If you Google the words “Joanna Rae Plummer”, you’ll get nine hits.

The quotes are important, because that will force Google to look for all three of those words in exactly that order. Otherwise, you’ll get lots of unrelated fooferaw that isn’t germane to the here and now.

Anyway, nine hits.

Doesn’t seem like a lot for 32 years of life. Especially when you remember the spark, the joy, the aliveness that she carried around with her every day. Seems even less when you realize that of those nine, one or two are out of date phone book listings, a couple are obituaries of grandparents that mention her name, and the direct references are either her obituary or news articles about the trial.

So in today’s online, all-information-available-all-the-time world, you can’t really learn all that much about my cousin Jo, except for some details about how and when she died.

What am I thankful for this Thanksgiving? I’m thankful for the twenty five years I had with her, and for a lifetime of memories that I will carry with me. I’m grateful for her wits and her humor, for her skill at showing me worlds that I didn’t even know existed. For instilling, deep within me, a sense of wonder.

There are things in this world that can never be indexed, collated, related, or queried by the internet. They live within us.

Joanna Rae Plummer – Jo – was killed nine years ago tomorrow – November 24th, 2002, a victim of domestic violence.

I’d give anything in the world to have her back. But since that isn’t the way the universe works, I choose to be thankful for all the time we shared and all the memories she left me with. They are a gift of limitless value.

May we all live our lives in such a way that we might give a similar gift to those we love.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

One thought on “Jo

  1. This is a beautiful tribute to a wonderful person. Losing someone like this is breathtaking in its finality. I know since I lost my daughter in a similar way–at the hands of someone she thought loved her. Wrong. So, like you, we wait till the end of time to meet up with people like Jo and Kristin. They are worth the wait, but it’s painful nonetheless.

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