Sunday, November 08, 2009

Jack - one year out


It's been a year now. A long year to say the least without our sweet little Jack. Sometimes it almost seems surreal. Sometimes it feels like it wasn't real. Like he was just a figment of my imagination. Because something so horrible couldn't happen to us. Then I see pictures and videos of him interacting with us. Showing off that cheesy little grin. Throwing his head back and so angelically laughing and I'm brought right back down to reality again. He DID live. He WAS here. And that dark hole in my heart reopens itself. The dull pain comes back into play. I miss him. I talked to someone new at church today and the question that always comes up is: How many children do you have? I always say that I have 3 boys and just hope that they don't ask me how old they all are, because then I have to say.."Jack WOULD be...." And "would be" leads to....that all too familiar look of confusion and I have to tell them that our sweet Jackie passed away last year. I simply told her that there was an accident and she said to me, "Wow, you are really handling things well." " If you only knew" I wanted to tell her..."if you only knew". I think there is a big part of me that wants to think that Jack's just on his mission (which technically he is...) and that he's just gone for a time...he'll be back. Because thinking of him being gone for good is too unbearable. We do know that we'll see him again. We'll hold our little toe head with that awful cowlick. We know we'll kiss him and be ecstatic to receive those slobbery little kisses again. We know that we're still and eternal family and that Jack is close. We know that he is closer than we know sometimes. We feel him throughout this house. We are thankful that the Lord allows him to visit as often as he does. We know he's busy up there and we try so hard to be strong. Strong for our boys. Strong for each other. But mostly strong for Jack. We know that he can't do the work that he was so needed for if he's constantly trying to comfort us. But the truth is, it still really hurts. It's not quite the physical pain that it was in the beginning, but that dull ache continues to be a part of our new life. We try to put on a happy face and pretend that everything is fine. That we're still the same happy Tif and Cob we once were, but late at night when everyone's asleep we are reminded that there is someone missing. Someone who should be sleeping snuggly in the bottom bunk in what should be Corbin AND Jack's room. We miss him more than words could ever say. We don't want to play the "It's just not fair" card because that doesn't help us feel any better. He's gone and while we know that he'll be back, we also know it won't be for long while.



On the morning of the 1 year anniversary Coby and I woke to see this (above and below pictures). Our entire neighborhood was decorated for Jack. (I still don't know who did it...but we are grateful still the same.) There were light blue ribbons and 8 x 10 pictures of Jack everywhere. They were tied to every tree, every street light and every fence post. When Coby showed me, I broke into tears. Tears of sorrow of course, but tears more of gratitude. Tears because people still care. The Lord never left us alone. He sent angels
that continue to lift us daily. He used our kind and ever willing family, neighbors, friends, bishop and even an apostle to be instruments in His hands. My testimony has been strengthened immensely because of this tragedy. I know that our Heavenly Father knows us very individually. I know that he knows are hearts. He knows our triumphs. And he knows our sorrows. But what I have learned is that He loves us enough to let us get hurt. He loves us enough to teach us by letting go, trusting and believing in our ability to grow from whatever obstacles rear their ugly heads. He knows that we have the ability to overcome such sorrows. He knows that if we will continue to lean on Him, and do our best, He'll do the rest. He'll ease that pain in the best way possible. He'll send those earthly, kind and beautiful angels with a card, a letter, a comfort kit, a listening ear, a warm embrace, a bowl of soup, homemade bread, massage gift certificates, large donations by some that could have helped their family out more, fun clothes, beautiful flowers, a treated lunch, sweet front door decorators, those willing to do a triathlon PREGNANT and nauseous, a willing heart and a good pair of running shoes and a smile to show that He's still here. He still cares. And He wants only the best for us. How grateful I am to Him for loving me enough to cut me back. For loving me enough to mold me into the direction that only He knew that I need to go.




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Another gift that was given was by a sweet and beautiful girl in my ward. She is thoughtful and kind and always showing the Lord how much she loves Him by doing things for others. Melissa took time to organize a box of letters from anyone that may know Coby and I. She worked on this for months. She had people write us these beautiful letters that told how our tragedy had helped them in a positive light. I read and cried...and then cried some more. Our hearts were so full of gratitude unto so many people that loved us. That cared about us and still continually think of us. People that took no thought but to serve us in a way that can only be described as Christlike. There were so many beautiful things shared that I could probably recite them on command, I read them so many times. I still read them. One letter told me that she limited the number of entries posted on her blog that were about her beautiful little boy (only 7 days older than Jack) because she didn't want to remind me that mine was gone. Friends that would hold their little ones a little tighter and give extra hugs and kisses because of us. Friends and family that still continued to pray for us and think of us daily.
I have about a million thank you cards throughout our house that I am embarrassed to say are still here. And even MORE embarrassed to give them to you now...this late in the game. But please know that I am truly grateful for every single thing that you have done so willingly. Your acts of kindness and Christlike love have NOT be overlooked.


We are eternally grateful to so many. Our family. Our friends. My sweet husband and boys. But are most grateful for such a loving Heavenly Father. We are grateful for the gospel and knowledge that we have of the plan of salvation. We are grateful for the covenants Coby and I made in the Temple. We are grateful that we are sealed as a family with an eternal and unbreakable bond. We are grateful for the knowledge that we know that while Jack's life was brief, he continues to touch people's hearts for good. I think that he is happy to be part of Coby and I. We love our family, our Savior and a truly loving Heavenly Father. May the Lord continue to bless each and every one one you sweet, earthly angels as you continue uplift and inspire so selflessly.


23 comments:

Kunz said...

FOR real. I love you more and more each day. You are amazing. Thank you for this.

Camille said...

What a GREAT post....I guess I was in need of a little cry! Thanks for having such a strong, amazing testimony. I love all the pictures...the blue ribbons and pictures in the neighborhood were just beautiful - I loved it! You guys are so loved...it was just perfect for that day (I only wish I'd thought of it). And I love the picture of all the letters ;). Much Love

abbyandcompany said...

Wow, someone was super thoughtful to decorate like that...that is amazing! I wish I could have seen it! It just shows you how much you and Coby and ALL three of your boys are loved. You and Coby are amazing and I love you both!

McGinnis Family said...

What a tough day for you! How neat, though, that you have so many supportive and loving people around you. What a special act of love and kindness to you, your family, and Jack.

Thank you for your post! I truly felt the Spirit as I was reading it! You are an amazing woman and mother with so much faith! I'm proud of you and how far you have come. Love you and are thinking of you all! You have a wonderful testimony!

Lanae said...

You are so loved, you and ALL of your boys are so loved. You are such an example to me every day. I listened to you talk so sweetly to Emily the other day about loss and your outlook on life and I just look at you and I'm amazed. You still go around and touch hearts and lives on a daily basis.
You're one of a kind, sweetie.
I love you so very much. You're in my prayers every day, and will be for the rest of my life.
Love you so very much. Little

Ang said...

We love you guys!

Miss Molly said...

You are loved. You, Jack, your great hubby...all of you. Jack is not forgotten and either is your pain. Thank you for being so sweet and wonderful.

Stephanie said...

Tif,
Loved this post. I am amazed and touched that someone decorated your street. Wow. Your testimony is beautiful and I think you expressed how this feels so well -- the gratitude and understanding and the pain all rolled together.

I love you -
Stephanie

Melanie said...

I still am amazed that as Coby put it, "I don't think it was by accident" we ended up right by each other in that crazy mess of people. When we started the run my groin muscle was hurting soo bad and I wanted to start walking before we even turned the corner. I just prayed to keep going and eventually the pain receeded. I think life is like that. It's always there but with a little prayer becomes more manageable. Thank you for letting me have that opportunity with you. I'm already getting excited to do it again next year. I think knowing what to expect we can totally shave at least 7 to 10 minutes off our time. So even if you think about it don't get prego until December of next year. (because I don't recomend being prego, nauseous and racing, I thought at the top of that ugly hill I was going to puke or faint.) You're the bomb baby!
Love you

Kim said...

I love you Tiff! You are so amazing and a wonderful example to me. You and your sweet family are always in my prayers.

Janee said...

Thank you for sharing this. Please know we love you guys and pray for you, especially today.

Natalie said...

Wow tiffany. How much more beauty and eloquence could you possess? That was written so perfectly. I loved it. It is yet another testament to the light that you are.

“That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day” (D&C 50:23–24).

I can't wait until your perfect day when you, coby and your sweet boys will ALL be together in body and spirit. In the meantime, keep shining and sharing your light. much love!!!

Katy said...

We love you guys. I am always amazed by you and Cob. I would never know if you were having a bad day or not because you always put on your best face and your sweet smile. I think you are the one uplifting everyone around you.
PS my kids had the best time with Corbin on Sat. we missed you.

Mama Jo said...

Eloquent writing - beautiful expressions of your eternal love for Jack. You faith and strength are inspirational. Thanks for expressing what we all feel - every day - in words. A good cry is a renewal of faith! Love you all.
M/Jo

Andrea said...

Wish we could have seen your neighborhood all decked out! Even though we are far away we still think of you all the time. If you knew how often it might weird you out!!! You are handling it all very well, which to me means that you still continue to trust in our Heavenly Father to get you through this. Let's face it - of course you still break down and ache for your babe. You wouldn't be human if you didn't. But you are still moving forward. Maybe not everyday, but it's the long run that counts. It's a marathon, not a sprint. (figured I'd speak your lingo!) Hope to see you sooner than later!

Caralee said...

Thanks for sharing this Tiff.

Anne said...

We love and pray for you!
Anne

Amanda said...

I agree with all the other comments. What a great post. You are so inspiring to me. I love you

Mindy McGrath said...

Wow - that was beautiful. I am continually amazed by your strength, courage, and beuatiful spirit. Love to you and all your boys.

JGAVILAN said...

My son sent this to me and what an inspiration you are. May Heavenly Father continue to bless you and yours always. I too know that families can be together for ever. It is hard when we loose a family member, but what a comfort to know that we can always have the comfort from both our eartly friends and our Heavenly friends also. My day is complete with your sweet message you have shared. This only confirms to me via the spirit that Heavenly Father helps us through others in this life. Yes angels attend us daily. May the choicest angels continue to be there to lift and carry you through the good and rough times.
Love your sister in the gospel.
Judy Gavilan
O.P. II Ward
Jacksonville, Florida

Anonymous said...

Tiffany,
you are such a spiritual Lady and yet you are so strong. what an exsample you have been to me. I just love to be there with you and your family, and so happy that my Heavenly Father loaned you to me and your poochie, you are so sweet, caring, talented, wonderful daughter to us. we love you so much sweetie and your sisters. hugs, Lady

Bredy McBred said...

What a great blog Tiff! Thank you for writing it:) I love you so much and cannot wait to come visit you all in January:) xoxoxo

Lance Bettie and Calista said...

Please don't put too much effort into being the same ol' Tiff and Cobe. You are so much stronger and you have a grasp on the gospel and a faith and hope that keeps me in awe. The pure love you have for the people around you is radiant and evident. Your trial and the help you provide for people who are also struggling is immeasurable. We love and respect you both sooo much for who you are now and are constantly praying for your family.
We love you!