Monday, May 30, 2011


Aric's 12th birthday was February 4th and we celebrated on Sunday, the 6th, at Red Robin.  Suzette had called Marc and said they were going to stop by and leave Aric's gift but not stay 
because she was not feeling well.  When they arrived she was feeling better and they did stay.

                                         Dave, Aric, Suzette, Marc

                       Suzette, Mickey, Susan Aric, Marc, Jessica
                                         Dave, Suzette, Mickey
                                         Dave, Suzette, Mickey

I'm going to do a complete separate post with the last picture of Suzette and her sister, Jacque, which as is turned out, not surprisingly was the very last picture I took of her.
Below is a recap of this time and journey (233 days) with our Suzette from September 28, 2010 until May 19, 2011.

Suzette was surrounded and cared for by those she loved and who loved her dearly.  Marc had made arrangements to take every Tuesday off to stay with her, as Mickey and I have King's Kitchen that day.  He would also take time off to come when she had chemo treatments. We were able to enjoy several lunches, after treatment, with the 4 of us: Suzette, Marc, Mickey and I.  Once it was Suzette, Jacque, Jessica & I.  Marc and Dave were with her on her second chemo when she had a bad reaction to the drug and it had to be halted.  A very scary moment.  I was in the waiting room.  Aric was often with Marc and of his own choice walked into her room just a few days before she passed and his father was in there with her.

Jacque talked to her sister daily and she took vacation time off beginning May 9th and was with her daily.  David arrived from San Francisco at midnight on the 9th and was with her the last 7 days and through her memorial. 

Her husband, Dave, took off work when I called him on the 12th and told him I needed him there.  He came and was there with her for the 7 remaining days.  Dave was so attentive and caring with her.  Taking care of her every need, day and night.  Mickey and I offered to stay overnight at their house but he never wanted us to do that.

From the first day of her diagnosis of stage IV lung cancer on September 28, 2010 up until April 30, 2011, when she left the hospital and returned home for the last time, I would type out a scripture or other writing and give to her.  This was special between us and I will cherish those slips of paper, and my memories of these times with her, for the rest of my life. 

Mickey and I, and sometimes just me, took her to most of her chemo and radiation treatments, CT scans, MRI's, and Dr. appointments from the very beginning.  Even when Dave was able to bring her from home, and then go on to work, we would also come, stay with her and take her home.  We would go out one or two days a week just to spend time with her so she wouldn't be alone.  The three of us were able to got out for a bite to eat after many of the earlier appointments and those were special times for us.  Starting with her hospitalization on April 22nd until her passing on May 19th we were with her all day. 

The last time Suzette left her home was on Sunday, May 8th, when she attempted to attend church with me for Mother's Day.  She was sooo ill and when Dave wheeled her in to our living room she said, "Mom, I wanted so badly to come with you but I'm just to sick."  One look at her that day and I knew!!!!

The evening of Tuesday, September 10th, the hospice people came to talk to her and sign papers.  She sat in their living room and did so with the administrative person.  That woman left and a nurse arrived to speak with them.  Suzette got up from the couch and said, "I need to go lay down."  She never left her room or the bed after that.

One of Suzette's work friends sent the book "Heaven is for Real" out on May 17th.  On the morning of May 18th I suggested to Dave that we read the book to her.  He told me to do so if I wished.  I went in that morning, when she was awake, showed her the book and asked her if she wanted me to read it.  She quickly and brightly said, "Yes."  I began and read the Prologue, because I knew we would never make it through the entire book.  She was so wide eyed and attentive.  Jacque arrived as I was reading and came in and sat on the opposite side of the bed.  After the Prologue I asked her if she was tired or if she wanted me to continue.  She said she wanted me to continue.  I then read Chapter 1.  At the end of that chapter I again asked her if she was tired and wanted to rest or if she wanted me to continue to read.  She said, "I need to rest."  This is one of the MANY special moments and miracles that I got to experience with my wonderful daughter during this journey. 

On that same evening of May 18th Aric asked his father, Marc, if he could write Aunt Suzette a letter.  Marc said "Of course.". 

At 8:30 a.m. May 19th Marc called us and told his dad about the letter.  He said he'd pick Aric up at school and they'd be out to Suzette's at 3:30. 

Dave called us about 9 to come on over.  We had been waiting for his phone call each morning until he had woken up.  When I had gotten up that morning I was moved that Mickey and I were to do serious spiritual battle over Suzette.  When we arrived we talked to Dave and ask him permission to do so.  We asked him to join us but he said, "You guys go in and do whatever you need to do for yourselves." and he went out to the back yard.  Mickey and I went into the room, and she was still asleep.  We put the red prayer cloth, that I had made and taken to her that first night of diagnosis on September 28, 2010, and put on her.  She was too ill and in too much pain for us to wrap her in it.  We then prayed and annointed her with oil and of course we wept, PRAYED, sang, quoted scripture and The Lord's Prayer.  She was aware and mouthed to us "love you" and "thank you".

When Marc came in at 3:30 he was alone and said Aric decided not to come and wanted Marc to read the letter to Suzette.  Suzette was sleeping, and had been most of the day.  Mickey and I finally left at 5:30 after going in and kissing her goodbye for the evening.   At 6:30 Suzette rallied enough that Marc was able to read her the letter.

"Dear Suzette,

It's me, Aric.  This is one of the few letters I've written.  Please take your time to read this.

You see, we all care for you.  You've been a great Aunt and we all pray for you.  Treasure this and please remember we're all there for you.

It would take a miracle to survive, so please let this letter go to your heart and treasure it always.

Love you so very much,

This letter was printed on the back of her Memorial handout.

That morning Dave made the decision to have Suzette moved to a hospital setting and contacted Grace Hospice that he wanted to do so.  He made a number of phone calls and had an appointment for 10:30 the next morning, May 20th, to have an ambulance come to move her.   

At 9:30 p.m. I called to check on her.  Dave answered and said, "I was just going to call you.  She's awake and wants to talk to you."  He put the phone up to her ear and I was able to tell her how very much we loved her.  I closed with, "I'll see you in the morning, honey." 

Mickey and I cried and prayed and our prayer was. "Please God if you are not going to heal her then take her home tonight."  We just could not stand the thought of her being moved out of her home and the fear and discomfort she would experience in being in a strange place.

The phone rang at 11:30 and it was Dave telling me, "She's gone!"  She drew her last breath at 11:25 p.m. May 19, 2011.

She was aware of everything we said to her to the very end and to the very end she would say "love you", "thank you", "where's Dad", to Marc she would say, "Is Aric with you?" 

          Our family will never be the same without our precious Suzette.

Our hearts are broken and we miss you so much.

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Saturday, May 21, 2011


Here is a link to Wright Funeral Home where you can view the information for Suzette's memorial service: if you care to. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Jeri SUZETTE Stevens - Beloved Daughter - December 13, 1954-May 19, 2011

We Can Only Imagine -- whether Suzette danced, was in awe and still, stood in His presense , fell on her knees, sang hallelujah, or couldn't speak at all. What we do know is that our precious, beloved daugher, Suzette, is home safe in her Lord and Saviors arms.

She entered heaven last night at 11:26 p.m. May 19th after her long 233 day battle that took her from us. She showed absolute total grace, dignity and courage each and every one of those days. We are so very proud of you honey.

II Samuel 12 22:23 "And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, Who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child may live/  But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast?  can I bring him back again?  I SHALL GO TO HIM, BUT HE SHALL NOT RETURN TO ME."

Dad and I will see you SOON!!!  Love you ever and forever.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011


Put on the whole armour of God and pray and contend with us for Susan Errett Joyce on Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 9:02am

Prayer Warriors!!!! Contend with us for our daughter, Suzette. This cancer is an invader, a tool of satan. BUT, he has no authority and we, as believers in Christ's shed blood and FINISHED work on that cross, have been given the authority by Christ to speak healing & wholeness to Suzette. God's purpose for her life has not been fulfilled and we contend for her healing and her life. Jesus Christ is Lord and every knee will bow and every tongue confess, including the knee of this cancer.

If you read this blog and believe in healing and prayer, please bombard heaven with us today for our Suzette.

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Sunday, May 8, 2011


It was a wonderful Mother's Day for me in the fact that when both son, Marc, and daughter, Jacque, asked me what I wanted for Mother's Day I told them nothing would please me more, or make me happier than for them to attend church with us.  They readily agreed and met us at our house at 10:30 so we could all arrive at the same time together.

The bitter part was just prior to 10:30 Dave and Suzette had driven the 26 miles from their house over here to surprise me with them also attending church with us but by the time they got here Suzette was feeling so badly, her right arm was really swollen, and she was in much pain.  There was no way she could attend the services, even in her wheelchair.  It touched ALL of our hearts so much that they tried to surprise me in this way.  It is the hardest thing I have every had to endure, seeing our daughter suffer so much and not get to enjoy today with her family.

The sweet part, it was wonderful to have Marc & Aric, Jacque & Benny in church with us.  

After church Marc treated all 6 of us to a wonderful buffet lunch at The King's Palace.  Such a nice place with linen napkins, nice china & silverware and a very pleasant setting.  Our meal was delicious and the company UNBEATABLE.
I had completed my 8th prayer shawl for Grandson Aric in April and had planned to give it to him on Easter Sunday when we all got together.  Because Suzette was in the hospital it was not the pleasant surrounding that I wanted to give it to him so I waited for a more appropriate time.
Mother's Day seemed like a wonderful time so between Church and going out for lunch we stopped by the house and I presented him with his prayer shawl.
I told him, "Joseph had a coat of many colors, but you now have a prayer shawl, made by your Grandmother, of many colors."  He was very delighted and appreciative of it.  The scripture references on the attached note for him are Hebrews 11:1 - Philippians 4:6&7 and Psalm 37:4.  I love our grandson.  Aric is truly a gentle, innocent young boy.  One of my prayers is that he retains that wonderful spirit.
Susan, Jacque, Benny, Aric & Marc.

Mickey, Jacque, Benny, Aric & Marc.

We will rejoice at ALL times because our God is good and faithful even when occasions are bitter-sweet.
Our Church services, as always, were powerful and wonderful!!
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Saturday, May 7, 2011

OUR BUSY WEEK April 30-May 7

Jacque had made Easter Baskets and brought the ones for Suzette and Aric to the hospital.

The fun item out of Aric's Basket.

Aric's Easter Basket from his Aunt Jacque.

Suzette was released from the hospital late Friday afternoon, April 29th so on the 30th Marc & Aric and Mickey & I went to Suzette & Dave's home to see her and the items Dave had gotten set up for her.  

She came home with a hospital bed, a shower/bath chair and various other items to assist them .  Dave had dismantled their huge king size bed and removed it from the master bedroom and installed the hospital bed and ordered a new twin size bed for him.  He also  installed chrome arm grips on the commode, etc.  Dave & their friend, CD, were busy in the garage building a ramp down the 3 steps into the garage so we can wheel the wheelchair down, as needed, and also making it easier for Suzette to walk down to get into the car. 

On their way over Marc had taken Aric shopping!!!!

He bought him this nice new, shiny blue bike.
Set up and getting ready to go, except the water bottle and holder had not been put on when I took this picture.
He has also gotten this air pump, soccer ball and new tennis shoes.  It was a Blue day!!!

Suzette had a rough day and slept the entire time we were there.  None of us went over on Sunday and gave Dave & Suzette a day to themselves and adjusting to the new items.  On Monday I went and spent the day with her.  Mickey stayed home to get the lawns mowed and other yard work done.  She had a good day and we enjoyed it and each other. 

Marc is taking a vacation day EVERY Tuesday to go and stay with her as that is such a busy day for Mickey & I with our King's Kitchen ministry at the church.  What a blessing Marc always is to our family.  Suzette spent most of the day sleeping again, but they did have a few hours to spend visiting.

When I got up Tuesday morning I asked Mickey if they could manage at the Kitchen without my help that day and he said yes.  With Suzette's 8 day hospital stay and all the medical
 appointments, prior to that, I was totally exhausted and behind with everything at home.  I spent the day doing laundry, ironing and cleaning our very dirty home.  I totally enjoyed the day.  I cranked up my stereo with wonderful cd's by David Ingle's singing the WORD and blessed and envigerated my spirit while my body worked hard!!!  It was so nice to have a sparking, shiny house when my Bible Study gals arrived at 6:30.

Jacque had the day off Wednesday so she went and spent the day with Suzette.  Suzette was up and feeling good most of the day.  So glad these two sisters got some "alone" sister time with each other.

Thursday Mickey & I went and stayed with her and she actually felt good enough that we took her out for lunch, just to get her out and into some sunshine.  She was able to walk and we did not use the wheel chair :o)

This week was a flustrating week in the fact that Suzette was suppose to start back up on her remaining 7 radiation treatments, which were interrupted due to the hospital stay.  The clinic called and cancelled them Tuesday, again Wednesday, AGAIN Thursday and finally we got to take her in for the treatment and an appointment with the radialogist on Friday.  Dave actually came home and helped get her into the wheelchair and followed us and got her into the clinic and waited until they called her for her treatment and then he went back to work.  She was very apprehensive about going in the wheelchair for the first time and was having a really bad day pain wise.  Mickey & I handled getting her back home and into bed just fine.

It was Friday evening and we called our dear friends Don & Barbara to see if they were home and stopped by to see them.  We were going out to get something to eat and try and relax a little after a very exhausting and stressful 15 days and wanted to see if they wanted to join us.

Wonderful Don, who loves to cook and entertain us, ended up fixing a devine dinner of stir-fry chicken and rice, and a huge fresh loaded vegtable salad.  We stuffed ourselves, as usual, and still manged to enjoy the vanilla ice cream and chocolate cup cakes.  Since Don was doing all the cooking, Mickey was helping and setting the table and Barbara and I sat in the LR and visited!!  Barbara & I did do all the after dinner clean-up and loading the dishwasher :o)

I hope each of you are blessed with wonderful friends like these two are to us.  We left there about 8 p.m. fed both physically, but more importantly emotionally and Spiritually as the four of us joined hands and each prayed (as we always do)!  Thank you Don  Barbara for being "as close as family" and so very special!!!

Now to today:  Mickey & I had bought a new 26" TV the other night as our's was getting horizontal lines running across it and could tell it was going out.  It has a smaller screen than the one we had, which is a disappointment, but it is the biggest HDTV we could purchase that would fit into the entertainment center we have.  The picture is fantastic.

We called Marc and asked him to come over today and double check all the many cable connections that had to be attached for the video, DVD, etc. 

I enjoyed having having Marc & Aric here (Aric brought his new blue bike and rode it around the neighborhood) and I spent the entire day COOKING!!!  Something I've done little of lately.

Yesterday I had put a large crock-pot full of chicken on to cook before we left home.  Last night I just put the pot into our extra regrigerator in the garage so the fat would congel.

I skinned and de-boned the chicken and made my largest bowl full of chicken salad with everything but the kitchen sink in it!!!  Mayonnize, mustard, home made relish, onions, celery, walnuts, apples.  I had told Marc & Aric not to eat before they came so when they got here we had lunch.  I had also deviled 9 eggs so we had chicken salad sandwiches, pork n beans, deviled  eggs, potato chips, pop, coffee & cookies.  Yummy!!

We ended up with these 4 deviled eggs, and 2 containers of the chicken salad left (one for the regrigerator for sandwiches this coming week and one to freeze for later)

Also have 1 plus quart of pure chicken broth for future meals.


Baked these yummy 4 leg quarters for tonight, 2 with some dressing, a vegetable and a salad for tonight and two in the freezer for a quick dinner later this week. 
It's been a very good day!!!! And a beautiful spring day.

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