So, I wrote yesterday that I was trying to figure out how to respond to Justin’s little cousins who are now 4, 4.5 and 8 years old when they asked about him. Well, today I got my answer. Yesterday, I heard (on the floor above) the sounds of little pitter patter feet running in my house and the littlest voice screaming out ” Juju it’s me JJ, I’m here!” My heart skipped a beat. Then they ran downstairs into Justin’s room and they stopped. Mia the oldest has been the silent one and she just looks down when the questions come up. But my little Extreme sportsman JJ, the youngest of the trio, runs in and says. “Hi Auntie Susu, I’m here. Where is Juju?” As he gazes at trophies he also said proudly: “Juju likes sports like me!” I gather them all and we sit on the bed and we talk about what Justin would want them to do. Mia slightly smiles and says quietly “to have fun”, Dashton just smiles and sits and runs his hands across the bed and JJ crosses his legs starts bouncing on the bed and says “Have a good time” and starts trying to snap his hands like Justin did with his friends in the infamous impromptu video that was taken in January 2013. See video below of Justin and then the one we made of the kids in 2013 trying to copy the video they were watching.

This morning JJ comes into the kitchen and says: ” Auntie Susu, where is your “brother” Juju? I said ‘He is in heaven.” Confused JJ said, “Well, when is he coming back?” I gathered them once again and we went into the living room and sat next to a picture of Justin and we all said good thoughts. My siblings walked in and solemnly took a seat to see how we were going to handle this one. We all held hands, said a special prayer for Justin and then JJ stated us out singing again “It’s all right” and said : ” Hey guys, let’s have a good time!

Later,we took the kids to a water park. The clerk hands me a card listing the other park activities. I glance at the paper and the musical that is playing catches my eyes. OKLAHOMA! Justin’s last production that he performed in at school… Need I say anymore? It is true that my friend Felicia told us that “Wherever we go, Justin is with us, and that wherever Justin goes, we are with him.

So true and we dance on…


I seem to have to make contact with Justin’s Art Teacher, Ms. Hall as often as possible. She said that Justin is sending us miraculous messages and his love connection is empowering this communication and keeping him close to our hearts and minds. Think about it, teachers spend more time in front of our kids during the week than we ever did. So I need to get from Ms. Hall all that Justin revealed to her under her tutelage.

The other day with short notice, Ms. Hall invited me to go to see a Dance Production of “The Day I Met Anne Frank”. Cynthia Winter was the Art Director. I said yes without giving it much thought because Justin had a connection to Ms. Winter. He was going to be in the H-W Dance Concert as a guest dancer. Although, he did not have any formal dance training, he was flattered when the Dancers invited him to lift, catch and dance with them in their upcoming production of “Colors”. Ms. Winter’s was also in charge of that show. Each day he would come home after swim and/or dance practice talking about how he was added to yet another dance. He was happy and proud that he was invited to perform. Ironically, the show was scheduled for March 2, 2013; the same day we put my baby to rest. In any event, the dancers dedicated that show to Justin. I know that even in the height of the aftermath of this emotional setback, each dance step they took, was truly in honor of Justin. Justin Carr World-Peace

Secondly, I went because Ms Winter’s husband is the Set Designer at school. Every chance Justin got, he would venture into his workshop, try and get a glimpse of the proposed sets for the upcoming school productions, and sometimes offer suggestions. Just a week prior to his demise, Justin had scheduled to work under his guidance to build the model of the proposed new parking structure for the Upper School. So, I felt that Justin wanted me to go. Going to performing art productions in recent days and months has been too painful for me to bear without Justin having at least an option to attend. So I have turned down many opportunities.

Prior to going into the theatre, we ran into Justin’s classmate Katie, her mother Teresa and her Grandma Doris (who is a holocaust survivor). Grandma Doris gave me a big hug and said she knew about my recent loss. She said “ Honey, in time, you will be able to get through this. My father and brothers were taken down in front of me when I was 11 years old! One day, you will be able to live again. “

After I sat down in my seat I looked to my right. I immediately saw Anna and her mother. Anna Witenberg was another close friend of Justin’s. We jumped up and gave each other the longest silent hug possible. Justin admired Anna from the moment he saw her dancing in middle school. He/we would often marvel at her poise and beautiful dancing skills. He would always insist that we go see the Dance Concerts at school. She was a true friend to Justin and they supported each other is ways that no one will ever know. Her Mom said to me, that Anna really needed to see me. I had been thinking about her too, and I guess it was Justin that encouraged me to go to the show.

The Day I Met Anne Frank, was Ms. Winter’s story of how she felt after she visited Anne Franks House in Amsterdam. It was an intimate depiction of a young girl whose seemingly happy life was stolen, altered and shattered in the blink of an eye. Sounds familiar… The 4 dancers where vividly and passionately able to show (with minimum words and a beautiful song) this story-her story. Even though Ms. Winter was angry and sad about Anne Frank, the Holocaust and how detrimental it was to so many people, things changed a bit during her plane ride back to the United States; her seat was next to a non- English speaking German lady who had a 2 year old child (w/o his own seat). So, you know how it is when you enter a plane and realize that you are sitting next to a small child, that it was going to be a long ride home-so she thought. The conclusion of the production revealed that Ms. Winter was able to connect with this lady and child, (even though their cultures were not compatible.) It became evident through non verbal communication that Ms. Winter offered to help care for the small boy on the long trip home while his mother slept. The part that prompted me to share and compare tonight was that as the plane was in the air, Ms. Winter’s looked out of the window and she said she saw a image of Anne Frank smiling at her for having compassion.

As I walked out of the show, my mind went into the rewind mode. My birthday was a mere six weeks after Justin passed away. My sister Jennifer came down with her 2-year-old son JJ to surprise me. (When JJ RAN into my quiet house, I could feel for a moment how Ms. Winters’ must of felt when she realized that her seat was next to a 2-year-old baby) Jeni came bursting into the house with JJ (who is full of energy 24/7) I remember smiling and asking: How many days are you guys staying? In the back of my mind I knew that this is going to be work, keeping him busy, no rest for the weary ☺) As soon as she came in she said JJ was looking out of the airplane window and he was cracking up. When she asked him what was he looking at and he said, “ Juju’s dancing, he said bye-bye”. She was not sure she heard him correctly and JJ repeated it again “Juju’s dancing, he said bye, bye!” As you may know, Justin’s younger cousins called him JuJu! Throughout the week, during their visit, I would ask JJ “Did you ride on an airplane? (Without even mentioning Justin’s name) and he would 100% of the time blurt out “Juju’s dancing he said bye-bye” I then got up enough nerve to ask JJ another question. What was JuJu wearing? JJ said, “He had on black.” I guess that was the tuxedo Justin was wearing??? I saw JJ last week and I asked him again about his plane ride. He did not hesitate and he blurted out with the biggest smile “Juju’s dancing, he said bye-bye!”

I feel bad for Justin’s younger cousins who are trying to comprehend why they do not see JuJu when they see me. Justin would always do face time with JJ and now when we call JJ he says, “Where is Juju?” After a moment of silence, I manage to say quietly “Juju’s in heaven”

I have come to learn that Ms. Hall was so in tune with Justin’s artistic abilities and that he is somehow directing what is going on and leaving us as many messages as possible. Accepting the invitation to attend the dance concert, meeting Grandma Doris, seeing Anna and Katie, Ms. Winter’s plane ride home seeing Anne Frank in the clouds, and reflecting on JJ’s vision of seeing Juju dancing in the sky are all messages of how one can continue to live after life altering tragedies, of loss, love between a family, a mother and child. Even with physical loss there can be a spiritual connection forever. Non-verbal communication is sometimes an effective way of communication. At least I can look up in the sky and have that vision of my JuJu Dancing. Just as JJ will always remember his cousin I can feel that spirit too. Jeffrey Fruit you have a jewel….out of the mouths of babes right?

JJ and JuJu face time, Justin’s last dance doing the wobble, Grease is the word!

JCWWP_Logo_with_Butterfly_II_copy copy

Justin and JJ playing with the cell phone
Justin and JJ playing with the cell phone
Dancing and the White Out Dance
Dancing and the White Out Dance
Oklahoma Dancing
Oklahoma Dancing


Juju Dashton & Mia

JJ trying to surf
JJ trying to surf
JJ trying to surf
JJ trying to surf


  1. Susie, I thank you for restoring my faith yet again with your beautiful “JuJu” stories. Whenever I am feeling removed from my faith, I know where to go. Best, Gale (Mary Martin’s sister of the heart)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.