Josh, and both families.

Love and prayers,
Lynn Clewis

Deborah Moore said...

Debbie, Jenni was very lucky to have you as a mother-in-law. She loved you like a mother. When I would go stay with Jenni at the Caring House and you would be leaving to take a short break to work she would always comment on how good you were to her. The different people I would talk with at the Caring House talked about you and how good you were to her. I know Marie was looking down from Heaven and smiling knowing someone like you had come into Jenni's life. I told you the other day when I was at Duke how proud you should be knowing that you raised a son like Josh. I know you are sooo proud of him and I know your hurt is doubled because you lost Jenni and you see how hurt Josh is. Josh was a wonderful husband to Jenni. You could always see the love that they had for each other. Their wedding was one wedding that I was proud to be a part of, becuase I knew it would be forever. I just did not realize how short forever would be. Again, thank you for being so good to Jenni and thank you for raising such a wonderful son. Our hearts are hurting , but I know we will one day see Jenni again.

Mrs. Sipe said...

Praying for all of you. I am amazed as I read each entry. So much to say, but nothing seems right. Love you all!
Beth Sipe
(Eddie, Anna, Evan, and Liza)

Anonymous said...

Debbie I agree with Deborah Moore You and Marie would have been the best of friends, like her, you are a kind, caring, beautful woman. I thank the Lord Jenni had someone in her life that treated her like a daughter. Your Josh is one of a kind man so loving,and caring like you . You raised him well. Kindness and caring is not born overnight but is learned from someone like you, his mother. Marie was my very best friend, our children grew up together we took vacations together we were considered more like family instead best of friends. I still miss her terribly and now I will miss Jenni like she was my own. You are blessed. If you can e-mail me sometime beckyb1014@yahoo.com We love all of you Becky & Danny Bowers

Anonymous said...

Debbie -

Laboratory is still praying -- now for Josh and all of you, for Jenni is at peace. Please give our love and prayers to all of Jenni's family and Rockingham friends, and give Josh a big hug from the Peacocks/Jones families.

We love you.
Dan & Leeanne

Anonymous said...

We continue to pray daily for everyone. Josh gets his kindness definitely from his mom. Everyone at Laboratory
loves you. Blair & Ann

Anonymous said...

All of you continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. God bless you all. Judy Freeman

Anonymous said...

Debbie, I do not know you , but i did know Jenni and Judi. Man what I would give to have a mother-in-law like you, and its suppose to be that way. My mother-in-law never cared anything for me, and I have bathed her when she was sick, fixed her medicine, drove her to the doctor, cleaned her house, I have been a good wife, and mother to her son and grandchildren, I raised my kids sitting on pews at the church. She just did my children wrong and I would not accept that-other than that I still love her --Pray she will one day love me back. You are wonderful lady. I knew Maria and she was a great lady, Jenni was so much like her mama. I am praying you all find comfort in the days ahead, God will dry the tears from your eyes and heal your broken hearts--praise the Lord

Anonymous said...

Debbie, Jenni loved you like a mother. Throughout all the times at Duke and the Caring House, she knew she could count on you. I remember talking to her about you and she always had the nicest things to say. I know she thought of you as the mother she did not get to have her adult life. She loved you, seeing you with her touched me. I always knew when she said you were with her that she would be in the best care. You loved her like a daughter and she knew how you felt. I am lucky to have seen that love. Marie would love you and I know she is in having looking down thanking you for being there for her daughter. She knew she had you to turn to. You raised a remarkable son that was a remarkable husband to Jenni. Josh's love for Jenni was always evident and throughout this last fight it was even more evident. I know you are hurting, you not only lost your daughter in law..you lost you daughter in a sense. I am here for you and the whole family. I remember being snowed in at your house with Jenni and Josh and you took care of me and you really did not know me. I will always be eternally grateful for that and what you were to Jenni. Even in the hospital you were a rock for me and for everyone else. You are a wonderful person and you were very special to Jenni. No words can really explain how we all feel, but know you had a very special place in her heart. I love you and your family and am here for you all. Praying still Katie and Chris

Anonymous said...

Our mother would have been honored to have known you. I am sure that Becky is correct that you and mom would have been great friends. Thank you so much for all that you did for my little sister. I know that she felt lucky to have you. She and I often compared notes and agreed that we both got very lucky in the "mother-in-law" field. Also, you should be very proud of the job you did raising Josh. He is remarkable and mature above his age. My sister was lucky to have a man like him. I love you all and will see you soon in Rockingham.

Amy, Jeff, Alicyn, & Hunter

Anonymous said...

We are praying for you.

Mark, Susanne, Lauren, Hunter, Grant

Anonymous said...

As I write the tears stream down my face. Tears for Jenni's struggle to stay with her loved ones, but tears that I know she is relieved to no longer have to fight. I transplanted with Jenni in 2007. I am aware of many of the challenges that she faced, some personally of my own and many from talking with her and watching her. I've been in constant vigil regarding her situation. I've prayed for her husband and other family members that have endured her fight. But I know that she has won nevertheless, because the fight is over. She will live now and be happy, and free, as well as healed. May God bless and keep everyone one of you and give you that peace that surpasses all understanding, in Jesus name.

Anonymous said...

I just want to comment you on raising your son to be the person that he is. Josh & Jenni were in the Teaching Fellows program here at UNCP and they both were the best. He was always so polite and well mannered and everyone knew that his and Jenni's love was true, just by their actions. I know you all are having a difficult time right now but friends and family will help make things better for you. Please let us know if there is anything we can do for you or the family.

Lynn Hayes
UNCP Teaching Fellows

Anonymous said...

Your Jenni made people think about their lives. Not only that, Jenni's story has caused people to pause to pray to Jesus. It's not very often that you see prayer outside of the church but because you shared your story, Jenni's story, we can only guess at how many people have turned their eyes to our Lord.
Imagine the wonderful place Jenni now rests and find your peace there.

In Christs love,


Anonymous said...

Debbie, I have not met you before but I have heard great things about you. I too agree that Jenni was very lucky to have such a caring mother-in-law such as yourself. My aunt Marie was so very kind and Jenni was so much like her. I remember when I was growing up how she took care of me and then when I had my first born how she interacted with her. I'm so glad that Jenni is with her mom, but I'm heart broken that she had to leave such a wonderful family such as yours and a great husband such as Josh.
Josh, Please don't ever questioned the care you took of Jenni, because I know you did a great job. We will all miss her but we know that all her suffering is over and she is in a special place. I think of yall often and I will have you in my prayers and thoughts always.Andrea

Jennifer Blake said...

I don't personally know this family. I was referred to this blog on Monday and I am so awed by the love that has been expressed through the internet. So much vulgarity goes through the web, that it is a blessing to see love, support, faith, and a closeness to God instead. My husband and I attended Temple Christian School prior to Jenni and Judy, but I would like the entire family to know that you all are in my prayers and that this blog has touched my spirit. May the Lord be with you all through this difficult time. Love in Christ, Jennifer Blake

Anonymous said...

Dear Debbie, I only learned about this yesterday at school. I just wanted to tell you how very sorry I am for this devastating loss, but I am greatly encouraged at the overwhelming testimony of the love for Christ shown on this blog. You must be so proud of your son! I will pray for comfort for you, Josh, and the rest of Jenni's family. May the Lord bless you all. Love in Christ, Janis Cunningham (Lincolnton)

Anonymous said...

Please know that you, Josh and all of Jenni's family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers. You are special to so many people. Love and prayers.
Elizabeth Ross Carpenter

Anonymous said...

My prayers are still going out for you and the family...Jenni was a real good friend of my daughter in law and son..Melissa and Ronnie Kidd..I know Ronnie was ask to be a pall bearer..They thought so much of both Josh and Jenni...I know she was loved by lots of people and she will be missed dearly..I met her at Ronnie and Melissa's wedding and she was so nice to us all....You can sleep knowing she is in the arms of Jesus and with her mother now...No more pain or suffering...And in time you will heal and be able to go on with life the way Jenni would want you too...Know that you..Josh and the family have a shoulder to lean on whenever you need one from so many friends....God be with you all in the next few weeks....
Again God Bless You All...

Brenda Kidd

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