smiles and tears

Why? Why? 

oh jennifer. 

i just want to hold you. i wonder what you would be like this Thanksgiving. 

I wanted to write a positive post. One about how all the many things I am grateful for.

My living children. My reason for working for hard for Unravel. Because I need to try to keep them safe. I owe it to them to fight the biggest danger they are likely to face in their young lives. .

Jonathan, his effort- Navigating being a big boy and this newfound role of our families oldest child. Bridgette, her pure- smiles and giggles and tears. Honest emotion to whatever she is feeling.

He is so proud that he gets to carry Bridgette.. just like Jennifer did with Charlotte.
He is so proud that he gets to carry Bridgette.. just like Jennifer did with Charlotte.

Nicholas, his depth- learning to trust in his moral compass which is true north. and stronger than any I have ever known.

He wanted a picnic in a fort. And he wanted all of us to join him.
He wanted a picnic in a fort. And he wanted all of us to join him.

Charlotte, her joy- how she radiates pure love to everybody she meets.DSC_0501

I am so lucky to be driven crazy and fall more in love everyday with these children of mine.

She should be here. She should be still adjusting to say she is 8 years old. ..

My husband. Tony. He makes sure I know I am loved in big and little ways every single day. He is the epitome of a man I want my daughters to one day be lucky enough to marry. Strong and supportive and my very best friend.

As I snapped these I noticed that all of my loves are in the frame..
As I snapped these I noticed that all of my loves are in the frame..

Her handprint should have joined her siblings in their thankful for daddy art project.

Grateful for all the people that chose to support Unravel. Our “glitter squad”,That still care about me. And my daughter, she didn’t have the time to make school friends.. . the time to let other kids remember her forever so its my job to do that now. It was a year ago we did our glitter photo shoot.. (the kids still love this video of that day.. I think it helps them remember) and I realized how all the things I was learning about pediatric cancer was like glitter…

 I know its hard. I know its so sad to read.. to remember and to be scared of it happening to you. I am grateful for people believing in our mission. .. especially when its so hard for me to keep fighting.

At a recent event to benefit Unravel. With Renee our executive director and Colin from Fred Hutch.
At a recent event to benefit Unravel. With Renee our executive director and Colin from Fred Hutch.

I should have more to do for her than taking care of her grave. 

Thankful for my friends and family. I am a taker. Not a giver. A bucket with holes. But people choose to still call or text. Choose to be in my life and forgive me my faults over and over again. They speak her name.. they visit her grave… they watch our kids.. they allow my dark cloud to be theirs too.. attempting to lighten my load. ..over and over again.

I debating posting a picture of just one of the many... But this was a night we needed.. without even knowing it.
I debating posting a picture of just one of the many… But this was a night we needed.. without even knowing it.

I want to be a good friend, daughter, sister and auntie again. 

Grateful for my gym. Often times the only thing that gets me out of the house lately. The thing that forces me to be social .. and helps me get out of the shell I want to hide in every day lately.

The kids are even getting into it now.
The kids are even getting into it now.

she should be playing sports .. I should be watching her

I feel like I should be able to concentrate on those things this year. Not on the empty place at my table. But I am. I’m sorry but I am. It’s so big right now.

i love the side eye she was giving me.. Its a component of our relationship.
i love the side eye she was giving me.. Its a component of our relationship.

I hope that by allowing myself to succumb in front of my computer screen it will allow for me to embrace the good deeper and fuller tomorrow. Although it can never ever fill the place she should be… my hope is it will keep me buoyed .. keep me from drowning in missing my daughter. .. and maybe I can do a little better than simply just marching through..

A tiny bit better than just surviving this year. 

I read a quote by A bed for my heart recently it read “…feel whats present and what’s missing without an once of guilt.” I am trying to empty out the dark depths of what’s missing to allow in more of the light of what’s present.

I am learning there will always be both.. the present and the missing.. so my goal this Thanksgiving is to embrace both.

And allow it to be ok. ..

the smiles and the tears.. Both physical reactions to the depth of my love. 

jennifer lynn.

i am so thankful for you

the 6 years i got

and how you teach me so much still.

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…until there is a cure..

4 Responses to “smiles and tears”

  1. I am thankful for you sharing your beautiful girl with us. For showing me how to be a better mom to my own daughter. Thankyou. Jennifer will be in my heart and always in my thoughts. Jennifer, We love you forever. ♡♡♡♡♡♡

  2. I feel still such a kindred spirit to you who I have not met. We are navigating our first year without Kyanna who was 7 and had DIPG. Your words are so meaningful, insightful, raw, and true. I am thankful for your words and knowing that we are not alone in this pain. Your girl is beautiful. I am certain that our girls are playing together. They are in so much better shape than us. We have to know that and take comfort in that.
    In the meantime, we wait. And we CAN be thankful for what we have, but notice what is missing at the same time. It IS OK. Thank you for your words. Happy Thanksgiving. 🙂

  3. love and prayers sent to you and yours daily. we just bought a house and I put my dragonflies out in the very front in hopes someone sees and asks.

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