Jeff would have been 43 today.
These last few weeks have been tough. My daughter in law reminded me that it's probably easier to have the day he went to heaven so close to the day he came to earth. She's probably right.
Jeff taught me so many things in his life and in his death.
43 years ago he taught me what it is to be a mother and about unconditional love. To me he was the most beautiful baby in the world and I defied anyone to say otherwise. Those first few weeks were hard though since I was used to being in total control. Suddenly this little seven pound - eleven ounce perfect baby boy was calling the shots. Little did I know that throughout his life he would continue to do so.
Jeff was extremely creative, smart and full of mischief and he often came up with creative ways to drive people crazy . He was the only boy I knew to be expelled from Vacation Bible School and suspended from preschool in the same year. Jeff went to a small private christian school and every year from first grade through sixth his teachers retired early after having him and his little band of hoodlums friends in their class. A coincidence? Em...probably not.
He drove his brother crazy too with his incessant teasing. And the bickering... all I ever wanted when I found out we were pregnant again was to have a brother for Jeff so they could be best friends. Jeff adored Bryan but sometimes had strange and annoying ways of showing it. To this day I doubt Bryan knows how much Jeff really loved and admired his little brother.
Through all his antics Jeff was the glue to our family. While the rest of us are more quiet and laid back, Jeff was the one that kept things hopping and through all his shenanigans, I never doubted his love for me and our family. At his funeral several of his friends came up to me and asked if I knew how proud Jeff was of me. My answer was always yes. I knew. He was so proud of the business that I had created and loved to show off my work to friends by having me make them baby gifts. Jeff was my biggest fan. He was the one who would call three times a day to tell me about Jake's latest achievement or brag about Nathan's newest trick. He was so proud of his kids and the home and life he and Cherene were creating for their family. I sure do miss those phone calls.
In death Jeff has taught me the importance of faith, family and friends. I couldn't have gotten through this time without my faith and the prayers, love and support of our family and friends. So many blog friends, many of whom I have never met, prayed for our family and offered their love to us. You need to know how much that meant to me then and still means to me today. I will never forget your compassionate outpouring of love.
I believe Jeff is happy and whole in heaven today and is surrounded by grandparents and friends that have gone on before us. I don't know, but I doubt that there is celebrating in heaven for worldly birthdays. Today I just wanted to remember for me and for the family and friends he left behind.
Happy birthday baby.