honor her

Its kid time for us right now. Time we had planned to celebrate all the great things about their sister and about them. To show them in actionable and tangible ways how much they all mean to us.

…but you know how the best laid plans always seem to turn out..

Rain. Sickness ..

The first day went ok. Tony went into work for just a half day. While he was gone the kids and I wanted to watch video of Jennifer. But I struggled to find any. They got frustrated. I did too. Just a thing they wanted.. memories of her moving. singing. talking. With them. But I couldn’t provide it right away. Eventually I found some.

We watched her learn to swim.. we watched her swim by herself and we watched her pretend to swim for a gold medal she had made for herself during the summer olympics. A completely unintentional theme.

It sinks in though.. tonight after their bath Nicholas stayed in a bit longer.. look at me mommy i’m swimming. Wish I had caught on then.. wish I had let him stay in a bit longer.

Nicholas, Daddy and Jennifer
Nicholas, Daddy and Jennifer

Videos of her are still so hard for Tony. I think the boys know.. I think they can sense his tension and pain hearing a voice that will forever be locked inside our memories and technology brings to their Daddy. We watched a bit more and then Jonathan went and got Frozen. Can’t believe we have never watched it with them before. Can’t believe how much we watched it these past days a year ago. This was us a year ago..We still have what Tony and her drs built for her sitting in her room. One of the few things that is because he can’t part with it.

 

honor10

So we got blankets and laid together on the snuggle couch. Me and my 3 men. Watching it I realized.. maybe thats why she wanted to go to the snow so much in the end.. For the magic she believed it held..I wonder did she think it would heal her?

I got Charlotte up for the end of the movie… I felt like I needed to have all three of my still living babies with me for that .. and because Charlotte watched it with me all those times in the theatre with her sister.

Then we listened to Let it Go sung in every language you can imagine and danced.

We had a good dinner and dessert together. We had planned for time at the beach and large amusement park they have never been to. But the rain was supposed to be heavy.. so we came up with other plans. Rainy time play and then bowling. We had a lazy morning and then waited for the rain to pick up.. and then we waited some more. I looked up hourly forecast and it had turned to a much lower chance.

damnit

I remembered taking her home for hospice. Knowing we couldn’t go to the borrowed beach house like we had hoped. .. But that was ok.. because she said she would rather play in the rain then be at the beach in the rain. ..honor8

.. we never made it outside though.. sorry lovey.

Again that now familiar feeling of letting them down.. of things being out of my control. That feeling I am not a fan of. So I changed it up. Said lets go to the park and play on wet slides. Jonathan picked a park.

The "web" at spider park
Nicholas in the “web” at spider park

 

The one Jennifer had dubbed the spider park with my mom. The one we released balloons at the day after her funeral. He was very insistent in wanting that exact park.

They found worms..
They found worms..
Jennifer didn't mind them either.
Jennifer didn’t mind them either.

They had fun. But then we noticed Charlotte really wasn’t feeling well.. so we cut it short and on the way I asked if the boys wanted to go to another park walking distance from our house. They went for it. When we got there I asked about hiking instead.. and they jumped on it.

We had fun. We had great talks. We planned on finding rocks to paint to take to Jennifer’s spot.

At one point I shared that I regretted not doing this with Jennifer more often. Taking the big kids out for a hike. Jonathan looked up at me and asked why didn’t you mom? “Ahh well.. ok.. Well because I didn’t know she would move to heaven so young. I counted on having a much longer time with her. And we can all learn from that can’t we? Learn to take advantage of the moments we have.”

He nodded seriously. yup.

I looked down and saw the rock . . the one to help me remember that always. To not take time for granted to the best of my broken ability. I was so sad right then.. that she wasn’t there.. But I forced a new focus. To the immense gratitude that I got to be their mommy. That her struggle .. her being stolen from me, from us taught me that.honor5

And the rain started falling on us then. It didn’t stop after that. We found a huge mud puddle… Then another. They got pretty wet. We walked home together. Each taking turns carrying her keepsake in our hands. And it started to really pour down on us. We got to our street and parts were flooded. I called Tony to meet us outside. And the boys and I played right in front.

We were so soaked.. not a single inch of us wasn’t covered in muddy cold rain water. .. It was good. Really really good. I needed that win.honor11

thank you sissy miss.

We had to stay home that evening. Charlotte was just too sick to take out. So we had a picnic in front of the fire with frosties.. she loved those.. One of the only mainstream treats we could buy since they are gluten free.. and we roasted marshmallows.

Today we did do our bowling date and we took Charlotte to the doctor. Not exactly the special time I had wanted but we did the best we could. ..

Tonight Tony took Jonathan to his first Sharks hockey game. He told him right before they left. .. I think he did that so I could be there and see his reaction. It was perfect. He was excited and felt really special. .. knowing his Daddy could have taken anybody with him.. but he choice our Jon boy. They needed this time for just the two of them.. because they struggle too.. I won’t go into it now since  it would be.. ok ok who am I kidding.. it will be a whole blog.. but they are so similar.. These two guys I love… They needed this time and I am so glad they got it.honor

I got to go out with Charlotte and Nicholas. Let Bubbas be the big guy. In someways it was easy just to be with them. The hole where she should be isn’t so pressing. Those two get along just like Jennifer and Jonathan did.. So now our not supposed to be threesome of kids is always lopsided.

Even Nicholas noticed the sunset. And right after we noticed it seemed to fade away. I feel like she wanted us to know tonight was just right.. The perfect way to honor her with her brothers and sister.honor12

jennifer

nothing is complete

nothing is full

nothing is right

without

you.

 

honor6

…until there is a cure..

 

19 Responses to “honor her”

  1. You teach all of us mommies so much. I am sure Jennifer loves how you honor her through her siblings. I am sure she is so proud of all of you and the work you do in her name.

  2. I have been reading your blog for over a year and so many times I wanted to leave a reply but I always found myself speechless! I’m still speechless but felt the need to finally reply. Why today I don’t know. I think because it is coming up on her anniversary. My love and admiration for you and your family is so strong and yet we have never met. And Jennifer….God, I just love her!! I see my own daughter in her big brown eyes and silly expressions………..
    Hurts my heart to read your posts and look at her pictures every day but I cannot NOT read them. I owe it to you, Jennifer, and all the sweet babies that are gone too soon…..With love and prayers from Maine <3

  3. Libby,
    I read your blog everyday! Your words are so honest, pure and inspiring. You are honouring your daughters legacy so beautifully. That one story of your daughter helping out her classmate, truly changed me. I make sure I think “what would Jennifer do” and go out of my way to make others laugh and help in any way I can to make someone’s day a little better! This blog has pushed me to try to fight for a cure for Children’s cancer.

  4. I love that last picture. The one where you are kissing Jennifer under the umbrella. So sweet. I just love the way she’s standing there with her little legs crossed and sneaking a little look at the camera with a cute little grin on her face. So precious. You are in my thoughts and my prayers daily. Thinking extra special thoughts this week for all of you.

  5. I had to tell you that my daughter was talking to her friends at school about the Glitter Lemonade Stand that we are organizing to benefit Unravel. And now that friend wants to host her own stand! Spreading the Glitter!! In honor of Jennifer!!

  6. Sending extra prayers against that mommy guilt. You prove with every post how awesome you are. Your kids are so thoughtful and tenderhearted.
    Thinking of you always, and sending special prayers during this time.
    with love & prayers

  7. The sunset tonight made me think of Jennifer. It was so pink and so beautiful. Actually for the past year anytime there is pink in a sunset I think of Jennifer.

  8. The love in this blog reminds me why I come back every single day to read your words.

    I wish life could be life the fairytales, could have its own little bit of magic. I would have brought Jennifer all the snow in the world if it would have saved her. I hope she did believe that, I hope she did believe up until the last second that everything would okay and right in the world. Children have so much hope and believe anything CAN and WILL happen. I can see that you encourage that in your children too. I hope I do that as well.

    My dad had posted some videos of the rain online, showing me how hard it was raining at his place in Gilroy. It makes me happy to know you guys were splashing away enjoying every second of it.

    This blog really spoke to me, thank you for sharing!

  9. Such raw, honest words. And such beauty in all four of your children. I’m so sorry forever for all of you. Thank you so much for sharing so much of your grief, and your amazing Jennifer. She is inspiring me in more ways than I could have imagined. To always do more to fight childhood cancer, to always be more present – with my children, with everything…she is leading so many people and her life will continue to make a difference. Always. ❤️

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