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Since Jon-Alec died, birthdays, special occasions and milestones in our lives have become challenging. It is important to celebrate these moments, but we feel the loss of Jon-Alec more deeply on those days. He should be there to celebrate with us. Birthdays are especially difficult because Jon-Alec will never have another one.

July brings the promise of good weather, beach time and my birthday. I have always loved July. Now, when June fades away and July begins, my heart becomes heavy with grief and anxiety. Jon-Alec’s birthday, August 2, arrives 16 days after mine. How can I celebrate my birthday without my boy? Why do I get to have another birthday, while he never will? On the other hand, shouldn’t we celebrate another year of living because he can’t? The days leading up to my birthday this year were hard, but I thought about Jon-Alec and what he would say to me. He would tell me that it sucked that he was gone, but that I should not stop living and celebrating life. He embraced life with gusto. He found the things that brought him joy and did them, so, on my birthday, I spent the day at the beach with Brad, Eliana, her boyfriend, and a cherished childhood friend, Maggie. Then I gathered with some dear friends for five hours of dining and conversation. I allowed myself to enjoy their company and embrace their love. I allowed grief and joy to coexist.

Presently we are on Maui, on an adventure, trying to live as Jon-Alec did. We hiked in lava fields along the coast, taking time to truly appreciate the beauty nature gifts us, stopping to shed tears because Jon-Alec should would have loved this hike. We even went snorkeling, something we have been unable to do since Jon-Alec’s death. He Faced Timed us from the dive boat days before his death, so excited to share his adventures with us. He encouraged us to get scuba certified so we could take a family diving trip together. For a long time the ocean was a scary place for us. I am not sure we will ever be able to scuba dive, but we decided to go back to snorkeling. We allowed ourselves to experience what he experienced on a smaller scale. It was breathtaking and I know he is proud of us.

As I anticipate, what would have been Jon-Alec’s 28th birthday, the grief is particularly heavy, once again. We (Brad, Eliana, my mom and I) will be back in Boulder for the first time since his 26th birthday because the pandemic kept us away. We will visit the cemetery, where he has a view of the Flat Iron mountain range he so loved. We will wear orange, hike and dine with his girlfriend and dear friends. We will celebrate Jon-Alec and who he was. Perhaps the love of his Boulder ‘family’ will envelop us, once again allowing some joy to coexist with grief.

If you haven’t done so recently, please help us honor, Jon-Alec, on what should have been his 28th birthday, by making a donation to the Jon-Alec Fund. And go on that adventure you always dreamed about. He would have!

https://secure.givelively.org/donate/jon-alec-fund


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The scholarship committee at the Community College of Aurora selected Alexis Robbins to be the first recipient of the Jon-Alec Chervin Memorial Scholarship. Alexis is working towards her Associate of Science degree, majoring in both fire science and biology.


Alexis shared that she has developed a great love and passion for learning. She is an animal lover and science is her academic passion. She hopes to one day help contribute to combating global climate change, protecting ecosystems or fighting disease. Her college career, thus far, has been both challenging and rewarding.


"I am so honored to have been chosen as a recipient for this scholarship. Thank you for the incredible support. I am the first in the family to attend college, so being able to pursue my dreams is rewarding. Coming from a family where everyone did not graduate high school, I have grown to understand and appreciate the value of learning and going to college. It has aided in my personal growth and has helped shape me into a better person for today and tomorrow. I am very grateful that I am able to pursue a pathway into fire science and be a part of a community that dedicates their lives to helping people. I believe in the power behind education, and I feel fortunate that I am able to learn the tools of the future to help me be the best firefighter I can be. I hope that I can save lives no matter where I am, whether it’s from a fire or someone who needs a reaching hand. The people of my community helped raise me so now it’s my time to give back to the community and serve the people. Thank you again for giving me the opportunity to explore a degree where I will be able to help people and make relationships that last forever. I will prove everyone proud!"

Alexis Robbins



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When we met Michael Franti last fall and told him Jon-Alec’s story, he was so kind. He even made a video with us to promote the fund (see earlier blogs). This spring he came out with a new song, Is It Worth a Penny to You?. I want to believe this song is a nod to Jon-Alec or perhaps he was part of the inspiration for the song . Here is a link to

the song

https://youtu.be/xWru0eyubuM


Here are the lyrics:

"Is It Worth A Penny To You"


Did you read the news this morning about the world burning? There's a shooting, there's a looting There's a hurricane coming And every day I sit and wonder, What the hell we doing? I think I smell another war brewing Sometimes I feel like I'm falling from a high wire And I can't breathe in my own home from the forest fires

I got a friend who's now an angel was a firefighter He's looking down reminding me I gotta keep on trying If you met a stranger who was feeling stuck? And if you had a partner who was out of luck? And if the world was down would you try to pick it up? Like is it worth a penny to you? Is it worth a second or two? Reaching out to somebody you never knew Or share it with a friend or two Give it to a hundred more Who pass it to a thousand more They give it to a million more And love is breaking down every door, every door, door Is it worth a penny to you? Is it worth a second or two? Reachin out to somebody you never knew And love is breaking down every door right in front of you Social media showing everybody's best life Making me feel like I ain't got a life at all But if I don't get any likes at all I don't give a gram, I don't give a damn I'm just trying to evolve While forces out there right now are trying to divide us I know that music is really there to unite us Liberty torches are out there for us to light up Just to guide us, so we can see beside us If you met a stranger who was feeling stuck And if you had a partner who was out of luck And if the world was down would you try to pick it up? Like is it worth a penny to you? Is it worth a second or two? Reaching out to somebody you never knew Or share it with a friend or two Then give it to a hundred more Who pass it to a thousand more They give it to a million more And love is breaking down every door, every door, door Is it worth a penny to you? Could you spare a second or two? Reachin out to somebody you never knew And love is breaking down every door right in front of you Is it worth a penny to you? Could you spare a second or two? Reaching out to somebody you never knew And love is breaking down every door right in front of you



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