“Just One Little Thing On this Day of Remembrance



During the aftermath of the unimaginable loss of losing our only child—Justin, a very dear friend Lynette, sent me a link to a story titled: How Grieving With Gratitude Changed Everything” from Maria Shriver’s blog: “Architecture of Change”. Reading it changed me… I quickly learned about Kelly Buckley and her movement: “ Just One Little Thing” (JOLT). I read about her unfathomable loss when her son Stephen died unexpectedly.   Despite this horrific loss, Kelly was still able to survive in the midst of misery. She found the lit candle in a room filled with darkness. Kelly has taught me (as I tuck away the pain everywhere I go, this companion and oxygen) how to “grieve with gratitude” and how to look for JOLT blessings every single day. For this, I am forever grateful.

“Just One Little Thing: Finding A Happy Life In An Imperfect World, One Moment At A Time”

The infinite trauma that Darrell and I  have endured has recently catapulted me to a higher understanding of how I am going to live my life in the days and years to come. I can’t imagine living this new life as anyone other than a determined, loving, and accepting mother as it is in sharing my story that I  have emerged with the reborn driving force behind whom I have already started to become. Also, even stronger than my own belief in myself, I have come to experience an indescribable “knowing” within my soul that I have many companions during this difficult journey from my chrysalis – a catalyst moving me toward finding my voice, and my wings, once again.

Justin’s 2nd Grade Butterfly Report Pictures drawn by Justin

Over these past 4 years I have become stronger, braver, more courageous, humble and very grateful. And I know that I am strong enough to take the first steps, brave enough to speak for those who can’t, courageous enough to take a leap of faith during this pivotal moment in my life, humble enough to say a sincere thanks to those for reinforcing my transformational journey by allowing me a chance for discovery of life beyond tragedy, and finding my voice through words so I can help others find theirs.

I will always be Justin’s Mom and Darrell will always be Justin’s Dad. Justin is the gift that keeps on giving.  We miss him every day and we will love and honor him forever with love.

I Gift from Felicia

Darrell & Susan at the American Heart Stroke Ball
Disney Concert Hall


Justin’s work in Kindergarten

10 thoughts on ““Just One Little Thing On this Day of Remembrance”

  1. Susan and Darrell:
    You continue to inspire me with your mission for Justin. You have touched us all in a very special way. Justin will stay in our hearts forever. Thank you Ali

  2. Love is like a butterfly: It goes where it pleases and pleases wherever it goes. ~Author Unknown Justin is pure love,with us always as our forever butterfly. Keeping you three in my every thought today and always, Moira

  3. As always, so much soul food for our hearts in your missives! I marvel at the love and living presence of Justin in your’s and so many people that he touched! What a beautiful young man you brought into this Universe!

  4. How beautiful and uplifting is Darrell’s exquisite butterfly gate and Your JOLT , Susan!
    You both are INSPIRATIONS !!!
    With Love Always,
    Justin’s Ms. Hall

  5. Really beautiful, Susan! I know you were a wonderful mother, and your transformative and positive thoughts will continue to encourage others! Thank you, Meli

  6. Can’t even find any words…just that I too am “here” at this very moment and your son, your beautiful boy was a gift to all of us! Love you SO much Susie and Darrell and Angel Baby, Justin Eugene Carr!

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