that mean the most . . . . especially today. I’ve blogged about this before (here and here) and I’m usually more on time, but it’s been a rough day with the kiddos.
Today is the day that my brother-in-law entered this world and this is also the day that he left this world – he was tragically killed in a plane crash on his 35th birthday four years ago today.
Every year, August 7th catches me off guard. I think about Jay so much, especially since it’s three days before Kasen’s birthday and two days before his Mom’s birthday. My Mom flew in this week and we have had many conversations already about Jay, about how much we miss him, how we still can’t believe that he died at such a young age and in such a tragic way, just weeks after he married his sweetheart. We talked about how happy he was, how he was incredibly in love, how he was starting a whole new life full of new chapters to fill. The whole family was excited to share in his bliss, and to watch with anticipation just what the world had in store for Jay. Never in a million years did we believe that we wouldn’t be sharing in his life for years to come. *tears*
Tonight, I choose to remember the little things . . the things that I believe Jay left us with – the happiness, the joy, the smiles, the experiences that molded all of us and in turn made us better people just for coming in contact with Jay. For those that didn’t know Jay, he was the most uplifting, happy person, who enjoyed life to the fullest. I used to always tease Brad and tell him Jay got all the happy, easy-going genes, because Brad is SO serious and I would never use the words “easy-going” to describe him. LOL Whenever Jay was around, smiles were abundant, laughter was hearty and Jay always had stories to tell about where he’d been, what he’d been doing, or where he was planning to go. We all listened and chuckled and I always felt just a smidgeon of jealousy that he could enjoy life with such gusto, when so many fears were holding me back from appreciating all of those things.
I will never forget Jay watching Halle’s sonogram with me while we sat on the floor of our living room and shared hot fudge ice cream sundaes. LOL Seriously, how many brother-in-laws would even feign an interest in that?! But he did, and we laughed and talked about the future and he was always reassuring whenever I verbalized any fears I had about becoming a Mom. He was always there to lend an ear, offer a shoulder and he even took great delight in giving me a hard time on several occasions.
Oh how I miss him, how I miss what should have been, how I miss the plans we had made for our futures as one big happy family. I feel cheated, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. But today, I delight in the little things . . . little gifts that Jay gives us along the way. August 7th, 2006, Kasen took her first steps, August 7th, 2009 – I got my first big smile from Holden on film, August 7th – such a special day – a day that changed forever when Jay took his first breath, and a day that changed forever when he took his last. A day I will never forget.
As always Jay, we love you more than we can say. Our hearts couldn’t hold any more love for you and they couldn’t be breaking any more that we can’t see you, hold you, and love you here on earth. One day Jay, one day, it just isn’t soon enough.
Here’s Holden Douglas Isaac Schneider – and for those of you who don’t know this, the name Douglas came from Brad’s father (Douglas Schneider) and it is also a very special dedication to Brad’s brother, Jay Douglas Schneider. Thanks for the smiles Jay.