Garret and Jennifer Jones

Garret and Jennifer Jones
Garrett and Jennifer Jones

Sunday, January 1, 2017


Stephanie here.

I've been away from this blog now for over 2 years, and it's about time I wrapped it up. I will leave this blog up for a while, because the story of Garrett, as told through Facebook posts by his father, Frank, is a powerful one.

Frank went to be with his sons, Garrett and Brandon, and Garrett's wife Jennifer, on Dec. 29, 2014. He had been in the hospital over Christmas, in a lot of pain, and getting weaker. Christmas was on Thursday that year, and Frank came home on Friday evening, admitted to the Hospice program. I was fortunate to have the weekend off, so was able to drive down to Birmingham to stay a few days.

As the weekend progressed, so did Frank. He was able to talk with his grandsons Saturday afternoon, but by Sunday, he was restless and confused, and barely speaking. We contacted anyone who wanted to see him one last time, and Sunday evening the house was full of friends and family. There were a few tears, but there was a lot of laughter and love, too. Frank has touched so many lives. I don't think he had any idea just how many.

Our other sister, Kay, stayed with us Sunday night to help, because he was requiring meds almost every hour, and Janell and I were short on sleep. Monday morning Hospice began making arrangements for a pain pump to help us out. Frank was no longer conscious, but it was obvious when the meds began to wear off.

Kevin came over during his lunch break to spend some time with his dad before going back to work. Kay was napping, Janell was taking the trash out, and I was on the front porch, talking on the phone with a former nurse (a stranger) who was offering to come and take turns sitting with Frank. But it wasn't necessary. Frank took that 5 minutes when no one was at his bedside, to quietly slip away. It was just like him not to want to be a bother, not to want to upset anyone.

He was buried on a cold, rainy afternoon. The church was full, and the viewing had been long the night before. Because of the weather, Janell and Kevin decided to cancel the graveside service. Frank wouldn't have wanted people to be miserable on his account.

I have retired from nursing now, and my husband and I have moved to Virginia to be near our own little granddaughter, born in Feb. after Frank's death. He had a goal to travel up here to see her after she was born, but instead, he is viewing her from Heaven. Janell still wears her sunny smile, and spends as much time with their grandsons as she can. Last Feb. she fulfilled Frank's goal, and flew up here to meet his great-niece for her first birthday.

The facebook page he started, Prayers for Garrett Jones, goes on. Every night, at 9 pm Eastern time, prayer requests are accepted and the prayer warriors go before God with them. Janis and Dara have been so faithful in keeping this up. Frank would be so proud and grateful, and he would be the first to give God the glory for anyone who has benefitted from it. I miss my brother, but I know he is whole now, and praising God with his beautiful voice, with his 2 sons beside him.

Jan. 1, 2017

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

  1. I want to thank each of you who are praying and will continue. This is answers to your prayers, and proof God hears us. I want to mention my oncologist, John Piede (pronounced PD). He is a Christian physician, God led me to him through unusual channels, and I have no doubt God is leading him. I ask that you pray for him. He is new in the practice, but is supposedly one of the premier oncologists to come to Birmingham in a long time. He is at Alabama Oncology, working out of St. Vincent's hospital. I am blessed and humbled to be one of his patients, and I know that my fight is not over, but it's great to have him on my side.


  2. I still have a ways to go, and I do not take his healing thus far for granted. I will continue to seek His face, pray for complete healing, never to return, and hopefully some open doors to go and share my story. Thanks to all who are and have prayed, please don't let up.

  3. Just received a call from my Oncologist. Yes, at 8:30 tonight, he is still working. He just called me with results from my scans done this afternoon. Doesn't that say a lot about him! He could have waited till tomorrow, but he had good news. Every spot of cancer that was there when I was diagnosed, is now clear except for one adrenal gland. AND THAT INCLUDES THE PRIMARY MASS IN THE ESOPHAGUS/STOMA...CH AREA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And the spot in the adrenal gland is not any bigger or smaller, just unchanged. I still have 5 treatments to go, starting tomorrow. God has been so incredibly good to me and faithful, that I can't say enough, and words seem so trivial. Praise and thanksgiving to the name above all other names in heaven & earth, Jesus Christ, my healer and redeemer! See More


  4. Trial chemo company protocol is I must have scan before receiving chemo. My kidney counts still would not allow one with contrast, but company agreed to take one with no contrast, so I got that done late this afternoon and will know something about it tomorrow. Either chemo tomorrow or visit the diabetic dr. to discuss kidneys.

  6. My scan didn't happen, kidneys still out of sync and had to have another litre of fluids. Will have PET scan and MRI next week after chemo on Mon.


  7. Unable to do scan today. Kidney counts out of whack, and was slightly dehydrated. Will try again in the morning. Supposed to get chemo on Mondays from now on, hopefully to be at church on Sundays.


  8. 33 years ago today, God made Janell & I parents. Never did we expect what his life would be like. As a young boy, he soaked up Bible stories, prayed regularly at mealtime, and was a good kid. I remember one time at Quincy's in Midfield, a large crowd of family members met for Sunday lunch. Brandon wanted to pray, so I told he needed to be loud enough that everyone at he table could hear him. In a ...voice loud enough to be heard by our half of the dining room, he started "Dear God" and every fork in that restaurant went quiet. When he finished, there was some light applause. That was the fist prayer of his I remember. The last one I distinctly remember was him talking to God in the chapel at UAB and giving his life totally to God for whatever God wanted to use him for. And oh my, did he use him. We quit counting at 400 professions of faith and a thousand or so rededications. Yes, his life was short. 3 weeks shy of his twentieth birthday, he collected his crowns and rewards from the Father. He had done what he promised, and when the last soul was reached that was charged to him, he was called home. Friends, that is the way it will be with all of us. I am honored God used my son to teach me faith, such unwavering faith, and obedience and trust. He knew he would not live long. He told Garrett three years before he died that he would not be here to see him graduate, but he would see Kevin's, Just as he knew his journey, I know mine. God is not through with me. Can I tell you when my time will come . No. But He has put assurance in my heart that I will not die by this cancer.

    Thank you son, for teaching your old man how to live, have faith, and yes, how to die. You were an incredible example to me. Happy Birthday Brandon.
    See More

  9. My CD's are now available at Mt. Olive Pharmacy, just off the interstate a mile or two, on the left. Nice people who own it, members of FBC Mt. Olive I think. Anyway, they are $15 and should be on a counter somewhere, ask if you don't see them. Looking forward to God opening the door for me to speak/sing out that way in the next month or two.

    I have a CT scan this Thursday, looking forward to having a "all's clear" report. Please continue you prayers for us.


  10. Had a gods visit with Bob Sellers, lead singer for the Kingsmen Quartet, and Joe Kirkpatrick, (a great bass singer) in Pell City last night

    Photo: Had a gods visit with Bob Sellers, lead singer for the Kingsmen Quartet, and Joe Kirkpatrick, (a great bass singer) in Pell City last night

  11. I was blessed today to be honored for 24 years as music director at Sandusky FBC. I don't deserve any recognition for just being faithful to His call on my life, but it was very humbling to see how much people care. I then got to go see the KIngsmen Quartet in Pell City tonight, with my good friend and brother in Christ, lead singer Bob Sellers. What a concert and ministry they do. I am tuckered out, as we call it down here in the south, but it's a good tired. Thanks to all who came and supported me with prayers and kind words. They are greatly appreciated. I look forward to sharing with other churches as God leads and opens doors.

  12. I am available next Sunday evening, the 22nd, for sharing my journey in testimony and song. You can email me at DFJJJ@ATT.NET or call me at 205-966-6604. It would need to be within 1 1/2 hour drive from Birmingham


  13. Just a reminder that I am being honored on June 22 for 24 years as music director at Sandusky FBC. If you care to come, you are welcome. There will be a lunch afterwards, so bring a dish or come eat what is brought by others. 11:00 service, hope you'll come.

  14. This past week has been one of memories. Brandon, my oldest son passed away June 10, 2001 and Garrett passed away June 5, 2011. Had you told me 20 years ago, I would bury two sons in their teens or twenties, I would have said God would not do that to me. I have served Him for almost twenty five years. Maybe one son, but never two.

    But folks, God is not a respecter of persons. In other words, I ...don't believe He treats one Christian better than He does another. Billy Graham was called to win a certain number of souls to Christ before he is called home. So am I, and so are you, if you are a Christian. We each have a journey laid out by God Himself, before we were ever born. We are to carry out that journey because we are called to do so. And He will equip us to do what ever He calls us to do, IN SPITE of what happens in our lives. What we go through here, builds our faith, character, trust and witness, if we let it. Sure, we can let it tear us down, shatter our trust and faith and cripple our witness. But that is not what He wants, not what He planned, and surely is not what is best for us.

    Cancer, strokes, tornadoes and trials of this life are what God knew I would go through. Prayers for Garrett Jones Facebook page has been a result of some of that, Brandon's ministry was a powerful result of his journey, and God's mercy, care, grace and guidance is what I can truthfully say has carried, guided and made me what I am today... just an ole sinner, saved by grace. May I be found faithful, and may He say "Well done, thou good and faithful servant." God bless you for your prayers for me and my family. We are grateful.

Yesterday was Jennifer's birthday. I will always treasure the short time she was a part of our lives. Such a sweet spirit, and she loved Garrett so much. I am grateful for the time we had her. Garrett passed away on June 5th, so this week has been a little tough. I still believe she got her birthday wish in Heaven, when he showed up.
I want to let everyone know, if you've been interested in having me come speak and share our journey with your church, I'm available on the 15th and 22nd, evening services only. The 15th could be iffy, if chemo knocks me down this week, but I'm expecting God to allow me to speak, if He opens the door for me. I normally take about 40-45 minutes (including a song or two). Feel free to contact me at DFJJJ@ATT.NET if you are interested. Of course, talk with your pastor first, and then he or you can contact me. This is my calling, I'm sure. But it's His timimg.

Chemo started back yesterday, but not kicking me as hard since I've been 4 weeks since my last one. Praying for just 4 more treatments, but Dr says 8 more, and Janell says I don't have M.D. after my name. We'll see.
June 22nd, three weeks from today, Sandusky FBC has decided to honor my 24 years of service as their music director. I am humbled over such attention, but they want to do it, so it's official. I would like to invite old choir members, church members, friends and family to come that morning at 10:45. Choir members are going to do a special, so we need you there no later than 10:30 that morning. If are just a friend of ours, but never a SFBC member, you are still invited to come. You can sing in the choir with us, (I'm serious, it won't be something difficult) or just come and sit with Janell and family. We will have lunch afterwards, so if you can bring some covered dish, that would be great. If you can't fix something, come anyway. There is always PLENTY of food and desserts, so please make my day complete by joining us. It's an "off-chemo" weeks so I should feel pretty good, and your presence will just bless me even more. Please join us. The church is just outside of Forestdale a couple of miles, (off Hiway 78) . Very easy to find. Hope you'll set that in ink on your calendar!

Enjoying feeling human again. Because of infections and fevers, I did not get chemo 2 weeks ago, and it's given me a few days of feeling almost normal. Still weak, but blessed. I get back to schedule this Wednesday. Sad face. But so thankful He is hearing ya'lls prayers!