Should .. She should be here. . she should be alive.. That word carries a lot of weight with me right now. They cover me.. and they snuff out the light.. The should’s are dark and consuming. The should nots are heavy and constricting, they are what I don’t want to admit. . She should be growing and changing.. I should already have a wall filled with her school pictures. .. Instead we are tying to figure out what to do with Jonathan’s. . I should be posting his picture.. so proud of the handsome boy he is.. and how much he has changed and grown in the past 12 months. .. I should be happy for my friends and their school pictures.. Especially the kinder ones. . I should be. I’m not. I look at them with a mix of longing, jealousy and anger. . I long for it. For[…]

October is my train.


October.. Waiting for that crash.. Standing beside the train tracks.. wind blowing hard and fast against me.. and nothing I can do to stop it.. I feel it though. My whole body trembles as I feel the sheer power and force of the train barreling towards my little family. October.. This month is that train.. Her birthday also the day she was diagnosed with cancer, its the start of it all.. For all the holidays that hurt so much without her.. The ones that now symbolize her short but fierce battle. .. so its not just the stark reminder that one is missing.. its also the memories of our last holidays with her.. When we knew she would die.. i didnt know.. sissy i didnt know you were already dying..  I see a video.. and I watch it.. willing me to just find her in the frame. Its all I see[…]

our orchestra


Sissy. This presence.. this person my girls don’t really know. She is everywhere. She is nowhere. Driving down the road Nicholas got excited and pointed exclaiming  “look its SISSY”. with such conviction I had to turn and look. We were driving past the cemetery. I looked in the rear view mirror as Charlottes head turned back forward. She did not have the same look of disappointment I felt.. just acknowledgment.. Because that is the sissy she knows. Its hard to balance it. For Charlotte she wants to know her. To have a connection to be able to share stories. .. So she reaches for them. She listens intently to her brothers when they talk about her. . She takes a lot of ownership in Unravel. When she sees a brochure floating around in the diaper bag she snags it to be able to hand out to whomever she deems fit.[…]

inhale and exhale


September marks the start of pediatric cancer awareness month.. I feel like I should be writing all about it. The ways to be involved. To not JUST be sorry but to be active.. but I can’t.. because I am selfish… and I am fucking struggling. Because the end of August and September seems to mark for me the hints of what’s to come. Soon it will be 3 years since her first symptom appeared.. then 3 years since her diagnosis.. Followed up with holiday after holiday, all now left to fight to survive and find the light again while under the shadow of Jennifer’s death. So many losses .. isn’t is supposed to be getting easier.. but I know. I know and I dread..  I am heavy. I am full. I have been feeling like I am on the verge .. almost constantly. Sitting with my living loves, snuggled on the[…]

branches of life

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A few months ago we were looking into changing our insurance coverage.. Speaking with our advisor he introduced us to something called “human life value”. In simple terms .. “A way of deciding how much life insurance an individual may need. The person’s income, expenses, and years remaining in the workplace are considered”. I thought there is a blog in that.. emotion to be explored.. over all that we lost. But  the thoughts just sat.. and waited.. Until they recently resurged at my sisters 50th birthday celebration. Watching a video of the years of her life .. the people she has known and loved. The incredible mother, friend and big sister she is. So much like my Jennifer.. . I watched as these pictures flashed and all the people that she has touched. The relationships she cultivated. And the lives she created. Her children are simply incredible people. They are all godparents to one[…]


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I always wanted to be a mom and I knew that I wanted a big family. It’s why I worked in day cares and summer camps and then became a teacher. To practice what I knew my lifes work was supposed to be.. I was always confident in my ability to juggle and thrive as a mom to bigger sized clan Then came infertility.. and miscarriage after miscarriage.. and then all I wanted to be was a mom. Just a chance to grab that golden ring .. Jennifer gave me that. If you ever asked her she would say Oct 28th 2007 we went from Tony and Libby to Mommy and Daddy. She gave us that. And it can never ever be taken away. I am so grateful she got to give us those titles. And I truly believe God knew I needed her first before he gave me the[…]

4 walk and 1 soars


I am happy. My life is good and full and rich. But.. Well, there is just always a but.. Because Jennifer is missing. I exist in my joy.. but there is this constant current of sadness. Of grief. Of missing her. We have had a truly incredible summer. It has been ideal.. (almost aka… but) We have done silly fun things at home. Painting projects.. And bigger things like going to the Beach Boardwalk at night.   And our usual things like days at Gilroy Gardens.     I have smiled and laughed .. and cuddled.. but… but she is missing.. It seems though those highs are always tempting the fall. My life is lived on the side of a mountain.. I am always aware of how close I am to toppling over the cliff.  .. And the higher I have climbed this summer in happiness with my surviving kids..[…]

Guest Blog – Kristen: Until there’s a reason

Drake and his mama

*****I have had this blog for awhile. I have been saving it. I think because its just simply so powerful to me. It embodies the biggest message I am trying to get people to really allow to absorb into them.  Don’t wait .. get involved now. All in. Both feet. And be brave. Get your loved ones to jump in with you. Because you truly never know what tomorrow will bring. For me the title of this guest blog says it all. ****** Until there’s a….reason I have read Jennifer’s story almost from the beginning.  I do not remember exactly how I stumbled across Libby’s page, but I found myself anxiously awaiting the next post to see how Jennifer was doing, always hoping for good news.  I was so devastated when I read that Jennifer had moved to Heaven.  Libby’s powerful words were so personal and raw, I felt like I was there with them.  It[…]

upside to child loss.

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There are side effects of child loss, but I have learned lately not all are negative. And none of them are stagnant. They all seem to be, at least for me, on a pendulum. I realized today I miss some of the moderation that life used to hold. That middle ground of normalcy.. Maybe it will return.. Maybe 10-15 years .. But right now I can’t imagine that it will. I realized today I am always on edge.. Not a razor sharp emotional breakdown edge.. or losing my shit edge but rather just tight? or guarded? or maybe waiting and prepared?.. Not sure the right way to explain it. . I just know I am pretty much never just hanging loose in the middle anymore. .. Because I know that thing that causes people to say ” I can’t imagine it” or ” thats my worst fear” .. I know the[…]

spoken in silence

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I miss you Jennifer.  I wish I had something more.. something deeper and more profound to say. Words fail me though. . Because I constantly miss her.. Its always there.. sometimes just a subtle current. But not always.. it scares me how quickly the tide can rise up and drown me in my own sorrow.. .. I mean I get it.. I think if I was an outsider looking in I would get it.. Its my daughter.. My child. I can cognitively understand that it will never really get better.. But it scares me still, the times that I can feel it slowly building and growing power.. Or times that it just swells up suddenly.. How easily I can still succumb to the simple yet echoingly deep grief. How I can look up at her picture and yearn.. so incredibly. .. to just follow her into the light.. I imagine[…]

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