Friday, September 16, 2011

Listen to your Auntie

Read at Jack's Memorial Service on Monday:





This is a message from Anna's Sister, Jack and Margaret's Auntie.

There is much more to say about Jack than I can possibly take the time for today. School friends remember him as smart and kind and funny and the life of the party. I’d like to tell you about the Jack I knew and loved and will celebrate for the rest of my life.

I have always marveled about how smart Jack was – he was an artist, a brilliant reader, a mathematician, and a serious student of the Bible. He was so gifted in so many ways. He loved creating stories and solving mental puzzles. During our last visit he and his mom solved a logic puzzle that the rest of the family had to Google to solve.

And as most of us know, Jack loved his Legos. Jack’s passion for Legos was bigger than life – they were not just a toy to him, but a creative element and a very likely future career. Even when he was very young, he built complicated sets that would challenge adults. My kids and I always thought that Jack would become an engineer or an architect. He was curious, careful, methodical, and tenacious in his studies and his relationships.

He was always conscious of doing the right thing, even when everyone around him didn't see things his way. In that way he could be very serious. But he also had a lightness about him. I understand that he could get silly at school, but the Jack I knew was the kid I would want my kids to hang around to keep them on the straight and narrow.

Things weren’t always easy for Jack, but as he grew into himself, he settled into a place of joy that I pray each one of us will find again someday. He was an authentically joyful person. We know that joy is different from happiness. I am not trying to paint Jack as constantly giddy. I am talking about a deeper joy despite circumstances. What a lesson. Jack found joy in school, his friends, baseball, his church and above all his family.

He so loved his Sister, Margaret. He knew Margaret was special…full of light and life and love. He knew he was blessed to be her brother. Jack never teased Margaret like other brothers do- he never took his little Sister for granted. He was Margaret’s partner, her playmate, her best friend, her protector and her comforter. She was all of these things to him, too. Margaret’s loss is immeasurable.

Jack was also such a gift to his cousins. He and Isaac loved late night talks about anything and everything. He wow-ed his cousin Caroline with his intelligence and humor. Jack was a great listener. He cared about them and who they were and what they loved. He became genuinely excited about their interests. He often put his own ideas and desires on the back burner to allow others center stage. And doing this made him happy, not jealous. This was the source of Jack’s unique joy – it came from his unusual ability to internalize the joy of others and keep it for himself. To let it become a part of him. He did not express envy in the face of others’ success, or boredom when people expressed interests he didn’t share. He was able to take on the joy of others and keep it for himself. Instead of allowing the joys and successes of others to diminish him, he allowed it to fill him up. Jack also was the joy of everyone who loved him.

This tremendous loss is ours, not Jack’s. I am confident that Jack is blessed and whole and perfect and finally getting all of his questions answered at the feet of his Savior. My prayer is that God will somehow redeem OUR loss in this life. I am desperate to find ways for Jack’s legacy to live on in my life. I am determined to find redemption in this heartbreak. …I am aiming high. In Jack’s honor, I want to-

Be kind. Jack was a gentle, loving and kind soul.

Pay attention. To details, to other people’s feelings, to God’s work in my life and in the world.

Think.
Quiet time is time well-spent. Jack asked good questions and took this time to think through good answers. He also knew that some questions would not be answered in this life, but that contemplation has value anyway.

Play. Be creative, experiment, think things through from every angle and share my gifts with the world. When I enjoy something, I want to enjoy it BIG. And play together. Throw a ball in the yard, even if the to-do list beckons. Snuggle and chat at bedtime, even if it is late.

Never give up. Focus on my call, my art, my joy, my task and see it through.

Be patient. Good things are worth waiting for.

Internalize the joy of others. I pray that God will help me learn to do what Jack did…. To find my own joy in the joy of others. I want to relish other people’s happiness regardless of my own circumstances, like Jack did. My beloved nephew Jack was unimaginably selfless for a 12 year old. Jack found the secret to lasting joy. Borrow it from others and keep it forever.

In closing, I will tell you one last lesson we can learn from Jack’s life. I believe that Jack’s ability to find joy was a gift given to him by his parents. There is no parent on Earth who loves his or her child more than Tim and Anna love Jack and Margaret. Not a day of Jack’s life passed that they failed to tell him how much they loved him, how proud they were to be his parents. There is no child who felt more secure in his parents love than Jack did. He was taken from us too early, but somehow Anna and Tim filled a lifetime of love into Jack’s twelve years.

So Please- for our Jack –

Be Kind.
Pay Attention.
Think.
Play.
Never Give Up.
Share Others' Joy.


And every day- tell your loved ones how treasured they are.

229 comments:

1 – 200 of 229   Newer›   Newest»
Kelley said...

Amen.

You're all in our prayers.

Love.

mrscravitz said...

WOW! The tributes in honor of Jack are inspiring and heart touching. Jack is teaching me something every time I read about him. Jack was an extraordinary boy! As are all of you! If only my life could be as well lived as half of Jacks! There is a lesson in all of this and only time will let us know. THANK YOU again for sharing. {{{hugs}}}

NanaDiana said...

What a wonderful tribute! Your Jack sure made an impression on everyone that came in contact with him. I like to think it was the presence of God showing through- xo Diana

Leslie said...

Praying, over and over, throughout the day. Barely a moment goes by that your pain isn't heavy on my heart. And so I keep praying for all of you. I really mean this - the prayers won't stop.

Chris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer said...

I agree with Mrs. Cravitz- Jack is certainly teaching me something every time I read about him! What an amazing boy. It is definitely a credit to his parents as well. So happy to hear that he was so loved, happy, and joyous.

xo

Chris said...

I'm listening, Auntie. And, I will share these words with my husband and sons...for your Jack...in his honor. Keep aiming high. I think you're hitting it. Peace, comfort, strength and love to all who know, love and miss Jack.

Elisa @ What the Vita said...

What beautiful words for a beautiful boy. Thank you so much for sharing. I haven't stopped thinking about Jack and your family. Still praying for you all. xoxo

Yanet @ 3 Sun Kissed Boys said...

Wonderful words to live by.

barb said...

Liz, that was beautiful! Thank you for sharing "your" Jack with all of us!

Headless Mom said...

Thank you for sharing more of Jack with us. I continue to send prayers of comfort and protection to all of the family. Your sorrow is deep, but He is stronger. God bless.

Anonymous said...

God doesn’t make mistakes. It’s possible that Jack’s ultimate sacrifice was planned from the beginning – his gift to his community, and even to the world. Think of the hundreds – even thousands – of people living differently because of this event, and paying it forward into the world. Mothers and Fathers who will be better parents, kids who will be nicer to each other, people everywhere living with more gratitude, humility, and grace – all because of Jack. Jack had a gift to bring, and bring it he did. God will continue to bless you as you struggle to live without your beautiful son, who blessed this world so greatly.

Ali said...

That was beautiful, Auntie.

Anna and Tom, I do believe your son has started a movement. This past week, in the midst of tragedy, thousands of us from all over the world have gotten to know your family through photos and your words and, in turn, have looked to bettering ourselves. Many are trying to restore their relationship with God (myself included.) Others are striving to become better parents. Some of us may have even developed a newfound interest in Legos.

But one thing is for sure: ALL of us now hold a special place, a joyous place, in our hearts for Jack.

Lou Cinda @ Tattered Hydrangeas said...

Another beautiful tribute to such a precious young man...I will take these words to heart...and I am and have been praying for you and your family every day...

and I will continue...

Lou Cinda

LauraC said...

Anonymous said exactly what I was thinking. Our Heavenly Father does not make mistakes; he creates beauty from ashes. The more I read what you so graciously share about Jack, the more I see his influence spreading. His life is reaching far and wide and making a difference for good. In this black, black, horrible darkness, take comfort in that. We are all blessed by his life, even those of us who did not have the privilege of knowing him personally. You shared him with us. Thank you. You are continually in our prayers.

Jen said...

Beautiful, I didn't know Jack but I know he is an amazing kid raised by amazing parents. God Bless you!

Jill said...

I loved seeing this again. Beautifully stated on Monday. And means just as much now! Sending lots of love to you my friend ... via hugs, support, and almost-daily text messages (hope you know they're mine). I'm here for you lady. xx

Ann Imig said...

These are beautiful goals--ones that I will consider as well.

Thank you for allowing us to better know Jack through your words.

I, too, pray for all of you, for the strength to bear this unbearable loss, your loss (not his, as you described so beautifully)

Marinka said...

What a beautiful, loving tribute. I feel so honored to read it and to see Jack through your eyes. Thank you.

Stimey said...

This is so lovely to read. It is so clear how much his time here mattered. And he still matters so much to all of us who learn about him through you. As always, sending my love.

Jennifer said...

Inspiring. Words to live by.

Julie said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. I am still crying, but feel so blessed. I look forward to meeting Jack someday in heaven. He sounds like he's one remarkable kid. Although I didn't know him, your descriptions of him have moved me and hopefully have nudged me a little more towards a better life. Thank you for sharing about him. The Lord is probably laughing with him right now. I'm so very sorry for your family's great loss. I will continue to pray for each of you and especially for Margaret. You are a very good auntie.

Mediterrangirl said...

Beautiful tribute to Jack. As a Vienna resident, I can say that his delightful soul has inspired me and others beyond words. When I drive by and see the blue ribbons all over town in his honor, I feel how significantly your boy has affected this community: he has brought out the best, the love, the support, the human connection. We're all thinking of your family. God bless.

Anonymous said...

The tributes are so beautiful and meaningful. We should all aspire to aim higher...thank you so much for sharing the past few posts with everyone.

I hope you feel the love and prayers sent your way by many who have never met your family.

Lady Jennie said...

I have a feeling I'm going to be crying every time I click on this blog for a long time.

But at the same time, every post is so precious to read. There is no question that the loss is this world's and not Jack's. There is so much to learn, even so much to celebrate about who he was.

I know that's what the angels are doing.

Cat Alford said...

He sounds like an amazing, creative, intelligent kid. My husband and I have been talking and praying for your family each night at dinner. Last night, he said - I think we need to learn a lesson from Anna & her husband. We need to spend time with our kids, take them places, and never put it off. You know we don't have kids yet but it's opened up amazing discussions. Your family really is a model. I know parenting has it's challenges but you shared yours with humor and grace throughout this blog - and now of course the worst has happened and you keep praying. Ultimately we hope we can be just as great of parents as you two some day. Please know you continue to be in our thoughts daily.
xoxo
Cat

Leah C said...

Such a beautiful, loving tribute...words I want live by. Thank you for sharing the gift of Jack with all of us. Keeping you in my prayers...

Julie Gatherum-McGuire said...

I am drawn to your site just to see how you are doing and I come away each time feeling honored to hear the tributes regarding your wonderful son. What beautiful words about a beautiful boy.

Julie

Kim Elkins said...

I am a complete stranger in Nashville, TN. I have cried over this little boy, having a 12 yr old Jack myself, it hit home.
For my part, I can tell you that I have hugged, hugged, and re-hugged my kids with the thought of your loss.
I have found myself sitting at stop lights, tearing up as I pray for your family to somehow make it through.
I pray you will all be able to see the lives he touched, even a stranger like myself.

The White Farmhouse said...

Every time I come here and hear about Jack I leave amazed. He accomplished so much more than people 3 times his age by touching the lives of those around him. Anna I admire your strength and courage to get through this and talk about it. I don't know if I could be so gracious. I have made sure, more so lately, that my kids know how proud I am of them and how much I love them. Jack still continues to make life a little better by touching even more lives. I believe his legacy will live for a very long time. Thank you for sharing such a personal and painful part of your life.

K A B L O O E Y said...

I'm going to put up this list where I can see it everyday. I hope my Jack list reminds me to focus on these goals because I have a ways to go. Then again, I didn't have Anna as my mom.... I know I've been a kinder, more patient, less stressed person these past few days because he's been at the forefront of my mind. I'm sorry for your family's loss of nephew and cousin. He really does sound like a remarkable kid.

Elz said...

What a beautiful tribute and moving words. I will remember them as I live my life. I did not know Jack, but wish you comfort-all your family and friends, especially now when the pain is so raw. God bless.

Christen said...

"Be Kind.
Pay Attention.
Think.
Play.
Never Give Up.
Share Others' Joy.

And every day- tell your loved ones how treasured they are."

I'm going to write this down and post it on my mirror where I can read it each morning. Thank you for sharing this tribute.

Your family is always, always in my prayers.

Fizzy Liz said...

I was so sad to hear of your loss. I hope you and your family are doing okay.

~Tablescapes By Diane~ said...

amen.
The tributes in honor of Jack are inspiring and heart touching. You all in our prayers.
love.xxoo Diane

Vodka Mom said...

what an amazing tribute- by another amazing woman.



love to you all.

Beverly @ The Buzz said...

What a special boy Jack was! I wish I could have known him. ((hugs))

Susan said...

So, so beautiful.

Jessica {Team Rasler} said...

Jack was blessed not only to have you as his parents and Margaret as his sister, but this lovely lady as his auntie. And he in turn is touching so many others' lives. Off to share this everywhere. Thinking of you and sending more prayers.

Anonymous said...

The way with words runs in the family, I see! What a lovely, loving tribute from his auntie. Aunts tend to be pretty special people, don't they?

I think it's such a blessing in so many ways that you have this blog. It has given and continues to give you an outlet, and it allows us, your friends who are not near and dear, to be here for you and to give you support and strength. You hang in there. We are here for you, in whatever fashion you see fit, as you work through this unimaginably difficult time.

jbhat

Kim @ A Brush of Whimsy said...

Thank you so much for sharing about Jack. He has touched so many of us, and I hope in some way, that knowing that, brings a ray of sunshine to your family, especially precious Margaret.

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e/Mrs. Seaman) said...

When my mother died, and then, years later, my father, I eulogized them. I remember thinking, "How can I tell all these people all the things I want them to know about Mom...about Dad?"

I know I realized in those moments of grief and panic that we'd be telling stories about our loved ones for the rest of our lives.

My husband says he knows my parents through the stories I tell.

I've been thinking of Margaret a lot. There's no need to keep him alive, he lives! But you can always, always share him with others by telling stories about him. People will want to know, people will be wistful, and you can let them know they can know Jack when we all meet up in Heaven one day.

I know that doesn't fill the hole of him not being present with us, but I also think about how big that hole would be if we didn't know where he was.

The most important thing about Jack, from what I can tell from reading this blog before he died and now after, is that he lived while with us, and he will live on always. Such a powerful, powerful knowledge about a boy who was always seeking truth.

Heidi said...

Such beautiful words. Thank you for sharing them and Jack with us.

RottenMom said...

Every day I visit here, I learn a little more about Jack. Thank you for this tribute and the words to live by. Continued prayers for you and yours for the strength to make it through each day.

anymommy said...

Oh, I absolutely will. In Jack's honor. He's already making me a better person.

You are all in my heart.

Meredith said...

That was a wonderful tribute. I continue to pray for your family.

Joanna said...

I love this. Still praying for you and your family.

Charlotte said...

Ever since I heard this devastating news, I have kept your family in my thoughts and prayers. I can't even begin to imagine the loss you are feeling, but I hope you can find some comfort in knowing that so many are sending good vibes and strength your way.

xoxo

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

These are wonderful lessons for all of us. Jack was obviously an amazing boy; thank you for sharing what he taught you.

purejoy said...

What a beautiful, loving tribute. I'm sorry I never met him, but feel I had, thru your blog. May Jack's legacy live on through the lives he touched. Continuing to pray!

Law Momma said...

You are still in my thoughts and prayers every day.

Anonymous said...

Hope Jack doesn't mind..or you..but I have started saying "what the johnny".......

Loukia said...

How touching, how lovely, how beautiful. Words to always remember. You're always in my prayers, Anna.

mssharealot said...

Continuing to pray.

the mama bird diaries said...

Anna - I've been thinking of you so often. Just wanted to let you know. xo

Anonymous said...

I can say that it is absolutely possible to love people you've never met. I love you and your family and feel so sad about this loss.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Smiling through tears.

And absolutely paying attention.

Love you.

A Speckled Trout said...

I stumbled onto your blog at the worst moment of your life. I am immensely sorry for you, your husband and your daughter. It is very clear that Jack was an amazing kid and how very loved he was. And what shall The Jack Project be? I'm sure you'll think of something to move his spirit through this earth, and when you do, shout it out, for there are scores of us who would like to be spokes in wheel of Jack.

The Empress said...

I just can't tell you how sorry I am.

Danielle said...

Thinking of you and praying for you daily. My son is 10 and can be very hard to love sometimes. Jack changed that. The past week I have poured into him more deeply and have seen more change in him because of that than ever before. Thank you for sharing your son with us. One little boy is better because he was here.

Cheryl said...

God Bless and keep your precious boy. And may He bless you with patience to see this eough part through to peace. Thank you for sharing these words.

Mrs. E said...

I, too, happened upon your blog at the absolute lowest moment of your life--and my heart breaks for all of you. BUT, you are such an example for all of us. I don't know Jack's story, why he is gone, or anything else about your family-- but I do know that you and your family are very special and the epitome of grace under horrendous circumstances. That we may all face life with your courage! God Bless you all!

Formerly known as Frau said...

Beautiful post and tribute to such a special boy. I want to be more like Jack we can all learn from him.

Mrs. E said...

Reading your past posts, I stumbled upon this one http://aninchofgray.blogspot.com/2011/07/fear-not.html

Irony? Or...God knows what we need before we need it.

Anonymous said...

A lot of strangers, from far and wide, are rooting for you. Take it a day at a time. Thinking of you.

alexandra said...

Jack has a wonderful family. I hope you are finding snatches of peace during this surreal time.

Jen said...

This is beautiful. Your family's strength and faith have really touched me. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Lynn said...

I keep coming back by to check on you. I know it doesn't help you, but it eases my heart a bit. Still thinking of you and your family.

Anonymous said...

I am amazed at how Jack continues to touch my life each day. As I pray for you and your family, I think of Jack. In doing so, I work daily to be a better parent. I stop more to appreciate moments, hugs and simple gestures. You are all so often on my mind and in my heart. I know Jack is in a better place. I am sorry it had to be now, so soon. But I imagine -- while she is her own person -- your daughter also shares the same amazing qualities as Jack. And eventually she will, again, fill your lives with joy, laughter and happiness. The picture of her on the first day of school making the silly face reminds me so of my own silly daughter. I hope as her heart heals she will soon be able to be the same silly, carefree child.

You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Regards,
Julie

Beth Darrow Condon said...

Anna, I am thinking of you and your family every day, and checking in since I found out about your blog. I have read previous posts and have loved seeing your honest, funny, and heartfelt writing about your life since I knew you back at Marshall. You have made such a great life for your family! Your arms must be aching for your boy right now - I hope God is bringing you comfort, little by little.

Karen said...

I can't begin to know the sorrow and grief you and your family are experiencing. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Indeed... for all of our loss.

Jack sounds like an amazing young man.

Anonymous said...

What a cute picture --- he looks so much like his Dad. Still thinking about these words daily.

Robin said...

Anna, I don't know if you are even reading this comments at this point. But I just felt prompted to let you know that I think about you and your loss a million times a day. I don't know you, I had never even read your blog until Ann Imig posted in tribute to you and to Jack, but your story is not just a story to me and I am compelled to pray for you several times a day. For whatever measure of comfort it may give you and your family, God has pressed you into the hearts of others and I, for one, am praying for you as often as I think of you.

Julie said...

I've already commented on this post. But I'm just checking in tonight to see how you are doing. I'm always thinking of you and your family.

Julie

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss.
Did Jack suffer from Rett syndrome? Some other disorder? You allude to his challenges several times and I was curious if they might have been medical.

Kim @ A Brush of Whimsy said...

Hi Anna...just checking in tonight, and letting you know I've been thinking of you, your husband and little Margaret.
Hugs~
Kim

K said...

Beautiful. Still praying.

Nicole said...

Your family, and most especially your little girl, have been on my mind. I know you'll find your way through this, I know it will take a long time for the pain to dull (but never go away), I know you will become closer in your grief, and I know I will never forget the face of your beautiful son. My heart breaks, but so much love sent to you through this portal, from a stranger you don't and probably never will know.

Lisa G. in CT said...

Continuing to think about, cry for and pray for you...

Katie said...

Thinking of you. This is such a tragic loss. My heart goes out to you, truly

Cheryl said...

Still thinking of you, your husband, and your daughter. Think of you all the time.

katie t said...

my thoughts and heart are constantly with you.......

xxxx

Michele said...

Anna, your family has been in my prayers for days. I cannot imagine what you must be going through, but know that there are many people grieving your loss. I will continue to pray that God will comfort you through this difficult time.

one blessed mama said...

praying.

A Mother's Thoughts said...

Jack was such a wonderful little boy!! I am so happy that the Lord put into the path of so many people . It sounds like he made a positive impression with everyone that he came into contact with. My thoughts are still with your family, through this hard time. I hope that the Holy Spirit has put His Hands on your hearts and minds and has helped to guide you through this ordeal.
Lynn

PeachPrenni said...

I loved reading this tribute to Jack! He reminds me so much of my 10 year old, Jake. I think they would have gotten along just fine. I especially loved the lessons Jack left behind..in particular learning to internalize the joy of others. What an amazing way to live! Thank you for sharing more with us about this special boy who will live on in our hearts. I am thinking about your family every day and wishing you peace.

for a different kind of girl said...

This is a beautiful tribute, and I'm truly going to do what I can to aim high, too. Praying for you all.

Melanie said...

This is beautiful and wonderful. It really has been great to read and get to know about this wonderful boy and the life he led. What an example to share with my own boys...

kelly summers said...

wow. i am so sorry for your loss, but so thankful that there is a huge list of great things to remember! jack seems like a truly unique spirit. definitely sending prayers your way!

Ange said...

i will.

Julie said...

I am tremendously sorry for your loss. It sounds like Jack was an incredible young man who will be missed by many but never forgotten. I cannot imagine the pain that you are experiencing, but I believe in a God that knows exactly how you feel, because he saw his son's life end as well. May He bring you comfort and peace in the days ahead.

KJ said...

Prayers, prayers, prayers.

May love, light, peace, and blessings surround and comfort you.

Chrissie said...

What a wonderful tribute! He sounded like a brilliant boy. It is a wonderful way to be remembered and I know that he will continue to be beside you, in both heart and spirit.

Chrissie

Laurie said...

Thank you for sharing Jack with each and every one of us. Sending peace and love to your family.

Erin Lindsey said...

I can only hope we can all move forward taking Jack's aunt's words to heart. The world would be a much better place if we could all live with Jack's spirit in mind. I have never met your family, but I hope to give you some comfort in knowing your son's life and legacy has a far reach. He has touched me, and I'm sending so much love your way in hopes of helping you heal.

Just Kerry said...

Jack is the same age as my son... I cannot imagine the heartache... My heartfelt prayers for you... Jack sounds one of kind. Bless you

Jessa said...

wow that was a beautiful sentiment. I've never had the pleasure to meet Jack and I can see that I and the rest of the world has lost an amazing young man. Your family is in my prayers during this difficult time, may your heart find peace... and I will do my best to honor Jack by

Be Kind.
Pay Attention.
Think.
Play.
Never Give Up.
Share Others' Joy.

As a future teacher, I hope to teach our children this same message.

Wendy said...

What a lovely tribute. I'm very sorry for your loss. I'll remember your words.

Anonymous said...

What an inspiration young Jack is for all of us.

Hope said...

Jack sounds like a wonderful young man, and I am so sorry for your loss. Please know that I am praying for your family as you mourn, and the Lord comforts the broken-hearted.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Jack sounds like a wonderful, bright and inspirational little man. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Do Not Weep - by Mary E. Frye
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry.

I am not there.

I did not die.

Han said...

Hey Anna,
I have a little brother (well he's 23 now so not so little!) and the idea of ever losing him really makes my heart hurt. I am so sorry for your lose.

My brother loved Lego growing up as well - we'd spend most of Christmas Day building his latest set and things like that.

Jack looks like such a sweetie in the picture - I'm so sorry for your loss.

Amberlee said...

Words can not describe how my heart hurts for you. Please know that your family will hold a special place in my prayers as you try to heal from his tragedy.

Roxanne Schwandt said...

What a beautifully written tribute to your beloved son, Jack. As wonderful and amazing as the words are that describe your son, I know how absolutely difficult it still is to loose a loved one. I recently lost my husband and we have one miracle son. It's just he and I now, and Daddy is gone in heaven. I find strength each day asking the Lord to help me carry the burden. Understanding the WHY is not nearly as important as some people may think. The Lord has all of our lives mapped out for us already, and it's our job to live them to the best of our Christian and human potential. It sounds to me that is just what Jack did in his short lifetime. Find comfort knowing that Jack is in his ultimate home that God had planned even before his conception. Peace be with you.
Lovingly,
Roxanne Schwandt

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your unspeakable loss. I will hold my sons closer today and try to pass on the words of wisdom contained in this wonderful tribute to a bright young life. Be strong as you face the struggle to find peace again. This mother's thoughts are with you.

Bay Park Dream said...

Sending you so many positive thoughts, prayers, and love.

"Be Kind.
Pay Attention.
Think.
Play.
Never Give Up.
Share Others' Joy.

And every day- tell your loved ones how treasured they are."

I will remember and practice this....

Abby said...

My heart breaks for you. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers

Patti Morfeld Kublawi RN BSN said...

keeping you in my prayers for comfort, knowing your foundation is your faith. patti

Anonymous said...

I'm so, so sorry. I don't even know what to say. I'm only 22 so I can't even begin to imagine what it's like to love a kid, let alone what it's like to lose one. Take refuge in the fact that at least he's up there watching you and with you - he's sending you his love always, and he knows when you send yours.

Nicole said...

Wishing I could hug you from California. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers. Jack has already helped me to appreciate the joy of life today. Sending Love to hold you up.

terra said...

A beautiful tribute, and beautiful words to live by.

Being Shaelicious said...

You don't know me, I am just leaving you a love bomb. I am so sorry for your unspeakable loss. Thank you for sharing with us. I wish you strength, courage and healing. Much love to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing what you've learned. May you find peace as Jack has.

Anonymous said...

I come to you as a Love Bomber - I am so sorry for your loss. What a great tribute to Jack. I will always think of and pray for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful story about Jack. We can all learn some valuable lessons from this amazing little boy. I'm so sorry for your loss and will keep you and your family in my prayers!
God Bless!

Anonymous said...

That was a beautiful memorial... I feel like I know him now and will certainly try to remember to follow those guidelines you placed out to be more like him. Everyone needs to remember those but not everyone thinks to look inside and figure out what's not exactly on point as to why they're not quite as happy as they used to be. Those are a good outline to someone who couldn't be anything but happy. Jack sounds like a beautiful soul, and he will live on in all of us.

Anonymous said...

You don't know me and today is the first I've heard of your terrible tragedy. I'm leaving you a love bomb thoughts, prayers, and hugs for your and your family. That was a beautiful story about Jack. My heart goes out to you and your family.

Nancy said...

This was an incredibly beautiful tribute to your nephew. It also held a lesson for me today. Love from Nevada at this difficut time. (Love Bomb.)

Tricia Orchard said...

What an inspiring and beautiful post to honour Jack.

I am so very sorry to hear about your loss. Jack was obviously a special boy and my heart and thoughts go out to all of you.

Thank you for reminding us (even in your time of loss) to do good things every day.

Sincerely,
Tricia

Petra Raschig said...

Life is a precious gift and you and Jack are so precious. May you have strength in your love for the days to come and we thank you for reminding us of the power of love through this amazing tribute and the importance of every moment.
Mamaste

Tammi said...

I am sorry for the loss you are experiencing. As someone who doesn't know your family, thank you so much for sharing the details of Jack's life and love with us. Know that the lessons you learned from him are now lessons for all of us. I love the way you described his way of internalizing the joy of others...so beautiful, so inspiring. Thank you.

Jessica said...

Thank you for sharing these thoughts, so that Jack's life might be an inspiration to us.

May God bless you with peace and the knowledge that much love and prayers are being sent your way.

mcb1219 said...

I am profoundly sorry for the loss of such a wonderful light in your lives.
Today (and everyday) I will:
(Be kind) Smile and offer help to those I see.

(pay attention)Watch the world around me and

(think) ponder how I can make it better.

(Play) Spend time re-learning the simple joys of children- and today we will build the biggest Lego thing we can, in Jack's honor.

(Never give up) Remember to focus on my passions and realize they are worth the pursuit

(Be patient) while knowing that things do not always work on my time schedule.

Internalize others joy) Listen to what fills others with joy and find inspiration from them.

My God Bless you and wrap you in His comfort.

Kristina said...

I have been on your blog for a good 30 minutes at least, reading all about your beloved Jack. What a handsome boy, happiness radiates from him in all of the photos. I am so so very sorry for your loss, I wish I had some works that could comfort your breaking heart, but I know that no words can do that. All I can say, is that all of the tributes and words about Jack are so touching, and heart warming. And I'll be praying for you and your family. Much love and prayers to you!

Mikayla said...

What a beautiful story of love about a beautiful soul. You are in my prayers. Love from Missouri. (Love Bomb)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. Lifting you and Jack's family up as you go on this journey of life. Thank you for posting these lessons for all of us to carry on Jack's legacy.

Kat :-) said...

I'm speechless after hearing of your horrific ordeal. I am, however, deeply moved by your blog and are allowing Jack to live on in so many others' memories. I certainly won't be forgetting your story and I wish I had known this amazing kid. God bless you and may Jack live on in you and your family's memory forever. {Hugs}
Kat

CraftyLikeLindy said...

I am sorry for your loss. Jack looks like such a special kid and I am glad he got to be in your lives. I will be sending lots of love and prayers to you and your family.

Lesley Telford said...

Your Jack sounds like he left such a mark on the world in such a short amount of time, which is a very special thing indeed. Your family is in my thoughts, and may you know that you are reaching out to so many with your story.

Anonymous said...

Sending love and prayers to you and your family.

Love.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful tribute! It sounds like Jack was an amazing kid. I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this time!

Laura C said...

That is amazing advice, and such an inspiring attitude.

Thank you for your strength!

God bless you!

Kelsey Lee said...

Jack was an absolutely wonderful boy, I am so sorry your loss. I hope your family is staying strong and that these comments from strangers from all over the world help in some way... By sharing Jacks story, he will live on in the hearts of every person touched by his life. Keep faith, and love deeply xo

Literary Wino said...

Grace and peace to your family in this terrible time.

Anonymous said...

The book "Embraced By The Light" by Betty Eadie has helped me during difficult times...perhaps you can find a message of healing in it for you. Holding you and your family in my heart and thoughts.

Donna said...

I was going to write God bless you and the rest of the family, but it seems He already has by sending Jack. I hope His reason for taking him back will become clear to you all, and you can rejoice in the time you did have with Jack, not the time you didn't have. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
-Donna

Cindi M said...

What a precious nephew your Jack was. And how wonderful to have had him in your life, however briefly. I ache with your incredible family as you mourn his loss, even as I admire your strong faith and willingness to share it so beautifully.

Hugs and prayers from Wisconsin.

Anonymous said...

You and your family are in my thoughts.

amberllina said...

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. This is a wonderful tribute, good vibes.

Ambar
Love Bomber from Mexico

Jenn Wilson said...

Anna-
I'm keeping you, Margaret and your family in my thoughts and in my heart. Sending much love and healing energy.

xx

Anonymous said...

The worlds needs more Jacks, and more loving families like you who love them and create tributes like these that inspire me to be a better person.

I wish you and your family the best, and I hope Jack is happy.

Becca said...

What a great thing to share! It sounds like Jack was an amazing person, and I'm sure anyone who interacted with him was blessed!
Sending lots of love and prayers your way!

Kelsey said...

This is a beautiful tribute! There is a lot to learn from someone like Jack! So sorry for your loss.

Love,

A teenaged love bomber

As You Wish said...

Jack spirit lives on through you and all your readers! Thank you for sharing so much of him with all of us.

(((hugs))),
Lori

wewon31 said...

My thoughts and prayers are with your family during this difficult time. This tribute to Jack is reaching this stranger and making a difference, be proud of that and of Jack who inspired it. He sounds like a wonderful boy, I hope you find peace.

Megan B. said...

Beautiful. Thank you for sharing with us, and I pray that you find solace soon.

Janet said...

You are all in my thoughts & Prayers.

ruggedgrace said...

Gorgeous words, said out of absolute bravery and strength. I can't imagine losing one of my children to something so unpredictable, and today, I'm thinking hard and praying for you and your family. What a tremendous little life he lead, and what a purpose served so early.

Lisa said...

I am keeping your family in my heart and my prayers. I am grateful for the lessons Jack taught. Peace be with you.

Anonymous said...

thank you for sharing Jack with us, how he influenced your life and the lives of his family. It reminds us all how we never know when we will die, and to live life in kind, gentle, compassionate ways, balanced with joy, curiosity and action.

deetiger said...

As a new mom myself, I cannot imagine what you are going through. Sending light and love your way during this difficult time.
Lovebomber Deanna
(Saskatoon, SK, Canada)

Erin said...

A beautiful and moving tribute to a little boy who obviously was spectacular and spectacularly loved. I'm so so sorry that Jack is not here to hold in your arms. I'm so glad that you can hold him in your heart. I can tell by the things you wrote that Jack will leave behind an eternal legacy. I am lifting your family up in prayer, that God holds you in grace and peace.
Blessings,
~Erin

Anonymous said...

My life is richer and my relationships with loves ones are deeper today because of the things you told me about Jack. I'm so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you.

Andy said...

Thank you for sharing Jack's legacy with everyone. We can all use the reminder to Be Kind, Pay Attention, Think, Play, Never Give Up and Share Others' Joy. And thank you for giving us the opportunity to re-commit to these values as a tribute to Jack. Although the pain of loss is real, remember that he hasn't gone far and that nothing is permanent. God can heal the deepest wound and replace sorrow with joy and thanksgiving. My He be with you and your family during this difficult time.

Anonymous said...

"Be Kind.
Pay Attention.
Think.
Play.
Never Give Up.
Share Others' Joy.

And every day- tell your loved ones how treasured they are."

Wow, what a powerful distillation of how to live. I'm sorry for your devastating loss.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Anna and family,

Wow. Jack is the spitting image of his father, and Margaret looks just like you. What beautiful children and what an amazing family you have (and still have).

There are no words to alleviate the loss and the grief you are feeling. I cannot even imagine how hard the 'what-ifs' must be for you. I wish beyond everything I've ever wished for that I could give you a do-over button.

Your family will go on. Your love will go on, and Jack will always be with you, an amazing force that will help you to live your lives to the fullest forever.

"Our family chain seems broken and nothing seems the same, but as God calls us one by one, the chain will link again...."

Hold your love for Jack in your heart until you meet him again in heaven. Praying for you all.

Much love,

Jackie

Anonymous said...

Jack sounds like such a special guy. Prayers and love sent your way.

Anonymous said...

Sending virtual hugs and love to all of you, and hoping that the wondrous love and memories you have for Jack will provide you comfort and carry your family through.

Anonymous said...

What a moving tribute. So very sorry for your loss, he sounds like he was a very special boy. Please know our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

ForeverDonna said...

May time like a gentle wind gently and gradually clear away the sands of sorrow and leave you nothing but precious memories of this darling young man.
Sending love and prayers to you from WV. ♥

Lena said...

This is an amazing post. My prayers go out to you and all of your family, I hope you find the strength to make it through this difficult time! Love from Germany!

bubbleboo said...

Such a beautiful and moving post. I wish you all strength and peace as you come to terms with losing Jack - I know his light will continue to shine through you.

God Bless.

Zoe said...

What a lovely tribute to such a wonderful little boy. I am so sorry that his life was cut so tragically short, but know that in his short time on the Earth he left such a massive impression, and our thoughts are with you.

Anonymous said...

I'm very sorry for your loss. Jack sounds like he was a wonderful boy, who touched everyone.

Much love to all of you.

Erika Icon said...

I am sorry so to hear about Jack, Stay strong, Anna. Thank you for sharing your story and personal thoughts with us.

Rissa said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Wishing your family peace and love in this difficult time. Take care of yourselves!

"And if I go while you’re still here…know that I live on, vibrating to a different measure behind a thin veil you cannot see through. You will not see me so you must have faith. I wait the time when we can soar again, both aware of each other. Until then, live your life to its fullest, and when you need me just whisper my name in your heart…I will be there."
~Author Unknown

Angela said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of Jack. My thoughts are with you at this very difficult time.

Anonymous said...

Sending lots of love, light, and prayers to you all.

ishkode-fyre said...

My heart is with you, and all my hope and prayers. Your family is so brave and strong, and Jack must be so proud to be a part of this family. He must be watching you with so much love. Your family is in my thoughts, and I am wishing you all the best in this struggle.

Lo! I tell you a mystery: we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.
For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.
For this perishable nature must put on the imperishable, and this mortal nature must put on immortality.
When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
"Death is swallowed up in victory."

1 Corinthians 15: 51-54

Esta said...

Please allow me to express my deepest sympathy for your loss, as well as my hope that you find comfort in knowing what a profound impact Jack had, not only on the lives he touched directly, but on everyone who has come to know of him through his loving family. Thank you for sharing him and your love of him with the world. ((Hugs))

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful person Jack was. In his honor I will strive to be more like him.What a good example of the way every one of us should be. I will pray for the family to have strength through this heartbreaking time.
Nancy

Anonymous said...

I wish you peace and happiness in this trying time.

mama3davis said...

Wonderful words. God has a plan for those left behind. A purpose for this lesson. May God bless you with the knowledge of this lesson.

L & L said...

Jack is an inspiration. May God comfort all of you who love and miss Jack. I am moved by his ability to internalize joy through other people's happiness. I will keep that lesson close. With Love. Leslie

notanillusion said...

What a beautiful little boy! Your family is in my prayers, and I hope that you have peace in your hearts as much as possible.

Ashley said...

Even in his short time here, it's easy to see he left a lasting impression on everyone who knew them. What a gift you gave to the world, raising your son the way you did <3

lotuswisdom said...

Somethings came with the purpose to teach us...to help us to find more inspiration...and to give us lessons that we'll never forget!!

it's wonderfull to learn with Jack!

a helpfull site - http://tinybuddha.com/blog/embracing-the-moment-when-it-sucks-dealing-with-death/

Strenght!!

Artur, from Brazil

Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful tribute to a wonderful boy. You and your family are in my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Jack's tributes have truly opened my eyes and heart with the inspiration and love of his life and the lives of those he touched. You and yours are in my thoughts and prayers.
Take care, and God's greatest blessings!

Anonymous said...

I wish you and your family nothing but peace in these trying times. Take care and be strong.

Love and hugs,
Jess

Lea said...

Jack sounds wise beyond his years. My prayers are with you and your family.

Debbie said...

I am always heartbroken when I read about the loss of a child ... especially when they have a gentle, kind and inquistive spirit. Such a loss for the world but then again ... what a blessing for you to have know that special person. My prayers are with you and your family. You have left us with words to live by *hugs*

Anna said...

Reading the tributes that have been written to Jack have filled me with an appreciation for what a beautiful person I know he was, someone I never met, but who brought such light to the world. I am so saddened for your loss. You are in my thoughts and my heart and I hope that you are filled with peace and surrounded by love as you relearn how to even go on living. <3

silvenwolf said...

That was beautiful, inspiring, and certainly gave me some different lenses to view life with.

Gorgeous tribute and some very telling life lessons in memory of a wonderful amazing person.

silvenwolf said...

That was an amazing tribute and certainly reminded me of what is really important in life; and it's not money or flashy things.

Thank you for sharing such a fantastic person with all of us. God Bless. -S.

Anonymous said...

You and your family are in my family's thoughts and prayers. Stay strong.

jenny miller said...

What a blessed young soul! I believe your tribute truly shows how special he was. Thank you for sharing with us. May your family be wrapped in our heavenly Father's peace, love and light.

Kate said...

Dear family,
Thank you for sharing some of your beautiful, inspiring Jack. I pray for your peace and for your aching hearts.

April said...

You don't know me, but I am a mama who understands that deep place that only sons can touch. Praying for your peace and comfort and for your memories to carry you through.

Genevra said...

This post is beautiful, and the lessons offered as a way to honor Jack's memory are inspiring and wonderful. May you find peace and comfort in this difficult time. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Much love to you.

A World of Gratitude said...

May Jack's spirit always guide you.

Thank you for sharing his life with us, and allowing us, too, to be inspired by his true spark of awesomeness and love!

Peace.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss! Huge huge hugs!

Anonymous said...

So very sorry for your loss. I will be remembering you all in my prayers.
Farrah

Michelle said...

What a beautiful tribute to what sounds like a truly beautiful soul. Sending love to you all xx

Anonymous said...

Jack was clearly a beautiful soul who gave so much to those around him. May your family find strength and be surrounded with love (love bomb)

Anonymous said...

Blessings to you and your family in this terrible time of grief. May God surround you all with His comfort and peace.

Anonymous said...

What truly wonderful life lessons these are. These values that Jack found are ones that most people never find within themselves, let alone take to and live their lives by with such whole-hearted dedication and joy.
I am thinking of him, and your family.

I am Spam... said...

I have a younger brother named Jack, who is just 11 years old. Reading your tribute to your Jack brings tears to my eyes, knowing that you all must be in an incredible place of sorrow. But also, of goodness. That's his spirit comforting you, thinking of you from heaven. Thank you for sharing with me. May you be blessed with the grace to never give up loving and hoping and rejoicing in every second you are on this earth. <3

Anonymous said...

What a loving tribute. Jack will always be with you in spirit. A love that strong doesn't end when Jack leaves his body. May every breath bring you peace, healing, and love.

Anonymous said...

I am amazed and so humbled by your courage and grace, for being able to put into such eloquent words just how special and wonderful Jack was. You are a stronger person than I am. I wish you peace and much love as you go through this difficult time. Thank you so very much for sharing Jack with all of us. I am going to post his lessons by my computer and read them everyday... for Jack.

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