Happy Birthday Sweet Jack!
Today Jack would have been 3 but as we know in this house, we don't think of the "What if's?" but the "Aren't we glad for what we had!" I can't believe that it has almost been a year without our Sweet Boogie. I am so proud of Dan and myself for surviving and surviving well. We haven't let this ruin us and we haven't let our spirits dampen. It has been a journey that we couldn't have traveled with just each other. To the countless people that have helped us along the way, we could never repay you enough. I will admit, it is still weird when people ask, "How many kids do you have?" How do you answer that? I tell them about Kate, about Baby T3 and say "We had a 2 year old who passed away in September BUT WE CELEBRATE HIM!" It is a true statement and avoids that awkward pause when the person doesn't know what to say. I can't blame them, I know the right words are hard to find sometimes. As I have mentioned before, even just acknowledging the loss or mentioning Jack to us makes us feel so good...it shows us that he lives on! I have a new friend that I met after Jack passed away and he told me the other day, "I feel like I know Jack." It made my heart swell.
It is almost a year later and I still have never been rolled up in a fetal position. I think of Jack and smile. I haven't been angry and I am still thrilled to have been his mom for 700 plus days. My brain still has a hard time grasping that what happened was one in a zillion, so rare it can't even be quantified. I have never let my mind go the place of "Why?" because I think that could tear us apart. I'll never have the answer so why waste the energy trying to guess at one? Let us be the one in a zillion so that we spare anyone else...we'll take one for the team for sure! I have stayed true to my belief that if I changed or allowed Jack's death to ruin me, what a double tragedy. I feel like I make Jack proud by how I have handled myself and what I didn't realize right away is that Jack will always be my son, that will never be taken away from me and that yes, losing your child changes you but that change doesn't need to be bad. I can't count the number of times I have listened to the song playing throughout the slideshow and agree that YES, "I love more, laugh more, take less time to make up my mind, go slower, love deeper, I know what I want and what I don't and I'll be better than I've ever been..." I am better than I was before and although I would do anything to have J-Boogie back, that isn't an option and being the best I can be is.
I put together this slideshow to pay tribute to my family: Dan, Jack, Kate and Baby T3. I wanted to show that despite this crazy year, we still laugh, we still celebrate, there is joy in our house and we haven't let this tragedy ruin us. For that, I am so proud. Thank you to Cindy Bullens for writing this amazing song after the death of her 11 year old daughter. It has pulled me into brighter lights and for that I am forever grateful.
Jack, I wish we were busy decorating for your party today and that Dad had your Superman Cape on you, ready to take you for your "Guys morning" of Waffle House and a trip to "Toys R US" to pick out a toy. I know that "Doddy" (as you would say) had such a great time with you last year while I decorated for your party and that it was a tradition in the making. For now, my mind will be at ease knowing that wherever you are has to be a wonderful place. I am sure your face is covered with cream cheese frosting from your Red Velvet Cupcakes and that you are surrounded by all those friends and family that have gone before us. Eat as many as you want! Enjoy your day and know that we love you and miss you but believe that we will be reunited again. In fact, maybe the joke is on us, we're still going to work, paying taxes, concerned about the oil spill and I think you're in a 5 star resort! We love you J-Boogie and continue to be so grateful for you...XOXO, Mom, Dad and Kate
P.S. If the video doesn't appear, hit refresh.