JAYCI GLOVER RECEIVES A SURPRISE HOMECOMING – Jayci Glover is only 13 years old and has been battling terminal lymphoma; a cancer for which there is no cure for over a year. With precious little time left, she and her parents decided to spend her remaining days at home and began the long five hour ride back, only to find a surprise homecoming waiting for them.
Her hometown of about 4300 residents, turned out in full force to welcome her home, lining the streets with signs, flying flags and banners of encouragement and waving as she and her family drove through the center of town.
What started out as a somber journey home unexpectedly became a time of gathering together, of being welcomed back surrounded by loving family and friends; and for Jayci, it is a day she will remember.
When I was growing up, death only seemed to happen to old people. Young people today know so much more about loss and death than I ever did and it is a cruel twist of nature that there is so much disease in our world that takes away lives that have not yet had the chance to live.
Children like Jayci endure incredible pain from their illness as much as from the treatments that are supposed to heal them or hold the symptoms at bay. Their parents too, struggle to hold things together, often having to divide their time between caring for a sick child and other children in the home.
No matter how much support a family has, the situation is never easy and when it comes down to those final days, every minute matters and is not to be wasted. Many families choose to bring their loved ones home in order to allow the family to be together and make those last days memorable.
For these families, every kindness is a gift; nothing is taken for granted for they know how precious life is. When this town came together, they were not only welcoming Jayci home, they were celebrating her life and telling her and her family that they are not alone.
Stories like this one, as sad as they may appear are really stories of triumph and joy. I have no doubt that each day someone will reach out to the Glovers, hoping to encourage them and they will walk away having been changed themselves.
Jayci’s story is not over yet, her time here on Earth not yet fulfilled. With family and friends nearby, her days will be filled with hugs and laughter and about making every minute a memory.