Friday, December 12, 2008


Sorry I am late with this post but it has been a crazy day. Spent the better part at a funeral and had to think how odd that I would spend this day..the full moon, at yet another funeral and then a mercy meal at the Community House. I used to think it was just horrible to have a loss at the holidays but now I know it doesn't make one bit of difference...they are never the same.

I did think of my post today and it occured to me that everyone should center their thoughts on the gifts they do have, right this minute, and be sure to take some time to appreciate them. John was certainly a master of that...he would have someone waiting in the driveway to pick him up and run to the shower because he had been writing music too long (sorry Tim, I did yell at him for that). But he never got worked up about it...and aren't we all so happy now to have his beautiful words and songs. And aren't we all glad that he did spend that extra minute with us..never rushing us..just being the moment...for us.

It is so easy to get caught up in the things you think you should do at this time of year that it just isn't fun when the family comes..we are too worn out..Take it from John, being good to yourself allows you to give the gift of yourself to others, and that is something to treasure. So relax, no one remembers anything but the laughs and acts of kindness! So, focus on giving those to everyone you meet this year!

Love to all!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving
Happy Full Moon
Happy, Happy 25th Birthday John.

This full moon is a “no brainer” for me. Naturally, in November, we all think about Thanksgiving and what we have to be thankful for (and I am beyond thankful for the wonderful friends John left us, who keep us going almost every day). But tonight, on the eve of the full moon, it is John’s 25th birthday so I also think of the 23 birthdays we had together…
From the 2nd birthday when he told my Mom and Grandmother and Great Aunt Anna to “just dwop the pwesents and weave” to the fabulous dinners we had as he grew up, when we would all dress in our finest and pick some place that was special and expensive and laugh and eat the night away! I can still picture sitting across from that handsome face with his smile that would melt your heart and think how lucky I was to have such an incredible family…and although my heart aches to return to that life I am thankful that I had it at all.
But I digress, because the real message for me tonight comes right from John because he was famous for his thank you notes. I have had more than one person tell me that they saved them…and after he died I actually got a copy of one he sent to Evelyn Lawnsby, thanking her for chaperoning a trip to the salt marshes when they were little… Anyone who has ever received a thank you note from him will understand… he was just able to put into words how he felt in his heart and it was so sincere! I never read, nor did I help with any of them…but I did have to haunt him to write them!
So, I hope you will take his lead and thank someone, anyone at all, today. While it would be lovely to actually write the words for them to keep and re-read I think he will be happy with just a simple word of thanks to any person you meet today who deserves it! And when you go to bed after doing that all day you will be able to think of how lucky you are to have so much to be thankful for!!
So, good luck and Thanks for listening!

Monday, October 13, 2008

October 15, 2008

Hello again, another full moon is upon us!
I have been thinking about the financial issues lately and noticed how little they are bothering me. In fact, John and I spoke about it just today and we agreed that we just didn’t care!
I think that when you already lived through the worst thing that could ever happen to you it does make you think of what is really, truly, important. My wish for everyone who reads this today is that they will just take the time to look at how lucky you are to have a family you can count on…to laugh with…and make some happy memories.
In the end, simple things like “family fun night” are the ones you can look back on and it always makes you smile. One time we played the game of Life and John had so many kids that he needed two cars! John Ryan and Lauren thought it was the funniest thing they ever saw..their dad with 10 kids!
I miss hugging and kissing my baby every single day but I don’t ever have regrets about the fun we all had just being together…all of us would rather be together than with anyone else..and that is a blessing that I am thankful for.
So, today, spend some time with the people you love and take a minute to realize how lucky you are.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

September 15, 2008

Here we are again! Another summer has past and the days are already getting colder. As I sat at my computer to write this I noticed the wind chimes on our porch that have a piece of John in them…I will be taking them in soon because we don’t like to think of him in the cold. It was such a bad summer that I didn’t spend much time on the porch and therefore didn’t get to listen to his music.

I have been lucky to listen to the wonderful words of encouragement that you have continued to share with us. You have become his beautiful lyrics and have spread his “music” for him. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

This month I can also thank my wonderful sister-in-law, Marie for reminding me of another of John’s quirky, yet so kind gestures and thought that as you are packing away your summer clothes you may follow John’s lead.

As Ra Ra Riot climbed the ladder, companies sponsored them and one company was a New York clothing store called Ben Sherman. He would sit with Lauren, pick out clothes and put his order in. He was very funny and would agonize over every purchase. Well, he felt so guilty about getting free clothes that he started donating a piece of his own clothes for each one he got; and it was never some creepy old T-shirt he picked up at the Salvation Army, no, it would be something I had gotten him at Brooks Brothers or Burberry! I really couldn’t get too upset because it was, after all, the right thing to do but I must say I did hope just once to see a beat up shirt in the pile!

I thought of him this weekend when I packed a few of my summer things away and did put in some good shirts and shoes that I rarely wear… I know he is smiling about that.

Please feel free to reply..we love to read them!

Friday, August 15, 2008

August 17,2008

Unfortunately, this week our town has suffered another tragic death. A promising 18 year old boy, a track star on his way to Dartmouth College, left his house one night and died on his way home. Our hearts are breaking for his family whose pain we feel deeply.

I have had to learn many things this last year but I must say that trusting there is a reason for this sadness is a constant struggle for me. There has not been a single week that has gone by that we don't say "Oh, John should be here for this." or "John would have loved that." It has become a part of our lives..something I fear we will say forever...

But, the one thing that brings tremendous peace & I never regret “over-doing” is that every single time I ever spoke to John, we told each other “I love you”; it was a family habit. We ended every phone conversation that way, every time one of us left the house, or were dropped off at school. Never did he not say it, or say it back! Even if he was with his friends during his pre-teen/teenage years. I would often marvel at that, that he had the courage to do it so openly. Looking back however, John always seemed to know the truly important things in life.

So, this month, if you catch a glimpse of the full moon, think of how incredibly lucky you are to have your family & friends and remember to tell them that... you will not regret it!

Love, me

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Happy Full Moon!

I have been thinking about my post for weeks because I am very afraid that I will run out of things to say (ok, not true, I am afraid that I will run out of ideas for this topic only, I will never run out of things to say!)

Well, I think John is helping me because last week I remembered that every time I would give him a compliment…on things that were to me so obvious about him…he would look at me and say, so earnestly, “thanks mom, … thanks a lot”

I miss that about him, his ability to make you feel good when you least expect it. I was always so glad I had thought to tell him whatever it was I thought he should be proud of…

So, that is what I was thinking I should suggest this month…give someone a compliment. Apparently there are lots of people out there that don’t get enough of them and don’t think they are noticed.

I have put all this on a blog so if you wanted to pass this on to someone who didn’t know our story they could read the whole thing and “get it”.

Have a nice day! And to get the ball rolling may I say that I have been so blessed by all of you, your support and kindness has pulled us through and for many days, given us a reason to get up. Thank you, you are all such wonderful friends, and we know how lucky we are to have been given the gift of you.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

June 16, 2008

Here I am again to remind you that the 18th is a full moon. Naturally, any act of kindness, big or small will certainly be wonderful but I was thinking this month that a kind act for the planet will count too! So, drive a little slower, remember to grab your cloth sacks when you go to the market, and John will be smiling on you more than he usually does!
Thanks for listening and have a wonderful day.

May 19, 2008

As we come upon the first anniversary of John's death I find myself thinking back to that terrible day. We woke up in high spirits, looking forward to spending the day with our family and excited to be celebrating Charlotte's graduation. We didn't know that it would be the last moments of happiness we would ever have.

This has been quite a journey! I often wonder why we have to live through this nightmare, but as the year has progressed I realized that we have been given other gifts that help us. We simply would not be here today were it not for the many, many friends who have brought us through, from your visits and the countless thoughtful gestures. The memories of John that you have continue to share with us has been such a comfort, and the fact that you still think of him helps more than you know, because to us, it means he isn't forgotten.

That said, I am asking you all to help a little more. In an effort to find a way that I could honor Johnny and make him proud of me, I have decided that on every full moon I would ask everyone I know to try to remember to do one, small, act of kindness towards someone. (You can let someone move in front of you at the market or while driving, hold a door, etc.) John's kindness was, above all else, what everyone remarks about when they mention him. So I thought that we could change the full moon into something that will be a happy way to honor John and we would feel good about ourselves for doing it!

So, here it is, the first full moon. Good luck and thank you so much.

Please email me back if you do not want my reminders, I have used my global email because I am trying to get to as many people as I can...but I totally understand this can be a nuisance. If you do want to participate, feel free to email this to others!

Thanks for listening,
Paula Brophy Pike
(John's mom)