Read personal stories from our founder and Jennifer's mommy, Libby, along with other Warrior Moms and news from our Unravel team.

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its ok mom

August 13, 2014

No dreams of her last night. But Jonathan woke up scared of the dark so I got to sleep with him for awhile.

I knew exactly what I wanted to do this morning with the kids. So when we woke up I told them it was the 12th and we had another surprise destination.

I was so sure they would love it..

Before we went we opened our fluttering kit. . I loved seeing their reactions. So many pieces of the kit mean something to us. I hope they will look back and be proud of what we did… and how we did it. ..DSC_0440

Jonathan asked to do balloons so we grabbed some on the way. Nicholas figured it out first. Yelled the name as we pulled in..

Gilroy Gardens..

His big brother was quiet.. I should have known then…we sat in our car and wrote on the balloons.. Jonathan’s said ” I know you are with me”. This boy of ours .. he is simply incredible. I wonder if she tried to come see him last night and thats what scared him?

Walking in I just felt totally naked.. like I was missing a piece of me that you aren’t supposed to go out of the house without. I wanted to bring her ashes with so badly but I was too nervous about my purse getting stolen or something random like that. Those are the things I obsess over now. .. bringing a little bit of my daughters remains with me to a amusement park..

watching them fly to heaven

watching them fly to heaven

We released the balloons right when we got inside the gate.. where the boys said they wanted to. I have never seen them fly so high so quickly. We just really needed our messages to get to her. And we continued in. Jonathan stuck very close to me. .. Nicholas simply seemed overwhelmed by the whole place.

We looked at rides to go on and Jonathan pulled me down to him. He said fighting tears that he didn’t want to go on any rides today. All I could do was hug him and cry a little. To tell him its ok to be sad or happy here. That we could stay or leave and go to a park if he wanted.

I think it was too soon for him..Sorry son.

He wanted to stay but not do any rides. We watched Nicholas and Charlotte go on some together. I was overwhelmed with memories of her.. at so many ages being at this place with us. How she loved it so much.


I remembered last time there before we knew she had cancer.. I remember looking at her going on rides and thinking this would be the last time she went on them. But then I thought she would just be outgrowing them. I had no idea she would be dead less than a year later.










How did this happen? How is this possibly real?

They have a new water area. The boys wanted to check it out. She would have loved it. So much. They would have loved it with her. So much. They played and had a good time. . but it took quite awhile for them to warm up to it.

Today the hole in my family was so glaring.. their leader and my water baby. Only to me though.. and for some reason today that was extra hard. So many comments on how cute they all were.. How perfect I know we look from the outside.. but how beyond broken we truly are. I got a little judgey with parents not watching  their kids .. letting them run and push in line. But the truth is just like they don’t know my story.. I don’t know theirs..



The boys stepped up with Charlotte. Both doing a great job looking out for her and taking care of each other. I am so proud to be their mommy.  Right before we got out Jonathan expressed a urgency to go on the slide, so of course Nicholas said he wanted to as well. . he ended up coming back down the steps. I love how he decides for himself.. and Jonathan went down.


She should have been there slapping the water cheering him on. Thats exactly what she would have been doing. I hope she was in her own way. I hope what he wrote on his balloon came true for him today. .. I hope she never left his side.


I noticed that he almost never took his fingers off of his sissy necklace today.


I debated sharing this picture. But there is something so honest in it for me. What a difference one year can make.

We did the park today because she loved going there.. so I did something I didn’t really want to do for them but because of her. My goal for every 12th for the rest of our lives. Something for them because of her. As my children grow the “them” will change. .. but the “her” never will.

I promise baby girl. Every 12th that I live waiting to see you again.. every 12th that I count a month further from you.. but also a month closer to you.

I will honor you.

I lite the candle before I sat down to write. And just now as I typed those 4 words the smell of watermelon overtook me.

oh honey I hope its just perfect. I hope you were right and it smells like watermelon all the time. I hope its better than everything I told you it was. I hope you know all these tears are just my love falling out of me. .. because sometimes my love for all of you gets so full in me, it has to come out.

Walking out we decided to do the train ride… we could see the whole park that way. We talked about memories of her there the whole time. Well mostly Jonathan talked.. I tried so hard today to give him space and encouragement to have fun. To show him its ok to be ok.


In the parking lot on the way out I asked if they had a good time.. Nicholas emphatically said yes.. Jonathan.. hand on top of mine pushing the stroller we got 8 months ago for our 6yr old.. that now is only ridden by our 1 yr old. .. He looked up at me and said.

I did Mom.. I had a little fun but I really just missed sissy so much the whole time.

Me too buddy me too. Its ok to laugh and have fun.. its ok to cry and be sad.. I did both today.

You did? I didn’t see you cry.

Oh well I didn’t really want you too. I didn’t want to upset you. But I did just a little a few times.

Thats ok mom. It doesn’t make me sad to see you cry. Well I mean its makes me cry, but just because your sad. And I know why your sad. You miss sissy. I do too. Its ok mom. Its ok .

So I did. I cried in the middle of the parking lot. For this son of mine that is better than I could ever hope to be. For my other son who is his own person and proud of it. For our baby girl who gives kisses and jumps into our arms when we most need it . And for my Jennifer. Who I miss more than I ever could have imagined possible. .. who gave me a gift right as I was getting in the car to leave the park today.

a feather landed right on top of my foot.I looked up to a empty blue sky that I know

….is full

beyond my wildest expectations..


…until there is a cure…




  1. Beth says:

    You move me beyond words. Thinking of you ….

  2. Deb says:

    You have amazing, beautiful children, because your a thoughtful and amazing mother. My prayers are with your family always.
    P.s. I’m convinced it was an angel feather….lovely little sign from Jennifer.

  3. Nancy says:

    A most beautiful day, both happy and sad…

  4. Linda says:

    We were just there yesterday. My daughter saw a dragonfly and I immediately thought of Jennifer. Sending hugs, love and prayers.

  5. Melissa says:

    For once I am speechless. ….beautiful. …just beautiful. ..

  6. Kirstin says:

    You done good, Libby. Better than good. You amaze me.
    You were exactly what each of them needed you to be.

    Love beyond words.

  7. Yvette says:

    I love how you do fun things with the kids even though you really don’t want to, I know that’s a big step for you. I also love how you keep getting little signs from Jennifer, that’s her way of helping you and letting you know she’s there,. We all love and miss Jennifer and wish she was here for you, but in a special way she is and always will be. Thank you so much for sharing Jennifer with all of us, she has a big family now and so do you and your beautiful family of 6. Always in my heart and never forgotten.

  8. Yvette says:

    I love how you do fun things with the kids even though you really don’t want to, I know that’s a big step for you. I also love how you keep getting little signs from Jennifer, that’s her way of helping you and letting you know she’s there,. We all love and miss Jennifer and wish she was here for you, but in a special way she is and always will be. Thank you so much for sharing Jennifer with all of us, she has a big family now and so do you and your beautiful family of 6. Always in my heart and never forgotten. Hugs for all of you.

  9. Krista Lund says:

    Good Job, Mama! I don’t know how you do it but I think about all 6 of you all the time. What amazing children you have…all 4 of them 🙂

  10. deedee says:

    I want to type something but I don’t know whare to start. I’m left with a meaningless, “wow.” And one more thing…Jonathan… he has a special purpose in this world. It’s already unfolding.

  11. Sue says:

    Jonathan’s words . . . 🙁 . . . 🙂

  12. Karen says:

    Oh my goodness…. your conversation with Johnathan…. tears for him…. for you… for all of you.


  13. Kendra Rogan says:

    What a imperfectly perfect day. I hope she SHINES all around you and your family so you can feel her warmth, and that you continue to get little gifts from her. You are all loved!

  14. with love says:

    Still here.. Still thinking of Jennifer


  15. Esther McKee says:

    This post just gave me chills. The feather landing on your foot. WOW Jennifer, just WOW! Your children are so amazing!! All 4 of them. Jonathan is such a sweet little boy. My heart breaks for him missing his sissy. This is so unfair!! I love the conversation you are having with Jonathan. I’m glad he talks to you about sissy and that he is understanding his feelings and is learning to express himself. The sissy necklace must bring him so much comfort. What an amazing idea. You are doing so good Libby. God Bless the Kranz family. I have so much love for all 6 of you. xoxoxoxo

  16. Linda Blundo says:

    We love you all so much Libby. Jennifer was with you yesterday. My daughter my husband and myself honored Jennifer by releasing balloons with written messages on them. My daughter Eva wrote her name on one of the ballons and drew Jennifer. We will continue to honor your beautiful Jennifer. We love all 6 of you. ♡♡♡♡♡♡

  17. Teresa says:

    My boys (6 years old and 4 year old twins) and I looked and pictures of Jennifer yesterday…of you…of your boys…They asked about her…they asked me if I would be sad if one of them died…they asked how old she was, when her birthday was, did she get to have Christmas, did her mommy know if she had cancer…they asked all of this and we talked about it cancer because of your little girl. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  18. Jessica says:

    this is why you will move mountains, Libby…the words you write are so powerful, your emotions so strong, that we all can’t help but be moved (to tears most..-all-of the time) and motivated to spread the glitter.

  19. Marie says:

    I read your words everyday….this one took my breath away, at your conversation with your little guy. You got me at “I cried in the middle of the parking lot”. I cried at my desk at work. For all of you! Despite the day it was your day seemed amazingly as it should. May God continue to help all of you in your grief. God Bless!

  20. Bridget says:

    That conversation with Jonathan is incredible. Thinking of you, thinking of Jennifer.

  21. Kari says:

    Your words are so powerful Libby. Sending so much love.

  22. Anna DePalma says:

    What a beautiful day and what a hard day. I cried for Johnathan. What a perfect little man you are raising. The love you all have as a family is beyond words. He is so young and yet he is so smart. Your an amazing mother Libby and I know you keep hearing it but it is what it is. Through your children its so evident how close and how much love you have for each other. I am beyond words. Jennifer left a piece of her in Johnathan’s heart and she will always be close to him and you. You would think someone that is so young just would not understand what loss really is but he is feeling it as much as an adult. I pray for you and your children all four of them every night. My heart hurts to know how painful it is for all of you. Johnathan has a tender heart and God is going to use him in this world to make a difference and I know that it will be something to honor Jennifer. Sending Hugs to your family!!!

  23. Charla says:

    Tears. Nothing but tears. For you and Tony, for your children and for Jennifer. Much love being sent your way.

  24. Greta says:

    We had “cold yogurt” yesterday , thought of Jennifer , because I turned a no into a yes.

  25. Nichelle says:

    My boys and I were there at the same time as you. My friend and I recognized you and your beautiful children. Your baby girl Charlotte was so adorable and curious when my friend was holding her sweet infant baby girl in the water area. Charlotte walked right up to her to check her out. Your boys are so beautiful and protective as your eldest son came to shuffle her away. I admire your strength and courage. Know that we, as parents, surround you with support, strength and admiration for the mother that you are to your children.

  26. Paige says:

    Your precious boy Libby. Bless his heart. I thought of you the other day after I dropped off my 5 year old at an open house and his sister kept asking when he was coming back. I thought of Jonathan and you… Your post made me cry. I am so sorry for you but I know she’s watching you all – laughing and having fun too! You are an amazing mom.

  27. Tasha says:

    Libby, thank you for sharing! Sounds like a beautiful day. You are a great, great mom to all 4 of your babies! Always amazed at your rawness and strength. You are always in my payers.

  28. Rachel says:


    Libby, you are clearly doing something right.

  29. Kristen says:

    Send Love and Hugs! xoxooxoxoxoxooxoxoo

  30. JK says:

    It’s ok. So powerful the words of a small boy.
    Thanks Jonathan for reminding me it’s ok to feel and show emotion; however it comes because we are all different and that’s ok too.
    Thanks Libby for sharing your family. xoxo
    We remember, and we fight…until there is a cure.

  31. Michelle R says:

    Oh, Libby…what a wonderful day you gave them. All I can say today is am I so sorry. I miss Jennifer, the 6 yr old I never met, and I want with every cell of my body for her to be back with you. Much love and continued prayers for all of you.

  32. Holly says:

    Amazing family you have! I am devastated for all of you every time I read a new blog… but the signs are so real, totally from Jennifer!!! I am so glad you are open enough to feel them. Praying as always for all 6 of you!

  33. Keri says:

    … six months and still everytime I read with you, the injustice and love I feel for Jennifer, for you and your beautiful family, falls down in tears. This was a heart-quiveringly beautiful write.

  34. Doris says:

    wow. wow! that is so cool. it must be so hard to keep doing things on the 12th and not curl up into a little ball and rock…. but You rock, Libby! nice job taking the kids there, and Jonathan, well he is wise beyond his years, amazingly. A hard way to learn wisdom. Hard to see it but he is going to be such an awesome boy and man.
    hang in there.

  35. Jennifer says:

    How can this be real, indeed?….so much sorrow, so much joy. Miracles and emotions. I am breathless. You and your beautiful family have captivated the world…you are amazing, that’s why Jennifer picked you

  36. EMailman says:

    Oh Jonathan. He is so remarkable, so in tune with his emotions and what he’s feeling and experiencing (thanks to you and your openness in hearing it and affirming it). My throat is aching.
    Thank God for him, for bubbly Nicholas, and sweet Charlotte. And for feathers falling from an empty sky. And for Tony, and for YOU.

  37. Susan J. says:

    Your self-awareness and insight is astounding,

    I am so glad that we got to share GG with you, Jennifer, Jonathan and ‘in utero’ Nicholas a few years back. You amazed me then, and continue to do so. 🙂

  38. Lorraine says:

    Dear Libby…yes, this post has taken my breath away! I hope with all sincerely and no presumption that our continued heartfelt prayers are giving you strength to share these tough, beautiful moments with us. I was excited to see the “fluttering” box and can’t wait to receive ours so that we can help even more! Love and prayers for Jennifer and all of you…until there is a cure…

  39. Lisa Jack says:

    Your children will make a difference in this world. All 4 of them.

  40. Jen NJ says:

    Tears with you, for you. For all of you, but today especially for that amazing, sweet, gentle boy, Jonathan. What a beautiful and kind soul. God Bless him.

  41. catherine says:

    speechless… lots of xxxxx from far away
    We love you JLK

  42. Nazy says:

    Tears, love and prayers Libby.

  43. Lyndee says:

    Libby you’re so amazing!!! What a beautiful way to honor Jennifer. Thinking of your family all the time. Love and comfort to all 6.

  44. Kristen Tredrea says:


  45. Kristen Tredrea says:

    Libby you have incredible children and you are one incredible mumma. Jennifer gave her siblings an incredible legacy and taught them so much. They will carry that and her with them for the rest of their lives. Xxx

  46. […] there a trade off? Two positive blog and here frankly some of the best I think I have ever written.. Does that mean the dark becomes so […]

  47. […] A way for me to do something for them because of her. My forever 12th promise.  […]

  48. […] we will. This month we start a strong effort “For THEM because of HER.”  I can’t celebrate with her.. But I can honor her with my survivng kids. So I will […]

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