Tuesday, October 20, 2009
We have been so blessed to receive so much support for our "bench" for Jack. We are in the process of working with Travis County to see if we can have one placed at East Metropolitan Park, where we had Jack's celebration.
We continue to attend "For the Love of Christi," (FLOC) an AMAZING non-profit organization that has a support group every Monday. It was founded by two fantastic individuals, Don and Susan Cox who lost their daughter, Christi. We feel at home there and it seems that all the people we have met have unconditional love and support for us and even though they never met Jack, I feel like they know him. Every Monday when we walk into FLOC, it is like walking into our own home.
FLOC does not charge a fee for any of their services. Dan and I decided that we wanted to donate some of Jack's bench money to the organization because we know they have and will continue to be instrumental in our healing. On November 8th, a documentary is being shown by the creators. They are seeking businesses and people that would contribute $500 to be sponsors, to help raise money FLOC. We decided that JACK! should be a sponsor as our tiny token of appreciation. His picture will be shown in the "Preview Reel" before the movie starts and FLOC is so appreciative of us doing this. Really?! It is the least we can do and truly...it is not us doing it, it is all of you who have showered us with donations for Jack's bench. Thank you for providing us the opportunity to do something extra!
If you're interested, Dan and I will be in the audience. This is a great documentary for anyone who has experienced a loss. Feel free to join us but bring your own popcorn!
From their website: http://www.spacebetweenbreaths.com/news/15-austin-screening
Why are we here? Is it possible to find true happiness after a great loss? The answers to some of life's most important questions are explored in SPACE BETWEEN BREATHS, a powerful, uplifting film, which looks at the potential in grief and to the ways it can become a motivational, transformational force in our lives. Featuring conversations with parents who have lost a child, including those whose loved ones died at Columbine, on September 11th, and a mother whose son was one of the first U.S. soldiers to die in Iraq, SPACE BETWEEN BREATHS offers an inspired and healing perspective on loss which will transform the way you live and love.
P.S. I guess I fibbed when I said that I wasn't going to post again until Jack's bench was ready! Thanks for reading! There just always seems something too good not to share!
Monday, October 19, 2009
Our mailman must be wondering, "What is going on at that house?" We have gotten so many cards and even received an envelope that was addressed to "The Turpins, ShadowGlen, Manor, TX 78653" and it got to us! We are in the slow process of writing thank you's for all the support, love and generous donations to Jack's bench. We have received the most beautiful cards with such sweet messages and thoughts...I wanted to share a few of my favorites and let you know we have received all your calls, cards, donations, et cetera! Thank you thank you is hardly enough! Until a proper thank you can reach you via mail, please know we are so grateful for all of you holding us up during this time.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Today has been a hard day, I was on the computer trying to find a photo for something...I was looking through recent photos from this summer and the dogs must have thought I was crazy, staring at the monitor, sobbing. So many pictures of Jack, full of life, having a great time. If we had known then what we know now...would we have done anything different? What comfort there is in knowing, no...we celebrated him everyday and will continue to do so.
Grief is an interesting thing...we are certainly learning to take it day by day, in fact, minute by minute.
For those who weren't able to attend Jack's celebration, this was where we had it. It was pouring rain as we left to drive there. When we pulled into the park, the clouds subsided and the sun came out. Just like grief...
My Uncle said an amazing thing to me that day...he said "How long do most people have to live to have 700 days of happiness?" What a thought...probably a lot longer than Jack had to! That question and answer has allowed me to sleep more peacefully and keep a smile on my face longer. Thanks Uncle Jimmy for your great perspective!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Our neighbors gave Kate a "Shining Stars" unicorn today that came with a special code to choose a name and location of a star in the sky. Of course we picked JACK and got to print a certificate. What a sweet idea from a very sweet little 5 year old girl. Thanks Meredith! Kate, Dan and I love it!
Today we received a call from the Medical Examiner (who has been absolutely wonderful). He confirmed that the CDC tested Jack's tissue and it was NOT influenza or H1N1. Again, he did NOT pass away due to the flu or H1N1. They still suspect some sort of viral lung infection and are continuing to try to figure out more, as that is still such a mystery. I am so relieved to hear that it is not H1N1...I did not want it to be that for numerous reasons. Additional testing is being done and we may never know the cause or they may find something...it is still a mystery to the professionals involved.
I do not need to have an answer but I appreciate all the work that is being done to find one. Leave it to Mr. Jack to pass away peacefully and to keep us all on our toes trying to figure out why! God bless that little sweetie! Our memories are warming our heart continually.
We are all doing well, are loving our support group (For the Love of Christi...you all are amazing there) and have managed to laugh everyday. Thank you all for lifting us up when we have needed it most. I have started the process of writing thank you notes and wrote to the two EMT's who were here that evening. I had a phone number for them and thought it was their station. When I called to get their address, I learned that it was actually one of the EMT's cell phone. I was so happy to be able to express to him personally how grateful we were for his (Woody) and Adam's work. What a gift to be able to talk to him and tell him we know they did EVERYTHING they could. I know the night was not easy for them and I am forever grateful for their work.
Thanks to our neighbor, Madison (friend of Jack and our friend too!), who created a wonderful piece of art for us as shown in this blog! We love it!
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Throughout this whole experience we have been so touched by so many things...I can't even begin to describe what it has been like. All the gestures, big and small have meant so much. As I type, our dear friends are slaving away painting Jack's bedroom so we can have a fresh start. How selfless! We've had hot meals brought to our house for the past week and will continue to have them through the end of the month. Our friend hired a house-cleaner to come clean our house. We are spoiled!
Today, we received this letter from "Family Connections." Family Connections is an awesome, non-profit organization in Austin that is "committed to improving the development of young children and building a strong foundation for their success by educating and supporting the adults in their lives - parents, child care providers, teachers and community leaders." Dan and I have participated in Mommy/Daddy and Me 6-week playdates when both kiddos were born, took all our pre-parent classes there (how to get your child to sleep, labor classes, how to breastfeed, bath, feed your child...), they have a daycare locating service and have an amazing library that you can check out books and toys. They have singers and story-tellers and an annual Family Celebration. (ALL FOR FREE!)
They learned of our sad news and sent the letter above. If it is too small to read, maybe you can cut/paste to enlarge in your own word document. We were so touched by the thoughtfulness of the books they chose and can't believe how the kindness of everyone is holding us up so long and so high. Thanks to all...
Check out Family Connections for yourself and if you live in Austin...go visit!
Dan and I also attended our first Support Group on Monday. It was wonderful and we met so many people who showered us with unconditional love and understanding. The group is for anyone that has encountered a loss and then you split into smaller groups based on who you lost. It was a great experience and we look forward to going back. Thank you to all the funders who support "For the Love of Christi," without your support, it wouldn't be possible. This service is provided FREE to those grieving and we are so grateful. Check it out: www.fortheloveofchristi.org
I know I said I was only going to blog one more time but how could I pass up this? We received this in the mail today from the Lions Eye Bank, so sweet. And, can you believe that the Lions Eye Bank is in Manor? I couldn't believe that this tiny no-grocery-store-town we live in is where all the donated eyes come to! It was like Jack was coming home! Thanks to the Lions Eye Bank for making our donation seem so special!
Sunday, October 4, 2009
For some reason, I didn't post this several weeks ago when I took it and was saving it for something special. What a perfect opportunity now! The video is the epitomy of Jack's spirit and my husband's wonderful parenting. This 30 second or so clip warms my heart, brings tears to my eyes, and makes me so thankful for having Jack in our lives. I have decided that this will be my second to last post, with the last post to not come for sometime as I am planning on posting for the final time after Jack's bench is in place. Thank you ALL for the donations that will allow us to purchase a bench in Jack's honor. Dan and I look forward to finding the perfect bench in the perfect place, which will take some thought and consideration to make it just right! Again, thank you for all the support, it is truly overwhelming and has been what has carried us through this journey. We continue to go on each day...getting out of bed, vacuuming, brushing our teeth, washing dishes, running errands, paying bills, taking care of Kate, all the usual stuff. It is strange to not hear "Mommy!" or "Doddy" or "Milk Meese" (Jack's version of "Milk please") or "Muse Me" (Jack's version of "Excuse me") but the memories are held deep in our hearts. I am not sure Murphy and Finn quite understand why it is so quiet in our house and I bet Murph would even admit that he misses an energetic toddler screaming and pulling on or at him. We will return to work soon and continue to find so much support and love with each other. Thank goodness that Dan is walking this journey with me. In the midst of this tragedy there have been so many blessings and we hope they continue.
Enjoy the video and please feel free to be among the first visitors to:
The show must go on and Jack would want it that way!
Enjoy the video and please feel free to be among the first visitors to:
The show must go on and Jack would want it that way!
Friday, October 2, 2009
A million thanks to all who have reached out, called, stopped by, dropped food off, hugged us, hugged their kids a bit more, emailed, read our blog, attended our celebration...the list goes on and on. As each day goes by, the nights are not so dark and we learn that the sun does rise. We are overwhelmed (in a great way) by the love and support of everyone and thank you for carrying our burden at this time.
We are still waiting to hear more from the Medical Examiner as we wait for additional testing to return from the CDC.
If you were unable to attend the celebration, it was absolutely beautiful. Dan and I commented to each other during it saying "This is just perfect." Pastor Brian Devany, we owe you a million thanks for capturing the exact spirit, energy, and love that we wanted for the celebration. This was no easy task and you did it with grace and love. The service was held at a beautiful glass and wood building in a park overlooking a pond with a wide open sky beyond. There were clouds scattered among a blue sky. We didn't know what to expect in terms of attendance and were shocked at the amount of people...we should have known because of Jack there would be "standing room only." Thank you so much everyone and we hope you enjoyed the cupcakes!