keeping my promise more than three years later

“Instead of asking why they left, now I ask what beauty will I create in the space they no longer occupy?” – Rudy Francisco A couple of days after Jackson passed away, my cousin called to offer her condolences. Through the tears, I told her, “Something good will come from this. I will make sure of it.” I don’t quite know where I found the strength to make such a grand promise because as I sat there on the phone, my heart was broken into a million tiny pieces. But I knew from the beginning that I would not let Jackson’s death be in vain. One of my greatest fears was that people would forget about my child. It scared me more than anything. As I started organizing our team for Briggs and Al’s Run just a couple of months later, I think I surprised a lot of...

moving and memories

Eric and I have moved three times since we’ve been married. They’ve all been big moves to different states, traveling a couple of hundred, and sometimes almost a thousand miles, to our new destination. I embraced each move and looked at them as adventures to new areas. I loved house hunting and finding something that our family would soon call home. There’s something exhilarating about it all – starting over fresh, the unknown, experiencing new parts of the country. I could have done without all of the paper and boxes and packing, but I guess that just comes with the territory. Within the last week, two of my very dear friends in town, as well as my parents, have packed up their belongings and moved. I am thrilled for them because they are experiencing...

does it get any easier?

Sigh. Here we are again. In this crappy month of April. On Jackson’s Angel Day. This is a hard day. And I don’t think this particular day will ever be anything but. This is the day, three years ago, that our lives changed. Forever. It’s the day my heart cracked wide open, never to fully heal. It’s the day I realized “it” could happen to me and that tomorrow is not promised to any of us. I hate the month of April with every ounce of my being. And yet I love it with all my heart. How is it possible to feel such vastly different emotions about one thing? It’s a constant tug of war in my heart because it’s the month that took my son away from me, but it also is the month that gave him life. I have an immense sense of gratitude for having Jackson with us for his two...

my boys

I love my boys. Both stole my heart the first moment our eyes met as the doctor held them over the blue curtain. Three-and-a-half years apart in age, yet they share so many similarities. They are both fair skinned with wispy blond hair. Their smiles light up a room. They have the same chubby little hands that lock perfectly with mine. They both have a cute, button nose and eyes the color of a dark sky before an impending thunderstorm. They love giving kisses through the spindles on the staircase as they head to bed. They adore their big sister and love walking her to the bus stop and getting one more hug before she leaves. And they are giddy with joy as they watch her step off the bus after school. They share the same goofy, nose-scrunching smile when they’re...

it’s the little things

Sometimes it’s the smallest acts in life that mean the most. For me, it was yesterday morning, as I was looking out my front window. Kate and her friend were playing with the window markers this weekend, and as I was admiring their brightly colored artwork (and slightly dreading the clean-up of said windows), I saw this. I assumed Kate wrote it because she almost always includes Jackson when she’s writing about the family. But I was a little surprised when I asked her, and she said, “No, Addie did.” Kate’s sweet friend, who barely knew Jackson, included him in their window art. When I saw this, my heart melted. Addie is in our home a lot. Kate would tell you she is one of her best friends. We always talk about Jackson and pictures of him fill our walls. It was...

messy but beautiful

Kate, Ryder and I were hanging out in the kitchen cooking and eating, dancing and singing the other day. Kate discovered a new kids and family radio station, so we had the music blaring through the speakers while we baked some chocolate cupcakes. I love dance parties at our house. They’re typically sporadic, but that’s when the most fun happens. After cracking the last egg, Kate picked up the spoon, flipped it upside down and started singing into her self-made microphone. I followed suit with the jar of balsamic vinegar. And Ryder just danced alongside. We were bopping around to a kids’ version of “All About that Bass” one minute then the next was a song about bag lunches. Kate and I were laughing at some of the lyrics. As we waited for the next song to start,...