changes.. years and reactions..

She should be 9…

I am a mother to 4 beautiful, blonde haired, blue eyed living children. They attract attention. .. and are the catalyst for conversations. I often get asked if they are all mine.. or hear comments that my hands are full. If it ends there I will leave it.. but often the conversation continues and I mention we have 5.. or I just get asked their ages. .

I share my truth. Our truth. Her truth.

That she lived. And she died.

The shock.. they look like they just got slapped. I think maybe part of me has liked that. .. Because that momentary stun that they can’t physically hide is my day to day.. my constant. ..

i don’t think it will ever change.. i don’t think i will ever be used to you being gone.. 

Forever 6. She passed away 2 months ago. .. He is 4, and he is 2 and she is 11 months.. Jaws dropped. No more words were exchanged..They couldn’t make eye contact.

I think people could almost envision this..

Jennifer would be 7 .. she passed away from cancer a year ago. . Stumbling over words and I can’t imagine.

My oldest. .. she should be 8 but she is forever 6. We lost her 2 years ago. . Heads move back. .. like verbal whiplash it seems like people can’t control the physical reaction..

..yes 5. My first .. she should be 9. We lost her, almost 3 years ago. A pause. Slight. And a I’m sorry. But not the same momentary gag reflex.. Not as hard to digest.. .

well not for them at least. Because it seems like 3 years seems to be the start. The start of when its not quite as jarring for people to hear I lost one of my children..

Which is ironic. Because each passage of time checked off ..  it gets harder for me. The words didn’t use to gum me up.. Saying it didn’t make my stomach hurt the same way it is now.

this is actually what it feels like more and more.. please. no. please. no

This almost 3 year marker. It seems to me it might be a turning point. . Easier for others to stomach.. and harder for me..

3 years.. gone for nearly half the time I had you. 

Daddy’s little girl. Middle aged. We had no idea.

.. harder for us. Tony has found it to be much harder this year also. Enough so he was moved to share it on his own Facebook wall.. which is unlike him. And Jonathan drew a picture at school of him crying .. and how Jennifer helped him when he was sad.. All of us fighting that pit in our stomachs from swallowing us .

he was right..she always took such good care of him

3 years. I realized today.. as I sat in the car and collected myself after this mornings conversation.. That when she died .. 3 years seemed like forever away. I   was pretty confident I wouldn’t make it.. that there was no way I would survive 3 years without her..

but I have.. well almost.

And the morning  gripping my steering wheel waiting for the knots in my stomach to loosen.. I realized that in 3 more years.. we will be staring down the barrel of her being gone longer than we had her.

un-fucking-imaginable.

right now it feels like forever away. right now it feels like I won’t be able to survive that long. won’t be able to survive that nauseating milestone. ..

but I’ve thought that before haven’t I?

I sat there absolutely terrified. My baby died. And its already become old news. .. Even to those just hearing it for the first time. People have moved on… but me. I feel like I am sinking.. into the depths of February.

And I came home to a package on my front door.. with a card that simply said she  is with me and remembered. . .and a few hours later.. A frozen meal. Because this is my dark time.. and Jennifer matters. Because she is remembered. And so are we.

Charlotte took the picture as her own.. just like the glitter picture of her sister that was sent to us a little while ago.. Since they are the same size it only made sense!

I am still scared. So beyond scared that I cannot even begin to explain the depths of my fear. That she will be forgotten.. that I will be forgotten..

But now also gratitude. Immense. Intense. Gratitude.

These 2 simple acts of kindness. Of love filled empathy. .. they allowed.. or perhaps they forced me to open my eyes.. and my heart to see. . .

The people that choose this. That choose to cry with me.. remember her with me. And the ones that fight with me to create change… The ones that bear witness to my pain.. almost 3 years later.

These are the ones that she reaches out to .. the ones that reach back .. and allow her to touch their hearts.. and maybe even whisper in their ears..

and then I am reminded..

you love me

so much.

 you will never let them forget you

 because

i need them to remember .

thank you. and thank them.

Charlotte took the picture as her own.. just like the glitter picture of her sister that was sent to us a little while ago.. Since they are the same size it only made sense!

…until there is a cure..

 

 

20 Responses to “changes.. years and reactions..”

  1. She will not be forgotten. I have friends who lost children and they honor and celebrate them in many ways throughout the year. They always say they have “3 children, 5 children – whatever includes their angel” when anyone asks. One always includes two angels somewhere in their Christmas cards and this is 27, 28 years going on. I can’t imagine your pain but the fact that you are a survivor is a blessing to all of your children. They are blessed with the incredible love you and Tony give them.

  2. She is remembered even by people who have never meet her and will never meet you. Every word I read and every word I take to heart…..sending you love.

  3. She is remembered. I never met anyone in your family, though I have been to Mama’s Night Out and run with Team Glitter. Jennifer has touched my heart. Your blog hits me deep in my gut because I know it could be my girls, or a friend’s child, or a family member, any day. So I share facts, I fundraise, I get out of my comfort zone and I go to events. #dontbesorrybeactive has become a motto in our house. Because of you, because of Jennifer. She matters. 💖💖💖💖💖💖💖

  4. Jennifer will never be forgotten. Last week I was telling my sister about her and your blog. She watched her glitter video and was really sad. I’ve been with you and Jennifer since the beginning, she will live forever in my heart.

  5. Jennifer will never be forgotten! Sydney will not be forgotten. My only mission is to keep raising awareness. Keep telling our story, no matter how painful. LIbby, you have helped me immensely- I won’t forget that, I won’t forget you!

  6. Jennifer is remembered everyday. 3 years later and I’m still here reading and loving your family, and letting others know her story and your truth. Our truth. Saying her name. Sending love and light always.

  7. Jennifer will never be forgotten. Our family flutters and walks She is Beautiful all because of your sweet girl💕 Always wearing my LOVE4JLK gear also- until there is a cure….

  8. I never met you or Jennifer, but I want you to know that her star shines brightly for me and that I weep with you and for you.

  9. Libby: Jennifer is remembered in my heart and I’m so thankful I got to meet her and make the butterfly pink glittery bouquet for her. (I’m a glitter girl too) I always get a lump in my throat when I read your blog. I think of her, you and Tony, and your other children and how they are growing so fast. I pass on Jennifer’s story and take every opportunity to inform people of how little funding goes to pediatric cancer. Sending you love and peace.

  10. My son turned 6 the day you posted this. On his birthday, I was thinking of Jennifer. She certainly will never be forgotten, Libby! We think about her often, as well as you and your entire family. We talk about her, your journey, and promote pediatric cancer fundraising, awareness, and support efforts. You’ve opened up hearts, eyes, and ears across the globe and are making an impact in many ways.

    Jennifer will always be remembered. Sending you virtual hugs from Sacramento. xoxox

  11. Always remembered… never forgotten… never will be. Still here… still reading… <3. Love and prayers for all of you.

    Karen (All the way in Nebraska.)

  12. I still have the card that Jennifer signed in crayon to me. Aunt Christina sent it as a thank you for a donation I was happy to send. I think of her, you and your beautiful family often and I pray for all of you. Never, ever forgotten.

  13. I came here to catch up on your blog I think I only missed two posts. I think of you your family and Jennifer daily. Today three years ago I shared Jennifer’s celebration of life. I reread it. I remembered the first time I desperately prayed god would just flick that tumor off her brain. It was January I started following your story and caught up on your love4jlk blog posts. I last commented that things were improving for Parker, I am following his story. Not anymore, Parker is dying. I’m praying but we all know how it ends. Jennifer and Gabriella opened my eyes about dipg. Parker showed that Jlk and Gaby have made a difference. There was a small hope for Parker. It’s been dashed. We will never forget Jennifer. I for one am still praying.

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