a birthday gift for Jackson

“They said we could take her back,” I reminded Eric. We hadn’t even owned her for 24 hours, and I was already wanting to back out of the deal. For weeks I had been trying to talk Eric into getting a dog. We were young and only dating, but throughout my childhood, we had a dog as our family pet, and I thought I was ready for that next step. The Humane Society was going to be at the Bonita Lakes Mall, and somehow I managed to talk Eric into driving over there and “just looking” at the animals needing a forever home. Well, it took one second for their eyes to meet, and he knew she was the one for us.  Her’s was a rags to riches story, Eric always said. She was found in a dumpster in Meridian, Mississippi, as a puppy, and days later, Eric and I adopted her. But now...

time doesn’t heal everything

Ryder started asking to take swim lessons this winter. Wanting to take advantage of his willingness and desire to learn, I signed him up at the only place offering them during the crazy cold months – our local YMCA. The Y used to be my oasis when Kate and Jackson were young. As a stay-at-home mom, the days can be pretty long with two little ones, especially during our harsh winters. The kids could run and play while momma worked out and regained her sanity. I haven’t frequented the Y since Jackson moved to Heaven. I ended our membership abruptly after, and never looked back. I was gently reminded why I made that decision shortly after Ryder’s first swim lesson. As a reward for doing well in class, I told Ryder we could swim in the pool together afterwards....

Drumroll, please…

When I first started thinking about starting a nonprofit in Jackson’s memory, I did a lot of research. I didn’t know what I was doing or where I should start. I called lawyers for professional advice, I spoke to friends who work in development, and I prayed for guidance. Overall, the feedback I received was positive, but there were a handful of doubters. “If you aren’t raising millions of dollars, it isn’t worth your time,” some told me. Another literally laughed at my goals. And pretty quickly I started second guessing if I should do anything at all. But I knew in my heart this is what I wanted, and I kept going back to what Eric and I have said from the beginning. “If we can help one family, it’s worth it.” So I pushed forward with a stronger determination to...

june 10?

When I think about the date, June 10, nothing significant comes to mind. It’s not anyone’s birthday. It’s not a holiday. And I can’t recall anything significant happening on that day. But when I opened Facebook a few weeks ago, a memory popped up reminding me it was one of the happiest days during my 34 years. There weren’t any pictures to jog my memory. It simply read: “Today was the best day of my life!! Welcome home Jackson, welcome home!!!” Six years ago on June 10, 2011, after open heart surgery and almost two months in the Cardiac ICU, Jackson was discharged from the hospital and we brought our baby boy home. It’s not a day that sticks out in my mind because while I was thrilled to finally have all four of us under one roof, I was equally terrified. My body...

i choose gratitude

I’ve been thinking for weeks about what I would write today on Jackson’s Angel Day. Something inspiring, something that might help others, but I can’t find the words. Not today. Today, I’m tired. Grieving for four years has taken a toll on my body, mind and spirit. I’m not the same person I was before Jackson moved to Heaven. Even though most days I choose joy, the heartache is constant. I can’t brush it aside. I can’t ignore it. I have to allow my body to feel the pain otherwise it would tear me apart. I often read online or hear from others that “it will get easier with time”. Maybe for them it does, but what I’ve found is that yes, the pain changes with time, but it never heals. The hurt is there every single day, no matter what. I’ve learned how to mask the...