posted on May 6th 2019 in Aftercare & Indiana Donor Network /

Being a mother is the best! Notice I didn’t say easy, and I didn’t say it always works out the way you had planned. Justin was and always will be my first-born son. He is the one that received all of the “big” gifts first – from a battery operated truck to laptops to automobiles, and until Kyle was born, all of the attention. Both of my sons continue to be loved unconditionally and are the greatest gift I received from our Heavenly Father. I love deeply and have the best memories of all ages from smiles; hugs; laughs; sitting close in the backseat when it wasn’t necessary; jokes; playing outside; holding hands; special artwork and creations; vacations; trips to the Indianapolis Zoo and Children’s Museum; birthdays; holidays; and graduations.

Yes, Mother’s Day is difficult from the time I open my eyes in the morning until I lay back down in the evening. Yet, with the difficult hours come joy-filled and memorable stretches of reflection. You have to look through the dirty window and streaks, to see the beautiful flowers and landscape on the outside. I do take time to “be still” and let all the memories roll through my mind like a movie; our family intentionally spends time together sharing an activity we all love, and yes, we talk about Justin. For me personally, it is a day of hope and perspective.

I am approaching the 4th anniversary of Justin’s single vehicle accident and death. I am continually reminding myself to keep my eyes focused on Christ and press into Him. Justin will always be in my heart and a part of my everyday routine as well as the big events. Along the way, I am offering hope to others through mentoring, running, and educating in his memory.

Because of Justin’s gift of life through organ and tissue donation, our family has expanded. We have been blessed to meet three of his recipients and know that numerous others are living a long and fulfilling life. For that, I am extremely grateful and thankful. Waiting is the hardest part, but I know that we will be reunited in heaven, and until then I will be thankful for each day of the 23 years Justin blessed my life.