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In Loving Memory: Jonathan William Groetsch

Jonathan William Groetsch

Jonathan William Groetsch
April 21st 1980-July 11th 2006

Writen by his sister, Heather Groetsch

As Jim Valvano once said, “Cancer can take away your physical ability. It cannot touch your mind; it cannot touch your heart; and it cannot touch your soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever.

Jonathan “Jon Billy” Groetsch was diagnosed with colon cancer in January 2004. Shocking news to say the least and a much unexpected diagnosis for a 24 year old.

Jon’s attitude was something right out of playbook for a fearless super comic book hero. He never stopped believing in a miracle and never stopped fighting to beat this “crappy” hand he was dealt. Jon endured five major surgeries to remove the cancer. He tried different chemotherapy regimens, commissioned multiple medical opinions, tried every form of holistic healing, continued to eat healthy, was in and out of the hospice wing 3 times. And we all know that people typically do not leave that that wing alive.

Jon was never interested in going to heaven…he wanted to stay right here on earth. He actually told us two days before he passed that he was not interested in going to heaven today….We said it was ok, and he said “I know” but just not today, ok?

After 18 months of fighting on July 11th, 2006 Jonathan passed peacefully with family and friends surrounding him. Jonathan was our hero; he fought so courageously his battle with cancer. Our father had a few words for Jonathan at his life’s celebration which many of us can relate:

Dear Jonathan….
MRI’s, CT Scans, PET Scans……………………No More
Ambulance rides to the hospital…………………No More
Painful car rides to the hospital………………….No More
Surgeries……………………………………………No More
Hospital and Hospice Stays………………………No More
Medical Opinions…………………………………….No More
Chemo Therapy treatments and radiation………..No More
Pain Killers, laxatives, sleep aides…………………No More
Nerve Medications……………………………………No More
Blood tests, blood transfusions and procedures….No More
Trips to Dr’s offices……………………………………No More
Walks with your dog, Marley………………………..No More
Fishing Trip with buddies and Cabin trips…………No More
What’s your pain level at?………………………………..No More

Your memory, courage, integrity, sense of humor…Forever More
Friendships you developed and nurtured…………..Forever More
Your strength and radiating spirit……………………Forever More

Jonathan’s passing grieves us but finally he has peace, happiness and health in God’s care.

Pause: Everyone do us a favor and close your eyes. You or someone near you was Jon’s angel while sick and on earth. They didn’t have wings or wear halos but had strong hands and hearts. Now you have an angel in heaven. Talk to Jon-If you fall he will pick you up…Now that he is strong. If you are discouraged he will encourage you. If you are sad he will make you happy. If you are lonesome he will befriend you. If you are troubled he will comfort you. Now you have an eternal friend and angel in heaven. Peace and God speed to all.

jbgroetsch-race1Jonathan too had the opportunity to participate in the “Get Your Rear in Gear” 5k in March of 2006 right before he celebrated his 26th and last birthday in April. Like many of the stories Jon was really sick the night before the walk and even the morning of the walk. He was having trouble walking so we grabbed the wheel chair that morning. He was determined to wheel himself the entire 5k but the disease had taken its toll and his hands were so cold that his friend Jon Lien wheeled him.

Jon has a plethora of friends and family who have supported him from the minute he was diagnosed. We are all honored to be able to walk in Jon’s honor and continue his legacy. Our team’s slogan is….

Remember me when you’re……….

Team “Jon Billy Groetsch” was then born on March 26th, 2006.

Fishing
Laughing
Having a Drink
Listening to Music
We will never forget Jon’s smile, his laugh, the practical jokes, keen sense of humor, bright blue eyes, kind demeanor, selfless attitude, love for all animals, hard working mentality, quiet confidence, bad temper, hoodies/hats, quest for the simple life, love for travel, interest in understanding other cultures, interest in politics, love for boating, love for fishing, love of organizing his lures and going to fishing stores to look at fishing stuff, love for hockey, love for the T-wolves, love for sports in general, all the memories at 5 & 5, 2435 Bantas Pt Lane, Linner Park/Road, Grays Bay, Annandale but most of all love for his friends, love for Marley and his family.
Jon’s best friend wrote this the morning Jon passed away. We wanted to share it with all of you as it has provided our family much comfort and support…

This is My Gospel according to Billy
April 21, 1980-July 11, 2006
There is a universal truth that echoes through the ages.
There is a voice in the wind and a carrot dangling from the sun.
Every day we wake up and instinctively chase that carrot and we listen for that voice, hoping to understand it, to decipher it.
We listen, because we hope it will guide us or inspire us.
We can only hear the noise however……… things get in the way.
We cannot make out the words.
Still something beckons, something calls.
We sit and contemplate it, we can’t escape it.
Throughout all of this searching… events are happening in our lives, good and bad. Babies are born, families grow together, loved ones pass away, and hearts are broken.
Sometimes we are left in pieces, sometimes we feel whole.
We try to plan for such events, to prepare, but are we really ready for something if we haven’t experienced it yet.
More often than not life is unpredictable…. unvarnished.
When we don’t understand, we become confused, maybe even frightened.
Some of us gaze at the sky; others lash out, while many retreat to with in.
Searching for an answer we begin to ask questions.
Why am I here? What is my purpose?
Why do we ask these questions? Don’t we know?
Throughout the course of our lives, we develop values and interests and habits.
Parents, family, friends, teachers, preachers, God….the environment around us.
These things influence us. Protect us.
Many people may tell us what we should do or must do.
But ultimately the decision is ours alone.
No one charted a course, there is no map.
There is knowledge, and courage, and will, and love.
You don’t need anyone’s approval. There is no RSVP.
There is a human spirit; a consciousness, an ebb and flow.
A fantastic clumsiness, a graceful awkwardness, a beautiful dance
between chaos and harmony.
All living things are in tune. But you have to listen.
Billy could hear it, and his compassion and respect for all people, came out as his interpretation. He did not leave us this morning, instead he grabbed our hands and our hearts and we are all setting sail on his boat that he built for us.
Do not blindly follow or ruthlessly lead. Do not quietly submit or ungracefully quit.
Hatred and greed stem from fear, intolerance and misunderstanding.
Time doesn’t allow for excuses. Choose.
Choose respect, choose laughter, choose family, choose friends, choose joy.
The purpose of living is not to search for the meaning of life…..
It’s the voyage…..the discovery of ones willpower.
This is my gospel according to Billy.
By Jon Lien

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