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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one day

October 7, 2014

We had a wonderful anniversary trip. We walked and spent time together.. and we struggled and we fought as we tried to figure out how to navigate missing the same 6 year old girl in such vastly different ways.

I need to talk about her. About all the memories and the moments. Tony needs to escape it more often then not. He looked at this weekend as a time to get some respite from our grief.. A chance to be husband and wife for 48 hours.

I looked at it as a time to grieve together.. uninterrupted.. A chance to be mommy and daddy to a girl in heaven.

one day

We were both right in what the trip should have been..

The thing is we both failed to share our expectations with each other.. both assuming the other had the same mindset. It all came out over dinner on Saturday .. when I was staring at a fish tank that took me back to some horrible memories. Walking in the night along the beach together we shared what we both need. .. and how we can give that to each other.. after a few f-bombs were also exchanged I am sure. I honestly can’t recall that part.

But I do remember stopping and watching the waves glittering in the night. The moon reflecting looked like giant specks of glitter moving and dancing.. mesmerizing.

I do remember holding his hand.. talking.. crying.. silence.. laughing.

one day 3

We have to be so on top of our marital game to keep this from destroying us.. a huge fear I have.. but not one of Tony’s. He trusts in how committed we are to each other and this family of ours. And I appreciate him so much for it.

Although I am scared I have faith we will stick together through all of this , I know we are forever changed and that means rewriting the rules. In all areas of our lives really. . Nothing is untouched.

We didn’t just lose our daughter 7 months ago. . We lost our entire lives… every single relationship is changed turned upside down and inside out. .Some can’t handle this level of grief.. some don’t know what to say or do.. but many.. they love us. They love her and they are sucked into their own pain and loss.  And the thing is I don’t have the energy to work on making sure those survive.. and are ok. I know its awful and selfish. I want people to care.. I want people to invest in me.. but I simply do not have it to give back. It takes all of me to keep the 5 of us afloat. . To maintain us.

…and I think I am realizing that may not change anytime soon. 1 yr will not be a magical point that losing her is somehow better.. soothed.. Quite likely the 2nd year will be harder than the newness of the first.  Unfortunately I will find that out soon enough.

We lost everything we once had when she took her last breath…


We lost our children’s innocence.. we lost relationships. . we lost Christmas.. We are in that magical time.. when they believe so wholly in Santa.. when they actually understand it enough.. but not too much. 5 and 3 and 1. .. and forever 6. I remember sitting in my hotel in Palo Alto.. writing.. trying to brace myself for the unbraceable. I remember writing this. .

i hope i was right baby girl

i hope he is there..

i hope you are ok

It is so hard not knowing .. so completely unnatural to not know what its like where your 6 yr old is.. To not feel her arms for so long..

I thought of Jennifer constantly while we were gone.. I shared about her and Unravel with some other people staying at the Inn with us. On the last morning I went for a run on the beach.. Lyrics came through those headphones.. singing to me .. sometimes it felt like messages from her. So I sang along.. and I spoke to her.. and the ocean and the sky seemed to mimic how I felt. Grey.. heavy and churning ..full of energy.. power.. emotion. one day 5

 Still in half moon bay driving past where the pumpkin festival is I thought about if we should come.. but then quickly decided against it, after all I am sure most of the fun is eating the food and I there would likely be little gluten free food she could have.

It was like a car slamming on the brakes.. The realization piercing into me..

she is not there.

she is not waiting for me

Even though I talked about her..  missed her throughout our trip it was just natural for my mind and heart to pretend. To feel like all my 4 babies were at home waiting for me.

Nicholas opening the door surprised to see us there. The smile.. the hugs... makes coming home feel like home.

Nicholas opening the door surprised to see us there. The smile.. the hugs… its what makes coming home feel like home.

its the sudden hits that are the worst the ones. I went to Ross today for Tony, walking in we saw all the Halloween stuff immediately there. I wanted to grab the kids and run screaming out. My ears started pounding… my heart beating so quickly.. I remembered shopping there last year. I remembered trying to buy stuff that would be good for Halloween and also serve as decorations for her upcoming birthday party.. I remembered when money was my biggest worry.  I don’t even know where any of that stuff is I so painstakingly picked out …

Luckily what I was looking for was also right in the front so I was able to play it off and hustle my 3 littlest kids to the car.. It took me a few minutes of sitting in the car letting them eat snacks to shake the haunting remembering off of me. To get back in the present with them. Till now.. when I have the time and space to allow myself to remember.

i hope you see me cry

and know so much more than me..

know that it will all be ok.

one day.

i miss you

one day 2

..until there is a cure..

  1. Melissa says:

    Libby my heart hurts for you…so completely, physically , heavily….hurts for you…

  2. Bridget says:

    I feel like I never stop being amazed by what an inspiration you are but I feel the need to say how inspiring you are specifically in your relationship with Tony. This is the thing that can break people and break couples. Your honesty throughout the bad and commitment to the good is incredible. I have told you how you help me be a better mother. Now I am telling you that you help me be a better wife. Thank you.

  3. Linda says:

    Sending hugs, love and prayers.

  4. Emily says:

    You do continue to inspire so many to be better mothers and wives. I continue to pray for you and all of your family as you navigate this horrific journey.

  5. Linda Blundo says:

    My motherly heart hurts so much for you. I am so sorry. We all love you ALL so very much. All the love hugs and prayers I can possibly give to you always. ♡♡♡♡♡♡LOVE4JLK FOE 6♡

  6. yvette says:

    Big hugs for you and dragon flies flutters. Jennifer and your family of 6 forever in my heart..

  7. Kari says:

    You are a tremendously strong woman and this window into your journey that you’ve allowed us all to peer through has inspired and transformed many, including myself. Before virtually “meeting” you, I’ve never written letters to congressmen, I’ve never discussed the statistics of pediatric cancer and the lack of funding over dinner with relatives and friends, I’ve never donated to support a cause. You, my dear Libby and fellow mother, have made a difference….an impact. For all its worth, just know that you’ve changed us. You inspire me to pay closer attention to my own children, to let unimportant things slide, to turn “no’s” into “yes’s”, and to teach others how they can follow in your footprints. You are making strides each and every day. You give us hope and I want to thank you for all you are doing. Jennifer is always in our hearts and prayers, and so is the rest of your beautiful family. Virtually hugging you all! Love4JLK!

  8. Lyndee says:

    Always thinking about all 6 of you. Praying that you have comfort at some point, at some level. You’re amazing, Libby. Thank you for sharing this painful journey. I learn valuable lessons daily.


  9. So glad that you and Tony got to get away for the weekend. I know that no matter where you and what you do Jennifer will always be a part of your life .Having a strong marriage is important because alot of the times the death of a child does ruin marriages and relationships. I think that you and Tony are their for each other. When one is down the other one is their give support and comfort and that is so important. Praying for your family and hopefully someday soon the pain will ease up just a bit and just know that one day you will be able to wrap your arms around Jennifer and she will be able to wrap her arms around you.

  10. Kristen says:

    Thinking so much of you and Jennifer this month, I am praying and hoping for something to help ease your pain, to help you remember her in your arms. I know this month will be hard, I have no idea how hard. Breathe, cry, love, remember! Hugs Libby Hugs for you and your Jennifer- Forever 6 xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  11. Kristen Tredrea says:

    Prayers for you to hold on. Prayers for peace. Prayers for knowledge that Jennifer is ok

  12. Erika M says:

    You are an extraordinary couple. Your strength, your support of each other, even the F-bombs…they keep it all intact. I adore the photo of you two at the beach. You are definitely so in love with each other.

  13. Michawn Giovannoni says:

    I’ve watched your story from afar (only in MH) praying for you, loving on you in my mind. Today I signed up to run the SIB race and joined Team Glitter for JLK! What makes it more special is that I now walk GPS halls as a staff member, praying once again for you and yours. I hope that each day is a bit easier and that the hard moments are a tiny bit shorter. This first year I’m sure is the hardest. May God bless your days and your faith to stay strong in your relationship.

    P.S. If there is one place in the Bay Area to soothe your soul, you picked the right spot! I instantly knew where you were with the balcony shot, I’ve spent a few soul soothing weekends there myself. You will heal, to the best of your ability, you will get through this. In the meantime, know that so many are praying for you all!

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