The Choose Joy Blog began in August 2016. My mother Joan Mary Powers was in the final stages of cancer and had made one final request of me: “Please write about our family…what a great family we were and how happy and loving we’ve always been.” There was no way I could disobey my amazing mother who had lived a life of selfless service to all.  So late one night while sitting with her in a Cape Cod Hospice Care room, I began the Choose Joy blog.

Mom and I had hoped to write a book together, capturing the faith and happiness of her final three years on this earth. By the grace of God and advances in science at Dana Farber Medical Center, mom was given an extra three years of life with us. These precious years were more that we could have ever hoped for based on her original diagnosis in August 2013.

The Choose Joy blog posts are written in tribute to a woman who loved always, gave more than she was asked for, and lived a life of beauty, sacrifice and love. My hope is that others learn to love and find joy through her life as told through these stories.

In the fall of 2018, I began writing about my own challenges with back pain. After a six-year battle which included two major spinal fusion surgeries, a dozen plus spinal injections and a multitude of doctor visits and other treatments, I felt it was time to tell my story. Thanks to mom, I have been able to find joy and meaning through the pain which continues to this day. I hope you, reader, find this blog helpful and take away something from my words which will enrich your life.

God bless you.

Jennifer Schiller