Wednesday, July 1, 2020

June 2020

I'm writing this on July 1st -- the 42nd anniversary of me becoming a mother to Elizabeth. June was a busy month with continued doctor's appointments. Included were two Covid 19 tests, two cardiac tests, an appointment with the radiologist, a genetic counseling appointment and a "clip" placement to mark the location of the papilloma scheduled to be removed during surgery. All of this culminated with the surgery to remove the "mucinous carcinoma" on June 30th.

I hope by the time my grandchildren read this at a later date that the Covid 19 virus, which is currently decimating our country, will not be a part of their lives. Over 128,000 Americans have died and 2.7 million people have been confirmed to have contracted the virus. We have no idea how this will end and the impact it will have on schools in the fall. There are huge unemployment numbers nationwide. It almost makes my problem seem miniscule by comparison.

So yesterday was surgery. The plan was to remove the lump and one benign papilloma. Dr. Manders removed the carcinoma, and in the process of removing additional tissue, discovered some cancerous areas in the muscle behind the turmor. It was localized and she felt like she "got it all." To prevent blood clots, I had taken a lovenox injection the night before surgery. This resulted in a hematoma near the sight of the surgery where blood pooled. This initially concerned the nurses in recovery as they placed a sand bag on the area in an attempt to reduce swelling. This worked, and by the time I left the hospital it appeared that the swelling could be reduced with some additional pressure and ice.

Amazingly, I've had practically no pain. I haven't had to take any medication post-surgery and honestly feel like I haven't had surgery at this point. I'm grateful. They expect full pathology reports by Friday. I know this will be followed up with some radiation treatments in a few weeks.

I was only allowed to have one person accompany me at the hospital. Bill graciously gave the "privilege" to Liz because of her medical background. The hospitals are taking every precaution to keep patients and visitors safe. At the entrance they take your temperature, check that you have an appointment and make sure you are properly masked.

Today we had a little time to be with Liz on her birthday before she returned to Columbus. Roland called to say that all three of their kids were sent home from their summer program. Ian was running a slight temperature, Andrew was suffering from allergies, and it was decided to send Nathan home as a precaution. Schools have to be very careful during this pandemic.

As a side note, I had genetic testing on 67genes that are known to be associated with breast cancers and other types of cancers. The good news was that they found "no pathogenic variants" or harmful genetic changes in any one of the genes tested. At my age (71), it is not uncommon to get a cancer that does not have a genetic link. That is good news, and my prognosis appears to be good.

So on with the next adventure. Here's hoping that the July report will be equally positive.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

May 2020 - What a Month!

May 2020 did not start out like any other. I was looking forward to spring, a possible road trip with Bill and the opportunity to take our Rad Power Bikes to explore the Ohio to Erie bike trail. Little did we know that a virus was about to overtake the world. The first clue as to just how much our lives were going to change was when the Midterm Election scheduled for March 17th was cancelled by Governor DeWine the night before. Within a couple of days, the Covid19 virus was classified as a pandemic and it was about to take over the country. Ohio instituted a Stay at Home order. Since Bill and I both fell in the “high risk” category, due to both age and health history, we were careful to stay at home as much as possible. Outings included going to the grocery store about once a week and an occasional trip to Lowes or Home Depot.

We were proud of ourselves. We took advantage of our forced quarantine and systematically started doing all of the long-term projects we had put off. Cupboards were cleaned, clothes sorted, attic unloaded, workshop, basement and garage cleaned out and organized. We upgraded the insulation in the attic, replaced our dying furnace and air conditioner and waterproofed and installed a sump pump in our garage.

All was going great until -- I felt a lump in my right breast. I have breasts with dense tissue and when I was young had a few benign cysts removed. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at about the age of 54 and eventually died from it (although blessedly lived for 17 years with the aid of radiation and chemotherapy). My sister was diagnosed a couple of years ago with a very early breast cancer and has a good prognosis post-lumpectomy. As we are a "cancer family" my siblings and I are very vigilant about early detection.

So I really wasn't very surprised when the lump was identified as a mucinous carcinoma, a rather uncommon cancer that often has a good prognosis depending on type. Since May 5th, I've had to have several followup appointments in preparation for surgery. This is my May calendar for doctor appointments, including one routine dental appointment and one followup to cataract surgery.

 Date             Procedure                                                     Location                
 5-5-2020 Mammogram and ultrasound Christ
 5-8-2020 Covid19 Test Christ
 5-11-2020 Lump biopsy Christ
 5-14-2020 Routine dental checkup Byerly
 5-18-2020 Meet with Dr. Manders - surgeonChrist Montgomery 
 5-21-2020 MRIChrist Montgomery
 5-26-2020 Surgery Pre-Certification - Dr. Dillon Mercy Eastgate
 5-27-2020 Second biopsy based on MRI Christ Montgomery
 5-28-2020 Followup from cataract surgery CEI
 5-28-2020 Surgery Pre-Certification - Dr. Saha Middletown Cardio

So it's Friday afternoon, May 29th. Yesterday my cardiologist, Dr. Saha would not certify me for surgery without a more recent Echocardiogram and Stress Test. It had been three years. They did an EKG in the office and everything was fine. I spent about 45 minutes on the phone setting up three additional appointments for next week: 1) another Covid19 test on Monday (because the results are only good for seven days), 2) an Echocardiogram at University Hospital for Wednesday at 7:30 and 3) a Stress Test at U.C. West Chester for Thursday at 9:30. I already had an appointment with Dr. McCluskey at Christ Hospital for Wednesday at 9:30 to discuss radiation options. 

Yesterday, I totally "lost" it at my cardiologist's office. I had to drive to Middletown for an appointment because all of their satellite offices are closed during the pandemic. They messed up so many things, including not letting my doctor know the purpose of the visit. The pressure finally got to me. I truly displayed my "Jones" heritage by "Jonesing" it as Tom would say. Up until then, I think I had really handled the stress well, but I guess everyone has a breaking point -- and this was mine.

The second biopsy results are not yet complete. The nurse told me that the pathologist had asked for a review of the results by other pathologists. The good news is that the one lymph node they worried about was fine and the papilloma is not cancerous. However, they may want to remove it as a precaution, because they can "turn." Hopefully, I'll get a final opinion from my surgeon on Monday and still only require a lumpectomy.

To quote Mr. Rogers, "It is a beautiful day in the neighborhood." Temperatures should reach the mid-seventies with blue skies and low humidity. Bill and I hope to ride our bikes. The world, on the other hand, is still chaotic. Covid19 is still a big issue with the country slowly reopening. People differ on what precautions still need to be taken. Add to this that an African-American man died in Minneapolis while handcuffed and in police custody. A policeman placed his knee on the man's neck while he slowly suffocated. This has led to nationwide protests and, unfortunately, rioting in several cities.

I am adding this to my somewhat dormant blog so that my grandsons may at some future date follow along the path I am undertaking. I'm sure there will be ups and downs. I've always found it therapeutic to write, and just the process of writing this has helped me calm down and get a grip. Love to all of my friends and family.

May 30, 2020

Photo Credit:

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Guest Post from Kristin Cleage

Prologue: On the day of my niece's funeral, a facebook friend and blogger, Kristin Cleage, published this poem about her mother. It spoke to me, in a way few poems ever speak to me. With her permission, I am reposting it here, along with a link to her page.

Credit: Kristin Cleage

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

One More Day - Julie Theresa Jones

The Dan and Carol Jones Family
Photo Credit: Mark Jones

Background: At the service celebrating Julie's life, her mother, Carol, shared the things she would have said to Julie if she'd known they only had one more day together. As a tribute to Julie, Carol wore a pair of pink Crocs, Julie's favorite footwear. Carol was supported by her two sons, Chris and Greg, who also shared wonderful memories of Julie and her admirable courage as she tackled life head on.

Carol's Letter to Julie

You all have no idea what it means to us that you are here. Julie would be so touched and so happy to see you. Thank you.

I have all of these thoughts and feelings about our daughter that I’d like to share with you, but really what might be more meaningful is if I read to you what I would have liked to tell Julie, if I just had known that I only had one more day with her. So here goes:

My dear precious daughter: How do I even begin to tell you how completely broken I am that you are no longer here with me? But you know that.  How do I even begin to tell you how much I love you and adore you? But you know that. And how do I even begin to tell you how afraid I am to not have my BFF in my life anymore, to not know what I’m going to do now without you, each and every day? But I know that you know that too.

I don’t know Jul- I guess it was just your time to be returned to Him. He loaned you to us for 34 precious years, and He decided that he needed you back. I will accept that. But I don’t like it.

Did I ever tell you how you made me giggle inside every time you refused to put on decent shoes when we went out? And instead you wore those ridiculous Crocs? It didn’t matter if we were going to the most formal event of the year. You would have on a beautiful outfit and then some clunky, multicolored Crocs.

Did I ever tell you how you drove me completely insane with your refusal to clean out your car more that once a year? And please do not even get me started on your bedroom. Your idea of “cleaned up” and mine were definitely on two opposite ends of the spectrum.

And goodness that tip money from Jimmy John’s. I’ve never known anyone to run around on a daily basis with what appeared to me to be at least $600 cash in their purse. It did not matter how many times I would ask you to please put the money in the bank, that you would most certainly get mugged. You just looked at me, rolled your eyes, said something along the lines of “Mother!” and then just did whatever you wanted anyway. Why did I waste my breath?

Did I ever tell you that had it been me lying in the hospital bed at the age of 14, two brain surgeries later, flat on my back, unable to raise my head, that I’m fairly certain I would have given up? You gave me a whole new understanding of the word “fighter”. And then to have to go through a series of chemo treatments, the ensuing sickness, hair loss, and embarrassment of starting high school bald and now very heavy. Did I tell you about the time you’re your father almost murdered a patron at Tellers for mocking your obesity a year or so after your treatments? I nearly had to drag him out of the restaurant.

Did I tell you in those early years after your treatments how many nights I cried myself to sleep because I knew that your life moving forward would never be “normal” again? I prayed to God to “just please, somehow let it be me instead”. But that just wasn’t in the plan.

Did I tell you how unbelievably proud I was to see my daughter walk across that stage at Cincinnati State and receive her associates degree? I told everybody I knew, whether they wanted to hear it or not, about my daughter, what she overcame and how she pushed through day by day to get this college degree? I was just busting at the seams! (Of course, what I didn’t tell them was how you were ready to murder me on multiple occasions throughout that time for “making you” -in your words- get the degree).

I’m pretty sure I never told you that you were the focus of any decision Dad and I ever made about where to go on our next vacation: “Would Julie enjoy this? How much walking would be required, and could she handle it? Are there plenty of things for her to do there? Will she be bored?” I’m sorry, boys, but as you guys always told me: ”Julie was the princess”. And gosh, didn’t we have the most awesome trips together? You were our vacation girl. Those smiles, that laughter. You always started packing about a week ahead of time. That tickled me too. Remember when you and I had the idiotic idea of getting our hair corn-rowed in Mexico? It hurt and itched like crazy and then our heads got so sunburnt! Remember how your dad and you and I really thought we were going to be able to get up that hill on our bikes on Mackinac? What a joke that turned out to be. How long did it actually take for the three of us to walk our bikes up that hill? And I’m pretty sure we were all half sick the rest of the day.

Did I ever tell you that your often completely inappropriate sarcasm and blunt remarks would make me laugh so hard that I almost wet my pants? (Now, this is after I recovered from the shock of what you just said in front of everybody and then had time to process). Dad and I later would compare notes, and say to each other: Oh my God, did she really say that out loud?

And if you said it once you said it a hundred times: “Yes I will go to Coopers Hawk Winery with you and Dad for dinner, but I am not driving you guys home!” (Those of you who do not know this, Julie would not touch one single drop of alcohol).

And on the note of your personal morals and values, Julie girl- did I ever tell you how, honest to goodness, your Dad and I looked up to you for your strong sense of right and wrong, your complete inflexibility and intolerance of anything remotely resembling immorality or sketchiness. When you went to work, you were always early, you never called in sick and you did not abide well with those folks at work who were slackers.

Did I ever mention that I thanked God constantly for the fact that whenever I was sick, or post-surgery, that I had you around to help me recover and get back on my feet? Once again, Jul, you showed me what it meant to be compassionate, to be there for someone who truly needed it. (And between you and me, I was pretty sure if it had just been Dad, I would have been in really bad shape.)

And speaking of Dad, I need to tell you something. You do not want to hear this but honey, you and dad are most definitely cut from the same cloth. I do not think you ever figured out before you left us, that the reason you two butted heads so often was because you and Dad are little carbon copies of one another. Sorry honey. He loved you more than life itself. I know that you did not always think that, because like you, your father is one stubborn tough cookie. But every single solitary thing he ever said or did was to help you grow and be a better version of yourself. You were his life, Julie. Believe that. 

You know my sweet girl, I could go on and on with the memories I have and the little things and the big things that I should have said to you.

But in a nutshell, you were the focus of my entire life, my Julie girl. I worried about you, I prayed for you, I thought about you every hour of every day since the minute you were born. You were my best friend in the entire world. We chilled together every evening and every weekend. It was uncanny how -more often than not- you would come down in the morning with a shirt and pants the exact same color as mine. Dad would remark: “here you guys go again”. You finished my sentences and I finished yours. You could predict what I was feeling before I ever spoke it out loud. It was like you were inside my head most of the time.

My daughter, I know with certainty that you’re with our Lord now. And I know with certainty that you are so happy, and carefree and you have that boundless energy that I remember so well from your younger years. You no longer have to take 12 medicines a day just to feel a semblance of normalcy. You are dancing, and swinging on the swings, and doing your puzzles with your grandmothers, and laughing that deep hearty chuckle that always filled my heart to bursting. Baby girl, thank you thank you thank you for changing my life forever. I love you Julie.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Julie Theresa Jones

In celebration of the life of Julie Theresa Jones
August 17, 1983 - May 17, 2018

Julie was special. Born the only daughter of my brother, Dan, and his wife, Carol, she was destined to be the middle child with brothers on either side. Life for Julie was "normal" in every way as she grew into a teenager. At the age of 14, Julie started experiencing headaches, which led to the unfortunate diagnosis of a brain tumor. Despite two surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy,  doctors were not able to totally remove it, and it clearly had an impact on her life.

But that's not what I want to discuss. Julie died, unexpectedly, at the age of 34, probably due to adrenal insufficiency -- a side effect of her brain tumor which compromised her adrenal gland. It was shocking to all of us, as she seemed to be doing so well.

Despite her challenges, Julie was working as a delivery person for Jimmy John's at the time of her death. Due to the wonderful support she has always received from her immediate family, Julie was able to pack more in her life than most of us manage to accomplish in a much longer life span. She had received her Associate Degree from Cincinnati State. She had traveled the world, often as the result of her brother's job which took him to Germany, Colorado, Thailand and D.C. Although she still lived with her mother and father, she lived rather independently in her own suite including two bedrooms and a living area. She was able to travel to the Smoky Mountains (a favorite destination) and traveled to Thailand by way of China completely on her own.

Many family vacations were planned with Julie's needs in mind. Last year, she, her parents, her Uncle Tim and Aunt Dusty, and her Aunt Karen and cousin, Michael, went on the trip of a lifetime to Alaska.

Michael, Karen, Julie, Carol, Dan, Dusty and Tim, 2017 Trip to Alaska

After the initial shock of Julie's passing, her brother, Greg, gathered photos of Julie which ended up taking 75 minutes to view. Her Aunt Kath made a short video of Julie with her family, illustrating the huge role she played in the Jones family over the years.

No one post can do her justice. At the service celebrating Julie's life, her mother, Carol, gave a wonderful talk discussing what she would have liked to tell Julie if she had one more day with her precious daughter and best friend. This was followed up with remembrances of Julie offered by her brothers, Chris and Greg. With Carol's permission, I am reprinting Carol's thoughts in the next post.
Video Link:

Friday, December 23, 2016

Tom's Christmas Message - 2016

Thank goodness "someone" is writing a post for this blog. Merry Christmas from Tom and all of the Jones family.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Stephen Deane - Our 9th Great-Grandfather

When I started investigating our colonial ancestors, I had no idea that our family first arrived on American shores in 1621. This was just one year after the Mayflower arrived in Plymouth Bay. As mentioned in the last post, almost one-half of the passengers who arrived aboard the Mayflower in 1620 did not survive the winter.
It is thought that our ancestor, Stephen Deane, was born in Southwark, Surrey, England. He arrived aboard the Fortune the on November 9th, 1621 in the fall following the arrival of the Mayflower, in Provincetown, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. This was the second ship to arrive in Plymouth Bay successfully, but the new arrivals were hardly a welcome addition. They arrived with very few supplies, and thus added to the burden of the Mayflower survivors who had already suffered too much.

Born about 1605, Stephen arrived in America as a single man. His occupation was listed as "miller." He met and married Elizabeth Ring. Together they became the parents of three daughters: Elizabeth (1630), Miriam (1632), and Susanna (1634), Elizabeth married William Twining in Eastham, MA about 1650, Miriam married John Wing in 1662/63, and Susanna married Joseph Rogers in 1660, grandson of Thomas Rogers of the Mayflower. In 1663, Susanna married her second husband, Stephen Snow.

Stephen Deane was a successful businessman. In 1627, he bought an additional acre of property from William Delaney. In 1632, he was given permission to open a corn mill, probably his second, adjoining the town of Plymouth. The agreement allowed him to collect a toll of one pottle (half gallon) of each bushel ground. Stephen's biography is listed below.

Unfortunately, Stephen died before the age of 30, leaving his widow, Elizabeth Ring Deane, with three young children. I've not been able to find a cause of death. Elizabeth would later marry Josiah Cooke, who graciously became the stepfather of Elizabeth's children.

The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England

Additional References:

Master Profile for Stephen Deane on

Excellent reference for the arrival of Stephen Deane, his subsequent marriage to Elizabeth Ring and their children.

Find A Grave - includes a short biography of Stephen Deane

Boston Globe article about Stephen Deane reenactment: Boston Globe: Pilgrim for a Day

Nasalroad Family Genealogy

Passengers of 1621 Fortune Voyage

Saturday, March 26, 2016

They Came to America

It seems hard for me to believe that our Joneses have roots that extend back to 1621 in America. Our first ancestor in America was Stephen Deane, my 9th great-grandfather. To put his story in context, we have to go back to the Mayflower, and the first group of people to come to what became known as the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts.

Credit: Wikipedia

It was ALL about religion

In 1605 in England, there was no religious freedom. The Church of England was the state religion, and an attack on it was an attack on England. Although this church was the result of the Protestant Reformation, there were individuals who felt that the church still retained too much of the liturgy, sacraments, and ritual and had not gone far enough to reform the church. They referred to themselves as "Separatists."

They had to meet in secret and not promote their views among the rest of the population. Doing so could result in a loss of livelihood, imprisonment, and even death. Conditions became so difficult that a group of about 80 Separatists decided to relocate to Amsterdam and, later, the town of Leiden. At the time, it was illegal for Catholics and Protestant Separatists to emigrate without permission. In 1607, part of their group was able to escape to Amsterdam before being discovered. The rest of the group was able to join them in 1608. William Brewster of Mayflower fame, became one of their leaders after losing his job as postmaster in Scrooby, England because of his religious beliefs.

The reality of life in Leiden, Netherlands did not live up to their expectations. As they were not citizens, they were limited in the kinds of employment they could obtain.Their children wanted to adopt the ways of the Dutch. And so the decision was made to reestablish a community in the New World.

On September 5th, 1620, 102 passengers and crew, departed for what turned out to be a 66-day passage. The voyage started out smoothly, but by October, they encountered fierce Atlantic storms that made the voyage treacherous. The winds blew them off-course, but they finally landed in what is now Cape Cod on November 9th. This late fall arrival date forced the passengers to rely on the provisions on board, and most of the winter was spent living on the boat. Food dwindled, disease spread, and temperatures dropped resulting in the deaths of half of the passengers and crew that first winter.

I could write a book about the rough beginning in what came to be known as Plymouth, but several others already have. If you are interested in this topic, you can find a lot of information at the links listed. I recommend that you read the first link, in particular. It explains in detail the beliefs of the Separatists (Pilgrims) and the role that faith played in their every day lives.

Further Reading:

Friday, March 25, 2016

Five Generation Birthplace Pedigree

Five Generation Birthplace Pedigree

Yesterday on facebook, fellow genealogist J Paul Hawthorne shared a template inviting us to note the birthplaces of our ancestors for the past five generations. After showing the number of ancestors from England we have ten generations ago, it was fun to look at the origins of our more recent ancestors. This chart starts with me on the left. I was born in Ohio, as were both of my parents. You can see our Buckeye roots run deep. If you want to know who is represented in each of the color-coded blocks, refer to the chart below.

Click to enlarge

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Our Colonial Ancestors from England

I am often asked, "How can you have so many ancestors?" The short answer is that the number of direct answers doubles with every generation. By the 10th generation, we have 1024 direct ancestors. We each have 2 grandparents, 4 great-grandparents, 8 gg-grandparents, etc. On our paternal Jones side of the family, we have deep roots going back to the early 1600s in this country.

Since so much of my ancestral DNA is attributed to England, I decided to go through our family tree and identify our earliest ancestors who immigrated to the U.S. from England. Although this is not a comprehensive list, you can see we have quite a few. The numbered locations in the map below correspond with the list of our ancestors, their relationship to me, and their approximate date of arrival. With this information, you should be able to determine how they are related to you.

Relationship to Me
Date in U.S.
William Lynn Almy
8 X Great-Grandfather

Audrey Barlowe Almy
8 X Great-Grandmother
Elizabeth Dillingham
8 X Great-Grandmother
Bef. 1645
Emmanuel Woolley
7 X Great-Grandfather
Abt. 1652
Mary Sarah Brown
9 X Great-Grandmother
Bef. 1639
Sheffield, Yorkshire
John Worthley
9 X Great-Grandfather
Nicholas Wainwright
9 X Great-Grandfather
Bef. 1647
Elyzabeth Chapman
9 X Great-Grandmother
Bef. 1647
Elizabeth Offerton
8 X Great-Grandmother
Bef. 1647
Thomas Wainwright
8 X Great-Grandfather
Bef. 1647
William Twining
8 X Great-Grandfather
Bef. 1649
East Grimstead, Wiltshire
Robert Tucker
7 X Great-Grandfather
Bef. 1651
Thomas Mayhew, Sr.
9 X Great- Grandfather
Bef. 1648
Rev. Thomas Mayhew
8 X Great- Grandfather
Bef. 1648
Southwark, Surrey
Stephen Deane
9 X Great-Grandfather
Deal, Kent, England
Thomas White
8 X Great-Grandfather
Bef. 1658
Sandwich, Kent, England
John Wing
8 X Great-Grandfather
Bef. 1645
Elizabeth Ring
(wife of Stephen Deane)
9 X Great-Grandmother
Abt. 1628
London, Middlesex
Jane Paine
8 X Great-Grandmother
Bef. 1648
Matthew West
8 X Great-Grandfather
Wherwell, Hampshire
Deborah Batchiler
9 X Great-Grandmother

I counted twenty-one 7th through 9th Great-Grandparents who emigrated from England in the 17th Century. The first arrived in 1621 and the last in 1658. These are all DIRECT ANCESTORS! Recall that the Mayflower and its 102 passengers came to America in 1620 -- and half of them died that first winter.

So Joneses, Scardinas, and Brevings, we have deep roots in this country. There should be no surprise that a large percentage of our DNA comes to us by way of England. And now for the stories. The next several posts will discuss some of the amazing things I discovered about many of our ancestors in the New World. I hope you come along for the ride.