The statistics on Multiple Myeloma is: 30% die within 90 days of diagnosis. The other 70% will die within an average of about 2 years. There is no known cure for it. That is what hit my little girl in the face in January of 2001.
Jo and I met at her church in Marshall, Texas. Shelton Young and I were holding a youth revival at their church. Shelton was 17 and I was 15. The first night of the revival this beautiful young lady, (age 12), came up to me after church and introduced herself, "Hi, my name is Jo Jo. In my mind I said, "that is her."
A week or so earlier I had asked the Lord, "I know you have someone very special for me. I can wait on her, but I would like to meet her."
Shelton called me about a week later and said, "Jerry, guess what? They asked me to hold a youth revival at Marshall, Texas and I would like for you to help me."
The revival lasted for two weeks. We did not date. That was not the purpose of being there. Every night after church was over and the young people were standing around talking, Jo always seemed to be at my left elbow or my right elbow. It is still this way, (when she is able). Regardless of what I am doing, she wants to be near me. I sometime call her, "my little elbow girl."
When the revival ended, I had gotten her address. I told her, "You are the little girl that I would like to marry someday." This was in 1955.
She said, "O. K."
We corresponded for the next two years until I got out of high school and got a car. We lived 50 miles apart. We started dating in 1957 and married June 6, 1959. It has been the most perfect marriage that I have ever seen in the way we have always gotten along. She is still my heartbeat.
"Returning home from the hospital, we sat next to each other holding hands, as we often do, in our beautiful new home that we had built ourselves, with the help of our children and grandchildren and friends. Every thing is so quite. Tears were flowing down our cheeks. I've never seen Jerry, (my husband), so devastated, even when our second daughter died at the age of 5. Finally I say, Babe, we need to talk. We pour out our hearts to each other, expressing our love. Thanking God and each other for our beautiful children and grandchildren. These were things that we've often said many times before, but now, meaning more than ever.
Going outside, we walk around holding hands, as we always do when we walk together. Hearing birds singing, we stop and listen at their song.
Walking down the driveway, two, three, four, five, o'clock in the early morning, we look up at the beautiful sky with so many stars. I told Jerry, "if God should choose to take me home before you, I'll still be around. Look for me in the little bird's song, in the twinkle of the stars. Look out at the early sunrise and at the beautiful sunsets. Listen to music, the gentle rain, the whistling wind, the flowers, the trees and look real close in our children and grandchildren's eyes and their smiles, I'll be there. Hold me close, never let me go"
I really don't think God is through with me, yet. He has something more for me to do. This may be the roughest journey we've ever been on, so we'd better hold on to each other and God's promises."
We went to M. D. Anderson from February through October of 2001. Each trip we would meet at least one couple that was very special. One event was when we were in the waiting room and met this couple from Bossier City, La. We still correspond. We had prayer together and she is still in remission.
Another couple we met in a most unusual way. Jo and I were in a restaurant in Houston. I pulled out my new glasses to read the menu. One of the lenses fell out and onto the table. A man from across the restaurant happened to be looking. He came to our table and told me he had seen us down the hall from their room at our hotel. He said for me to come by their room after we finished eating and he would fix my glasses.
I went by their room and in our conversation found out his wife had just been diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, also. I invited them to our room. I told him, "The girls will probably have a lot to talk about. This is all so new to us, too." We talked and prayed together until way into the night. They live in Pennsylvania and we correspond. She is still in total remission. God works in mysterious ways. I keep holding on to, "It is for a purpose."
We transferred treatment to University of Arkansas Cancer Center in October of 2001. At the University we have met at least one person that was very special on every visit. One such incident was a lady that had quit going to church. Her grandmother was a Pentecostal Preacher back in the early 1900s. I knew the name. We started a conversation in the waiting room while her daughter and Jo were in treatment. She promised she was going to start back to church.
In December of 2001, Jo had her first bout with Pneumonia. While in intensive care her blood pressure at one point went down to something like the 20s and 30s. Again God intervened and I got to bring Jo home from the