Judson's Legacy

As Best I Know How

So how do you include a brother, who now lives in heaven, in the 2nd birthday celebrations of his little sister?

I don’t know, but I made an effort to do so yesterday.

It is uncommon for me to take Jessie along when I visit Judson’s gravesite, but I made an exception for her b-day week…

Jessie and I had a picnic on Jud’s burial ground.  It felt like a fitting way to “include” him.  It may have been a sorry sight to on-lookers at Fairhaven Memorial park, and it might seem a little twisted to those who are not intimately acquainted with death, but Jessie and I had a pleasant and fun afternoon on Judson’s plot of grass.  Not only did we bring our lunches, but we also brought the bubble blaster, read books, tackled, giggled, and played—all things Judson would have enjoyed too.  And while we were eating I took the opportunity to remind Jessie how much Judson loves her, how he used to care for her, and how he will always be her brother even though he lives in heaven with Jesus.  I also told her that I was confident Jud was celebrating her birthday with us.

Clearly, Jessie cannot get the full gist of what I am communicating, but I strongly believe she is forming a sense of Judson in these early years that she will carry with her for a lifetime.  It is my hope she can live with confidence knowing she has a brother that loves her dearly (much like she has a Heavenly Father she cannot see who deeply loves her).

As we were leaving, Jessie took the opportunity, voluntarily, to blow kisses at Judson’s photo on the grave marker.  I exclaimed, “You’re the best sister, Jessie!”

She replied, “Yeah!” with a smile.

I was reminded that just as Judson will always be Jessie’s big brother, she is also still his little sister and is engaging that role as best she knows how.

I am also still a mother of two kiddos…I’m engaging that role as best I know how.


6 Responses to "As Best I Know How"

  1. Kristy Harrang says:

    Happy Birthday Jessie!!

  2. 36658 says:

    I love this! What a great idea. You are SUCH a fantastic mom to your little ones. I love that Jud is so present in her life thanks to your effort and love for both of them. What a gift too for her to have fun, enjoyable memories with you including her brother as she grows up. Bubbles, flowers, books, tickles, laughing – I love it, I love it!
    Kudos to you Christina!! 🙂 🙂

  3. Elaina says:

    Oh…I don’t think it’s twisted or would have been a sorry sight at all! I think it’s so wonderful that you did that with Jessie and included her big brother in your birthday celebration. I think that will be a precious gift to Jessie over the years — that you’re so able to talk about him and share these things with her (not just this but in your willingness to talk about Jud). Really…I think you’ve given Jessie some beautiful memories, moments, etc. that she will treasure when she’s older.

  4. 33705 says:

    I think you did a great job of including Jud, to the very best of your ability, in Jessie’s birthday. I’m glad you two (three) were able to enjoy this special time. As Dalton and I have done similar things…had a picnic, brought blankets and "flew like butterflies", made snow angels, etc….at Makinley’s grave I too have thought that anyone watching may find it quite odd. I’m glad to read we’re not the only ones who find some sort of peace and comfort in this.
    I wish for you that Jessie had the opportunity to grow up with her big brother, but I know she will be the best sister she knows how to be with you as her guide.
    Happy Birthday, Jessie!!!!!
    With Much Love….
    Dawn Mills

  5. 33886 says:

    I think this is the best thing you could have done!

  6. 33836 says:

    What a beautiful way to celebrate Jessie’s birthday to include her big brother. I have tears of joy looking at the amazing way you continue to keep Jud present in your lives and keep him alive for your dear Jessie along with tears of sadness at the earthly loss of Judson. You continue to amaze me with the way you navigate your heart and soul through this grief and loss and keep pushing forward.
    You are such a blessing to both your son and daughter.

    With love,

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