Friday, December 5, 2008


Lincoln & Aaron unloading the headstone from our truck...I absolutely love that we get to do so much of this ourselves. That is one great thing about having buried Jackson in Snowflake-there aren't nearly as many rules & regulations as there are here in Mesa, which means we are able to be much more involved.
Jarod (our nephew), Lincoln & Dad...measuring and trying to get the headstone just right. I'm thankful for their hard work. Linc's dad & brother Matt worked hard on the foundation for a week before we came with the headstone.

Megan & I...I found a paper the other day at my parents' house that had one of her passwords to an online account on it. The password included the first letter of everyone's names in our family...including Jackson's. I love how she includes him in her life. :)

Megan, Mom & Aaron

We finished just as the sun was setting. This place brings tender feelings to my heart. Isn't is beautiful?

Jackson's headstone...FINISHED! I love it. I could sit and look at it for hours.

My eternal family...I am such a blessed woman. I have a husband who loves me and tries so hard to support me in my trials. I also have a son who is cheering me on from a place much brighter and happier than this one. Heavenly Father has given me so much!

Jackson's 2nd Bday

A week later we celebrated Jackson's 2nd birthday. It was a hard day for me. It is hard to realize that more and more time is passing, while I still haven't seen my baby since the day we buried him. That day seems like so long ago. The afternoon of his bday, we went to the store and bought two white balloons. The woman who filled the balloons put a blue teddy bear weight on them, without knowing that they were for our little boy. I really liked that. :) Lincoln and I released the balloons in my parents' backyard. It felt like more of a private place than the park or on our little patio in front of our condo. It was a clear day so we could see the balloons in the sky for a few minutes.

Lincoln had to work that night (and had been sleeping before that because he had worked the night before) so I was by myself most of the day. A few of my friends came to visit, which I really appreciated. It is amazing how many people reach out to us at times like this. I went shopping with my mom after Lincoln left for work. Although I don't recommend going shopping when you are feeling sorry for yourself, it did get my mind off things for the most part, and I really enjoyed myself. It was nice for my mom to be willing to spend time doing something that was probably not her favorite or the most convenient at the time.
Since Jackson's 2nd bday I have felt so much more comfortable with where he is right now. It is amazing how much closure laying his headstone & his 2nd bday brought to me. It is a relief, but I also sometimes miss the "milestones" or "significant events" that won't be happening as much now. I love him so much. I can't believe I am so lucky to be this little boy's mother. I know I have said that many times...I just feel that he is a special spirit.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Happy Birthday Jackson

Dear Jackson,

Today, if you were living, you would be 2 years old. Dad & I would have planned a little party for you & I would have been able to pick out some gifts & bake you a birthday cake. Maybe it would have been strawberry cake...that has always been your dad's favorite. I would have held you close & told you how special you are & what a difference you would make in the world. I would have told you what different people you have turned your dad & I into, how you've improved us by giving us the titles of mother & father. I would have made this day about you & the unique role you play in your family. I would have laughed & played & would have gone to bed grateful to have a 2-year-old son. I would have done a lot of things that I am not doing. Our lives would be so different if you were here. I think that I would have felt like I had more purpose & more influence for good. But why tell you what I would have done had you been here? Why not tell you what I am doing now?

Now I am thanking Heavenly Father EVERY DAY (not just on your birthday) that you are mine. I am thanking him for letting me see how much I can love a person, for letting me know that there are certain people who were absolutely meant to be in my life. You are definitely one of those people Jackson. I am trying to tell the world about you, so that they can feel blessed to be a part of your story. I have a stronger testimony of the importance of being sealed in the temple. I have a greater knowledge of what it means to feel people's prayers working in my life. Over & over again, I have been a witness of what it means to "bear one another's burdens" & to "mourn with those that mourn and comfort those that stand in need of comfort". I could list so many people who have demonstrated that perfectly.

I love you. I miss you. Today is technically your birthday (it's almost 3am), but I haven't slept. Yesterday was very hard for me without you here. I tend to panic when your birthday comes because it is one of those days that I just have to face. I can't run away from it. I can't put it in the back of my mind & deal with it later. I can't change what day it is & the reality that I have a son who I've been without for the past two years. Jackson, sometimes it seems like so much longer than that. Sometimes it seems like I haven't seen you in ten years. I don't want to forget any part of you...ever. I feel such a range of emotions. I am feeling discouraged. Yesterday I just sat on the couch and did nothing for periods of time. I just kept thinking that I needed to clean the house & get groceries & do so many other things...but then my brain just kept asking, "Why in the world would you do such a little thing like that when tomorrow is your baby's birthday?" That's all I could think about.

Sometimes I feel lost without you. Sometimes I feel like a huge part of me is missing. Sometimes I just want to curl up in a ball & cry until I feel like I can't cry anymore...& once in awhile I do. But do you know what Jackson? You also make me feel more whole than I've ever felt in my life. You make me feel more grounded than I've ever been. You can even make me feel like I am the most important person in the world & that you don't want to be without me either. You know the experiences that we've had together. I've heard you & felt you close to me. Not many people get to experience something like that. You help me to have an eternal perspective. You brought out a side of your dad that I didn't know was there, & your death made us stronger & happier to be with each other.

I will be thinking about you all day. I will be thinking about every good thing that has come into my life because of you. I will be setting goals & looking for ways to become a better person & a better mom to you. I know that I can't teach you right now, here on this earth, but I hope that I can become a better mother every day by the way that I live. I know that where you're at, you probably don't care much about birthdays, but I want to wish you a happy 2nd birthday anyway. Remember that I love you & that you can do anything. Remember that Dad loves you & remember how happy he was when you were born. Remember the experiences that we had together in that hospital room 2 years ago, & the way that heaven & earth seemed to meet...& help us to never forget it.

Love you,

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Almost There...

We were able to go to Snowflake the week before Lincoln started school to pour the foundation for Jackson's headstone. Dad, Matt and Lincoln all worked on it and it turned out well. It's funny that I can get such a feeling of satisfaction from seeing a slab of cement...but it made me really happy to see that his headstone is almost in place.
I'm not sure why it took us 2 years to get his headstone up. Most of it was just because we thought it would be more expensive than it ended up being, and we just kind of moved on to other things. Now I am worried that once the headstone is up, I will feel like there isn't much more that we can do for our little boy.

We will still have his birthdays to celebrate, which will be nice, but this marks the end of our "taking care" of him and his things. All of his baby clothes have been packed up for a long time, his bedroom is full of boxes of our stuff, and we still only have the same pictures to look at that we had from day one. That is a little hard for me to swallow.

I really do know that this is the right thing for Lincoln & I, & that we will have even more joy than we ever thought possible when we see our little boy again. That will make our reunion so much sweeter...because we know what life is like without him here.

I am also worried because in my eyes my little boy is growing up. That probably doesn't make any sense...but as time has gone on, Jackson has grown up to me. Right now (in my mind) he is a week from turning 2 years old. I feel like I know him and what he would be like at that age...but will I feel close to him and feel like I still know him when he would be turning 5...or 10?

I really hope that I can keep my memories of him close to my heart and that I will never ever forget the way that he felt cradled in my arms or the way that I felt when I looked at his daddy giving him his baby blessing. I hope that I never forget the dozens of flowers that were sent to us or the kind words from people that we hadn't talked to in years. I don't want to forget looking in my parents' eyes and seeing the love that they had in their hearts for their first grandchild. I want to always remember Heavenly Father's love and feelings of advice and comfort. I don't want to forget how proud He was of me for handling the situation that I had been dealt, and for looking for the good in it. I will forever be grateful to Him for letting ME be the mother of this INCREDIBLE boy. Most of all, I KNOW that I will never forget Jackson's spirit being in the room all night with us at the hospital. We had our time with him, even though it was shorter than most parents' time with their child. Because of that, we felt feelings for and from Jackson that don't even compare to anything on this earth. And I will never, ever forget that.

Friday, May 2, 2008


A few nights ago I got out Jackson's box & looked through its contents. I haven't done that in months. I love reading the cards that everyone sent when we had him. You would be amazed at how much others served us during this time...I wish I could list everything that was done for us. It was absolutely INCREDIBLE to witness. I felt like people truly helped us to carry our burdens & that they made them lighter. I love looking at the locks of hair that we cut from Jackson's head. He had the cutest curls. The second picture shows the little bracelet that he wore around his ankle in the hospital. The sheep & lamb in the last picture were given to me by Kristen Spuhler. We buried Jackson with a lamb that looked just like this one, & she gave us enough to all have a matching one like his. I also got a mama sheep. I need to find a place to display these in my home...they are really special to me. When I am feeling down I can always get this box out or get his little blanket out & I immediately feel better. It helps me to realize how incredibly blessed I really am.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

March 2008

I was so thankful for the opportunity we had to go to the cemetery this past month to visit Jackson's grave. We hadn't been there since Thanksgiving, when we left a little Christmas wreath for him. When we arrived there this time, there was another little wreath with it and they were secured to a stick with a gold ribbon on it and tied into the ground. I am assuming that Lincoln's aunts did was such a nice gesture and was much appreciated. It was nice to feel like someone was watching out for our little boy and remembering him! Although I often wish he was buried closer to where we live, I am glad we made the choice that we did. The first time I really felt the weight of Jackson's death was when we were trying to decide where to bury him. I was so upset that I would have to make that decision when my body and mind were still recovering from his birth...I didn't feel like I could make the right decision. Lincoln stepped up and took care of the details with the mortuary and the burial. Then we sat down and listed all of the pros and cons of burying him in Mesa or Snowflake. I feel very comfortable with the choice that we made. I love the Snowflake Cemetery because most times when I go I (or Lincoln & I) are the only ones there. It is so open and beautiful and it has a more personal feeling to it. They don't have as many rules or guidelines as far as the headstones go. I like seeing headstones that reflect each person and who they were on this earth, and the way they touched others' lives. I can't wait to pick out Jackson's!!!

Sunday, March 2, 2008


I won't have many more pictures to post, except on Jackson's birthdays and things like that. I decided to start writing my feelings about him every so often though. I have a journal that I keep and write in on & off. I address the entries to Jackson and tell him about what is going on in our lives. It is so therapeutic! I highly recommend it to anyone who has lost a loved one. I feel like it helps me remember that I am his mother and he is my son, and it strengthens our relationship as such. Lincoln reminded me today that Jackson would be going into nursery in 2 weeks! I really can't believe that. In many ways it seems like we just had him. Lincoln & I both think that Jackson's birth was one of the best experiences, if not THE best experience that we have had in our lives. Heavenly Father has been so merciful to us and has helped us to know that we will see Jackson again. I am in awe when I think of what that one blessing of Jackson being our son has done for us. I will be forever grateful to Him for such a precious little boy. I still miss him but most of the time when I think of Jackson my heart is overflowing with gratitude and love. This has been such a positive experience for us.