A Story of Loss and Choosing Joy

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“Every Monday I reset my life. I take stock of what is working and what is not. I also take a few minutes to recharge and find inspiration for what I want my life to look like. One of my favorite ways is to listen to the stories of those that have overcome trials in their lives and kept on living… even finding joy in their life again. I’m so excited to share stories from my readers that I love and that inspire me everyday! I hope they inspire you too!” – Heather

Hi my name is Jessica and I wanted to share my story of loss and hope.

When I was going to college I met my husband, we got married and had two beautiful boys, Fischer and Palmer. We were very content with my husband owning his own company and me managing another.

My husband took a trip with some friends a couple of days before his 31st birthday. my oldest son, almost three at the time, called his dad on his birthday and sang happy birthday… husband died the next morning at 3:30 am.

He was several states away and when I got the call they just said he was at the hospital and I needed to get there as quick as I could. A friend of the family had a small plane and flew me and his mom and step dad to the hospital. when we arrived we were told he was gone.

As I looked at him laying in the hospital bed all I could think was the bed was too small. He was large man 6’3, and his feet were hanging off. My life changed, I changed.

I went home and told myself okay, you have a choice , you can lay down and die inside and your children will never have the same mom, or you can pick up and move forward. I could show my children that we could laugh and love, that mommy was the same mommy to them. That’s what I choose.

I choose to live and let my children live. I met a Physical therapist a year later and we have been together for almost 3 years. My children are active in school and sports and we talk about their dad, but in a happy way, full of love way. I am still changed but maybe for the better.

That is where I hoped my story ended, but no its not.

On September 22, 2013 my oldest son, now 6, fell off a horse that we were walking. A dog had ran out and startled the horse, causing my son to fall off and into a bush. A stick entered his right eye. He was airlifted out to a trauma hospital 2 hours away from our home.

When I arrived at the hospital (because I had to drive), I was told he would be blind in his right eye. Now I had another choice. I could tell my son his life was different because of this and cry and be depressed or I could find joy that my son could still walk and talk and love. I choose that, I chose joy.

I choose that for my son. I am sad. I do cry in the dark, but to my son it is just something that happened.

He can still play sports, he can still drive his little brother crazy! He has had to have two surgeries in one week, But has done great! He is running around, playing with friends and driving me crazy! We still have a long road ahead of us, with more surgeries and lots of doctors to see, but we are happy.

My son is remarkable and strong. I am blessed to have him. We are a family that has lost but more importantly we are a family that lives.

Please keep us in mind as we continue our journey. I can not work right now, but that is just another blessing in what we could see as a disaster because I get to spend my days with my son. Just remember you are stronger than your loss, you can overcome it. You will be changed, but make it for the better. Change is not always bad. Live, Love and Hope!

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.