Monday, July 26, 2010

First Year

We have made it through, what we have been told, is the hardest year...the first. Making it through the first Christmas, Mother's Day, Father's Day, birthday, etc....without her. It has been a tough year, and not a day goes by that we don't think of Jillian, or wish she was here with us, but what keeps up going is knowing we will get to see her again one day!

My plan was to blog about Jillian until her first birthday, and then I was going to print her blog so I would have it forever to look at, and read about all the feelings I had during her time in my belly, the 22 hours she was with us, and the year following her death. That was my plan, until I got a package in the mail today, opened it up, and it was a printed book of Jillian's blog! I instantly started crying when I saw her little face on the front of the book! My friend Candi had told me to be expecting a gift in the mail, but I had no idea this is what it would be!!!!!!!!! I was beyond happy when I opened this!

I know I say it all the time, but I don't know how we would have gotten through the last couple years without the wonderful support of our A M A Z I N G friends and family! I don't feel like I can even thank everyone enough---but really and truly we are so thankful for all of you! It's not about the gifts either....yes, they are wonderful, and we have gifts all over our house that have been given to us from friends and family, and all of it being very special to us. It's also the continued cards, and phone calls, and e-mails to tell us they are thinking of us...still even a year later! I have NEVER felt alone or abandoned, as I know other families have endured. I can only hope that I am and can be as good of friend as mine have been to me(which is a high standard!!)

So THANK YOU CANDI for this amazing gift you have given us, and to all our friends and family(you know who you are!!!!) for your continued love and support. I am so glad we were able to introduce Jillian to all of you, either in person, or through pictures or video on our blog. She was one amazing little girl and I look forward to the day our family is all reunited again!

(We received a plaque with this quote on it that sits in our bedroom with Jillian's picture...I thought I would share....

The Broken Chain
We little knew that morning that
God was going to call your name.
In life we loved you dearly,
in death we do the same.
It broke our hearts to lose you,
you did not go alone,
For part of us went with you,
the day God called you home.
You left us peaceful memories,
your love is still our guide,
And though we cannot see you,
your always at our side.
Our family chain is broken,
and nothing seems the same,
But as God calls us one by one,
the chain will link again.

I took a few pictures of Jillian's Blog Book! We will certainly cherish this FOREVER!


Jamie said...

What a WONDERFUL surprise!! That is amazing!!

Sarita Boyette said...

What sweet friends you have who understand your journey and want to help you "travel" so you won't be alone.

Grandpa and Grandma said...

What a wonderful and thoughtful gift from Candi......a very special keepsake filled with all the memories of a very special little girl. It really doesn't seem as though a year has passed us by. Keeping you, Adam and the girls in our thoughts and always...Mom and Dad Lansink

Lori said...

What a spendid surprise Jodi! You are truly blessed to have such wonderful friends and family. We all love you guys so much, and you know you would never have to endure this pain (and joy) and take this journey alone! Jillian was and is a special little girl who touched many lives and she will never be forgotten. This first year is behind us...and we will always have her dear memory in our hearts!

Love you,

Chris, Abby, Ayden, Elliott, Ashley & Evan said...

what an amazing gift! something to treasure for always...

Amy Walter said...

Wow - what a wonderful gift! Truly something to treasure and add to your special collection of all the memories of Jillian....what a great keepsake that you can pull out at anytime to look at! That was very sweet of Candi to do that for you guys!

Brad and Sarah Lundell said...

What a great gift, really really touching

Candi Ladwig said...

So glad you liked it! Now just incase Blogger would crash or anything would ever happen you will always have what you blogged... a great story. Love ya!

elena said...

What a wonderful and amazing gift and friend! I am so glad that you are blessed with the love and support, I know how much that means to me and just love that others have that as well. This is a hard road to walk and it is definitely meaningful to not feel abandoned, deserted, or forgotten.

I love the poem you shared with us, it is so true.

Thank you for sharing your heart and allowing me to get to know Jillian through you. I feel truly blessed to have gotten to know you both.


Holly said...

What a great gift!! I love her book! It's even better that you were surprised with it.

Rachel Amariah said...

Hi. I'm not sure how I stumbled on your blog but I read it again today and cried while I watched your slide show. Our third child, a girl was born by c-section on May 21st/2010. We were told it was likely she would die soon after birth, because of multiple abnormalities. Amazingly she is still with us but we still expect her life to be short. Your daughter is beautiful - and you have found beautiful ways to remember/honor her life. We have 'stolen' some of those ideas from you in planning for the day we must say good-bye to our Rachel. Thank-you for sharing your story. Peace to you today, Kendra