I am just beyond moved by the response to my last entry. THANK YOU, everyone who left a note or sent an email to tell me how much Jack means to them, how often they think of him, and how often his name is said, the whole world over. I knew my little boy was so special, and so loved, but it is easy to forget sometimes. You all reminded me, and that is just the absolute best feeling in the world. Thank you thank you thank you.
Kelly left a note saying that she told her son a butterfly he'd seen was named Jack, which is just too cute. I know every butterfly I see, I say, "Hi Jack!" I love that some of you think that too.
This time of year is that word again... bittersweet. Jack went to CHoP on November 13th of last year, and died on January 2nd. So the entire holiday season Jack was in Philly and we were going back and forth, and really, Jack's life spanned the holidays. I have always loved this time of year, and I still do, but everything about it is reminding me of Jack. The weather, the music, the decorations, from Halloween straight through Christmas, it all takes me right back to Philadelphia, to the hospital, to that little bed by the window. To watching the snow fall outside his window, seeing the nurses hang their holiday decorations, listening to Christmas carols on Jack's music box, seeing Jack in his little elf sleeper. In some ways it's comforting, it's a wonderful time of year to feel close to him, and I know for the rest of my life, not a holiday will go by that I won't feel Jack all around me, remember the Thanksgiving and Christmas we spent with him.
But it's hard too, and sad, and I wish I wish I wish, every minute of every day, I could go back to last Christmas, go back and hold him one more time, see him in his little Santa hat, kiss his forehead, hold his hand. Just one more time.
On a happier note....
There are TWO toy drives being done in Jack's memory for this Christmas. My mom's neighbor is collecting toys at her Cookie Swap party this year to donate to St. Joseph's hospital - it is so incredibly nice of her, and I am really honored that she is doing this in Jack's name. She gave my girls the most beautiful bracelets for their birthday, each bracelet spelled out the girls name and she had a little "J" charm hanging off each one. I love them, and I loved that she thought of Jack that way. It was just so perfect. The party is December 7th and we will be there! (YAY COOKIES!)
The second one is being organized by my husband's cousin - it is AWESOME, she is putting a lot of work into it, and again I am just so touched that she is doing this. All the toys are being donated to the Children's Hospital of New Jersey, which is a great hospital and also where Katie had her heart surgery.
The genius part (that I wouldn't have thought of...) is that she set up an Amazon Wishlist, so anyone can order a toy and have it shipped directly to her. If you would like to donate a toy (which would be really really nice of you!), here's the link:
Baby Jack's Toy Drive Wishlist
We are going to help bring the toys to the hospital the weekend of December 20th. I have no happier memory with Jack than being with him Christmas night opening the toys that Santa had left him. I hope someone else feels that joy this year because of my Jack and these amazing women and the toys they're collecting.
And finally, not to leave my crazy girls out.... our visit to Santa today. It could have gone better.
(Kate is in a very shy phase lately.... Charlotte would have been fine, she walked right up to him, but Katie's SCREAMING started to freak her out.)