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A vase of roses could always be found next to Joni's hospital bed. Although Joni was only five she had many admirers. She liked flowers. And she liked painting, crayons, the "play lady," and riding her IV pole like a skateboard down the hall of the hospital each night before going to bed.

Joni also loved Jesus. Her minister would come often to talk and pray with her. He would end his visit by asking, "Joni, would you like to pray with me?" She always did and so she would close her eyes and pray for her family and for her friends, everyone except herself. When finished she would always end her visits with, "Thanks preacher, see you next time." So polite and gentle for a child so young and so sick.

Joni had leukemia. The prognosis was bad. She continued to decline. When the end was close she went home where she could be constantly with her Mom Pam. Little Joni fought and held on but Pam knew in her heart Joni was waiting for her to give her permission to let go. One evening before Thanksgiving, Joni was being rocked by her Mom, she had been unresponsive for three days. Pam leaned close to her ear and whispered, "Honey, it's Okay now. When you feel Jesus is ready to take you, you can go." After a few moments Joni suddenly opened her eyes wide, looked up at her Mom and clearly said, "Mama, He's here. Jesus has me by the hand. I have to go now." Joni smiled her big smile, took one last breath and died.

(Joni, More Glimpses of Heaven, pg. 163)

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