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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mom of 5.. still..

May 19, 2021

As the world starts opening up again.. (I’m in California.. it’s been slow coming) I miss Jennifer in a different way. Kids starting to play sports and the natural progression of conversations..

Are they all yours? How many do you have?

So I have to decide how to answer … and every time it’s an instantaneous swirl of debate in my head. .. And what I’ve been noticing is it’s changed..

I’ve changed?

Over the years yes.. but also after this time of just us. Closed off.. safe somehow in our own home.

Its been nice in that sense.. Jennifer is of course always always present in our home.. But she’s ours.. We all know.. Anybody we talk to already knows..

But now.. Now as life opens back up .. I open back up to that too ..

I am a mother of 5. Always. I am not ashamed of any of my kids.. the nose pickers.. the tantrum throwers or the dead one. . But the latter is a bit harder for those I am just meeting..

The reactions vary of course .. but there are really a few main ones. .. And actually all are ok..

Wellll almost all ..

Always the taken aback moment.. The surprise and almost confusion..The first few years.. (how is it possible that we have reached the point of first few years?)..

Those first years I could see the palpable pain in their eyes.. But as time passed that changed.. Now at times I sense the wondering of why I am sharing her. Sad uncomfortable information.. Not always of course. But I can for those people see the question flash behind their eyes ..

I don’t blame those who react that way.. Because honestly I really do think I would feel that way too..

But I would have been wrong.

I love my kids. And every day that love gets deeper and stronger.. Whether I get the privilege of seeing them.. of talking to them .. or not. And she still makes me proud. She is making a difference .. Making an impact.. Guiding me along the way in my attempts to do the same.

And as my kids get older I try to be aware of how it impacts them.. And I can’t help but wonder if people treat them differently too.. Mostly just the ones that can’t stomach it.. and somehow think it’s contagious. .. Do the kids see that.

Does it change who they can be friends with?

Do I even really care?

I do. And I dont.

you will always be their biggest sister

There are also the folks that are comfortable asking for more information. .. And even share Jennifer with their family as they come over to watch the game.. I am grateful for these people!

There are the people who apologize for bringing it up.. The ones that just aren’t sure what to say and let me lead the conversation to a new spot. Or just even acknowledge the awkward.. because it is. Of course it is. I appreciate so much all of these people. That they don’t let the hard.. the scary … the unknown push them away..

But selfishly my favorite are the ones who remember.. If I mention Love4JLK or fluttering the ones that even remotely know her.. It really gives me such joy. To know she touched people.. in her all too short life.. during her fight … or through her forever death… It means I am still doing my job as her Mama.. and helping people to know her still..

And of course a ton of other ways happen too..

However for me.. the only people that I can’t get past are the avoiders.

The ones who treat me like its something to get past by just connecting to us. Something to overcome and push away .. And avoid at all costs. . I know we are most parents nightmares.. and they have to be confronted with it.. forced to face the simple truth of childhood cancer.

Kids die. Normal average families.. Our kids can die..

I can only imagine what that’s like since I have never been in those shoes..

It was rare at first. So few people reacted that way.. Or maybe it’s just that I was barely holding it together so I didn’t have the bandwidth to even notice.

But now I do. And I don’t want it to hurt.. but it does. .. Just for a minute. .. And I just hope .. I worry..

for my kids..

I was going to type my surviving kids.. And I know it doesn’t make sense but I mean my kids.. Every single one of them.. Mama to five still.. I hope it doesn’t hurt my kids.. I don’t know if they notice..I hope they don’t ..

i am so proud to be your mom




…until there is a cure..

  1. ErikaM says:

    It was and is a privilege to know Jennifer, and we will never forget her or your family. We have fierce love for all of you.

    • Sheri Toig says:

      Your blog is so important for all
      Of your children and all of my children. I am grateful for the way you share-

      Thank you for raising awareness and teaching us all
      Until there is a cute….

  2. Lucy Sandeen says:

    Jennifer has impacted my life in ways that cannot be measured. Her life, and her death, matter every day. Hugs.

  3. Lynn Cordia says:

    Thank you for sharing your story, Jennifer is and will always be a part of your family and you should always share her with others. I know how it makes some people uncomfortable, I have experienced that with my grandson but I don’t care, he’s my grandson and I will always include him when speaking of my grandchildren. We all love Jennifer❣️

  4. Debbie Price says:

    You are a mother of five. Our munchkins are always with us, regardless of their address (Earthly or Heavenly.) They don’t cease to exist when they pass away. They merely move their location to a different plane. As long as they live in someone’s heart or memory, they still live. Their energy doesn’t cease, it just changes location. That’s why she’s still with you. She will always be with you. Ahmed because you’ve were strong enough to share her physical state and het story, she will louvr into infinity. I think of you often and wonder how you do what you do and the reality is you do it because you simply do. Her story is your story and it’s now part of my story and everyone who hears it, it becomes part of their stories. As your daughter touched your life, she touched other lives because you took the time to share her story. Thank you for sharing. Peace.

  5. jennifer waters says:

    Sadly it was your Jennifer who taught me about DPIG. I wish I could have learned about her in a different way but that was not to be. I have shared her story with many and have also shared in the knowledge of how more research must be done for childhood cancers. Jennifer W Canada

  6. Doris Dorn says:

    I’m so thankful she lived. Such a miracle Chile for you and the rest of us. And so dang sorry she died. Libby and Tony and kids – I appreciate you sharing her with us.

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