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Sometimes.. this doesn’t seem fair.. or real… or possible.. or survivable.

Tomorrow is Easter .. technically our second holiday since she has been gone.. but Valentines day.. 2 days after she died..I just don’t count it. Our boys had fun last night with cousins dying eggs. But it was hard also. Jonathan came home full.. as soon as I opened the door I could feel it..

. . .the charge of his emotions. Not a sad .. or angry..just  intensity. We played and hugged a lot today. I watched him struggle so hard to sort out what he was going through… with no understanding of what was happening. Getting so mad at little things.. but working at keeping it in check. We were hitting balls from one room to the next and then suddenly he hit the ground with her pink strawberry shortcake bat.. he liked it.. so he did it harder.. and harder. DSC_0645

I wanted to let it play out.. but it wasn’t the right venue.. so we offered for him to “boom it” in the garage. Tony has a speed bag set up that he wails on when he needs to. We have been trying to encourage Jonathan to find a way like that to get it out. So today my big guys set out to find a solution ..they built a way for him to reach the bag all by himself… guy therapy.. seeing a problem and fixing it.. with their hands.. and of course “booming”

It seemed to help.

…sometimes I just want to float away…away from the heartache…my own and theirs…

I had forgotten how much my kids like playing with bubbles.. blowing… chasing.. popping

and a new one…recognition.

DSC_0614 DSC_0634

Nicholas and I were doing bubbles in the backyard yesterday. It was Charlotte’s first time seeing bubbles. The way she reacted and looked at them.. I found myself wondering if that’s how Jennifer appears to her.  We were out there again today.. just the 3 of us. And she had that same look on her face.. but today she wanted to go after them as they were floating around. Nicholas found one of the bubble wands we had recently been given for Jennifer (we could tell because it was pink) those bubbles didn’t pop the same.. they stuck around and when the popped it still stayed on you.

DSC_0641I called Jonathan out to come see.. I thought it was the bubble solution but he showed me his that was the same kind (but blue) and they popped like normal bubbles.. so we decided it was because it was sissy’s bubble wand.

While we were out there I played some music. Thousand years came on…I sang and I cried.  I wished for the winter again. Because she was still here.. and because it was easier to be so sad with dark and overcast.. with the spring comes new life…

while I am grieving the loss of hers..


it almost feels like the sun is taunting me. . .The blooms on the trees showing off and rubbing it in my face. I want the bare.. and the cold and the dark.

.. sometimes I just want to be a grieving mother..

Advocacy and grief often seem to go hand in hand.. but like all things in life there is a trade off. .. .

This morning after my run I met with a couple about designing a new website.. one for our after plans.. to Unravel Pediatric Cancer. I liked them… felt confident in their abilities and mostly that they care about me and our goals.. I got home and jumped on the computer.. sending emails… posting on FB and doing a little research.

I was somewhere else.. totally disconnected from my reality.. just going and doing. There is a lot about that I like. The distance between me and the loss.. to be so cerebral about it all that the pain cannot penetrate…

there is a cost though.

there is more to my reality than just her death. ..

though it colors everything..or rather drains everything of its color.


As I was posting on FB I saw a picture somebody posted of peep nests they had made.. The same thing we did last year. I usually bake with the kids for every holiday. Plan special foods to celebrate.. simple cheap things to add a little something magical to their day.

I had nothing set up.. nothing arranged for my surviving kids… nothing to tell them how important they are. Not being the mom I want to be for them. Remembering the peep nests, which I had totally forgotten about, made me remember the paper egg hunt. 2 years ago I started a tradition of making paper eggs that they decorate and then I hide … Ya know a  little practice before the big day with cousins.. and just a easy, fun tradition. I had kept meaning to do it with the boys.. but would get sidetracked. DSC_0593

**this was my no into a yes.. bubbles for Nicholas.. and for me, the “no” I didn’t do it, turned into a “yes I will right now” **

I cut out the eggs and got stickers and dot art out and let the boys decorate. They enjoyed it. We aren’t a particularly crafty DSC_0652bunch … I was pleasantly surprised how into decorating our paper eggs they both were… proud of their creations. Jonathan’s with just the right amount of color and Nicholas with as many stickers as possible piled high. .

Then after bath while they got in jammies.. halloween and christmas ones.. Tony and I hid the newly hatched eggs. They had a great time looking for them. Jonathan cheering when he found them… Nicholas being so confused picking up everything but the eggs.. when I finally pointed one out, he picked it up and threw it down thinking I was just being a jokester. ..

eventually working together to get a particularly tricky one. .. the second to last one.

The final egg.. one that wasn’t hidden very well at all.. a purple one with pink stickers Jonathan had made for Jennifer. DSC_0661 DSC_0668

moments… ones I am trying to turn into good memories for them..

That’s what is so hard for me… If I was just a grieving mom.. solely focused on that I would have prepped activities to do with them.. Tony reminded me that I did get it done.. not the way I would have normally..ahead of time.. planned out. It’s still hard for me to let go of what I would have done.. what a piece of me feels I should have done.  I would have thought and remembered and took the time..

I would connect better with my 3 living..

but then what about her?

I don’t do this for her.. its all for me.. but it connects me to her. Doing.. well whatever it is I am doing and end up doing as DSC_0099my role in the fight against childhood cancer.. it somehow solidifies us for me. It’s our mother/daughter bonding time.

I chose it. I want it. I don’t have to do it.

I need to.

But sometimes .. like on days like today.. I think about how much easier it would be to not have that drive and desire.. the compulsion to do something.

To just grieve. Cry. Remember.

To only have a to do list filled with things for my family… things to memorialize her.. or .. focus totally on our little Kranz family needs. …or.

.well now as I sit here. Checking off the top of both my Unravel and Kranz to do list (blogging) I realize why maybe it’s better for me that I have something else.

Right now I am solely focused on being a grieving mama. Consumed.

.. I am drowning. Reeling in it.. .

I am writing now staring at these 3 little baskets.. there should be 4.. its such a silly insignifigant thing.. easter baskets.. another mom pressure we put on ourselves.. something I have tried hard not to get wrapped up in.. but all I want right now is that 4th basket.

I just remembered exactly what I would have put in it. A live butterfly kit. The kids got one 2 yrs ago. We raised caterpillars and learned about their life cycle… she loved checking in on them everyday looking to see if they had changed.. if they had come out of their cocoons yet.

DSC_0704Eventually they did and we released butterflies. Both my J’s wanted a butterfly to land on them… ok I wanted one on me too. But they weren’t having any of it. They were just taking off.. except for the one that landed on Jennifer’s hand.  .. Middle of the day in princess jammies. with a headband in the middle of her forehead…true Jennifer. ..That moment is why we did a butterfly release with my family immediatly after her services.. before the reception.To honor that memory..

That day though.. every little kid got a butterfly to stay on their hand before flying away.. every. single . one. And we have lots of nephews and nieces..

.. . ohh yea.. That’s what she would have had this year.. because this past summer she asked for butterflies again. And I told her we could write the Easter Bunny a note..

oh my god.

I already bought it. I went online and bought the kit then..

Did you know I did that?

Oh Jennifer are you leading me through my own words?

I’ll go look for it baby girl. I think the kids will love it.


Oh Jennifer

thank you.

*** sometimes…sissy miss.. sometimes***




  1. Colleen says:

    I’m praying for you and your family this Easter.

  2. Melissa Garner says:

    Wow. Reading this brought me the chills. I just got done watching her service. It was perfect.
    Tonight, while we died our Easter eggs I thought about Jennifer. My daughter, Gabby, prayes for her, so do I. We talked about her.
    Thinking of Jennifer inspired me to go the extra mile tonight and bake cupcakes at Gabbys request, even though it was getting late and I was getting tired. This is just another tiny example of how you and Jennifer continue to affect people. You and Jennifer have inspired me to not put off things until “next time. ”
    I’m so happy on Easter she came to you. She made you remember the butterfly’s for her siblings. I couldn’t be happier for you. I truly believe she is with you, leading you, loving you.
    Good night and I hope and pray you have sweet dreams!

  3. Lisa Jack says:

    Oh tears…..she IS always with you. I love that she shows herself exactly when you need it.
    As we all say….go easy on yourself. You made the eggs, the kiddos will remember all the fun they had . Every moment, every day you ALL find ways to honor her. I love reading of the ways your boys honor her. Such sweet bonds.
    Prayers for you all

  4. Kristen Tredrea says:

    My heart overflows with love for you every time I read a post. I don’t think there will ever again be a day when when I don’t think of you and Jennifer. All 6 of you are branded on my heart

  5. Kendra Smith says:

    So beautiful. Magical. Thinking of you all today and everyday.

  6. Jennifer says:

    Wow…your writing literally knocks the wind out of me…so much love for your baby girl…I pray for angel hugs for you today and always.

  7. Lorraine says:

    May the love that Jesus Christ has for you and your family, give you strength to have faith in the plan of His Heavenly Father for Jennifer. It should be a time to sing of joy but your hurt is huge and understood. Prayers for you and yours on this and everyday, Libby.

  8. Emily says:

    She is all around you. Keep looking for the signs. I am glad you have the time to connect with her, in whatever way possible. Thankful we have days like today, Easter, to let us know that because of Jesus we will again see our loved ones. Prayers continuing for all 6.

  9. Anna DePalma says:

    So painful to read the sadness you carry everyday. May our Heavenly Father wrap His arms around you today and every other day and give you the strength and comfort you need each day to get through the hours. May you always feel Jennifer and her love around you and give you peace. Sending hugs today to you and your family!!

  10. Sunny says:

    Chills. I’m sure your sweet girl will continue to send you signs. She is still there with you and ever present in your lives. Sending hugs and continued prayers for strength!

  11. Linda says:

    She is with you in so many ways. She is all around you. We love her. We live you all ♡

  12. Lisa says:

    So very thankful for the hope and promise that Easter brings! Blessings and prayers!

  13. Jenn says:

    I hope your Easter is filled with memories of Jennifer, and filled with making new memories with her spirit. So much love to the kranz family.

  14. tara says:

    Libby keep sharing we are all listening my heart goes out to u each day especially today on Easter . enjoy your family jennifer is right next to u.

  15. Misty says:

    Love the picture with the butterfly so cute.Happy Easter hope you are able to enjoy the day and make new memories all while remembering good memories of the past.Continued prayers.

  16. Sharon says:

    Jennifer’s talking, Mom. Glad you were listening. 🙂

  17. Jody Corona says:

    So many times I have wanted to write to you and your family and could not find the words. Your family has touched my heart deeply. I feel your loss while reading your blog and try as I may I can’t get through one of them without the tears falling. May God hold your hand and bless you with many more memories of JLK.

  18. Rachel says:

    Libby, I think of you and Jennifer all the time, especially when dealing with my own daughter. Much like Jennifer, she has her own style and I admire so much the way you let Jennifer lead with that. I try to to copy what you did with Riley. Love and hugs to you.

  19. Angie says:

    Wishing you a peaceful Easter, Libby. xo

  20. Tracy Cowan-Popp says:

    Live, love, and laugh the same way Jennifer did. Let her live through you. Xoxo

  21. Johnni Herrera says:

    I thought of you this morning. I wondered how you were doing on this holiday without Jennifer. I sent a prayer to God … I asked my angels to help you … I asked Jennifer to be with you. She would have been anyway. You are amazing!!! Sending you blessings and hugs. ♥♥♥♥♥

  22. Stacy says:

    The firsts….. I hope someday you will be able to visit these blogs and understand how incredibly strong willed you have been and what a treasure of life they are. I can’t offer advice for a place I’ve never been but I admire you and your message.

    P.S. The speed bag isn’t just for boys *wink* 🙂

    Love and Light ~S~

  23. Lori B says:

    As always, my day is changed, deepened, enriched, made more real by reading your heart. I understand that this kind of pain cannot….maybe even should not….. be taken away. And yet….. I would like to share with you the thoughts of Pope Francis on this feast of Easter. Just to give you hope for the future.

    “Let us not be closed to the newness that God wants to bring into our lives. Are we often weary, disheartened and sad? Do we think that we will not be able to cope? Let us not close our hearts; let us not lose confidence, let us never give up; there is no situation, which God cannot change. So why do we continue to look for the living among the dead? Our daily problems and worries can wrap us up in ourselves in sadness and even bitterness and that is where death is. That is not the place to look for the One who is alive. Let the risen Jesus enter our lives, welcome Him as a friend, with trust, He is life.”

  24. Krista says:

    I thought about you all often today.

  25. Eneseme says:

    Please focus on your kids, they need you. Jennifer will always love you but your “living kids” need your love and your attention too. Your blog is starting to read like Jennifer was your favorite and your other kids just don’t seem to matter much. It’s very disheartening when all 4 of your beautiful kids love and need you.

  26. Kimberly R. (CO) says:

    I will get my kids a butterfly kit too.

  27. Kim says:

    What a beautiful post…. One thing I see is that you are seeing Jennifer’s signs to you. I remember a post a little while back where that was a worry of not seeing or getting them. She is talking to you and you are seeing her Libby. She is here for her family. Happy Easter.

  28. Wendy says:

    Your posts are just so moving. My cousin recently passed away leaving a husband, 4 year old and a 4 month old. It’s great to see what you guys are doing to help your other kiddos take this one day at time and finding what works! It’s so hard to see 4 year olds grieve in their own way. One day at a time is the hardest but seems to be the best way. Thank you for your words so that we can find comfort as well.

  29. Sarah smith says:

    She is so totally with you!!!!!!! Love to you all

  30. Maria says:

    Wow she is with you every step of the way… Loving you and her whole family so much… Jennifer you are so loved so missed … You have no idea how much.. Well maybe you do because your mummy did a great job at showing you how much you are loved!! Happy Easter sweet girl how lucky to be spending it with Jesus himself! Libby my heart and love and prayers are with you through these holidays and beyond… Much love to you xx

  31. Paige says:

    Sweet girl. You are being way too hard on yourself. You be a grieving mom… AND a mom to the here and now kids… you will learn how to balance it. There is no right and wrong. I cannot even fathom what the holidays are like… do not beat yourself up. It’s been such a short time. I LOVE seeing her in that sparkly pink dress with all the glitter! She was amazing – and I know she would want you to laugh with her siblings and have fun – and not feel guilty. You have depicted her so very well. What an amazing momma you are. Praying for you and your whole family.

  32. Greta says:

    A butterfly lands besides us, like a sunbeam… And for a brief moment it’s glory and beauty belong to our world… But then it flies on again, and although we wish it could have stayed, We are so thankful to have seen it at all. Author unknown

  33. Erika M says:

    oh wow. what a moment as she led you to remember the kit you’d already bought. amazing to watch that unfold as you wrote. WOW.

  34. Suzi sellers says:

    Those butterflies! Thank you Jennifer. Thank you for sharing Libby.

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