Today marks the one year anniversary of my nephew's death and what would have been his 1st birthday. I have tried many times over the past year to write about Jackson and our family but have never been able to do so. After Labor Day this year, I began to write a post to share some incredibly good and overwhelmingly happy news with you - that my sister is pregnant! - but decided I needed to share this first. I guess I also figure that today will be hard enough already, and I probably can't make it any worse.
Jennifer and Todd's sweet baby boy, Jackson Treat Loiselle, was unexpectedly stillborn on September 27th, 2010, due to a knot in his umbilical cord. With only days to go until Jackson's due date, his death was - and still is - beyond comprehension. Jennifer's entire pregnancy had gone smoothly and the doctors had no warning. Jackson was Jennifer & Todd's first baby, the first grandchild in our family, and he brought so much happiness and joy to us all. To say that Jackson's death was devastating is an understatement. This is a loss we will grieve for a lifetime, and not a day goes by that I don't think about Jackson.
In the midst of this overwhelming sadness, our hearts were filled with profound happiness, love, and thankfulness upon learning that Jennifer is pregnant with a precious baby girl. To me, it is difficult to balance this awkward combination of emotions but have learned that we have the capacity to feel both sadness and great joy at the same time. I may never truly understand what my sister and brother-in-law have gone through but know that I am a different person because of Jackson. Jennifer and Todd are a truly remarkable couple and two of the kindest, most generous people you could ever meet.
A mass is being said today at Jennifer & Todd's church in memory of Jackson Treat. I would love if you would say a little prayer as well for Jennifer, Todd, Jackson & their baby girl (who is due at the beginning of January).
On a happy note, I have spent more time with Jennifer in the past year than probably the previous four combined. The flight from Houston to Michigan feels a lot shorter these days, and I love to find any excuse to go visit my big sis. We all met up at my parents' house about a month ago for Labor Day and enjoyed some relaxing family time.
I am so blessed to have these five people, Mom, Dad, Greg, Todd and Jennifer, in my life. Love you all.