Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Today we went to Ally and Evan's school. It made me quite happy, not because we found out the teachers and picked up the school supplies, but mostly because everyone was so kind to Ally in the hallways. She got many hugs from friends and teachers and the principal even gave her two custom-made Valley hats. The only two hats like them, she tells me. To make me even happier, she ran around school with Madison ...talking, laughing, and even showed her brother the "big kid" playground. When I told her it was time to leave she fought me. She wanted to stay. I had talks with the school nurse, her principal, the counselor, the secretary, Evan's teacher, and even the PE teacher. I am talking to her actual teacher over the weekend. They sold 50 Ally's Army orange bracelets at the sale, and I ordered 50 more..mostly to give her class.

Tomorrow I am leaving Ally until Saturday to go visit my family in Pennsylvania. I have 2 grandparents, 2 aunts and 2 uncles there to see. My mom and dad were born and raised in Erie. I was also born there and lived there as a child. We have always gone back, every year. My grandparents live in the same house as they did when Mom was a little girl. It is going to be sad for me, I know. Emotional for all of us. I know that I am going to be searching for signs from my Mom. My Dad said to me last night how excited he was to go with me. And then he said "Mom is up there just beaming that we are doing this." Because all of the family we will see will be on my Mom's side. She would be so proud that we are going. I arranged it all..did it all myself this was always her job. Now it is mine.

I have been saving this story for a long time. This is the story of my fire rainbow. I wrote this excerpt on Mother's Day..and posted it to another blog I was doing at that time. BL Before leukemia. But it was such a miracle to me, and everyday I look at these pictures...they are the wallpaper on my computer actually. These pictures give me so much hope. There is such a greater power over me. So here are my pictures and my story copied in:
30 seconds before the rainbow, the cloud looked like this
In an instant, right after I took the last picture, it looked like this

The most amazing thing happened to me today, on Mother's Day. I can hardly even describe it, but I will try. After going to church with my whole family, and brunch, we went back to my parents house. I was standing in their backyard and the kids and Jerad were messing around on the hammock. I was just doing my normal...searching the skies, looking for my mom. Feeling so sad about this Mother's Day on which I don't have a mother to celebrate anymore. I had my camera on my shoulder and I decided to take a picture of the beautiful bright blue sky with the big fluffy white clouds in it. I looked down at my camera shot and then I looked back up at the sky. There was the most beautiful, colorful, RAINBOW where the cloud had just been. It wasn't shaped like a rainbow, but shaped like a cloud!! It had the brightest, most awe-inspiring colors in it. Red, orange, blues, purple...I saw them all. I was in such shock because there was no rain, it was the most beautiful sunny day. I yelled for Jerad and the kids to look at it. Ally ran into the house and brought my Dad out to look, too. It was only up there for about sixty seconds. Not long, but amazingly enough, I also had my camera right there and got pictures of it. I have never in my life been so amazed by something. On the way home from Columbus yesterday I had told Jerad that all I wanted for Mother's Day was just to see a sign from my mom. He told me that he had been praying all day that I would get my sign. I sure did get my sign. Loud and clear. I know from my friend Lisa that the rainbow is a sign of God's promise. I feel so much peace in my heart that I was given this gift today. The day was horribly hard, lots of crying, lots of feeling bad, but the rainbow was such a gift to me. In my whole 36 years, I have never seen a rainbow, unless there was also some rain. This is like some email that people forward around, but it actually happened. TO ME! What are the chances? What are the chances that I would have my camera right there when it happened? She was watching over me. She was telling me that she is okay and she is happy now. I love my mom so much. In life and in death. She is with me always. PS...these images are straight out of my camera and not enhanced in anyway. I also think the cloud looks like a birdie. You can really see the Red, orange, yellow, green blue, purple in the third picture.
Hoping Jerad will post for me while gone.....


  1. Terri Barnett ShumakerAugust 20, 2009 at 5:53 AM

    Janel the picture and the story are beautiful.
    I hope that you enjoy yourself in Erie, keep looking to the sky for more rainbows.
    I am sure that Jared and Ally will enjoy their time together as well.

  2. Janel,
    That was a beautiful post; thanks. Have a safe, healing trip to Erie. So glad that Ally's visit to school went well. I still love Beavercreek schools... And don't worry, when I need them most, and sometimes when I'm not even looking or don't realize I need them, I still get signs from my dad, 14 years later. As crazy as this sounds, I actually think we are the lucky ones. Lucky to know love, support, compassion and unyielding devotion.
    take care

  3. Hi - I stumbled across your blog when I was doing some research on ARA C. My 5 year old daughter was diagnosed with ALL in October of last year. From reading your blog it seems they have so much in common. Tori also had a detectable MRD after the local results of 0% blasts. She's also had many issues with stomach pain and a lot of the others side effects you've written about. It was like I was reading the story I've written. If you're interested in sharing info, I'd really welcome connecting to someone in such a similar situation. Please email me at Hope Ally continues to do well through her treatments. Warmest regards, Dana Lee

  4. what a wonderful mother's day gift! that is incredible. I was just at a Catholic teachers retreat today and the speaker shared a similar story in which he had been praying for a sign of God's spirit, to know that He existed. He was rewarded with a similar experience. It just reminds us of the power of love all around us, even in things we can't always see.
    Hope you have a great trip to Erie, and Jerad, have a great time with Ally!

  5. Janel
    Beavercreek schools are wonderful and I am glad that Ally had such a good day. Thanks you so much for sharing that special moment with us. Through my tears I too can see your mom and her pride for ALL that you are doing. I know that John is there for me also, when I least expect it but when I need it the most. Have a great trip with your dad and the kids and tell Jerad I am looking forward to his posts.

  6. I looked at the picture again and to me, it looks like an angel, just like your mom.