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Joy’s Journal – The Acknowledgments And What’s To Come For Joy’s Journal

Some people probably find these kinds of posts boring, but it’s fun to write them, so here you go.

First of all, I’m very thankful to a friend of mine who actually has a chronic illness, because she answered all my questions (And there were a LOT) about chronic illnesses, and supported my story.

Then there is my real-life-Savana- who is the girl who Joy’s friend is based off of. They are very different, but my real Savana has all the same characteristics that are important – Understanding, forgiving, kind, and also really silly sometimes. Thanks Bumblebee!

Joy’s cousins are based off of my real cousins, who are also very different, but are fun to be with, encouraging, and offer a different perspective on things. So thanks to them.

And then, of course, YOU! If you are reading this, and you didn’t hate Joy’s journal, yay! Thanks for reading and coming along on Joy’s adventure.

Will there be a third Joy’s Journal? Probably not, at least not on this blog. I’m considering writing a third one on my other blog Creative Castle but I don’t think I’d want to do another journal with pictures.

If enough people would like to read another one, I’d like to write it for them, so if you would like to read another, please comment or tell me.

So thanks for reading everyone! I had so much fun making this series, and I hope you liked it that much too!

Lexie

Joy’s Journal – The Epilogue

The year I went to a boarding school was a long, hard year, one that I would never choose to repeat, but I learned a lot, and I’m glad it happened.

I never did become friends with Roberta again, or any of her friends. Most of them had changed, and weren’t mean anymore, but they still had hurt me, and I couldn’t get past that enough to be friends again.

Those friendships just didn’t work out. And that was okay. Some friends work, and some just don’t.

But I still had Savana, and although Callie didn’t live very close to us, I became very close to her too.

Callie and Savana didn’t understand my illness, but they tried to be very understanding about it.

Anika, however, did understand. She didn’t live very close, but we talked all the time, from texts and emails, to phone calls, and video chats, and even actual mail. While Savana and Callie tried to be very understanding, Anika actually got it. She knew what it was like to always feel bad, and not be able to do things, and for no one else to understand.

We talked about what helped and what didn’t, but mostly it was just helpful to have someone who understood without a lot of explaining.

My health never really did get better. Because I hadn’t taken care of myself, my health was a lot worse than it had been before. My good days were worse than my bad days had been a year ago, and I had to accept that I was probably never going to get any better, even just to where I had been a few months ago.

I really hated that. If I had done things different, my illness would never have gotten that bad. I would be so much better now. But I had to live with my decision forever, and I had to learn to accept it, which was really hard.

I started taking care of myself after that. If I was sick, I would take them time to get better. I tried not to push myself, and I said no to a lot of things that I really wanted to do. I had to let my health come first.

I started a project one day when I wasn’t feeling well. I wanted to write an encouraging letter to everyone I knew. It started slow, with just one letter, to Savana, but I worked on it whenever I was home not feeling well. The response I got from my letters was amazing. People always like the letters, and a lot of people even started writing encouraging letters of their own. I loved using my bad days to help someone else.

Some days were still really really hard, but I was getting better, not physically, but emotionally, and learning to forgive.

And I guess that’s the important part.

Lexie

Joy’s Journal 2-24

I was still so ridiculously sick, but I finally had the hope I needed to get better. I started to reach out more when I needed help. I stopped answering the question “How are you” with “Good.”

That one small word had ruined everything.

But it was okay.

I remember the first time getting out of bed without help. I remember walking to my sister’s room and yelling “Boo” at her. She was so surprised, and it wasn’t just because I had scared her.

Elli, Ana, and Savana helped me so much. They were so supportive, especially when I couldn’t see myself getting better.

The end of year party at RiverView approached, and I made it a goal to be able to go. I knew there was a good chance I’d have to stay home, but it was nice to have something to get excited for.

One day close to the party I was bored, so Elli and Ana decided that now was the time we were going to pick out dresses. Honestly I had totally forgotten about that at all.

 I didn’t really have any ones of my own that I liked, because dress-requiring events were not my thing. But being the youngest of four girls, I had acquired all the outgrown dresses. By this point I didn’t even know what I had. My sisters gave them to me, and I stuck them in the back of my closet. 

This is a LOT of dresses

So, instead of going shopping, which I wouldn’t have been up for, Elli and Ana found a ton of dresses, and I tried them on.

We put Callie and Savana on video chat so them could help choose, and then I started trying dresses on.

This red dress is not for me

The first one I tried on was red, long, and very pretty. But not on me.

Opioion

“Ooh, I like that one!” Callie exclaimed after we had decided against it. “Can I have it?”

“No.” I laughed. “My sisters would kill me. Why do you think I have so many dresses?”

I tried on more dresses, but they were all the same. Very pretty. But not on me. I tried on floofy ones and tight ones, pink ones and yellow ones, flowered dresses, cat hair covered, shiny dresses. Hope has weird taste in dresses. 

Finally we came to a white dress that was apparently tie-dyed. I didn’t recognize this one.

tie dye dresses are cool guys

But I loved it. It fit, and it was pretty.

We all decided it was ‘the one’.

Yes, Savana is weird

“That looks so much better on you than on-” I saw Callie give Savana a look, and she stopped.

“On who?”

“Anyone but you.” She finally said.

I was confused, but dropped it. “Can we look at shrugs?” I suggested. I knew I had some, and I was kind of self-conscious about my pale arms. (And pale face, and legs. and hands, and feet, and nose, and neck.)

It's perfect

So we looked at shrugs. I have less of those than dresses.

We looked at a few shrugs, and then I found Savana’s green shrug. It was perfect.

yup

“That looks so great Joy!” Savana told me.

And I noticed she was wearing the bow. “But don’t you want it back?”

“No Joy. It’s yours.”

The day of the party I wasn’t feeling great, but I really wanted to go, and I couldn’t disappoint my friends, so I went. Savana’s mom went with my mom and me, because she was going to pick Savana up, same as the other parents.

Savana’s mom and mine talked the whole way there, but I fell asleep.

When we got there I ran up to my room, only to find that they weren’t there. Two girls I didn’t know answered instead, their hair and makeup half done.

“Savana is with Callie now honey,” Savana’s moms said.

So I followed her to the other end of the hall.

Finally together again

The two girls squealed when I opened the door. “Joy!” They both hugged me. Savana’s mom said hi, and then they left us to talk.

We started getting ready, among talking.I had never gotten to know Callie, but she squealed and talked, and I felt right at home.

It's so pretty

“Do you like my dress? It’s orange, but I really like how it looks.”

And then randomly, she said: Oh, we are going to be such good friends, now that you are here!” Callie exclaimed.

I must have looked surprised, because Callie stopped looking sure of herself. “If you want to, I mean.”

“Of course I want to! I just haven’t been very nice, and well-”

“Whatever. We were different then. Now is so much different, and so are you.”

Lexie

Joy’s Journal 2-23

My cousins Elli and Ana were staying with us for a week. They were very understanding, and did a lot to cheer me up. They didn’t blame me for my mistakes, something that it felt like everyone else did, especially me.

Elli was a few years older than me, but she didn’t treat me like I was an immature little kid.

I think she realized, that with all I’ve been through, I’m NOT an immature little kid. I’ve changed a lot during these past few years.

crayons now my dear

Elli would come hang out in my room sometimes, even if I wasn’t willing to talk, just to be there. We usually did talk though.

And now she is wearing a scruncie on her head

Elli and I had these long talks, about anything and everything. We talked about lamas, food, illness, the future, how crayons are made, everything.

A hamburger now

I remember one day Elli put a tray of food in front of me, then sat down to talk.

And now it's not ana

After a few minutes Elli commented on the food that I hadn’t eaten. “Is anything, wrong, or are you just not hungry?”

“I’m just not hungry.”

We sat in silence for a few seconds, and then I said something I’d thought I would never say.

“What if I don’t get better Elli? What if I’m like this forever? I ruined everything. If only I’d taken care of myself? Would things be different now.”

Elli took so long to respond that I thought she wasn’t going to.

At last, she started to talk. “I think,” She said slowly, “That everyone makes mistakes. And some of them are bigger than others, some of them have more consequences than others, some of them are more life changing than others. And you can’t change what you have done, no matter how hard you try, you can only learn from it.  I know it’s hard right now, but you will adjust, and, though it make take a long time, you will learn to forgive yourself. Don’t hate yourself for this Joy. Everyone makes mistakes.”

Ana is the best

And then there was Ana. She was several years younger than me, but she loved to hang out with me.

I know she looked up to me, and though that was cool, I didn’t want her to look up to me, a person who had messed everything up with a few big mistakes.

One time I told her this, but she just said “I know that you did some mistakes. I like that you are so brave and cheerful through all of this.”

Colored pencils my dear

Sometimes Ana brought in her treasured colored pencils, and we would draw.

Ana had the most unique, innocent outlook on things, and she was a very cheerful little girl.

I was still stuck in bed, but having my cousins there helped a lot. They gave me something I hadn’t had in a long time.

Hope.

Lexie

Joy’s Journal 2-22

If you want to read the last part.

I was having a really hard day. I was feeling kind of hopeless about getting better, my stack of schoolwork was probably taller than I was, and I felt alone. 

From it’s spot, my laptop started ringing, a video call alert from Savana.

I didn’t really feel like talking to her, but I didn’t want to disappoint Savana.Laptopyop.

The laptop beeped, and we were connected. Savana had moved into a room with Callie, and it was the same as ours, but flipped.

“Hey Savana.” 

We talked for a few minutes, but I wasn’t very enthusiastic. I answered her questions, but she was the one leading the conversations.

Finally Savana noticed something was off.

“What’s wrong Joy? You don’t seem much like yourself.”

I sighed. “Do you think it’s easy to act like yourself when you are stuck in the same room for days?”

“I didn’t mean it like that Joy.”

“How did you mean it then?”

This is not a watch

“I.” She stopped.  “I don’t know. I guess I meant that it seemed like something was wrong.”

“Of course there is something wrong.” I started to explain about how I was feeling, but then stopped.

“Go on?”

“You wouldn’t understand.” I told her.

“Try me?”

“You wouldn’t understand Savana. No one does. They can’t. You can’t understand how hard it is to be stuck in bed, and for it to be all your fault.”

“Joy, I-”

Yup

But I cut her off. “You can’t understand Savana. You have been having fun with your friends, having the time of your life. You are probably glad that I’m not here, probably enjoying your time with Callie!”

“Joy.”

“Even when I was there, all you talked about was Callie, Callie, Callie.”

“That’s not true!” Savana’s voice was starting to rise now. “You spent all your time with the ‘popular group’ You refused every invitation of mine. I TRIED.”

“But-”

“Look, this is hard for me too, okay?”

“You? You have absolutely nothing to feel bad about. You have everything perfect right now.”

“No. I don’t.”

Oops

I heard a clunk as Savana’s tablet hit the floor, and then my screen went black too.

Joy is tired

 

Later in the day, I was trying to take a nap, to forget all that had happened, but it wasn’t really working.

CUPCAKES

 

Mom came into my room. “Hey Joy, want a cupcake?”

“Nah.”

Being a good cupcake

Mom set the cupcake on my dresser and sat down. “What’s wrong Joy?”

“What do you mean?”

“Something is obviously wrong.”

I sighed. “I had an argument with Savana.”

“Hmmm.”

“She doesn’t understand.”

“You know, this has been hard on her too Joy.”

“Her? But I’m the one who has lost everything!”

“Yes, and she couldn’t do anything to stop it. And I’m sure she misses you.”

I didn’t say anything. It was a lot to think about.

The timer beeped, and Mom got up to leave.

“But what do I do?”

turning back

Just before she left, Mom stopped. “You could try talking to her.”

I took a deep breath and pushed the video call button. It rang fourteen times before she finally accepted.

Yay except boo

For the first few seconds we just stared at each other.

Then I started talking.

“I’m so sorry Savana. I know you didn’t do anything wrong. I was jealous of you and Callie, and I thought you didn’t want to be my friend anymore.” I was desperately hoping that she would assure me that she did still want to be my friend, but I wasn’t expecting it.

“Of course I still want to be your friend Joy!” I guess I needn’t have worried. “When you left I felt so bad, like it was my fault you had to go home. Callie helped assure me that it wasn’t my fault, and I needed a friend after you left. And,” she admitted quietly, “I was jealous of you also.”

“Me? What in my life could possibly be worth wanting?”

Savana and her computer

“For awhile you seemed to have it all. You had a big group of friends that you hung out with all the time, and you didn’t seem to need me anymore. You refused every invitation of mine.”

It came upon me, that I had, in fact, refused all her invitations. It wasn’t because I was trying to hurt her, it was because I was too sick to enjoy them.

a couch and a computer

“This has been hard for me too, Joy. You were always my friend, and then you left. Now you are stuck at home, and I’m stuck here. It’s hard.”

“I’m so sorry Savana.”

“I am too.”

 

savananana

“I have to go now.” Savana said. “But if you ever need to talk to me, I’ll be here.”

“Same for you, okay?”

Lexie

 

Joy’s Journal 2-21

This is the part I posted last.

This part doesn’t have any pictures, just words, because I don’t have any pictures for this part, and I don’t have a way to take some.

After that after hike, after I told, I went home. It wasn’t my choice, and I didn’t want to, but everyone decided that it was for the better. 

At this point I was so sick I didn’t really care. I had wanted to go home the whole time, but was too scared to say anything.

“But what about Mom?” I had asked Ellen.

“She’s getting better, and she wanted you to come home.”

So I did.

I took all my school stuff home, and communicated with my teachers to get the assignments and turn them in.

After like a week of doing almost nothing but sleeping and being bored, I started my schoolwork. I had to back up a lot to understand everything that I hadn’t really done before.

It was frustrating. There was so MUCH of it, things I didn’t care about, things I didn’t want to do.

I just didn’t have the motivation to do it. What was the point if I wasn’t ever going to get better. When would I use it? Would I ever get better? Would I be stuck in this bed for the rest of my life? Even if I did get better, would the better be worse than how I was before all this?

I didn’t tell anyone, and my schoolwork just heaped higher and higher, and with no one to help me do it, I don’t think I ever even ended up doing it all.

Savana and I spent a lot of time talking through the internet. She didn’t understand why I came home. Sometimes I felt like she thought I was lying about being so sick, and that I really just wanted to get away from her.

It wasn’t true, but I didn’t know how to tell her that.

 

All these things piled up on top of me, and made it hard to focus on school, letting alone getting better.

I was trying to believe I would get better, but it was hard.

Lexie

Joy’s Journal 2-20

Here’s the link to the most recent part.

It was the end of the year, and finally warm enough to spend time outside. So we had an “educational” hike thing. It was required, but I probably could have gotten out of it if I wanted to. And I wanted to, but I couldn’t bring myself to say anything. So I went on the hike.

Joy Is Silent.png

Savana and Callie joined forces, but I was left behind. I was last to get to the clearing we stopped at for a break. There were people scattered everywhere, teachers, kids, Callie and Savana on a log, but I felt so alone.

Joy Isn't Paying Attention

Not long after I sat down on the grass, some teacher appeared. She was talking, but I was hardly paying attention.

“Joy? Did you hear me?”

“Huh? Oh, yeah, sorry. I heard you.” But I had no idea what she said.

“Go sit with your friends, okay?”

“Okay.”

I really didn’t want to, but I got up and joined Callie and Savana on a log.

Joy Is Not talking

“Oh, hey Joy.” Savana acknowledged me, but kept talking to Callie. I didn’t pay attention to them.

Callie and Savana looked so put together, so cute. Me? I was wearing clean clothes for once, quite an accomplishment, having to do my own laundry. I felt so out of place beside them. They chattered on, and I listened, but didn’t say anything. I’m not sure they even noticed I was there.

I was tired and didn’t want to walk, but I wanted the break to be over, I wanted to get away, to be alone with my thoughts.

Joy Is Left Behind

And finally it was, and we moved on. I lagged behind the others, going slower and slower. I was lost in thought, not even realizing that I was alone till I came into a fork in the trail and didn’t know which way to go.

I picked one, but it must have been wrong because I didn’t come across anyone.
Joy Is Just Here

Eventually I gave up, and sat down in the grass, realizing I was lost, but not really caring. I knew how to get back to the school, I just didn’t have the energy to do it.

Joy Is Found

I didn’t think anyone had noticed I was gone, but later-minutes or hours, I don’t know-Ellen showed up.

“There you are! We were so worried!”

Joy Is Annoyed

Ellen sat down next to me. “What happened?”

I shrugged. “I got lost.”

“Why were you so far behind everyone?”

“Tired.”

“You didn’t have to come, you know. You should have stayed and rested.”

“It doesn’t matter.”

“Yes it does Joy. I don’t want you to get sick.”

Joy Is Screaming

And then I lost it. I don’t remember standing up, or raising my voice, but I was on my feet screaming at her. “You wouldn’t care if I got sick. No one does. People only get mad at me when I stay and rest, so I had to come. You don’t understand.”

Joy Is Leaving

As tired as I was, as much as I didn’t want to move, I got up and walked away.

I heard Ellen call my name, but she didn’t run after me. She let me walk away.

Joy Is Alone

I leaned against a tree and sat down. For the next few minutes I didn’t care, I didn’t think, I was just there. Like always, but this time I was truly alone.

Joy Is Not Alone Anymore

After a few minutes I saw Ellen standing over me. I don’t know how long she was there. I didn’t say anything, I didn’t look at her, but when she asked if she could sit next to me, I nodded.

Joy Is Talking

We sat in silence for a few minutes. And then I began to talk. I don’t know what I said, but I remember pouring out everything, and I mean EVERYTHING.

And then I was silent again. Ellen asked some questions, but I only nodded, or shook my head, or shrugged.

“Let’s go back to school.”

I nodded.

“Can I have a hug?”

I  started to get up to give her a hug out of instinct, but stopped. She asked again, and I shook my head. I had realized that I could say no. It was probably the second time I had done that in my whole life, but I wasn’t ready.

I got up and started walking toward camp.

Joy Is Okay

Ellen joined me, but we didn’t say anything.

We just walked back to school.

Together.

Lexie

Joy’s Journal 2-19

The link to the last part 

Finally, finally, One of my teachers figured out something was wrong. I’m not entirely sure how. I was trying really hard to act normal and not show how bad I felt. But they must have thought something was wrong, so they sent me to the nurse.  

Ellen

Ellen was doing stuff in her office, obviously not expecting me. She was very ingrained in whatever it was she was doing and didn’t notice when I walked in. I stood there for a moment, thinking.

I went to the nurse’s office. That’s all they told me to do. If I left before she noticed me, I would have gone to the nurse’s office, but not have to talk to Ellen.

Joy is talking to Ellen

But as I turned to leave, Ellen noticed that I was there and turned around.

“Joy! What’s wrong?” Ellen asked with concern. 

Joy and Ellen

I hopped up onto the bed. “I’m fine.”

“Then why are you here during classes?”

“Um…We are doing hearing tests apparently, and I was supposed to be first….” I trailed off. It was a lousy excuse, but I couldn’t think of anything better.”

“Oh, well, your teacher must be mistaken. No hearing tests today. But while you are here, how are you doing?”

“Good.” I fibbed.

“Are you getting enough rest?”

I know she was asking if multiple things, not just what she said, but also if I was caring about myself.

“Yes.”

I tried to convince myself that because I was getting enough sleep, I wasn’t lying, but I knew I was, and that I should tell the truth, but I couldn’t do it. What would I even say. I wanted so badly for someone to know, but it would only make things worse. At least she didn’t know I was lying.

Looking back on that day, I realize that she probably knew I was lying, but decided that if I didn’t want to talk I wasn’t going to talk, and I’d talk when I was ready.

“Well then, I’d better get back to class.” I wanted to get out of there before she started asking questions I couldn’t answer.

“Yes, yes, you probably should. Have a good day Joy!”

And so I walked away.

Lexie

Luciana Out Of This World

Image result for Luciana out of this world

*This post, while I tried not to put spoilers, does give away a lot of the story*

This book came in the mail today. I was so excited, I took the book and read it right away. It was just as good as the first two, maybe better. I love that these books explore things that are unusual in books for girls that age, such as science and space, but also have morals that many people can relate to, such as friendship, working together, and thinking before you act.

I didn’t realize there was going to be a third Luciana book, let alone that it was out yet. I hadn’t heard anything about it, but when my mom asked if I wanted any books from Scholastic it was listed on the page, so we bought it.

It’s not available on the American Girl website yet, but you can get it from Scholastic, Amazon, and probably a few other places.

I’ll review the other two books eventually, I LOVED them both, but I wanted to share with you this amazing book.

The book starts with Luciana going to visit her family in Chile for winter break. She is so excited to visit her four cousins the same age as her, but when she gets there they don’t seem excited for her to be there. They are all good friends, and Luciana thinks that they don’t need or want her as part of “Los Cuatro” the four.

Claire, a girl from the training camp Luciana went to last summer, not a girl that Luci is really friends with, is also in Chile. Her scientist dad is doing studies in the dessert, and had to drag Claire along because there was no one to take care of her. So Claire invites Luciana to come with her to the dessert. 

It would be a great opportunity for Luci, she would get to meet real space scientists, sleep in a Mars habitat, and maybe even do some tests of her own!

But Luciana doesn’t really trust Claire, after some events that happened last summer. Some really scary, life threatening events. Luci still has nightmares about these things, is scared of things because of what happened. Besides, she believes her mission is here with her cousins, to just be with her family. Luci turns down the invitation without even asking.

But when things between her and her cousins get worse, and she doesn’t feel connected at all, she feels bad that she turned the opportunity down. It would be an amazing experience, and maybe she would have more fun with Claire then with her cousins.

So she talks to her parents, and they are skeptical of Claire, after what she did last summer. They are also worried about the aftershocks of an earthquake, An earthquake in that makes her grandparents’ house unstable, unsafe to live in. But Luci convinces her parents that Claire has changed, and that no aftershock will come. And her parents let her go.

Claire is nice to Luciana the whole way to the dessert, and Luci believes that Claire really has changed. But when Claire’s dad has to go to a meeting instead of taking the girls to see the geysers Claire turns into the same girl Luci knew before.

Luciana talks Claire into going with the other scientists to take samples of the dirt, but Claire won’t talk to her the whole way there or back, a total of four hours. And when Luci accidentally ruins all the samples and the scientists have to go back Luci is left alone with Claire.

They are in bed when disaster comes. Claire helps Luciana, but then runs off into the dessert when Luci needs her most. Luci begs Claire not to leave, afraid she has abandoned her again, but Claire comes back and saves the day.

They forgive each other, and Luci learns to listen more. Things between Claire and her dad also work out.

When Luciana gets back to her family, she works things out with her cousins as well, listening instead of doing all the talking, and they accept her into “Los Cuatro” making it “Los Cinco”.

Things don’t work out in favor of her Grandparents’ house, but they decide to hold onto the memories.

Overall, I loved the book. I liked how it carried on the science/space theme, while also having a theme of listening and forgiving.

I rate this book 5/5 stars. Even though the grade level is a few years younger then mine, I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

I recommend this book. It would be great for 9-13 but also for any age reader.

lexie-sign-off

Craft Tag

So Victoria from Reverie Dolls nominated me for the Craft Tag. (Okay, technically she just said “you”, but I think this is really cool, so I’m doing it. Kaylyn created this tag.

The rules are:

Answer 5 questions

Create 5+ new questions

Tag people

 

Victoria’s questions:

What is your favorite craft supply?

Almost anything, although some of my favorites are; cloth, yarn, pompoms, shells, and paint.

Hot glue or liquid glue?

Definitely hot glue, though liquid glue is better for some things. But if hot glue will work, I probably will use it.

Wing it or plan it?

Depends on the project. If it’s small, and I do it as soon as I get the idea, wing it. If it’s really big I’ll probably write some stuff down. Usually though, I’ll plan it in my head, but not write it down.

Have you ever made crafts to go in your bedroom?

Yes. A lot of what’s in my bedroom I made. I’ve made a quilt, some pillows, almost everything on my wall, my bulletin board, a few clothing items, a small dollhouse, and quite a few other things.

Favorite craft you’ve ever made?

Hmm, that’s hard. I love almost everything I’ve made. My quilt is pretty cool though, and I love the rain-forest house I made for Lea.

Okay, I nominate,

Jewel from The Doll Notebook

Julia from Love My Dollies

Gracie from Smile And Craft AG

Kiki from Kiki Through The Looking Glass

Tess from Silver Sky Dolls

My questions are:

What is the weirdest craft material you have ever used?

What kinds of things do you like to make?

Do you use materials from the craft store, or do you use other things also, like recycled or up-cycled things?

Are there any craft supplies that you hate or won’t use?

Do you have a craft area / where do you do your crafts?

lexie-sign-off