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The Angelic Chorus of Jonny and Jeremy

Two evenings ago Charles and I were heading home from the golf driving range, and we saw a beautiful sunset over a local pond (image above). We stopped the car to take a few pictures; thankfully I carry my camera with me everywhere! Whenever I see beams of sunshine pierce through clouds it reminds me of heaven's light shining down on us, and I'm also reminded of our loved ones in heaven who are watching over us. I always think of my brother, Jon, but that day I also thought of his best friend, Jeremy, and wanted to share a story about how they met. I hope this uplifts you on this Wednesday...

They met on the first day of second grade. It was a rough day for them both.

Jonny got made fun of for being the shortest kid in the entire class (unfortunate child, even all the girls were taller!). His classmate Jeremy got teased for being the heaviest.

Among their misery Jonny and Jeremy consoled each other. They learned their birthdays were only one day apart. Then they discovered how much they had in common. Soon they were the best of friends.

It was so cute to hear them call each other "brother from another mother," because their appearances were so different. Jon had light colored skin, whereas Jeremy's was the color of dark chocolate. Jonny was the smallest and Jeremy the tallest in their class. But they never let anything as silly as size or skin color effect what they called their "brother-ship."

Jonny knew Jeremy was sensitive about hearing the f-word in any context (no, not that f-word, the one that rhymes with cat), so he came up with an alternative. "Why don't we call things that are large 'fluffy,'" he suggested. "Fluffy is a nice word that makes me think of soft kittens and warm blankets." 

"We shouldn't use the word short either," Jeremy agreed. "We'll use 'petite.' That means small in French, but it means nice things like eclairs and shrimp."

The boys did much more than simply help each other with their insecurities. They defined what a true friendship is by encouraging each other to become the best they could be and to fulfill the potential that God had given them.

They remained best friends throughout the remainder of both of their tragically much-too-short lives.

Sweet Jeremy died at the age of twenty, of a bacterial infection that damaged his heart. Sgt. Jon followed him five years later.

I imagine Jeremy's reaction in heaven as they were reunited to be: "Jonny! What are you doing here so quickly?!"

Now both beautiful boys are among the angels. Their story is a permanent inspiration of a friendship that never let anything as silly as size or skin color affect their bond.

By: Kristia Markarian

Reader Challenge: Married a Few Months and Want Out

One of my favorite romantic movies is Sleepless In Seattle. I especially enjoy the scene where bride-to-be Annie has reservations about her upcoming marriage, so she pays a visit to her brother, Dennis, a very non-emotional psychiatrist. Annie paces back-and-forth in his office and tries to make sense of her feelings. Dennis very calmly informs her that love is simply "two neuroses knowing that they are a perfect match." :)

What makes this so funny is that in some ways that is a great...
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Love is Cheerful and Patient When Bored

It was Charles's birthday on Friday, June 3rd, and to celebrate he and I went to Atlantic City for the weekend. 

That may initially seem like a strange choice because Husband and I don't gamble, or drink, or go to...
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Our First Protest

This past Saturday Charles and I became protesters. It was the first time either of us had attended a protest rally. When we discovered that a "March Against Monsanto" was being organized in our county, we looked at each other and said, "Let's go!"

I am very thankful that Husband and I are so compatible with our philosophy about the world. One of the philosophies that we are most passionate about is living a life close to what God and nature intended. 

Monsanto is a company that is in...
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Fingernails and Football

I'm beginning a new feature on our website called "Two of Us Tuesday" where I will focus on 
romantic relationships. I chose not to use the word "marriage" because I want to include everyone,
whether married, engaged, what I call significant significant others, and those who are single
and searching. So whether you are part of a "Two of Us" or working towards finding that special
someone, there will be encouragement every Tuesday to connect more with your other half...

One of the...
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She Was Always Happy and Kind

My brother Jonny and I first experienced the death of a family member when we were in high school. He was a freshman and I was a senior when our father's beloved sister, Dee, transitioned from earth into heaven.

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Reader Challenge of the Week: My Mother-In-Law Is Too Nosy

Has anyone ever heard any jokes about fathers-in-law? Because I haven't. (If you know a good one, please do share.) All the dramedy (mixture of drama and comedy) seems to be isolated to mothers-in-law.

Every Wednesday on CHONJ, I attempt to best provide solutions to a challenge one of my dear reader friends is experiencing. I received the email below from Deanna:

Please help! My mother-in-law is too nosy! She's basically nice, but asks me a million questions every time she calls, about me and...
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Rest in Peace, Uncle Richie

It is not often that I write with a heavy feeling in my soul, but today is one of those times. Yesterday evening Charles and I sat in front of our television and watched, as many of us did, the horror unfolding in California.

There is always such a convoluted mixture of emotions at such times. We felt fury at the terrorist perpetrators who took the lives of fourteen innocents and injured seventeen others. We felt sadness for the victim's families and loved ones whose lives would be forever...
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Reader Challenge of the Week: Help! My Husband NEVER Sticks to Our Christmas Budget

Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, most Americans have at least started on their holiday shopping. This is in contrast to Charles and me, since we haven't even made our lists yet (both what we're going to get for our parents and a few items we would like for ourselves). 

These are very difficult economic times, and it's understandable that more people than ever are having a challenge balancing their budgets with the gifts they would like to purchase. So let us offer some help and hope to...
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Reader Question of the Week: Should I Spend Thanksgiving With My Family?

I'm so excited to share with you the first of a new feature where I will post a question from a reader. Although we can all offer encouragement and advice in the comments section, I will do my best to guide each individual to the answer that is best for them.

Below is an email I received from a young gentlemen that we will call R (which stands for "Reader"). 

I came across your website from a friend of mine, and I like it because although I believe in God I'm not religious so I don't like...
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What Being a Gold Star Sister Means: I Lost my Brother in War

"Whenever you possibly can, do good to those who need it."  -Proverbs 3:27

"Evil prevails when the good do nothing."  -Sergeant Jonathan "Jon" Cadavero

The first quote above is my brother's favorite Bible passage, and...
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I am glad you’re here!

This website is for ALL of us. CHONJ is a compassionate community that strives to be positive and uplifting as we help and connect with one another.

My name is Kristia Cavere Markarian. My husband, Charles Markarian, and I are soulmates who spend practically every minute of the day together. Our goal is that you feel better about yourself and the world every time you visit our website.

There are many challenging situations we are facing today, from being overscheduled and overwhelmed, to facing technological distractions. We want to assist you in navigating through all these circumstances, so you can become the best you are meant to be. We will help you become the hero of your life’s journey.

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