Happy Birthday John Robert

Twenty years ago John Robert came into our lives. He brought all of us joy … mother, dad, and big sister. The extended family as well! I sometimes wonder how his life would have been different – how all of our lives would be different – if we had known we would only have him for 18 years. That is just one of the many questions we ask ourselves as we contemplate the loss of John Robert.

Does anyone ever know how many years they will have with their loved ones? No. So we all live with the knowledge that we should make each day special. Even so, the days turn into years and we expect our lives to continue on as they are. Then all too soon, someone we love is gone.

And that’s the way it was with John Robert. I doubt one could count the many moments of laughter and joy that John Robert brought to our lives. His great sense of humor, outgoing spirit, and love for his family and friends made him so special to so many people.

Sometimes I run out of words to describe John Robert, but my heart knows of feelings that can’t be spoken. Yes, we still have those moments where we cannot believe he is gone. We are still blindsided by grief attacks at times when we do not expect them. We still ache to hold him in our arms and hear his laughter. We still talk about things he liked and didn’t like, and speculate on what we think he would have thought about some matter or another. All of these feelings and actions demonstrate our unending awareness of the empty space that now occupies our hearts.

There are plenty of joys in our lives. Our daughter’s family. Our extended family. Our church family. Our friends. Our Jackson. We smile a lot. We make each other laugh. We comfort each other in tears. We are thankful for the many ways God has filled our lives with blessings.

Yet we wait for a day that is coming when we will hold John Robert once again and hear his laughter. Until then our laughter is just short of what it might be, each happiness is somewhat less than what it could be, for that empty place in our hearts remains empty. And we wait.

Thanks for the hundreds of encouragements we have received from our internet friends over the past few years. You, your love, and your prayers have been an incredible support. This is surpassed only by the love, hugs, and assurances received from those we get to see in person.

Thank you for reading,

John

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