Jay’s Journey!

Hard to believe it’s the anniversary of my son’s heavenly journey, and no, it doesn’t feel like a year. It feels like yesterday and forever rolled into one. Can’t begin to describe how much I miss him. 

Every day, in my heart and mind, I see Jay sitting in his favorite chair watching TV or working with his Rubik’s cube. Every night I see myself sitting on the side of his bed saying prayers with him and singing “Jesus Loves me.” I recall morning hugs, goodnight kisses and everything in between. All the routines we built together, especially with just the two of us at home after my husband, Carl—Jay’s dad—went to heaven twelve years ago.

And when my heart can’t accept that my son is gone forever, my mind does these little tricks like pretending Jay’s still here, doing all the things he used to do. Of course, it only fills moments of time. A short break from the real world of sadness and loneliness. 

Because of Jay’s compromised immune system and Down syndrome, he lived at home his whole life and loved it. We all loved it! Jay had a phenomenal personality. He loved unconditionally and enjoyed every minute of his life. So of course I’m missing every single moment. 

Soon after Jay was born, doctors told us he would have a very short lifespan, probably not even living into his teens because of his rare, inoperable, congenital heart disease. And though Jay had some really scary and serious episodes that landed him in the hospital numerous times, he always beat the odds. He survived! The birthdays kept coming—20, 30, even 46 wonderful years. So, suffice to say I got used to the “miraculous!” 

Yes, doctors even admitted that Jay’s life was a miracle. Physicians from all over the world treated him during this last crisis and were shocked that Jay not only survived all these years, but actually thrived with his particular heart disease. He was a complete mystery to them. 

And no, life was not always easy for Jay. He dealt with pain on a daily basis from arthritic knees (sometimes requiring braces through the years), frequent infections, along with chronic tear duct and corneal eye problems as well as a speech articulation disorder. But Jay dealt with all of it and kept right on singing, dancing and going to Sonic daily for a Coke. 

So here I sit, thanking God for this wonderful gift of love that He gave me all those years ago. So proud and thankful to be Jay’s mother yet so very heartbroken without him. And for those who feel my life was limited by taking care of Jay, please don’t! My life was enriched daily by this young man who truly walked in the heavenlies, often seeing and talking with his guardian angel. Jay taught me more about loving Jesus and loving others than any teacher or preacher I ever sat under. 

And if I missed out on anything while staying home with Jay, he made up for it with daily hugs, lots of laughs and fun conversations. I lived in a world that most can only imagine. A good world and it’s gone. So yes, there is sadness and tears. But the memories, the love, the joy, “the spirit of the miraculous” will never ever leave me.

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