happy 4th birthday, Jackson!

Dear Jackson,

Happy 4th birthday!!! I can only imagine what wondrous birthday parties there are in Heaven! Are you celebrating with cake and ice cream like we did two years ago? Did you make a wish and blow out your candles? What did you wish for? I bet Heaven is like one big birthday party all the time!

It’s hard to believe that today, on your 4th birthday, you have lived in Heaven longer than you were with us. Jackson, that breaks my heart. When I realized it, Momma fell to her knees and cried. It hurt to my core. Momma hasn’t cried that hard in awhile. It’s just not fair. We didn’t get to have you here with us long enough. But who am I kidding. No amount of time would have been long enough. The two years with you were the best of my life. And I am grateful I had them.

Buddy, I love and miss you so much. I just want to hold you. I want to sing to you again. I want to rub your sweet head and kiss those cheeks. I want to play and roll on the ground and laugh with you. I want to watch you climb the rock wall and meander down the slide. I want to see your smile and hear your laughter. I want to rock you to sleep and feel your heartbeat on my chest. I want to wake up early and sit in front of the TV eating a banana and watching Caillou with you. I want to pat your soft tushy and kiss you all over. I want to see you and tell you face to face how much I love you.

I know you have been with us this last year. It’s been a busy year, and you definitely made your presence known as we welcomed your brother into this world. Ryder has brought a tremendous amount of joy back into our lives when we thought that could never happen after losing you. But it’s not always easy. Your brother looks just like you! And sometimes that can make things very hard. But it can also be comforting at times, too. Oh, you two would have been best buddies! I wish I could see the two of you together. Two brothers. Hand in hand. Kate loves him just like she loves you – unconditionally. You would be very proud of her. They already share a bond like you two had. It melts my heart.

I hope you feel and hear us when we talk about you, Jackson. We still leave room for you in hugs. We still pray for you every night. Kate did bunny ears to you the other day when we were at the airport. Could you sense it? Did you roll your eyes at her or do them right back?

You are still very much a part of our lives, even though you are not physically here. I talk about you to Ryder all the time. Sometimes I wonder if Ryder sees you. I hope you know that he will grow up knowing all about his wonderful big brother.

Jackson, thank you for all of the times you have shown yourself to us through birds, butterflies and falling tables in the OR. It gives us a small amount of peace. I wish those times came more frequently but I know you’re busy up in Heaven. And I don’t want to ever ask you to give me a sign. You’ll do it when you know I need it most.

We love you, Jackson! You are missed immensely, but we will see you again. Until then, have a wonderful 4th birthday! I hope you enjoyed catching all of your balloons today!

Momma loves you!


Jackson enjoying cake at his 2nd birthday party


Jackson’s 2nd birthday party


Celebrating Jackson’s 4th birthday with a pirate cake



Releasing balloons