Monday, July 11, 2011

Is that your brother?

Clerk: "Is that your brother?" pointing at Quinn who did look like a boy, she only had a white onesie on.

Kate: "Yes." turning to look at Quinn.

Clerk: "What is his name?"

Kate: "Jack."

It doesn't seem as dramatic as a type this but as I pushed our cart out of the store, tears filled my eyes. Kate is pretty talkative to people in the community at most times so I don't try to intervene unless she isn't saying anything. It was interesting to watch this conversation unfold. Kate is 100% aware that Quinn is her sister and knows who Quinn is, of course. In the mind of a 2 1/2 year old, it was probably a bit confusing when the question was asked because she knows that "brother" and "Jack" go hand-in-hand. It is so strange; almost two years later how we get little reminders of Jack. As I pulled up the blog to write this, Kate saw the top picture of Jack and Dan and said:

"Jack! Jack! I love Jack, he's in heaven." as she walks away to put her cup in the sink complete with a chocolate milk mustache.

As Kate learns more and understands this crazy world she was born into I hope that her feelings about Jack "being in heaven, hanging out with Evan" (as she always says...we don't know who Evan is and think it is just her months ago trying to say heaven) that his death seems natural and just a part of life. As I watch the sisterhood of Kate and Quinn progress and how much they love each other, I am so grateful that Jack passed away before Kate was cognitive of him being gone. Kate is so protective of Quinn, smothers her with hugs and kisses, they love to wrestle and Kate is always very aware of where Quinn is and where she should be. I can't imagine having to explain to Kate if all of a sudden she was gone. Oh, the things to be grateful for...

Monday, June 6, 2011

Jack's Heart

For the Love of Christi expanded their wonderful facility and had a dedication on Saturday. We
were honored to be invited and know that because of donations made by our family and friends, that Jack's name is honored in the library room on the "Heart Wall." It was a wonderful celebration but of course, sad that it needs to expanded. We haven't been to a meeting for quite some time, it seems that with all things, life gets in the way and we're all "so busy." We were reminded of and got to see again the wonderful people that have supported us; people who were strangers listening to our story just days after Jack passed. It's amazing how some things bring people together so quickly and strangers immediately become friends who understand so well. We are so blessed to have this organization in the Austin area and are forever in debt to Don and Susan Cox for making the tragic loss of their daughter into such a positive organization that has helped numerous people.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hangin' Around

Last night Dan told me that he had a conversation with Kate where the topic of "brothers" came up. Dan asked her "Who is my brother?" and she replied "Jack." Dan explained to her that Jack is her brother and his brother is Uncle Andrew. Dan told me that he knows this was probably the first of many conversations with her about Jack that will go deeper than just "Jack's your brother. This is a picture of Jack. You and Jack had fun together..." et cetera. Tonight, I asked her who her brother is and she said "Jack" and pointed to the framed picture we have of him downstairs. The picture is up high on a ladder bookshelf type display and I couldn't believe she even knew it was there. I said "Do you know where Jack is?" and proceeded to tell her that "Jack is in heaven and he will be waiting a very long time there for you." She replied, "Jack's hanging out with Evan?" Yep Kate, it's quite possible! The sweet innocence in regards to such a tender topic makes me heart swell.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ties and the Missing Puzzle Piece

I took Quinn to Picture People today. As we were waiting, I could see into one of the photo areas. There was a little boy being photographed with a tie on who was about 6 months old. I would bring Jack to this same location and one of my favorite pictures of him EVER (and I certainly had a ton to pick from) was of him sitting with a tie on. I looked at the mom who was laughing and having a great time with him and my eyes filled with tears instantly. That used to be me! I had to stop myself from feeling jealous towards her or thinking "You don't know how good you have it" because what do I know? I have no idea what her struggles could be...Anyway, it was so unexpected and really made me think that you just never know what you have until it is gone. Or, maybe you know what you have and that you are lucky but you don' t truly and fully appreciate it until it is gone?! My loved ones got hugged a bit tighter tonight and Jack was thought of more today.
As our lives continue to develop, our family grows, we become interested in new hobbies, et cetera, the life we had with Jack becomes more distant. The empty space in the family puzzle where he should be is a shape that continues to change. It is sometimes a challenge to figure out how it fits into what we are now. How do we keep him a part of our lives that are continually changing and moving farther away from the time we did have with him? I know that Jack will NEVER be far from my heart and that our continuing to live and grow is what we should do and Jack would want us to do but sometimes it just doesn't feel right. At those times too, I remember that even a puzzle with a missing piece can be just as fun to put together.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Chase

I consider myself fortunate that my postings to this blog have become far and few inbetween...I haven't had emotions that need to spill out onto a computer about Jack and have been able to keep my head up high in ways and times I never thought possible. But, every once in awhile, something sneaks up when you don't expect it and the walls come crumbling down.
Last weekend, I needed someone to watch Kate and Quinn while I went to a meeting. I took my friend up on a standing offer to watch the girls. They have a son that Jack would play with who was younger than Jack. When I picked the girls up, he had woken up from his nap. I said "Hi!" and he responded with "Hi!" I asked "How are you?" He said "Good." I proceeded to have conversation with him and listened to him converse with all of us in the room in a way that Jack was never old enough to do. It was difficult to see this little boy who was always younger than Jack, all of a sudden, be bigger, more knowledgable, more capable of things...It made it so obvious to me that I had lost Jack, that Jack has been gone for quite sometime now, that Jack isn't here, growing, learning, et cetera...The boy asked Kate to chase him while he pushed a truck throughout the house. Kate was more than happy to oblige and they laughed and laughed while they chased eachother and played. What was odd was that the next thought didn't occur to me until I got home. I started to tell Dan, "Kate had such a great time chasing..." and I couldn't continue. The tears started coming down my face. Dan said "What's wrong? What's wrong?" and I couldn't finish. Finally I was able to say, (and by this time, Dan knew why the tears were falling), that "It should have been Jack." I felt so much sadness for Kate...that she will be denied this awesome Big Brother that she had for all to brief a time. I am more saddened that she misses that opportunity than for my missing out on watching my son grow. I cried for several minutes and then somehow was able to return to my "I am just so grateful for what I had" mentality. Needless to say, the hugs were a little tighter and longer that night as I put Kate to sleep. Ah...grief and loss...a pair I never thought I would come to know so intimately.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Jack Turpin Blood Drive-a-rama!

Our Jack Turpin Blood Drive-a-rama was a success!
What a perfect thing to do on the anniversary of losing J-Boogie...we saw so many friends and family, were able to unite with all the people we love to save lives, and introduced many people to the joy of "Hey Cupcake!" who generously donated cupcakes to all the people participating in the blood drive. We were so thrilled to have such support from everyone and seeing so many friends and family on a day that could have been sad was fantastic. Not only did people donate blood with us in Austin but friends and family who live in other cities donated (Dan and his brother ironically donated at the exact same time without knowing it) and people contacted us to let us know special things they did if they weren't able to donate cousin made cupcakes for her and her co-workers, my aunt made cupcakes for a family in their neighborhood who has a sick child, my friend sent "T3 and T2" shirts/onesies for the girls to wear and several friends purchased "Cracker Jacks" for me to give out with a thank you note to those who donated. Some people were first time donors and put aside their nerves to support us and celebrate Jack, a huge thank you to those of know who you are (CT, LR, BV!!!)

When it was all said and done, we had 42 people attempt to donate and the Blood Bank was able to get 33 donations which far exceeded the original goal. The Blood Bank was ecstatic with the turnout and the success of the event. One of the staff in the van told my sister, "This is outstanding, I wasn't expecting to work so hard today." With 33 donations, we saved 66 lives. Awesome...

J-Boogie, your spirit continues to make the world a better place!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Jack Turpin Blood Drive-a-rama!

To celebrate Jack and his sweet life, we will be having a blood drive as previously posted about on September 24, 2010 in Manor! The blood mobile bus is coming to ShadowGlen! If you live here and would like to join us, please do so! Jack's favorite, "Hey Cupcake!" is donating cupcakes to everyone who donates blood. Our goal is to have 30 people donate. If you live outside of Texas, feel free to donate where you live to continue giving the gift of life.
To register here...go to
Click on "Donate Blood," the bottom orange left-hand box. On the next page that opens, there will be tabs on the right-side. About half way down, there is another "Donate Blood" tab, click there. It will then say "Step 1," and there is a space to enter a sponsor code, type "Jackturpin" (all one word), that should get you to where you need to go.
A million thanks to my fabulously talented friend, Amy Barthel, for making such great posters that capture the spirit of Jack and this event perfectly and to Ken Smith for printing posters for us to distribute! You guys are the best!

Monday, August 16, 2010

"Pinwheels Pinwheels Spinning Around..."

To honor Jack on his birthday, friends brought us pinwheels to place on his bench. We went to the bench on Sunday morning and enjoyed Red Velvet Cupcakes and the ducks in the pond while placing pinwheels around his bench. It was really nice and felt like the perfect way to remember our Boogie. Thanks everyone who brought us fun!