The Choose Joy Blog began in August 2016. My mother Joan Mary Powers was at the end of her three year battle with terminal cancer. She had made one final request of me: “Please write about our great family and how happy and loving we’ve always been – even during this time of pain.” There was no way I could disobey my beautiful mother who had lived a life of love. So late one night while sitting with her in a Cape Cod Hospice Care room, I began my Choose Joy blog.

Mom and I had hoped to write a book together, capturing the faith and love of her final three years on this earth. By the grace of God and the advances in science at Dana Farber Medical Center, Mom was given an extra three years of life with us. These precious years were more than we could have ever hoped for based on her original diagnosis in August 2013.

The Choose Joy blog posts are written in tribute to a woman who loved always, gave more than she was asked for, and lived a life of beauty, sacrifice and joy. My hope is that others learn to love and find joy through her life as told through these blog posts.

In the fall of 2018, I began writing about my own challenge living with chronic back pain. After an eight-year battle which included two major spinal fusion surgeries, dozens of spinal injections, a multitude of doctor visits and other treatments, I felt it was time to tell my side of the story. Thanks to Mom, I have been able to find joy and meaning in the midst of the pain which continues to this day. I hope all who read this blog find it helpful and take away something which will help you choose joy in your daily life.

God bless you.

Jennifer Schiller