Her parents could not have given her a better name than Sarah Joy! That is how she lived every day of her life, full of joy! Even though I know that not every day was a perfect or pain free day for her. She passed away peacefully at Grace House of Fort Worth on Oct 8. She had aspiration pneumonia which is one of the many cruel symptoms of FA, she was only 42. She left behind a beautiful 15-year-old daughter, and a handsome19-year-old son! Something that she was very proud of was being a mother!
Sarah Joy may have lost life on this earth on Oct 8, but she gained another kind of joy wrapped in the arms of our Heavenly Father! She is also running and jumping with her brother Adam! Her uncle told me that she said when she gets to heaven the 1st thing she is going to do is challenge her brother to a foot race! Her brother also had FA, and lost his battle over 10 years ago with it. So they are reunited now along with their mother who passed away from a tough battle with cancer in 2000. What a day full of joy. I wish I could be a fly on the wall to have seen that day!!
I am so blessed to have known Sarah 27 years! Most of this time was when she was 15-20. We became the best of friends, and I was always at her house. We shared so many memories together! They were like a 2nd family to me. She was 4 1/2 years younger than me. We had both been diagnosed with FA around the same time (our adolescent years). Because of our FA we shared a common bond.. As she started college, got married, had children, and moved to Georgia I did not get to see her as often but we would still keep in touch when she would come to visit her dad. In 2014 her sister Rachel, Sarah, and I went on a ataxia cruise together. That was so much fun to get to visit with her there. This past year she came back to Texas, and into the Grace House of Fort Worth as things had became very challenging for her where FA is concerned. The Grace House is not very far from where I live’s so my caregiver and I were able to go visit with her!In June of this year I got to go on an outing with Sarah, Rachel, Sarah’s daughter Annie, my caregiver Christina, and my dad to Wild Blueberries ice cream shop to enjoy a ice cream while spending several hours visiting! Thanks to uncle Barney I got to FaceTime with her about 4 or 5 times before she went home to heaven and even though I didn’t understand much of what she said and I do not know what she understood or heard of me but the one thing that was clearer than anything was when she would tell me, “I love you!” We would say that to one another several times just to make sure that we both knew that! And That is something that I will never forget, it fills my heart with JOY!!
This has been a very emotional month for me, and one I was not sure that I was even going to post because so much time has been passed and I have procrastinated on this for a while. The memorial service was held yesterday for Sarah. I always want to keep her memory close to me and this is a good way for me to do that.
Rolling on, Stephanie