Diary 2007/2008
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Wednesday 28th February 07 –  'THE WORST DAY OF OUR LIVES...........

Joe had been feeling unwell with headaches over a period of a few days and so Sue took him to Addenbrooks a day early for his monthly check-up. Bloods were taken to check everything -  liver, kidneys & full blood count.

12.15pm - Mike, our consultant dealt the devastating news - both types of leukaemia had returned - everything that can be done has been done...........Dave came up to the hospital.

Many, many, many tears later, we left for home armed with a new concoction of pills but very numb...................

Started making a list of things we wanted to do with family & friends........

Everyone absolutely devastated...........

 

Nobody got much sleep..............

 

Thursday 1st March – Year 11 were told in assembly by Mr Wilson that the leukaemia had returned.

Joe, Dave, Sue, Jess and Ellie enjoyed 2 hours ice skating in Milton Keynes then went for a meal in Frankie & Benny's.

A better sleep by all - probably just down to sheer shock & exhaustion.....

 

Visitors today; Jack (Snob) & Jules Bottesch

 

Friday 2nd March – a day out to Southend.Cockles &  prawns from the wet fish stall,a walk along the seafront, skimmed stones, Rossi's ice cream, arcade games & slot machines, (peir/crazy golf closed ) picnic on the beach in our pop up tent, flask coffee(Joe's favourite)!!, fish & chips in a seaside shelter hut thingey that looked out to sea & a cup of takeaway tea!!!Left for home - tired but happy...........

 

Visitors today; Luke Martin to try on Red Nose ears!

 

Saturday 3rd March – Joe has always been a fanatic on motorbikes so Dave has made arrangements.......!!!!! Went to A & M Motorcycles where Dave went out on a Suzuki SV650 whilst Joey chose a Kawasaki Ninja 636 for his high speed blast  -  I now hear the speedo hit 3 figures!!!!!!!!!!  Went to the cinema in the afternoon to see 'Hot Fuzz' - very funny!!!

Totally randomly, out of the blue, on the doorstep in the evening, stands Mel Waite (Mel was in Joe's school & emigrated to New Zealand in October) heard about Joe, Mel's mum said it was either a new car for Mel or come & see Joe - fresh from an inward flight stands Mel in her shorts & flip-flops - this time, instead of Superman boxers (she bought last year for his birthday & he proudly paraded round C2 in) she bought 'All Blacks' boxers!!!!!!

 

Visitors today; JFP, Nun & Lou & Lou's friend Ginge, Mad Mel Waite!!!!!!!!

 

Sunday 4th March – Trevor Wilson visited AM complete with a M&S massive chocolate bunny for Joe & Jess' birthday from his wife Sue. Lots more visitors AM. The family + Luke, Jack and Adam took a high speed chase into go-karting and then off to Prezzos for an italian meal with Jack & Luke. All back to Snob's house (Jacks)  for a while before friends visited in the evening & helped to open & eat the bunny!-didn't you Dan??? 

 

Visitors today; Sheila & John Beckwith, Nan & Deb, John, Lesley & Mark, Trevor Wilson, Colin, Jane, Barry, Sophie & Dan

 

Monday 5th March – Joe enjoyed the go-karting so much that he wanted to do it again on an outside track with his family and a large group of friends-the quickest way of getting a message to his friends was to go in to school as they have an assembly on Monday mornings. Sue ended up, once again, speaking to the year group about Joe & his prognosis. Met all his friends at School at 2.30 & went for a fantastic blast round John Browns go-carting track-a fantastic afternoon was had by all - thanks John!  Scottish night in our summer shed - snow up the windows, wind a howling, haggis, neeps n tatties, champagne, scottish raspberry trifle & shortbread. All wore kilts, stupid tartan hats with orange hair & played pass the parcel to scottish music!!!!! - jolly good fun!!!!!!!!!!!!  Joe very tired tonight - busy, busy day.

 

Tuesday 6th March - Helicopter ride for Joe, Jess & Ellie - early birthday present from Nanny & Auntie!!! Family visited in the evening & couldn't resist eating the bunny!

 

Visitors today; Colin, Silly old Laura!!, Erica, Richard & Anthea

 

Wednesday 7th March - Last night after settling Joe in bed, he got up & asked Sue to take him into town (as this morning) to look round the jewellers........

 

Dr, community nurse & CLIC nurse Amanda due today. A very stressful day!!!!!!!!! Joe & Jess went to Hollywood Bowl with a group of mates for their birthday - everyone had a fantastic time!

 

Visitors today; Mandy,Colin, Ollie

 

Thursday 8th March - JOE  'n' JESSIE'S 16TH BIRTHDAY!!!!! - Joe woke about 7.00am after a bad night - back to bed again till 9ish. Feeling very sore today. Dr came out & put it down to all the energetic testosterone fueled activities Joe has been undertaking!!! Spent 2 hours opening presents & cards including a fantastic present from The Priory School - a 20" flatscreen digital TV with built in DVD! bought with just 'some' of the money raised from the sale of a CD of which Joe was given the 1st copy, made as a tribute to Joe called 'You Mean The World To Me'...... unbelieveably generous............ 3pm - a Roast Chicken dinner cooked by dad (Joe's request), & champagne to toast the day. A very special birthday cake (thanks Joan!), bucks fizz & slippery nipples (baileys & sambuca!) offered to visitors on this very special day! Joe had a really, really fantastic evening with friends & family! Jack bought round many gifts for Joe including a 'Wii' & a 'Special Friends' framed picture of Joe & his mates celebrating on Saturday 13th January 2007!

 

Visitors today; Nanny, Mandy & Maisie, JFP, Nun & Lou, Auntie & Emma, Jack, Jules & Luke 

 

Friday 9th March - Trevor Wilson came round with Mr Loach (HeadTeacher of The Priory School) so he could present Joe with his Headteachers Commendation. (Picture on pictures page)

Millbrook Test track! Jack came too - of course!!  Joe went round the famous 'bowl' at 142 mph!!!!!!!!!!!! Took all other experiences gently as Joe feeling a little more achey today. Joe fancied something for tea that was really really flavourful so we did none other than get on the phone to JFP (Uncle John) who booked a table for 8 at the Shefford Tandori. We filled the table with food a cleared most of it too!!!!Home by 9.30pm as very tired.

 

Visitors today;Trevor Wilson, Mr Loach, Jack

 

Saturday 10th March - Sue took Joe into town to buy a 'special' birthday card. Joe treated Sue to the second breakfast of the day in The Triangle Cafe where Jess works. Had an easy afternoon at home playing on the Wii as looking forward to going round a friends tonight & having a lads night in!Unfortunately this did not transpire so Sue, Dave, Joe, Jess & Ellie went to the newly refurbished 'Royal Oak'. Joe & Jess, now they are 16, wanted to order wine with their meal, so they did! (Like age has ever stopped them before........ .

 

Sunday 11th March - another gloriously warm spring day - a bbq planned for this afternoon with Mark, Lesley, Rachel & Katherine. Joe made kebabs, Dave decked out our new summer shed! & cooked a fab barbe. Joe challenged Mark & Dave to a darts tournament-they all won one game. Had a laugh on the dance mat & Sue did appaulingly bad at bowling with the 'Wii' even though she was given 'expert'  coaching by Sonny (the current bowling champion)!!! Joe tired as the day progressed - didn't sleep too well.

 

Visitors today; Nanny, Mandy, Auntie & Becks, Mark, Lesley, Rachel, Katherine & Sonny

 

Monday 12th March - beautiful spring day!  We have a special invitiation to attend Silverstone Race Track today & for Joe to be given a blast round the track. Unfortunately Joe feeling too tired this morning but really wanting to go. Nurse in to take bloods. Just as we were leaving for Silverstone, we had a call to say the car had blown up! so, with that, we decided to take a picnic to Bedford River. Whilst there, we went to see Norbit at the cinema with the intention of a nice walk round the river before heading home but Joe too tired so we bought him home where he had 1 1/2hrs kip! Awoke feeling much better, had tea at home for the first time in ages then took Joe to deliver a very special birthday present to a very special someone........ Decided to stay in to try & get Joe more relaxed so he would hopefully sleep better tonight- challenged each other on the 'Wii' - we now have a new high score of 205 on the bowling!!!!!!!!!! Top boy Joey!!!!! 

 

We still have lots of things planned to do........

 

Tuesday 13th March - HAPPY 16th  BIRTHDAY GEMMA  ! Joe had another restless night & hence woke feeling so very tired. After forcing down breakfast he tried in vain to get some sleep whilst the  house is quiet & the girls are at school for the day. Feeling extremely tired, irratiable & fed up with feeling so crap & wondering what is the point of taking medication............. extremely emotional for us all....... . Nan & Deb popped in & Joe seemed much brighter for a while. On the advice of the nurse, gave Joe some Nozinan which makes him drowsy & then....... he slept! Woke to the delights of homemade minestrone (made by Sue as it's one of Joe's favourites) & Joe ate well before getting ready for the event of the day - VIP tickets to Luton Town Football Club, to include meeting the players, a tour of the grounds etc, a 4 course meal & of course, watching the game. Took Luke M & Mark. We heard yesterday that there would be a limo collecting them at 4.30pm to take them there - 4pm, a stretch 'Hummer' limo turned up outside causing a great deal of excitement in Old Hale Way! (will try & get Jack to put some pics up)  

 

Visitors today; Nan, Deb, Nanny, Leanne D, Hannah, Jack & Jules, Luke M, Lesley n Pooie, half the street watchin the Hummer.........

 

Wednesday 14th March - A dreadful night - extremely restless & in alot of pain - tried various medications to settle Joe but nothing seemed to work very successfully.

Nurses due to come today including one from Keech Hospice incase we need assistance in the middle of the night. Joe in too much pain to come out of his bedroom at all. Dr came out. Joe tried to get up at lunch time & passed out - very, very scarey.......  phoned nurses to come out who assessed meds. &  hopefully now we can work at getting Joe pain free. Upped his morphine dose by more than double......hopefully this will kick in & help him sleep tonight. Joe kept asking to see Mel Waite as she is due to fly back to New Zealand tomorrow but at present, he is in too much pain & too sleepy. Eventually, Joe was awake enough to see Mel - so, so pleased he was able to see her before she went back. Once again, Mel came laden with gifts including 'A Star' she had bought & named after Joe which comes with a huge map of the solar system & a code we have to use to find the 'Joe Males Star'......... Also bought the most romantic letter I have ever read............

 

As I write at 6.30pm - so far,no food today....... Joe managed a small glass of milk, mouthful of supernoodles & a small fruit salad. All went to bed early as absolutely shattered................... 

 

Visitors today; Mel,

  

 

Thursday 15th March - Hot air balloon ride planned.............. Unfortunately we are unable to make the balloon ride today. Joe still had a restless night but seemed to sleep for longer periods of time & be awake for longer periods too rather than constantly up & down. At times very hot & just wanting to drink, drink, drink......

Although we seem to have the pain pretty much under control, Joe now has absolutely no energy & even sitting up is a major task. Extremely sick this morning & feeling extremely nauseas - drs will rethink meds. Much more at ease than yesterday but sleeping almost continually.

 

Last week, Joe said, he has some money saved at home which is 'no good to him now' & would I take him shopping. The next day (Weds 7th) we went  round all the jewellers in town & Joe chose 2 pieces for Jess & Ellie & a piece for a very special lady in his life(who's birthday was 2 days ago.....). As Joe is now feeling so ill, we decided today is the day he should give them to his sisters & he told them he had bought them something to remember him by..................an extremely emotional moment we will never, ever forget............still the ever unselfish, thoughtful Joe......................... xxx

 

Visitors today; Ollie, Uncle John, Nun & Lou

 

Friday 16th March     Last night, Joe found taking his tablets rather difficult so we have decided, between us, that if he has a pump attached for medicines, it will make things easier all round & hopefully keep Joe pain free, which happened around 10.30am.........................

Adam, Luke & Jack came to bore Joe with stories of Red Nose Day, apparantly all Luke did was moan...... 

6pm - God Bless You My Darling...............     

 

Saturday 17th March - went to see Joey..........

 

Sunday 18th March - went to see Joey............

 

Monday 19th March >>>>>> We have been so very busy sorting everything for the Thanksgiving of Joe's life which is to be on Tuesday 27th March at St Mary's Church in Hitchin Town Centre - EVERYONE WELCOME! (I hope it's breezy!!!!!!!  )

 

Everyday we all go up & see Joe & tell him our news, all arrangements & many messages from people who love him & everyday we take him something to keep with him. Yesterday Ellie gave him her last rolo - today (Weds) we took him the Guess How Much I Love You Book.........

 

Thursday 22nd March - Spent most of the morning sorting the order of service then on to the Priory to sort the menu for Tuesday. Went to see Joey.........Dave took him his brand new trowel that Joe had had for a christmas present from Dave & a picture of Joe & Gemma..........

 

Friday 23rd March- Went to the cemetery to see where Joe's final resting place will be - a nice spot under the trees to shelter him from the weather.

Made sure we were with him tonight for one week on at 6pm............. today we took him his All Blacks boxers, 2 packets of sweets - 1 for Joe & 1 for Matt, & his special friend bear bought by Jack for Joe's birthday      Received the official certificate for the 'Joe Males Star'

 

Friday 6th April - Everyday, we visit the cemetery. At present, things are definately not any easier. If anything, reality is just beginning to settle in...........  Easter weekend, Joe would have been out in the garden, chivving us all up......... we miss him so much................

 

Easter Weekend - lovely weather, lots of visitors to the grave & lots of lovely meaningful gifts - thank you to everyone.....

 

Friday 13th April - Ellie has been up to the cemetery today & has replaced some of  the flowers in the 'JOE'  & the 'BROTHER' - she has made a fantastic job! Whilst we were there, the florist who did the flowers came up to see Joe & has offered Ellie a job!!!! - wether she accepts or not is another matter..... 

 

Saturday 14th April - Tonight is goint to be a very big challenge. Joe's uncle John (JFP) is having his 50th birthday party which was planned back in July last year. Joe was very much looking forward to tonight - we will all go, now as a reduced family, to represent Joe....... we will try our very best to be brave...... 

 

we struggled through the party. Ellie reluctant to go but was encouraged by Jack who came along too. Lots of tears when 'You to me are everything came on' - as we expected it to (a party is not a party without The Real Thing!)

 

Thursday 26th April - Jules & Jack came round with very large parcels. Jules was looking very worried & saying she was not sure if she had done the right thing or not & hoped we would not be upset. On opening the packages, there were 5 large cushions - all with different pictures printed on - some before relapse - some after....... for us to look at, cuddle, cry on - whatever ............ Jack apparantly chose which pictures to use..........1 in particular is so lifelike........of course I cried!!! but I do cuddle this one pillow regularly.......

 

Saturday 28th April - Yay! Ivan from Ace of Flowers kept his word & has offered Ellie a Saturday job, starting today! Without Joe's passing, this opportunity may not have arisen - so, once again, quite unwittingly, Joe has helped Ellie get out of bed on a Saturday morning & get her first proper job! Thanks Joey!... 

 

Monday 30th April - Adam & Jack are due to receive their HeadTeachers Commendation at their assembly this morning & Sue wanted to be there to see them presented with it & to take a picture to add to the many lovely memories we have. (I will ask Jack to upload it!) This afternoon, I took a copy of the photo up for Joe to see & left it for him at The Cemetery... 

 

Tuesday 1st May - Joe's garden at home is really starting to grow - thanks to a little TLC by Dave. This morning Sue picked the first of the produce Joe has grown - a lovely radish he grew from seed - Sue took it up to show Joe & has left it at the cemetery for him - after all, he grew it - it's his!!!

 

Friday 4th May - Julie Bottesch's birthday (Jack's mum) Sue & Ellie took her a helium balloon & a massive chocolate cake at 8.15 this morning so it would be there for her to share with her family/employees at T-break. When we got up to the cemetery for 6pm (7 weeks today since Joe passed away) there was a piece of cake in foil & a note saying Julie had been up early as she wanted Joe to have the 1st slice & wishes she could have just 1 wish & ask the impossible............. 

 

Sunday 6th May - A few weeks ago, we received a lovely card from Dr Matt Murray, one of the lovely Drs from Addenbrookes who helped care for Joe (& the one who picked up his sepsis infection & sent him up to PICU!) His sister lives in Hitchin & was having a child christened at St Mary's Church today - thats all we knew. We walked down, on the off chance to see if we could see Matt - low & behold we had only been there for 5 minutes when he turned up! So lovely to see him! Went to the cemetery later to put more helium balloons on the bench for Bank Holiday Monday & Dr Matt came up to visit Joe - apparantly he has been before......... how lovely is that.......Thank You sooooo much Matt - lovely to see you again.......... 

 

Wednesday 9th May - A really spiritual thing happened today. This morning, as I usually do, I (Sue) went up to see Joe's garden & to light a candle which we have started to leave there. As we have had alot of rain over the last few days I was anxious that there may be a frog around (anyone who knows me knows that I am petrified of frogs). In my head, I asked Joe, if there are any frogs around or if he is here with me, can he please send me a sign in the form of something froggy sometime during the day. I then thought that this was a silly thing to ask for because I never see any frogs on my way to work, during work, coming home from work or on my way to town or the cemetery. THEN... this morning, about 10.30am, a woman came into school & plonked a toy frog on the counter saying she'd found it on her way in.......I said to my colleague, you will never believe this but......... AND THEN, a little while later, she came in saying all the cards with frogs on were out in the workroom........  Joey's around.......!!

 

Friday 18th May - Today is another poignant day....... 6 days before Joe's relapse, I had been & booked Chesfield Downs Function Suite for a celebration, (& to show off my boy!!!! )1 year on from transplant - just to say Thank You to everybody who has helped & supported us, Joey's friends, our friends, family, neighbours, colleagues, consultants, doctors & nurses from Addenbrookes & BCH, people who attended The Ball, absolutely anyone who was there, unconditionally for us all & got us to where we thought we would be at this time..........  Last night, we went to Chesfield - it was a beautiful evening out on the patio - we looked over the fields & Golf Course - all you could hear was Graveley Church bells in the distance............although he didn't want all the fuss, tonight should have been a very special night......... Joey's night.................  

 

Saturday 19th May - anniversary of Joe's transplant......... 

 

Sunday 20th May - DAVE'S SKYDIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Skydive accomplished! Well Done to all the JB Fencing team - Dave, Jason, Kelly & Pat!!!!! It was a beautifully warm sunny still day. After their training session, Dave, Jason, Pat & Kelly were the third lot to go up. Nobody appeared nervous!!! Pat (Julies dad) jumped first, Dave second but was the last with a perfect landing!!! His words as he landed  - 'Brilliant - absolutely brilliant'.... Pics to follow.......just as soon as I can pin that Jack down........!!!

 

Dave alone has raised a total of £916 for Keech Cottage Childrens Hospice in Luton where the night  nurses who cared for Joe are based. In addition to this, another £377 has been collected  & will be donated to 'The Joe Males Forget Me Not Fund' which we have recently opened with Leukaemia Research.

 

Tuesday 22nd May - As I sat having lunch up at Joe's garden, I was going through my old text messages - 1 of them, from my holistic therapist, who I go to every week for treatments, said to keep asking Joe to send me things & that I wouldn't be disappointed....... so I said, 'OK Joe, send me something to let me know you are around..........'

 

Wednesday 23rd May - Then today, I have a lovely story to tell about some Blue Tits............ Last year, for Joe's birthday, his cousin Ollie bought a bird box up to Addenbrooks for Joe's birthday. When Joe got home from Bristol, he choose where the box should be hung - on the side of our shed, next to the greenhouse & beside an apple tree. About 3 weeks ago, we kept seeing Blue Tits going in the box but were unsure if they were just making a nest or taking food in. Then, a couple of weeks ago, we heard some little chicks inside chirping away. Then...... this morning, whilst I was up having my morning cuppa with Joey at his garden, likkle teeny weeny baby Blue Tits were trying desperately to fly up & get to the front of the hole (which is about 40mm - Dave told me that!!!!! ) & some were already in the apple tree! I do believe that Joe made them fly the nest today................In total, we counted 8 babies - some could hardly fly & we had to keep putting them back in the tree so their mum could feed them. (I will put some pictures up just as soon as I can get hold of that Jack! )

 

Friday 25th May - Another poignant day   ...... today is the day when all Year 11's leave school for study leave at lunchtime - they now only go back for their exams. Jess, Jack, & some other friends are planning on going up to the cemetery at lunchtime when they finish...........   this was the day Joe had talked about for so long........finishing school & going to work with Dave.......... 

 

Monday 28th May - Saturday 2nd June - (half term week) Thank you to all our friends & Joe's school friends who have been going up to look after Joe's plot whilst we were away. But the biggest THANK YOU of all , has to go to Jack & Jules Bottesch who went to the cemetery every morning & evening to make sure the candles were alight all day & all night.........  When we returned home & obviously came straight up to see Joe, they had put up 'Welcome Home' balloons!... 

 

Saturday 9th June - Had a lovely visit from Zoe Hague, Natasha Creamer, Suzannah Copson & Vikki Plum (all local year 6's who go to Wilshere Dacre School in Hitchin) all bursting to tell us that they had proudly raised £356.00 from *Dog walking, * Car washing, *A yard sale, *Sponsored silence, * Donations, *Designing keyrings, & wanted it to be donated to Leukaemia Research in Joe's memory - all really lovely, enthusiastic, bright girls - Thank You so much!

Also, whilst we were away, we sent a postcard to Joe which arrived today & is now up at the cemetery.

 

Sunday 10th June - We are planning today to go to the cemetery & put a border round Joe's plot to make it easier to maintain. We have found some lovely pebbles to lay over the top - Sue wanted these as Joe loved to skim pebbles on the beach...............

 

Well, today, all 4 of us spent 5 hours up at the cemetery & have made Joe's plot really special. It's will now be alot cleaner then having grass to cut every week (having said that, Sue still has to 'mum about' as Joe would say & makes sure daily that there are no dead flowers or 'bits' dropped on the pebbles)....... still lots of beautiful flowers being brought up for Joe - thank you everyone...........

 

Wednesday 13th June - today would have been Joe's last exam - the subject he loved so much - Electronics.......

 

Thursday 14th June - Today Sue went in to school to collect Joe's resistant material work - a solid oak table, a fruit bowl & a coaster. Unsure of where we were going to put the table but Dave gave it a good dusting & it's new home is in our living room - replacing a cheap old table I have been wanting to chuck for literally years.......perfect fit! Perhaps Joe had measured it for that very place! !

 

Friday 13th July - Year 11 Prom night - the night Joe & Jack had talked about & looked forward to during Joe's recouperation period. 

Jess & 13 other girlfriends came up to the cemetery in a 'Fire Truck'at 6.45 to come & have a drink with Joe. All looked absolutely stunning..........

Jack had hired - wait for it - a £120,000 Bentley to come up in with Luke Martin & Adam - how very snobby!!! They too shared a drink with Joe.  Was invited to the Prom so went along for the end of the evening & made a presentation to Trevor Wilson (Joe's Head of Year) for all his efforts on The Males family's behalf. A toast was also done for Joe & a song, The Real Thing, 'You to me are Everything' was played.........

 

Sunday 15th July - 5k Race For Life! Picked Jack up at 9am & went to see Joe to show him our race for life T-shirts with his gorgeous picture on. Had a fun warm up & an emotional minute thinking about why we were all there............ Jess, Maisie, Ellie & Sophie had decided to run. Initially Sue had said as she does not have a competitive streak, she would walk - but - her friend Jane was running! So, change of plan! - with very little training, Sue was now running. All 4 girls did excellently well - 31 minutes - Jane & Sue a little behind on 32 minutes but running all the way!  As all 3 of us have got separate sponsor sheets I am not yet too sure of the total raised but when I do I will let you know - THANK YOU to EVERYONE who sponsored us & those who proudly wore Joe's picture (I think about 24 peeps!) This is the first Race for Life we have done & will definately do another to help fight this wicked, wicked disease..........pictures are now up!  Thanks Jack! Also, the best bit - The Males Girls raised approx £550 for Cancer Research - thank you EVERYONE who sponsored us!

 

August ??? - Jess' friend from school, Terrilee & her friend Alysse, held a disco - all profits to go to The Joe Males Forget Me Not Fund - £304.34!!! Thanks girls!!! Terilee tells me they hope to do more in the near future. 

 

Saturday 15th September - Forget Me Not Ball at The Blakemore Hotel. Our friends Mandy & Lesley had organised another Ball - this time, to launch 'The Joe Males Forget Me Not Fund'. This is a fund, within Leukaemia Research, which Sue set up in memory of Joe. The money collected at the Thanksgiving of Joe's Life, opened this fund. 

Thank You to everyone who came to the Ball - hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did! A very nervous speech by Sue, three pairs of 'Forget Me Not Pants' worn by The Males Gals , fantastic raffle & as usual, the ladies commandeered the dance floor.... The evening raised, to date, £2171.20 with 1 more cheque still promised to us!!! Yay!

 

Wednesday 28th November - Gemma still visits Joe weekly bringing with her a single red rose everytime - so now we have put a special slim vase, just for her rose. Today she brought up a lovely xmas tree with a special Joe bauble a & lovely delicate snowman t-light which we have put in plastic casing to keep it from weathering - such a lovely thought from a lovely girl - no wonder she was Joe's sweetheart...........

 

Saturday 1st December - 'first day of advent' - last night, Dave was saying how Joe used to look forward to his advent calendar & be the first one down to eat the chocolate in the morning & wouldn't it be good if we could do something like that for him now. Ellie being the bright spark she is came up with the idea of filling a calendar with coloured t-light candles. So our Friday night was spent doing just that. So now, the girls open up Joe's advent calendar (which we have left at the cemetry for him) & each day he has the special candle in the high up swinging lantern. 

 

We have bought some lovely big coloured candles, red/green/gold to put at the cemetry in the 2 weeks before Christmas. Although we won't be celebrating, we want Joe's plot to look christmassy. Ellie is planning on making a Christmas Garden to put there - probably sometime over this weekend.

 

Monday 3rd December - Finally got the last drabs of money promised to us since the ball so now able to send off a cheque to Joe's Forget Me Not Fund at Leukaemia Research - a lovely total of £7,568 to help research in to this wicked blood cancer - although too late for us, we hope it helps others so they needn't go through the devastation we feel every single day...........

 

Tuesday 4th December - A beautiful Christmas Twiggy Star  has appeared on Joe's plot - Thank you Amanda - its lovely!

 

We now have 3 Leukaemia Research Christmas * Stars * at the cemetery - one from The Barnes', one from Dianne, one from us...............

 

Sunday 9th December - Today Ellie has made her winter garden & has taken it up for Joe. A tree, holly, snow & winter thistles - it looks beautiful - well done Chubbs, Joe is so proud of you!

 

Thursday 20th December - Another lovely Christmas Tree has appeared on Joe's plot - Thank You Barnes' family!

 

Friday 21st December - 40 weeks/280 days......... still so, so sad without Joey...........    Thank you to whoever left the really cute Christmas Tree candles - we will save them & light them all on Christmas day.

 

Thursday 14th February - A teddy, boxed card, 2 dozen red roses in a heart shaped vase. Joe's plot looks so beautiful today. Thank You Gemma............

 

Wednesday 27th February - Today by the day, tomorrow by the date - 1st anniversary of relapse...............this next month is going to be difficult to get through.

 

*We have planned to mark the 1st anniversary on Friday 14th March by holding a balloon race with all proceeds going to Joe's Forget Me Not Fund within Leukaemia Research. If anyone wishes a balloon to be released on their behalf  from Strathmore School  please send £1 to us at home or to Sue at Strathmore School, Old Hale Way, Hitchin, Herts, SG5 1XR & we will ensure this is done for you. Prize will be £100 voucher for a retailer of your choice.*

 

(We had hoped to do a joint race but was unable to tie the two school together on this day - Mr Loach (Head of The Priory) has said we can do one in the summer term for the whole school.  We may need a little help from the Year 12's on this one!!!!!!!!!!!!! )

 

Thursday 6th March - Today Joe's plot has been sorted ready for His & Jess' 17th  birthday. We hope to take a picnic up on the day but not a good weather forecast . All the lanterns & vases have been washed & the flowers sorted. We have some lovely big orange candles & green & blue  tea lights ready to mark the next couple of weeks....................

 

Saturday 8th March -  After an emotional start to the day, Jess went off, excited on her first driving lesson!!! She drove for about half an hour & can't wait till the next one on Wednesday - she has been told to ease off the throttle next time....... ! The forecast is still quite scary so we got packed up & went to the cemetery around 11am - hoping the rain will hold for a couple of hours. Candles alight, birthday balloons secured-tightly!, picnic eaten, cards opened, cake candles lit & blown, cake eaten - & all in the dry - THANKS JOEY!  Jess has received lots of lovely gifts - mostly relating to driving - money for lessons, car mats, a CD on how to pass your theory, a Tom-Tom & the all important 'L' plates!!!

 

So many lovely flowers have been brought up today - thank you to everyone..............We have left Joe's cards at the cemetery for him in a plastic zip wallet....

 

Had a text to say Joe's auntie was going to plant her Forget-Me-Nots today.............. We want to ask all of you who have Forget-Me-Nots, to plant them by Sunday 16th March. When they grow, it would be nice if you could send us a photo.....

 

Yesterday we received a beautiful vase & arrangement from Matt's family (Joe's friend in C2). Today we received a bouquet from Ward C2 in Addenbrooks Hospital - remembering Joe on his birthday - how thoughtful is that???????(pictures up!)

 

Jess out 'clubbing' with friends. Received a text in the early hours saying 'Shoutout for Joe - Happy 17th Birthday, Rest in Peace' - played You to Me are Everything..........

 

Friday 14th March - Balloon launch! but first - A very special Assembly by the current Year 12's (Joe's year group). Mr Wilson introduced the assembly & a brief amusing tribute, followed by Jacks, then Lewis singing & finally Adam's remembrance poem & an invitation to go out & watch Jess & Ellie plant 2 Just Joey roses & Forget Me Nots. Adam then marked the spot with a plaque.................. Gemma then released 16 helium filled Leukaemia Research balloons in to the sky................................

 

Strathmore balloon race was a great success although we did have a bit of rush at the end having under-estimated the amount of balloons we would sell. Now having counted all the money, we are really pleased - £700 profit was made!!! Lots of organising & phone calls but well worth it. Hopefully we can arrange the Priory Schools one soon after the Easter Holidays!

 

Sunday 16th March 2008 - A very wet start to the day! Lit all the candles at the cemetery & Ellie has sorted all Joe's flowers as more keep appearing.............thank you - everyone............ Today we will plant our Forget Me Nots............

 

Monday 17th March - Started to receive the balloon cards back - 4 so far - 1 as far away as Germany - found on Saturday morning & so quickly returned!

 

Wednesday 18th March - Received 14 more balloon cards - today the furthest away are Belgium, Germany & Austria!!!!! 

 

Thursday 20th March - Another 6 cards back from the Balloon Race - again, all from Belgium, Germany & Austria!!!

 

Tuesday 15th April - Finally go round to sorting all the returned balloon tags, 63 so far & still coming back !!! The winner is Nick Plum! His balloon travelled the furthest distance to Breitenbuch in AUSTRIA! When presenting him with his winnings, (picture up) Nick decided he would like the £100 to be put in to Joe's Forget Me Not Fund - a really, really kind gesture - thanks Nick....... so now we have raised in excess of £800! Thank you to everyone who took part - we had some lovely cards, letters & pictures returned with the tags & in due course I will write to them all.


 

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