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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middle aged

September 18, 2014

Hindsight is 20/20 .. what a cruel thing that clarity can be.

Nicholas is 3 now.  He got to be our families superstar 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 combination of the gentle and kind and giving person he is made to be and the loving and supportive big brother Jennifer taught him to be.

i hope so much she is still teaching him.

still finding ways to reach him and impact him

Tony and I were both so proud of the way he was all day with his little brother.. genuinely excited for him and helping him in any way he could in earnest. So we thanked him profusely and shared our pride in him with him. I hope we did that enough for her.

We celebrated his birthday with a trip to Gilroy Gardens like he wanted. I played with him and baby Charlotte in the water for quite awhile. It was good to be with just my 2 littlest ones for that time. I was able to enjoy it better. . able to pretend somehow she was off with Jonathan and Daddy.

Nicholas and Charlotte

Nicholas and Charlotte

We used her pass for parking even though all of our passes include it. It helps me so much to know they are seeing her picture. That some machine is saying her name. That she is part of our trip there.

Another simple thing I will lose with the passage of time.

After a family snuggle on our snuggle couch Nicholas and I baked cupcakes for his birthday and talked about what to do for dinner. We ended up taking them out to a restaurant they had never been to. .. all of them came. I took my heart shaped keepsake with just a little of her remains with us in my purse. I just couldn’t leave for his birthday dinner without her.

Before we left we measured him on the wall.. at 3 he is just a touch below Jennifer at 4. She would have gotten such a kick out of that! I put my hand on his head and tried desperately to remember her at 4. What it felt like to have her come up to me and run my fingers through her hair. It was so long as 4. ..

backward candle blow out at 4

backward candle blow out at 4

I wish I had done more to lock memories like that in my mind. Done more to preserve them. I just thought I had so much more time.

I look back on videos and all I see in them is Jennifer. Its supposed to be all about Charlotte’s first time in the pool yet I zone completely in on JLK in the background trying to hear if she speaks ..I am trying to soak in her expressions. I want to scream every time I pan away from her and curse myself for each moment I don’t jump when she says Mama.

I am forever penalized.. locked in this hell of hindsight regret for normal parenting. For just being mom to all my kids. .. I know it logically but it doesn’t help much because she is gone .. her life cut so horribly short. And 6 years isn’t all that long to look back on and pick myself apart.

We do pictures on the kids birthdays in Tonys favorite jersey. Writing out the number 3 for Nicholas it hit me..

we will never know when we are middle aged. ..

I could be right now. .. I hope so desperately that I am more than that though.. That my years aren’t still counting up .. but rather counting down. Long enough to raise them. To see them grown.. but not too much longer.. I just don’t think I can stand it.

But the truth is we just don’t know when we are middle aged..

i wondered so much on your birthdays

about who you could grow up to be


how to make the day special for you.

i didn’t know there was so much more to be thinking about

i didn’t know to absorb the way you said mama


the way your breath smelled in the morning

oh jennifer

i didn’t know you were already middle aged


…until there is a cure..

  1. doris says:

    Ah, Libby. Look how cute he holds Charlotte! What a sweetie. And that jersey is sooo long on Jennifer. What a good mom and dad you are creating traditions for them. You’re right, it’s important to absorb all the mama’s…. so hard to do in the moments of parenting sometimes. thank you for the reminder, even with big kids!

  2. With Love says:

    Still here, still thinking about Jennifer!

  3. Janis Rien says:

    God Bless.

  4. Linda Blundo says:

    Happy birthday to Nicholas. Jennifer and each and everyone of you are loved so much.. We love you all. God bless you all. ♡♡♡♡♡♡

  5. Linda says:

    Sending hugs, love and prayers.

  6. Christine R. says:

    Still here, still reading, still praying. <3 you guys! And Happy Birthday to Nicholas!

  7. Johnni Herrera says:


  8. Kristen Tredrea says:

    Happy birthday Nicholas. Showering you all with love and prayers from afar

  9. EMailman says:

    You write, “locked in this hell of hindsight regret for normal parenting”….but it’s superlative, insightful, thoughtful, intensely loving parenting, not just “normal.” Every word you write illustrates how much you go above and beyond for your kids. I so much wish you didn’t feel these regrets for what was undoubtedly six years of THE.BEST.LOVE for Jennifer.

    I’m so glad Nicholas had a lovely birthday, as Jennifer “escorted” you into the parking area.

    I have been having dragonfly moments … breath catches each time.

  10. Pegi says:

    You popped in to my mind so I came to see if you posted. I just want you to know I am thinking of your family.

  11. Grammy says:

    I’ve been following your blog from the beginning. I’ve cried as I’ve read your palpable pain but never commented because there are just no words. But the last sentence of this post and the sweet little picture with it caused me to literally suck in air. And I just had to let you know.

  12. Kristina says:

    Your words cut like a steak knife through butter. I want so badly to take away your pain. To bring Jennifer back to you.

    You are strong. I know you don’t think so, but we all know it. We see it. We feel it. I am sending you all the strength I can.

    Love to your beautiful family of six. Forever 6.

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