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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




This is how Jon-Alec chose to celebrate his 21st birthday


It is so difficult to comprehend that we will never get to celebrate another birthday with Jon-Alec. He will always be 25. Our plan, this year, was to spend the week leading up to his birthday in Big Sky, Montana (thanks to our very generous friends who offered us their place there). We were going to explore in Yellowstone, something Jon-Alec would have loved. Then we would have spent the weekend in Boulder with Christina, Jon-Alec's girlfriend, and our families, who would have met us there. Along came Covid 19, and all plans were off. We did manage to come up with a reasonable Plan B. We invited some dear friends to hike with us (with masks and social distancing) in an open space where Jon-Alec used to go bouldering. While it was difficult not being able to visit the cemetery and be with the people who loved him the most, it was okay. Our friends lifted us up with love and light. The hike was lovely and I know Jon-Alec would have approved. We even saw a cardinal, a sign that someone who has passed is with you. Afterwards, we had a socially distant visit in our backyard. We ate cookies with orange frosting (Jon-Alec's favorite color) that Eliana made and told our favorite Jon-Alec stories. Tonight, we will eat some of Jon-Alec's favorite foods, especially oysters. While talking about Jon-Alec, one of my friends asked me what I thought Jon-Alec would say to me today. My answer was, "Mom, sh*!@# happens. It sucks that I am gone, but you have to live. You have to do the things I won't get to do." Wise words, but so difficult to follow. We miss you so very much, Jon-Alec!

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Jon-Alec introduced us to Micheal Franti's music a few years ago at a concert at Red Rocks in Colorado. We were instant fans and he quickly became one of our favorite artists. We played one of his songs, Headphones, at Jon-Alec's memorial service. We recently had the opportunity to not only see Michael Franti in New London, CT, but to meet and talk with him. The whole day was a ray of sunshine in the darkness of our grief. It started with an afternoon yoga session with Micheal and a large group of fans. We were mat to mat, but it was a beautiful experience. Afterwards, he played 4 songs for the group. We were about 3 feet from him. In the evening, before the concert began, we were fortunate enough to participate in a meet and greet with him and about 20 other fans. He came out with his band, played about 4 songs (one of them brand new) and then answered questions. Finally we all lined up for photos. Brad and I chose to be last so that we could spend a few minutes telling him about Jon-Alec and the Jon-Alec Fund. He was so kind to listen. He gave us huge bear hugs, and we could feel his compassion. Then he offered to make a video with us. I added the song Headphones and some photos of Jon-Alec. We are so grateful to him for his compassion, his message of love, hope and kindness and for his music which has been a comfort to us over the last year. Please take some time to watch the video. I will post some other videos and pictures in my next blog. As the anniversary of Jon-Alec's death approaches, Brad, Eliana, Christina and I are struggling with the concept that Jon-Alec has been gone for a year. Thank you for continuing to hold us up and for your contributions to the Jon-Alec Fund. It is all we have to continue his legacy. xoxoxo Lori






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