My Sunshine


A year ago today (4/5/18), was the day that Janelle was first admitted to Mass General Hospital in Boston.  A few days later she was diagnosed with a very rare form of bone cancer, Ewing’s Sarcoma. Our life stopped, as we knew it.

“Oh, and I will be with you when the darkest winter comes…Oh, and I will be with you in the night sounds and it’s true Oh, I’ll go anywhere with you.”

Janelle fought with the utmost positive attitude and a smile on her face.  Her beauty and warmth continued to radiate during her battle. We spent many precious hours together fighting cancer, hugging, and expressing our love for each other.  We met compassionate knowledgeable medical professionals that became our friends.  The Danvers/North Shore community that works at MGH did everything in their power to make sure Janelle had the best of the best care.  We did our research, got other opinions and questioned every decision made for her care.  There is no greater love than a parent’s love for their child.  I would have changed places with her if I could have (even though she got mad when I said this).  Our family will never get over the loss of our beloved Janelle. She was everything and more than I ever dreamed of in a daughter.  Everyday I miss everything about her.  I miss her advice on being healthy, politics, social media, and fashion.  I miss her smile and her laugh.

“If you go out dancing in the rain, if you go chasing in rainbows, just to find the gold end there, Darling just look behind you, Oh, I’ll go with you anywhere.”

I don’t feel like my grief will ever end.  Facing life without you is very difficult.  Our family went away for Christmas because we didn’t want to face the holiday without her.  Holly went back to college and then Patrick and I “ran away” on a road trip down the east coast to Florida, visiting friends and family, and back to SHU in CT to see Holly.  Janelle was with us Anywhere and Everywhere we went.  I feel her warmth inside me.  Janelle is my sunshine.

As a family, we try our best to honor Janelle everyday.  I meditate in Janelle’s room, as we did together during her battle.  I try to eat healthy and organic.  I give it my best at being positive and smiling.  I try to pay it forward in her honor.  Patrick & Holly will run a half marathon, for the first time, in Janelle’s honor.

I wish I could visit you in heaven.  I would bring you a yummy meal from the Organic Garden, smother you with hugs and kisses, do yoga with you and admire your radiant beauty.

“If you get out on the ocean, If you sail out on the sea, If you get up in the mountains, If you go climbing on trees…Darling, that’s when I’m with you, Oh, I’ll go with you anywhere”

“Yeah, I’ll go anywhere with you” – Passenger

All my love, Mommy



6 thoughts on “My Sunshine

  1. Janis:
    Very nice. It was all so true. She will be with us always. That was a great tribute. Her gracious smile will stay with us always.


  2. I am sitting at the UMASS graduation class of 2019 and just learned of your beautiful daughter Janelle. Since the moment you appeared on the stage, and I witnessed your incredible devotion and love for your daughter, I have spent the time at this graduation reading your daughters poignant posts on climbingontrees. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing Janelle with us today. If it weren’t for your courage in facing this incredibly painful day and sharing your loss and love for Janelle, some or us may never have learned of her beautiful light in this world. Even if it was painfully short and even if only by your brave walk across the stage today. Thank you for sharing her with us. I pray that you continue to feel her presence in all that you do.


    • Thank you for your kind words. We are devastated by the loss of Janelle. Honoring her gives us purpose. We miss her everyday. UMass has been so good to us and helping honor Janelle.

      Thanks for taking the time to read her blog.

      Take care,


  3. To the Tobin Family,
    I also attended the UMASS graduation last night and saw the beautiful tribute to your daughter. I have since read her postings and am overwhelmed by her courage.
    To Mrs. Tobin: please know as a fellow mom that my heart aches for you today but I’m sure your pride for your daughter and what she is to so many people gives some comfort.
    You all will become a daily prayer for me.


    • Thank you for your kind words and for reading her blog. She was an amazing girl with so many plans to make this world a better place. UMass has been so wonderful to us during her battle with cancer and honoring her and her accomplishments. We try to honor her as best as we can. We are starting a charity in her name that will have scholarships for high school seniors, support research for Ewing’s sarcoma, and help others as they face a battle. We have good days and bad days. She is always in my thoughts.

      Take care,



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