Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Letter From An Offender

I received another letter from an offender at Maryville Treatment Center after my last speech there.  He commended me for coming to speak and went on to tell me about some of his issues.  Here are a few excerpts from his letter. 

"Your story really went right to my heart.  I can honestly say I will never do it again."

"Just to think about the victims I could have caused myself, and it only takes a split second.  I would not be able to live with myself."

"So, just to let you know, you have changed my life in way that really makes what you do worth it."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanks for Using GoodSearch

A big thank you to everyone out there that is using GoodSearch and GoodShop to help support the Foundation!  We received $253.67 from activity from October 2009 until September 2010.  This is such a wonderful way to donate ~ just an extra click of the mouse.  Keep on GoodSearch-ing and GoodShop-ing throughout the holidays! 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Goodbye JackJack

As much as I hate to, I have forced myself to be realistic this week.  I gathered all his cat supplies and put them into the storage room.  JackJack has been gone for a month now and the odds of him coming back home are pretty slim.  A declawed cat would have a hard time catching food, escaping from the coyotes, and surviving on his own for this long.  He escaped the night of Granny's funeral.  Elly went outside and didn't shut the door.  I did not get too worried and actually did not even attempt to go find him that night because any other time he got out he always came back home.  The next morning I saw JackJack but I was having the carpets cleaned and he refused to come in the house, hiding under the front porch instead.  I got frustrated with the rotten cat and thought he would be more than ready to come inside after the cleaners left.  I was wrong and could not find him.  We have searched (me daily) for our special kitty, but no luck.  I have been trying to keep my emotions in check, but you guys all know how important JackJack was to us.  Part of me feels like I have let Abby down but another part says that I'm sure she is excited to have her kitty to play with herself again, as I'm sure he is too.  He missed his little girl too.  We will miss you JackJack.       

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Family Pictures

Here are just a few photos from the family pictures we took.  We also took pictures with my parents and siblings.  As I said before, we included Abby's black leotard in the pictures this time.  Sometimes it is not very noticeable on someones lap, tossed over their shoulder, laid in the grass beside to other kids, or just held in a hand, but it was in everyone one of them.  We actually had to pick her leotard up off the floor from behind her bedroom door from where she peeled it off the last time days before the accident.   

Monday, November 15, 2010

Support Group Meeting

Saturday we had our support group meeting at CMH to help us get through the holidays.  I am thankful for these meetings because it helps me feel more normal to be with those who walk in the same shoes.  It was a little different for me this time as now we are considered some of the "oldies" of the group.  We were able provide help and ideas for the ones facing their first holidays.  My heart aches for them and their new loss, especially during this time of year, but sometimes just seeing those of us that are still here three, four, and five years after losing our child is all they need to know that they will survive.  I wish I could tell them that the holidays are "just another day" or "no big deal" this many years out, but they aren't and I'm sure they will never be.  I wish I could tell them that I no longer have to force myself to do the festive things, but I still do.  I wish I could say that somehow after year one of it all, the next year you don't feel like pulling the cover over your head to hide from the jovial world, but I still do.  I wish I could tell them that by now "the most wonderful time of year" is just that again, but it is not. But that is what the group is for and I know that I can call on those friends at any point during the next weeks and that we will help get each other through.

The girls went to their own group sessions and this time they were broke out by ages so Mady was in with older siblings and was able to do more talking and less play therapy.  I was glad to hear that she was willing to participate in the group session and express her feelings since she is so closed off most of the time with her emotions.  They did do some writing in a journal that she shared with me.  "When I was young I did not know what death meant.  I thought you were at someone house.  As I got older I knew what death meant.  I want to cry but I don't.  I love you but I did not know how to say it.  It was very hard to get over your death.  I still am not over your death."  Talk about heartbreaking for me to read.  I have started to wonder if kids at school have said something about "getting over it" to her and that is where that is coming from.     

Thursday, November 11, 2010

We Need A Helicopter

With the recent deaths that have thouched our family, Elly has been full of questions.  Some bring tears, but some make me smile.  

Mommy, where is Heaven?

It's up in the sky, above the clouds and stars where we can't see.

Oh.  So we need something that flies up in the sky way up high so we can go see Granny and Wendy and Abby...  An airplane...  No. We need a helicopter so we can go way up in the sky!  Mommy, we have to get a helicopter!  I miss Abby!  We need to find a helicopter! 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Homecoming Float

Here are pictures of "Abby's Drive-In", our Homecoming float. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Quick Catch-up

There has been so much going on right now that sometimes life seems really crazy.  I am going to give a real quick catch-up post to touch on some and will expand and post pictures as time allows.

  • The Homecoming Parade was last Saturday and I want to thank everyone that helped build the float and came to walk.  Pictures to come soon.
  • JackJack has now been missing 2 weeks but I am still trying to cling to some hope that he will still come home.
  • The Jackson family was also able to donate Wendy's corneas, giving the gift of sight to someone.
  • We took family pictures a few weeks ago.  Full family pictures for the first time without Abby.  We had her black leotard in the pictures with us.
  • We did carve our "A" pumpkin for Abby again this year for Halloween.
  • We also had 2 pumpkins that "disappeared" from Abby's grave.  How sad.   

Monday, November 1, 2010

Wendy's Family Donates

Wendy J Jackson

(March 13, 1975 - October 30, 2010)

Wendy Jo Jackson 35, of Maryville, MO passed away Saturday, October 30, 2010 at the St. Francis Hospital in Maryville after a five month battle with cancer.

Wendy was born on March 13, 1975 in Trenton, MO,to Rick and Ellyn Fuller, and lived all of her life in the Maryville area. She had attended NWMSU, and worked at Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corp, Maryville.

She was preceded in death by her grandmother Connie Fuller, on May 31, 2010.

On December 12, 1998, she married Timothy M. Jackson, he survives of the home. She is also survived by her three sons, Cody, Tyson, and Logan, also of the home.

Other survivors include her parents, Rick and Ellyn Fuller, Burlington Junction, MO, her brother, Wes Fuller, Maryville, MO, her grandfather, Donald Fuller, Humphreys, MO, her grandmother, Doris Boram, Milan, MO, two Aunts, Kris Johnson, and her son Ryan, Monett, MO, and Rita Thomas, and her children, Chasity, and Dalton, Meadville, MO, and her best friend/sister, Amanda Gilman, of Maryville, MO.

Wendy’s funeral service will be at 10:30 A.M. Saturday, November 6, 2010 at the Bram-Danfelt Funeral Home, Maryville. Burial will be in the Camp Ground Cemetery, Osgood, MO. The family will receive friends from 6-8:00 P.M. Friday, November 5, 2010 at the funeral home.

Memorials are suggested to the Abrielle Neff Foundation, 16835 Icon Road, Pickering, MO 64476, or to the family, and can be directed to the Bram-Danfelt Funeral Home, 206 E. South Hills Drive, Maryville, MO 64468.

Services are under the direction of the Bram-Danfelt Funeral Home, Maryville, MO.

We are really honored that the family chose to send donations to the Foundation.  We know Wendy loved helping out with everything for the Foundation.  Even when she was so sick a week ago, she asked for me to bring her some cards to decorate while lying in the hospital bed.