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Mom – Life & Death

Once there was a Chinese farmer who worked his farm together with his son and their horse. When the horse ran off one day, neighbors came to say, “How unfortunate for you!” The farmer replied, “Maybe yes, maybe no.”

When the horse returned, followed by a herd of wild horses, the neighbors gathered around and exclaimed, “What good luck for you!” The farmer stayed calm and replied, “Maybe yes, maybe no.”

While trying to tame one of wild horses, the farmer’s son fell, and broke his leg. He had to rest up and couldn’t help with the farm chores. “How sad for you,” the neighbors cried. “Maybe yes, maybe no,” said the farmer.

Shortly thereafter, a neighboring army threatened the farmer’s village. All the young men in the village were drafted to fight the invaders. Many died. But the farmer’s son had been left out of the fighting because of his broken leg. People said to the farmer, “What a good thing your son couldn’t fight!” “Maybe yes, maybe no,” was all the farmer said.

There are no negatives without positives, challenges without supports, or pains without pleasures.

On January 15, 2018 At 1:25PM my mother Peggy Lou Jones won her last battle with cancer by transforming to her next stage. She fought hard for life and her suffering was the hardest thing I have ever had to watch, but I was so grateful to be by her side with my 2 sisters as she fought. Some would say she died and she lost the fight. I would say she won this time. She was a strong believer in Christ and since that is true she did not die and she did not lose. If you are a Christian then death could be the most exciting day of your life. She was so ready for this day and had been for about a week. She was confident in the next steps the next transformation. I do not believe in death. 

If you know me you know I love physics and physics states nothing is lost it only changes form. EVERYTHING changes form and the first law of thermodynamics states nothing can be created or destroyed. She transformed to her next level and for her the next level was to be with her God. 

Congratulations Mom you won the game of life and beat cancer this time. For us that are still in the form of being on earth and going through this transition of her new form we are of course selfish and sad. We know she is here in a new form as her Bible tells us this and also our universal laws of physics tells us this. Love cannot be created nor destroyed. 

Love is transferable and takes on different forms. I am already experiencing the new forms. Your positive and negative impact on people will go on forever through your favorite things, your kids, your grandkids and your great grandkids. 

My goal is to have your strength and your compassion for people. You always made me proud to be your son. True love is the synthesis and synchronicity of all complementary opposites.

 A balance between the attractive and repulsive emotional extremes. It is a pure energy that permeates our entire existence. I am so happy for you and sad at the same time. Sometimes you drove me crazy and other times made me feel like no one else could and well that is what LOVE truly is. 

Love is not one sided all good but more of a synchronicity of all things good and bad. Unconditional love is having an open heart and no desire to change yourself or others. You feel content about your life and the Universe as it is. It is a poised, present, powerful, and patient state of heart and soul. I would change nothing about you Mom and Thank you for everything!

Who remembers the moment you realized you were going to die?

Look at a sand timer and think about your life. 

The sand in the top is the future and the sand in the bottom is the past. We know what is in the past and we can’t do anything about it. So regret is pointless. If the future is in the top of the glass the problem is you do not know how much sand is in the top of the glass. You may think you have a lot but you only have a little. You may think you have a little and you have a lot.  

My mother 21 years ago thought her time was little but she had a lot. However, when my sister died 11 hours after birth I am certain before birth we all thought would decades of time in her life ahead. The only thing you can deal with is what is right here, right now.

Until the day my mother passed, I was aware of so called death or the end of this life experience but did not fully realize I was going to die. Decades are hard to really take in and get perspective so I want to share this. Not to scare you but to motivate you to do that thing you have been putting off. Say that I love you. Say that I am sorry you have been meaning to say. Take that vacation. 

Average life expectancy is 78 years. I am 38. Meaning if I live to average age expectancy I am 48% of the way there. Let’s add some perspective. If you had an hour to do something and 29 minutes had passed would you not hurry up and get it done?

Several months ago before my mother was diagnosed again for the 4th time, I was talking to her one evening and I asked her these 2 questions. 1. Rate your happiness level 1-10 and she responded a 9 and 2. What would you change about your life right now? 

She said nothing. Let’s fast forward to the last week of her life. I have never seen anyone so confident and ready to transform. I say transform as I do not like the word death. 

My mother and I talked about spirituality frequently. She loved the lord and read her bible daily and even through all of her suffering and problems she never questioned her spirituality. She did question why I did not like Elvis but that is another story.  I spent some time just walking around her condo the other night that she loved and just being present with her. When you walk in the door a rug lays on the floor that says live every moment, laugh everyday, love beyond words.

When you walk over to her table in the living room you see the love in our family flows strong and deep and leaving us memories to treasure and keep. If you continue over to the other table you see another item on the table that says faith make things possible.. Not easy.  If you walk back to her bedroom you will see on her wall where it says life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass but it is about learning to dance in the rain and best of all covering a small hole in the wall of the kitchen the only imperfection on any wall you see something covering it that says remember as far as everyone knows we are a nice normal family.  Also in the kitchen you will see to plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow. You will also find on her table a quote saying I don’t know what tomorrow holds but I know who holds tomorrow. Spending time at her place in the past few days was not a sad moment in fact it was really inspiring and just made me feel full of so much love and gratitude. It made me ask so many deep questions about how I want to live and die. I spent hours thinking and analyzing and if you know me I love to analyze everything super deep. So many things I thought and could share but due to time I want to share just one key takeaway I think we can all learn from. 

If someone were to be in your personal space would what they see about the way you live line up with what you what to really be known for?

Give all the examples you thought of while at her place

My mothers highest value is Family.

Family

In our immediate family she has 3 kids Myself, Becky, Susan and Shanna her daughter that passed.  She also has 2 grandchildren. Whitney and Will. She also has 2 great grandchildren Evan and Claire. We also have to include. Lauren Wills wife, Daniel Whitney’s husband, Mark Becky’s Husband and Mike Susan’s Husband. 

In a family you will find that there’s a dynamic equilibrium of complementary opposites and this is sooo true in ours. A complementary opposite for example is good and bad, sickness and health, etc. 

This means that for everything that is important to you, there will be somebody in the family who thinks that it’s not important at all. 

You will find that your brother and sister or your mother and father are playing out an emphasis on the areas where you are weaker.

If you were to put the whole family together in a blender, all the areas would be covered.

Like any family we have our differences but when needed we are always there for one another. 

God

My mother loved god and was a very spiritual person. She had us in church as kids and would read her bible daily. She found hope in peace in her spirituality. When she lost a child she loved god. When she had cancer 4 times she loved god. She she got a divorce after 50 years but she loved god. 

The one consistent thing throughout her life was her relationship with god. When times were good she loved god and when times were bad she loved god. This also gave her peace and in the week before her passing she with certainty was ready for the day every Christian could be most excited about and that is the day you get to meet your lord and savior jesus christ. She would say with no emotion and with complete confidence and gratitude – I am ready!

Gratitude

My mother always said thank you for big and small things and instilled that in her children and even more so she said thank you with her actions by giving to people even when it was debatable if they deserved it. 

Gratitude is what you feel when you’ve attained perfectly balanced perception. When you see the positive and the negative at the same time. 

It arises when you are truly thankful for what is. As I said in the beginning nothing is good or bad it just is and what is, is love. I know we have all had times when we saw something as bad and later saw the good side or the opposite when we perceive something good to later see it as bad. Perception is reality but the truth is love.

I have experienced gratitude so many times. I don’t mean saying thank you I mean the true gratitude you can feel.  Seeing my mother transform on January 25 was without question the most deep experience with gratitude I have ever experienced. Minutes before that moment was probably the hardest thing had to see and experience but at the moment she passed, I have never felt such love and gratitude for a person or thing. 

Only 2 words came to mind at that moment. My vast vocabulary went to 5 words – Thank you! I love you.

Unconditional Love

True love emerges as you come to appreciate both the positive and negative, good and bad, happy and sad and ups and downs of a relationship. You realize that the purpose of a relationship is not only joy, support and so-called happiness, it is also equally about learning, challenge, growth and personal evolution. She taught me so many things and is still teaching me today. We had our moments of arguing, fighting but we learned and grew from it and that is part of love. 

My mother for sure challenged myself and her family and friends on many levels and without question supported us. 

The world is built like a jigsaw puzzle where every piece is unique and invaluable.

If every piece in a puzzle were exactly the same, you would take it back to the store and ask for a refund.

We require our opposites in order for the whole puzzle to fit together and for the big picture to emerge.

I asked people very close to my mother the words they would use to describe her.  After removing all the synonyms I ended up with words and by really no surprise of course it was 7 words that describe her and what is the significance of 7 words? The Bible numerology code number 7. The number seven is one of the most significant numbers of the Bible because it is the number of spiritual perfection. 

Here are the 7 words to describe her

  1. Loving feeling or showing love or great care.

Love began with God when he created the world and us. God is love and Love is God. 

Love or god is actually the synthesis and synchronicity of all complementary opposites. As her daughter Becky said I would call her on my best and worst days. This is a balanced statement and love is balanced or as her other daughter would say yes she drove me crazy at times but she made me who I am today and I am proud of how I am because of her.  As I have talked about she loved these things the most. Family, God, Gardening, travel and she would fight you if you did not like Elvis Presley. 

  1. Caring displaying kindness and concern for others.

Many times I have seen her help of course people she loved and cared for and also seen her care for people that hurt her.  When you value caring for people you tend to do it wanting nothing in return and even if the person may or not deserve it. Without question she is one of the most caring people I know. 

  1. Giving freely transfer the possession of (something) to (someone); hand over to.

She gave her time and money to charities, her church, her family and people she did not even know.

  1. Selfless concerned more with the needs and wishes of others than with one’s own

I could talk about her giving for hours upon hours and stories upon stories but here is an example. She was a super frugal lady in so many areas, but when it came to family and people she gave so much. By donating money to charity, giving to her church, giving and taking care of her kids and family. I remember her telling me a story just a few months ago we were talking about a nice purse I bought her when we were in San Francisco and I said why do you not use it and she said I am just not used to having nice things for myself so I want to take care of it. I said we had nice thing growing up and she said yes I made sure of that and she then told me about how she use to wear clothes with holes so she could by nicer things for us.

  1. Honest free of deceit and untruthfulness; sincere.

If you ever met her you would see how sincere she was to help you, be there for you and to live a good clean life. When spending time at her place the other night it was very apparent just how honest and clean living she was. 

  1. Strong able to withstand great force or pressure.

She went through 4 rounds of cancer battles, a divorce, giving birth to 3 kids, putting up with me as a teenager,  and a multitude of other obstacles in her life and you rarely would hear her complain. She would be so sick and you may not even know it. In fact many people would say I knew she was sick but did not notice was this bad. This is because she was so strong and she hid it so well.

  1. Spiritual relating to religion or religious belief.

My mom loved for her family and her lord and prepared for the day she would meet him. As I said earlier she was ready for her transformation to the next level and to meet her god and I know with certainty he was ready for her. As like most families we are not perfect and get busy and can get crazy at times. 

We had no idea she would die anytime soon but my mom loved family time. It had been years since the whole family was together at Thanksgiving and this past Thanksgiving the whole family was together. It had been years since the whole family was together at Christmas and this past Christmas the whole family was together. On Christmas eve to go to a church service in downtown Knoxville and for the first time she went with all 3 of her kids. It had been 25+ years since she got to be with her 3 kids alone and at the same time. She told us it was the best Christmas gift she had ever had. God knows and gave her what she wanted and was preparing her to graduate to the next level.

I want to close with this. 

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.’ I know my mom used her talents god gave her to the fullest. She was born to be a mother. She taught us for 68 years how to live and now she has taught us how to die. 2 Things we must all do. Live and Die. We have no choice when we come into the world and no choice when we leave. The question is how will you live? How you will die? Will you make use of your talents god gave you and leave the legacy you want? 

I want to say thank you to everyone here tonight for attending this celebration of her life and to all the people who called, sent emails, and text messages. 

I want to say a special thank you to Becky and Susan for helping take care of her. 

I want to say thank you to my close family as well. 

And lastly to my mother.

You spent 68 years teaching us how to live and love and now you have taught us how to die.

Mom,  I love you and thank you and yes you were good enough.

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