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.