My Jessie Journal:: Hi Sweet Pea, it’s daddy! For the last seven years I have written to you every Thursday and I’m thinking today will be my last weekly post. I guess you can call it my “new years resolution”. I’m sure I will write to you once in a while but it’s time for me to “move forward”. Rest assured, I’m not “moving on” from you as that would be a total disgrace and I will NEVER FORGET YOU. I have to “move forward” with you in my heart. I know if you could communicate with me you would totally understand and say “Go daddy. I love you!”. As you know, I talk to you many times a day and that will NEVER stop!!! I’m so thankful that my weekly posts have helped others. That was never my intention but I’m so grateful my pain has given others perspective about life, grief, faith and being a more present parent and never saying “just a minute”.
Jess, I miss you so much and my heart still breaks for the pain cancer has caused you, mommy, Shaya and JT. The rollercoaster I call “grief” will still be my daily ride as I navigate life with a massive hole in my heart and soul. There is NOTHING that really can fill it…not time, not memories, not the foundation…just you! It’s just the life all parents who have a child in Heaven face and deal with on a daily basis.
I can’t believe in just two days we will be apart 7 years or 2,557 days. I remember Jan 5th 2012 like yesterday. I might have forgotten the smells. But I still remember mommy waking me up at 4:30am, finding you breathing hard on the couch, having to make the call to the hospice team, calling loved ones, hearing you say “lub you”, being told that you had moved to Heaven, calling the funeral home and getting you in their van. Those sights and sounds will NEVER leave me. Well, not as long as I can remember. I’m sure the day will come I forget due to age. Please forgive me now for those lapses in my memory. As you know I just turned 50…in some ways I feel 70 and in others 30. I think extreme grief ages you. LOL!!!
This picture is my favorite of the thousands I can pick from. It’s just you and me. A “daddy” trying to comfort his “daughter”. You were not feeling great and I was doing all I could to help you in your pain. Any parent would have done this for their child. Someday I hope I can hold you again like this. Maybe it will be by a beautiful river that flows through Heaven and you can tell me all about your time there.
I want you to know that “daddy” is doing good and so thankful you left me with a purpose. I truly don’t know if I would be “good” if it wasn’t for those 64 oz jars stuffed with love. We just went over 250,000 JoyJars sent to kids in 41 countries. WOW!!! Seeing every smile helps my heart heal. To think this is all because you asked mommy and I…”How can we help them?” over 7 years ago when we were leaving the hospital. Those five words have forever changed my life, our family and the landscape of childhood cancer. So proud of you!!!!
Your little phrase NEGU (knee-goo) has been adopted my thousands of families in the fight. I believe in my heart thousands of others have also been impacted by it. I promise you I will still do EVERYTHING I can to help those fighting this terrible disease. In NO WAY am I giving up…I will NEVER EVER GIVE UP!!!! I truly don’t know if I will “Help every kid fighting cancer Never Ever Give Up” in my life time but I will do all I can. You would be so proud of the team that works so hard for you each and every day. They might be small in numbers but they are sure mighty. All they want is the cure people to put us CARE people out of business. That would be a great day…NO MORE CHILDHOOD CANCER!!!
I’m also remined today that we always called you JESS and that someone told us that it stood for “JT, Erik, Stacey and Shaya”. How crazy is that? Our four names make up your name. God is so good. Mommy, Shaya and JT are also doing good. Not sure I can say they are “great” but they are good. Mommy is leading your foundation. Shaya is getting ready to graduate with three degrees and I know will make the world a better place. Like you, she has a massive heart to help others. JT is finishing up his junior year in HS and is in such a better place emotionally, physically, spiritually and relationally. Mommy and I still see our counselor to help us navigate this rollercoaster. Mr. Moe is being everything a 6+ year old dog would be…fun, wild and full of love.
I have ended every one of my posts the last 7 years with “See you in a wink, I promise”. I remember the day we talked about Heaven and how the Bible says it’s like a “wink” in time. I told you “I promise” and it’s a promise I stand on. I’m not sure the last 7 years have felt like a “wink” but I have to trust in a much bigger purpose. I will SEE YOU AGAIN and if that is “in a wink” then I’m all in!
May you rest in peace until we are able to reunite. May your life be filled with joy, love and amazing friends in Heaven. May you NEVER worry about me as I’m ok. Please visit me in my prayers as often as you can.
It’s time to board my rollercoaster and see where it takes me next.
I love you forever and miss you so much!!!!
PS: I think I’m going to collect all of my past Jessie Journal’s and make a book. Someday I will read it to you while we sit by the river=))).