Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Visiting the Cemetery: December 2011

A visit to the cemetery in December 2011:
When we arrived at the cemetery, we found that someone left a rose in front of Jackson's headstone...
And Lincoln's aunts left some flowers behind it...
(Lincoln's aunts do this every year for the family graves. It makes me so happy to see that someone left something there when I couldn't!)

Jarod & Claire came to the cemetery with us and played in the snow...
We planted tulips on Jackson's grave...
Kylee helped too...
The kids performed tricks in the snow for us before we left...
And yes, bending over is one of Kylee's tricks...

Jackson's 5th Birthday

Written in October 2011:
Jackson would have turned five years old this year. His birthdaywas hard for me. It was hard not being around family & friends who went through his death with me. It was hard not being able to visit the cemetery. It was hard realizing that more time has gone by since I saw him & that those memories fade more & more each year. 

However, I know that Jackson's death has helped our family in many ways. It reminds me of what (& who) is truly important, about how much Heavenly Father cares about me, about the power of other people's prayers in our behalf & of the fact that the Lord has a very specific plan for us here on earth. How grateful I am to have learned these lessons!

My sweet friend Verenice invited me over to her house the morning of Jackson's birthday. I've learned by now that being around people on Jackson's birthday is always very helpful. Verenice & I let the kids play together while we watched The Bachelorette finale. Sure, it probably wasn't the best thing to remember Jackson by, but I just wanted to be distracted & it definitely did the trick! :) 

The cute kids hanging out in their diapers...
Verenice & I made cupcakes to celebrate Jackson & took them to my house to share with Linc when he got home from school...
Family picture...
(I'm pretty sure that it was past Kylee's naptime in this pic!)
Verenice: THANK YOU for being so kind, thoughtful, supportive & compassionate. You helped me so much that day!!!

That night, Lincoln & I ended up going to P.F. Chang's with Heather & Josh. It was so good. Then we drove around Mexico like crazy people, made a late-night Walmart run & played Hide & Seek in the Dark at our house. Like I said before, it wasn't the best way to remember Jackson, but it sure did take my mind off things. I hadn't laughed so hard in a long time. 

And now, a note to my little boy:
Dear Jackson, 
I love you & I miss you. You hold such a special place in my heart. You made me a mother. You helped me learn more about grief & heartache & love. You helped give me a stronger testimony of the plan of salvation. You are an amazing person. I will continue to try to live a worthy life here on earth, so that I will be able to be with you again someday! Kylee told me yesterday "Jackson...heaven...missionary." I believe that you are blessing others right now with your sweet personality & strong testimony of Jesus Christ. I sure am blessed to be your mom! Happy 5th birthday.

P.S. I'm disappointed that we didn't do the "white balloon" tradition this year, but we will definitely do it again next year!

Visiting the Cemetery: July 2011

Written in July 2011:
We went to the cemetery after church, both Sundays that we were in Snowflake. It felt so great to be in that peaceful place once again with Lincoln & Kylee. The Easter basket that my friend Lindy left by Jackson's headstone was still there. I love watching Kylee at the cemetery. I can't wait for her to get to see her brother one day...
 I really can't believe that Jackson would be turning 5 years old in a few months. My heart honestly aches when I think about it. BUT we are an eternal family & that is what matters most. Those relationships are stronger than death & I'm so grateful to have that knowledge! Visiting the cemetery helps us to refocus on what is important: OUR FAMILY. I'm so thankful that we are able to experience this earthly life with Kylee...

Easter 2011

I realize that I'm extremely sporadic when updating Jackson's blog. Since it's been almost a year & a half since I've updated, I thought it was time!

Written in April 2011:
Last week I started thinking about Jackson a lot and talking about him more often than I usually do. I know that Jackson is where he is supposed to be, & that he is happy & safe. I do wish that I could see him and talk to him though. I just don't know how to be a mother and not feel a void when one of my children is missing from everything that we do. With that being said, I am SO, SO thankful to have the knowledge that I will see him again and that he IS a part of our family, even though he isn't here with us. I love Jackson so much & feel incredibly privileged to be his mother.

I was talking to my friend Lindy a few days ago, and found out that she was in Snowflake visiting her parents. I decided to ask her to go to the cemetery when she was able to, to put a few flowers on Jackson's grave. I've never asked anyone to do that for me, but this is the longest I've gone without being able to go to the cemetery myself, and I won't be able to go for 2 1/2 more months. 

The next day I received these pictures in my inbox from Lindy...
Lindy's daughter Brooklyn is the same age as Jackson would be. This picture made me smile so big. I'd like to think that Brooklyn & Jackson were friends before.
Lindy offered to go to the cemetery again the next day and put a little note on Jackson's grave from us. I tried to find a cute quote & background, but realized that a little note from the heart was better than anything...
It says "Happy Easter Jackson! We love you and are so excited to see you again someday. Love, Mom, Dad & Kylee."

I hope that everyone who went through Jackson's death with us knows how much we appreciate their support & love. I am so thankful to have a friend like Lindy who has so much compassion and understanding. The Easter bouquet that she (& her mom) put together for Jackson is beautiful and the little Easter sign that they made is so sweet. This was one of the best gifts I've ever been given. Thanks so much Lindy!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Few Cemetery Pics

Here are a few pictures that were taken at the cemetery at the end of 2010. Now that we are living in another country, I really miss being able to visit Jackson's headstone. The Snowflake Cemetery is one of the most peaceful places on earth for me! For now, our visits to the U.S. twice a year will have to be enough. 
 Family picture October 2010

 Lincoln & Kylee
December 2010

December 2010

We love you Jackson!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Jackson's 4th Birthday

Jackson's 4th birthday was on September 13th. The day before his birthday, we released balloons at the cemetery in celebration of Jackson. Unfortunately, one of the balloons popped right after we got there, so we tied the popped balloon to two others, and let Kylee release one herself. Not what I planned, but that is ok. :)

While we were at the cemetery, Lincoln talked with me about his grandpa's conversation with President Hinckley about our situation...and President Hinckley's assurance that Jackson would be ours. We had already received a personal witness of this, but it was so special for us to learn of the prophet's confirmation as well. I love talking with Lincoln about the amazing things that happened to us right after we had Jackson. This was just one of those memories that we will have with us forever.

It was a beautiful day & I loved spending time with my family and remembering how Jackson has touched all of our lives.

Lincoln giving Kylee her balloon to release...
Trying to eat it instead...
Happy birthday Jackson!
Kylee watching the balloons in the sky...
My eternal family...
The few days before this were kind of rough, but Jackson's actual birthday went well. I have two friends who call me every single year on Jackson's birthday and talk with me about him and what happened. It is the most thoughtful thing and makes me feel so loved. This year, I also had three other friends let me know that they were thinking about me on his birthday, plus my sister gave me a sweet gift, and my parents had us over for cake & ice cream to celebrate Jackson. 

Jackson's birthdays are hard, but they help me remember everything that I learned on that day, 4 years ago. I became a mother that day, grew so much as a person, and my relationship with Lincoln took on new meaning. I felt pure, Christlike love from so many people around me, and felt their compassion, sympathy, and sadness. It was a very unique, sacred, spiritual time for me. 

I miss Jackson more than I can explain, but I am so happy that he gets to be where he is. He's a special little boy and I feel so privileged to be his mother.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Blog Gift...

This past Easter, a girl named Michelle (who we've never met) wrote angel baby's names on Easter eggs & took individual pictures for the parents, then posted them on her blog. I was touched that Michelle would think of Jackson & our family in this way. Click here to view the blog that she keeps in memory of her little boy. Thank you Michelle.