Monday, August 30, 2010

memory mondays

in july, i asked people to send me their favorite memories of Jarronn and/photos of them with the candle they lit in memory of Jarronn. i've really enjoyed reading everything people have sent my way, and i thought that instead of trying to share everything in just one post, that i would spread them out over multiple postings.

so this is the start of what i'm calling "memory mondays," where i'll post the memories and photos that friends have sent me.

the first one is from samantha, whom i've never had the chance to meet, but she and Jarronn went to freedom church and suitland high school together.

on july 22, samantha wrote:

Jarronn had the most amazing and warm smile:) That's what I remember most of him. I just remember how nice he was to EVERYONE!!! I think of his picture in the yearbook (I'm sure you've seen it) w/ his crazy outfit on!! LOL when he was voted class clown or most school spirited (???). Can't remember which one... but he has on that tight shirt!!! LOL Too funny!!!

I feel blessed to have even met such an awesome person. My life feels even richer to have known him. Your husband was/ is one of the best to have walked this earth and is a reflection of you.


now i don't have a scanner, but i felt that i couldn't deprive those of you who don't own a 1998 yearbook from suitland high school. so i did my best to take photos of the fanastic photo samantha referred to (it was for most school spirit), as well as an added bonus.

samantha keeps the program from Jarronn's memorial service on her dresser, and below is the beautiful photo she sent along. thank so much, samantha.

if you'd still like to send me your memory or photos about Jarronn, you can at any time. email

Friday, August 13, 2010


two nights ago, at 11:34 p.m., as i straightened up my room, i compulsively picked up my blackberry to check for new email messages.

and i had one.

i opened my inbox and saw the sender name was Jarronn Jackson. written in bold. jumping off the screen. my heart jumped. at first, i thought it had to be that i was reading the subject line, not the sender. so i stared. and i hesitated to open it.

when i did, i found a random message with a few words and a hyperlink. spam. it made no sense.

i closed the message. put down my phone. but as i put away the ironing board, i asked myself, "what had i hoped to find?"

perhaps a long lost message that had been trapped in cyberspace for over a year was finally going to reach me. or some kind of supernatural occurrence would allow Jarronn to communicate with me from another realm. i looked at his picture on my wall. reminded myself that this isn't a movie. this is real life.

and as much as i might hope for the supernatural, i have to settle for the small signs. things like a beautiful sunset, orbs in photos, songs on the radio playing at just the right time, or receiving the passage read on our wedding day in my inbox on july 30:

("Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Colossians 3:12-17)

these are my signs. my messages. i'm not even really sure what they tell me. and i try not to look for them or look too deep. but i appreciate them. and i hope they keep coming.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

after july 30

the past two weeks have been hectic, and i really appreciate all of the kind words, prayers, and thoughts and that so many of you sent my way.

the anniversary of Jarronn's death came at a crazy time, as i was working hard to finish the final projects for my masters degree. at times it was hard to find the meaning in completing my work as i was constantly reminded of the fragility of life and significance found not in titles, degrees, and accomplishments, but in relationships with the people we love.

but i'm happy to report that as of tuesday, i've completed my course work. now it's just a matter of waiting for my grades so i can officially declare my success.

in the day before the one year mark, i anticipated that i would be ok. that just like so many of the year's holidays have passed and felt no harder than living any other day without Jarronn, that i would be fine. but july 30, 2010 proved to be a lot tougher and lot more teary than i anticipated. writing the story of what happened likely didn't make that any easier. and while i never want people to stop reaching out to me with their words of encouragement and love, those words do remind me of everything i've had to endure. and i wish so badly that they weren't necessary.

thank you to everyone who sent in photos and memories of Jarronn. i'll be posting them over time, so if you'd still like to send something, please feel free to do so, by emailing and i can't tell you how happy it feels to hear from those of you who signed up to be organ and tissue donors. how beautiful. i mentioned how the washington regional transplant community has been a huge support to me since Jarronn's death, and i received the following except of a poem from them this week. i hope it touches you.

To Remember Me

Give my sight to a man who has never seen a sunrise, a baby's face or love in the eyes of a woman.

Give my heart to a person whose own heart has pain.

Give my blood to the teenager who was pulled from the wreckage of his car, so that he might live to see his grandchildren play.

Give my kidneys to one who depends on a machine to exist from week to week.

Take my bones, every muscle, every fiber and nerve in my body and find a way to make a crippled child walk.

If you must bury something, let it be my faults, my weaknesses and all my prejudice against my fellow man.

Give my sins to the devil. Give my soul to God. 

If, by chance, you wish to remember me, do it with a kind deed or word to someone who needs you.

If you do all I have asked, I will live forever. 

Robert N. Test