A TRIBUTE TO DONNA JOE ALLEN
Camden, Tennessee

 
MEMORIES OF DONNA
BORN MARCH 5, 1968


Donna went to rest high on that mountain with Jesus
May 14, 2001
Born out of love, died with love. She lives forever in our hearts!

If you knew her; think about her for a moment or two, then scroll down.

"Do not go where the path may lead,
go instead where there is no path...
and leave a trail"

Ralph Waldo Emerson










"About 6 months before she passed away she had that Don't Worry, Be Happy Smile that we all remember.
She had that same smile on her face the moment she went to Jesus."



This is a Father's Day card she gave me when she was very young....
notice the hearts she drew on the word Dad!





This was her doorway to Heaven,
Camden General Hospital, Camden, Tennessee.
My Heartfelt thanks and best wishes to Dr. Jon Winter
 and all the staff who cared for her while she awaited her journey to heaven.


Donna with Her Sons, Jody and Johnathan


Faith Matters
BY
DAVID WATERS
        


    
It is written, Jody; love is something you can understand


     CAMDEN, Tenn. -
     A few months ago, Jody's mother wrote a short letter and gave it to keep.

     Donna Joe Allen knew her youngest son couldn't read the letter. Jody, a
     fourth-grader, can talk a blue streak but he can't read or write.
He has a language disorder.

     Jody's brain has trouble processing information. Explaining something to
     him takes a lot of time. It works better if you show him rather than just tell him.

     So, Donna Joe always tried to show her Jody what she was talking about.

     If she was telling him about love, she showed him with a hug and a kiss.

     If she was telling him about baseball, she took him outside and showed him how to hit a ball with a bat.

     If she was telling him about God, she showed him by closing her eyes, pressing her hands together and saying a prayer.

     Jody watched and listened, but it's never easy to tell what he truly remembers and understands.

     A few months ago, Jody was having a lot of trouble understanding what his mother was telling and showing him.

     For weeks, Jody had watched his mother go to the doctor and to the
     hospital. He had watched her sick and in pain. He had watched her take
     medicine. He had seen the IVs and the tubes and the morphine pump.

    For weeks, Jody had listened to his mother explaining it all to him
     carefully. Donna Joe had told him about the cancer and what it was doing to
     her body. She had told him about living and dying. She had told him about God and heaven.

     Then she gave him the letter.

     She knew that she wouldn't always be there to tell him and show him how
     she felt about him, how grateful she was to be his mother.

     She also knew that if Jody couldn't read the letter, someone else could read it to him.

     She also knew that, even if his brain couldn't process the information,
     his heart could. Jody may be small for his age, but he has a big heart.

     Jody must have realized something then. At Christmas, Donna Joe took Jody
     to see Santa. Jody asked Santa to bring his mother an angel.

     "Because I love her," Jody explained.

     After Christmas, Donna Joe got weaker and weaker, but she kept at it.

     She kept telling Jody that his father, Jay, and his grandmother, Judy,
     would be there to take care of him. She kept telling him that his big
     brother, John, would be there to watch out for him.

     One day, Jody's mother took him to the Mt. Carmel Cemetery. She showed him
     Cody's grave. Cody, her second child, died in 1988 three days after he was born.

     She explained that even though she couldn't see Cody anymore,
Cody always was with her in her mind and her heart.

     Then she showed Jody the patch of ground right next to Cody's grave. She
     explained that after she died, this is where her body would be buried.
     She showed him the little sign and read it to him:
 "Reserved for Donna Joe Allen," it said.

     She explained to Jody that even when he couldn't see her anymore, she
     always would be with him in his mind and his heart.

     Jody watched and listened, but it's never easy to tell what he truly remembers and understands.

     A couple of weeks ago, Jody walked into his speech and language
     therapist's room with two of his friends. He handed the therapist the letter his mother had given months before.
     He asked his therapist to read it to him. She did.

     "I love you, Jody," it said.

     "You are a very smart and good boy. Take good care of John and granny for
     me. If you need me just close your eyes and I'll always be there for you.
     Pray and be good every day for me.
     "Love, Mom."

     On the back of the letter, Jody's mom had drawn a big heart.


     When his therapist finished reading the letter, Jody put his head down and began to sob.
     "My mom is dying and there's nothing I can do," Jody said.

     Jody's therapist began to cry. She hugged him.
     One of Jody's friends asked the therapist if they could say a prayer for Jody's mother. They did.


     Donna Joe Allen died Monday, the day after Mother's Day. At her funeral,
     people who knew her talked about her kindness, her courage, her faith, her smile, her love. 
   

     Jody watched and listened. There is no doubt he understands and will never
     forget. His mother didn't just tell him,
she showed him.



    Contact columnist David Waters 
waters@gomemphis.com.
2001 - The Commercial Appeal, 495 Union Ave, Memphis, TN 38103
"THIS COLUMN WAS TAKEN FROM THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED MAY 20,2001 AND  WRITTEN BY DAVID WATERS...
STAFF COLUMNIST."

"IT ALSO APPEARED IN THE CLARKSVILLE, TN  LEAF-CHRONICLE AND SEVERAL OTHERS IN THE USA.
MY HEARTFELT THANKS GOES OUT TO HIM FOR ALLOWING ME TO SHARE THIS WITH YOU....Her Father, DON BUTLER"


When you walk through a storm, Keep your head up high,
and don't be afraid of the dark, At the end of a storm is a
GOLDEN SKY!


I WAS BLIND, BUT NOW I SEE        JOHN 9:25




This was written by Donna a short time before she went to the arms of Jesus....
She had it published in her local newspaper.

THANK YOU

"
Thank You God, for every day You have given me to breath, live and love.
Thank You Lord, for each and every friend You gave me to love and enjoy.

Thank You Jesus, for each day You suffered for my sins and the worlds sins.
Thank You  for love, sadness and for allowing me to know the meaning of compassion.
Thank You Lord, for allowing me to see the goodness in people's caring hearts.
Thank You God, for my three sons. I hope to spend eternity in Heaven with them.
Thank You friends, for your gifts of love, kindness, prayer, money and guidance.
Thank you family, for your unconditional love, now more than ever.
I will always have a place set at my table in Heaven for you all and my many friends.
Thank You strangers, for your wamth and caring hearts because you are not strangers to the Lord Jesus Christ.


Thank You Mom and Dad, for creating me out of love and hope.

A very special Thank You to my sons......who have been great through all of this.
A very special Thank You to "Dr. Jon Winter" and his staff.
May God Bless each one with His Everlasting Love and Forgiveness.


Thank You so much to each and everyone through this battle with cancer."
Donna Joe Allen

 

Donna  Allen, 33 of Camden,Tennessee, died Monday, May 14, 2001 at Camden General Hospital of cancer.
Services were held at 2 p.m on Wednesday, May 16,2001 at Bruceton Funeral Home.
Hillard Collins officiated.
Burial followed at Mt. Carmel Cemetery near Camden,Tennessee..
Pallbearers who served were Robert Melton, Tony Allen, Mark Cole, Michael Lockhart, Eddie Jean Dupree and Byron Smothers.
Ms. Allen was born March 5, 1968, in Camden,Tn, Benton County.
She was a retired assistant manager for Q-Mart in Bruceton,Tn.
She was preceded in death by a son, Cody Lee Strickland.
She is survived by two sons; Johnathan Strickland and Jody Strickland both of Camden; her father, Donald I. Butler of Gun Barel City, Tx; her mother, Joann Butler of Camden;
and her paternal grandmother, June C. Butler of Clarksville and hundreds of relatives and friends who will remember her always!
We Love You Donna



Donna Joe Allen

 A FEW WORDS FROM HER DADDY
"Hello dear family and friends of Donna.
This tribute to Donna has been a labor of love, saddness, sorrow and questions that will be answered some day and has been  the most difficult task that I have ever faced in life.
This tribute to her memory has been filled with many emotions on my part and has been very painful for me to produce. However, I feel that it had to be done....that I owed it to her, her family and her many  friends because she was such a wonderful angel while she was struggling through her short time on earth with us.



I feel that the Lord sent her to us as a test of both her........and us, and I hope that
we can all learn a lesson from her while in her last moments she had that smile on her face as she went running to her son held by the arms of Jesus!
She passed the test......and hopefully we will too.



She touched and changed many lives
with her smile while she was here and I know she will never be forgotten.


I hope that all of you have enjoyed these few memories that I have put together  on this site and I thank you all for your kindness and love for her.



Please feel free to download any pictures or material from this site and if any of you have any pictures of Donna  or anything that you would like to share  with others that I could add here, let me know by way of email."
I think that she would like that.
She is gone from this earth but not from our hearts."
Donald I. Butler
       "DADDY"
            



"If you need me, just close your eyes and I'll always be there for you!"

Donna  Allen, 33 of Camden,Tennessee, died Monday, May 14, 2001 at Camden General Hospital of cancer.
Services were held at 2 p.m on Wednesday, May 16,2001 at Bruceton Funeral Home.
Hillard Collins officiated.
Burial followed at Mt. Carmel Cemetery near Camden,Tennessee.
Pallbearers who served were Robert Melton, Tony Allen, Mark Cole,
Michael Lockhart, Eddie Jean Dupree and Byron Smothers.
Ms. Allen was born March 5, 1968, in Camden,Tn, Benton County.
She was a retired assistant manager for Q-Mart in Bruceton,Tn.
She was preceded in death by a son, Cody Lee Strickland.
She is survived by two sons; Johnathan Strickland and Jody Strickland both of Camden;
her father, Donald I. Butler of Gun Barel City, Tx; her mother, Joann Butler of Camden;
and her paternal grandmother, June C. Butler of Clarksville
 and hundreds of relatives and friends who will remember her always!
We Love You Donna

Listen to an excerpt of a song by Vince Gill "Go Rest High on That Mountain" that was played at her funeral.
The words are very appropriate for her life and death. She passed the test!


Don Butler N4UJW at Hamuniverse.com

n4ujw@hamuniverse.com