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

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Sometimes it feels like we are just sitting on the shore. .. feeling wave after wave of emotions hit us.. sometimes the current so strong it feels like it just might pull us out into open water.

In the past few days I have felt so many emotions.. anger and fear.. heartache and despair.

Tony’s birthday was on Thursday. It was a hard day for him which I expected.. for me which I also expected and for Jonathan which was unexpected. .. I didn’t know until the next day that it was also hard for Nicholas.. not until he crawled into my lap and reached for my necklace that has Jennifers picture and held it. He didn’t look up at me but simply said

I miss sissy mommy.


I know it impacts him. I know he hurts in his own way, but I think sometimes I forget. I think sometimes I fall in line with what I hear around me.. he is too young.. He isn’t. I know in that moment I was given a glimpse into the hurt he still feels.

Jennifer forcing a welcomed kiss

Jennifer forcing a welcomed kiss to her littlest bro

I had struggled with what to have the kids make for Tony’s birthday, but I came up with it. A painting with the letters Daddy on top. A letter for each of our children and one for our hopes and dreams. Together we painted the D, Jennifer’s letter pink and then glittery. The morning of his birthday Jonathan asked our plans.. when I told him he just broke down in tears. I had no idea what was upsetting him

We have to decorate his work mom. We have to.

OK son we will. Don’t cry baby. We will.

He remembered doing it last year. We picked Jennifer up from school and headed to Daddy’s office to surprise him. He wasn’t there so we decorated it for him. I had no idea he would remember. . no idea it would mean something to him. This year we brought some cake pops and snuck into his office while he was with a co-worker than got to share a treat with him. I didn’t even notice at first… the wall Tony has dedicated to our kids.. full of their artwork.. of their love displayed through crayons and markers. .. It took my breath away..


waves ..

Leaving Nicholas was upset. Clung to Tonys leg.. oh.. maybe that should have been my first clue he was hurting too. . damn-it. I hate when I miss the signs they give.bday 3

Then yesterday Jonathan asked again for dancing in the street. He had asked for it a few other times in the summer. But I couldn’t do it.. I couldn’t bear going there without her. Our town closes off a block near downtown on Friday nights in the summer and has a band play. We loved it. Jennifer especially . .. she ran and danced. Danced and ran.


One night there were 2 boys there who had separately told their parents they would marry her. .. oh how lucky they would have been. How lucky we would have been to have been gifted the burden of paying for two daughter’s weddings.. I remember how she looked kinda nervous.. a little like she was busted having to balance these 2 young fellas. The moms and I laughed though as she did it well, holding hands with each of them running and smiling and laughing.. . and made new friends that night also.  A five year old charmer .. Somehow she was just able to make people feel like the most important person in the world when she talked to you.

I miss her so much. The world misses her so much and they don’t even know it.

The last time we went it was Nicholas’ 2nd birthday.. a young female was the singer and Jennifer was enthralled with her, even wanted her picture taken with her afterwards. . I remember thinking how great it would be this year. That our newborn baby Charlotte would be out there running and dancing too.


So we went. Me and my 3 surviving kids. Tony stayed home. It was just a bit too much for him. I am proud of him for knowing that. I texted a friend to say we were going if they were bored. They decided to head over. I think mostly just as a support.. we are so very blessed.

wave after wave..

A beautiful pink sunset

A beautiful pink sunset

My kids sat back though. .. not knowing what to do without there leader showing them the way.  I got up and danced at one point and Charlotte happily got into it right away. She is adorable.. but my mom pointed out she dances a bit like Elaine from Seinfeld.. and its quite true! I felt that pull on my leg.. that feeling of my son trying to bury himself in me.. And I just picked him up and asked our friend to watch the other two and carried him off. Down a lithe ways away from the dancing and joy and music.

I just wish sissy was here mom.

The grief of a 4 year.

Its hard to manage my own angst.. but I also have to manage his. There is nothing I can do to fix his ache.. to make this hurt any better.

Me too Jonathan me too.

And that makes me sad that she isn’t.

But I am also so happy remembering times we were here together. You guys always got so filthy!

I wonder constantly if I am doing the right thing. He asked to come.. time and time again. This was the last time of the summer and he even came over and whispered it to me during dinner. So we went. But was it right?

No mom I don’t want to leave

But I don’t want to go back.

Can we just sit here together?

So we did. For one more song. Then he stuck right with me.. .. chasing proudly and carefully after baby Charlotte as she ran away time and time again. Nicholas was up and running for quite sometime when Jonathan finally decided to join. I was so happy to see him smile. Being a 4 yr old the only way I want him to be.. joyful.. and seemingly carefree.

bday chairWe came home and put the little ones to bed. Jonathan got to stay up and decorate for his little brothers birthday. Its our tradition .. the other siblings stay up and decorate and wrap presents. Jonathan had even picked one out on Amazon. We always do a birthday chair that I would like to say looks delightfully cheesy because the kids do it.. but I have to admit I help. I am not a artsy person. .. But they truly love it. .. both waking up to the chair on their day and decorating it for their siblings.

wave.. She should have been here with us. So I cried. I wonder will I ever go numb to those “should be” moments? Maybe one day I will with the daily events.. like the breakfasts we miss her at.. but these days ..

these milestone moments. These god damn traditions I worked so hard to create.. will the pain ever dull?

do i want it to?

i will dig in Jennifer

and i will fight.

i will keep all of us on the shore battling wave after wave.

and i will miss you.

and i will honor you.

because you will always be my first

child, daughter, one to call me mommy

and most importantly the first to greet me in heaven.

glasses…until there is a cure..

  1. Marina says:

    I read and weep but it gives me strength to spread the glitter and be a voice. You are an inspiration…I hope you don’t get sick of hearing that. xoxoxoxo

  2. Lois Tefft says:

    My heart breaks for your two little boys. I almost lost my little brother when he was 6 and I was 9. He was very sick for a year. I remember being so scared. He pulled through and I have years of memories of him. He passed away 14 years ago and I miss him every day. Though I miss him, I look back with laughter at the things we did together. I hope some day both of your boys can look back and smile or laugh at the memories of Jennifer. Love and light to your family, always.

  3. Linda B says:

    All my love and prayers to you and your family today and always. ♡

  4. doris says:

    aw, i remember Jennifer too. Running and dancing, playing with bubbles… I always loved the way you could let them just be free in the street when it was closed like that. But you especially I noticed because you had a way of letting the kids be themselves and not hovering over them. She was the definition of JOY! and she did lead the other kids …not just her own sibs but all the kids. Good job on going back to the Fri night music event. hugs to you and Tony

  5. Esther McKee says:

    Libby, my breaks for all 3 of your boys. Sending so much love your way. Thinking of your family daily xoxo

  6. Barbara says:

    My heart breaks for you. Hoping everyone’s participation will raise funds and awareness! Looking forward to getting started. Is someone responding to set up instruction requests over the weekend for flutter? If not can you send them to me, we live in Santa Cruz and would love to flutter all my visiting neighbors tonight. Thinking of you and your family always!

  7. Krista Lund says:

    I hope you feel us giving you strength to continue to stand on the shore and have the waves wash over you again and again. I hope you know that you are doing an amazing job, mama. I think about you always…all 6 of you.

  8. Amanda says:

    I found a lump in my four year olds neck last week. That is the way they discovered my grandpa’s lymphoma. The pediatrician brushed it off saying that lymph nodes get swollen all the time. I follow your blog regularly and remember you always saying you hope you hadn’t missed some sign. How do you know when to insist they do more?
    Love from my family to yours,


  9. Tasha says:

    Libby, your words are beautiful and heartbreaking. Of course tears fall. I can not say it enough, you are an amazing person and mother. You are so present and real for you children. I am sorry for all you and your family have to endure. I hope you feel the presence of so many out her supporting you. Hugs.

  10. Leah says:

    Sending love.

  11. jennifer says:

    Such a sweet angel in all of the pics. Your words are so deep- my heart breaks for you each day. Prayers for angel visits.

  12. Kristen Tredrea says:

    Reading. Crying. Praying

  13. Lisa Jack says:

    You are doing it right. You acknowledge their pain, sadness, joy; whatever feelings they are dealing with….you notice.
    We will continue to stand up & fight with you.
    love & prayers.

  14. Anna DePalma says:

    My heart breaks for your boys. Charlotte is young and really doesnt understand but your boys especially Johnathan understands and hurts. I hurt for that little boy and your family. Life will never be the same without precious Jennifer. I read your page and it saddens me so much to know how much you are all hurting. All I can do is pray for peace and strength and comfort. Someday God will give you the strength to hurt a tiny bit less but until then hang in there and be strong. One day it might be just a little easier.

  15. Lyndee says:


    XO to the family. You’re amazing, Libby!!!

  16. EMailman says:

    Your words are waves, too, that knock us all down emotionally and then buoy us up to try to make change and bring funding and awareness. But right now there’s just sadness…that joyful girl should still be with us.

  17. JenNJ says:

    I wish there was a way for all of us who care so much to just absorb some of your pain so it just wouldn’t hurt so bad. Prayers for strength and comfort for your family, as always.

  18. […] for the day. Jonathan did the best at making it that way. After staying up to decorate like I shared here  he showered him with love and attention. It was quite incredible to watch him. A beautiful […]

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