Saturday, December 12, 2015

Happy Birthday Jacob!

Dear Jacob,

Twelve years ago, I received the best possible early Christmas present, a wonderful son. I remember holding this tiny, perfect little person in my arms, and thinking that I could stare at him for hours. I had so many wishes of what I wanted for your life, but most of all I just wanted you to have all the happiness in the world, and I still have that wish.

As a parent it's supposed to be my job to make it all better. I'm supposed to be able to help fix it all. I struggle everyday to accept that your health is something that I can't make go away instantly. It hurts a lot to not be able to do something to make it better. And as much as I wish I had a "pause" button just so that you could have a break of this rollercoaster, but I haven't really found one of those in the stores.

This year has been both the best and worst of our lives. I see you struggle with your health every day, yet somehow you find the courage and strength to keep moving forward. I know that at times you don't feel like you have this inner strength, but it's clear to everyone who meets you that you do. I have seen you take the worst possible situations and work to create something beautiful out of the experiences. I've seen you shed tears of pain and frustration and as a parent, I wish that I could make it better. I wish that I could just snap my fingers and we'd both wake from this nightmare.

I also see the worries in your eyes as we search for answers to try to get answers to help you feel better. I've had so many of these worries in the past twelve years. The day you had your first seizure, 6 days before your 3rd birthday, and went unresponsive in my arms for 6 hours, it was the most helpless I had ever felt up until that point in my life. I was terrified that I was going to lose you before our life together really even began. But then you were diagnosed with Crohn's Disease and having heart problems as well, and suddenly that first seizure was nothing compared to what you've been through over the past 3 years. Life can just be so cruel at times, especially with all the holidays lately that you've had to spend at the hospital or in bed. I really wish that you could just be a "kid" again.

Despite all of the challenges that you've already faced over the 12 years, you've turned into this absolutely, hands-down amazing person. I always new that you were special, from the moment you started talking and walking, there was just something clearly different about you. I know that when I'm talking about you that I tend to start to get tears, and you always ask "Mom, why are you crying?" but I'm just so proud and amazed by you that I can't help it. The moment you turned to the surgeon and asked him to donate you colon to research to find a cure, it was clear to me that you were going to have a huge impact on a lot of people.

Then you created something unimaginable. You came up with another completely selfless gift, you wanted to make the Medical Short Stay Treatment Rooms at the hospital child-friendly, so that other kids would have a supportive environment that encouraged healing. But Jacob's healing rooms is about so much more than just the rooms themselves; you are inspiring others to make positive changes, you are showing others that one person can make a difference (even young people!), and you are giving others hope.  I am so incredibly proud of the young man you have become.

I am honored that I get to call you my son. I feel like the luckiest mom in the world to have a son like you. Always stay true to who you are because who you are is an amazing person to be. I wish you the happiest of birthdays my son.


  1. melissa this brought me to tears. I can totally place myself where you are in some degree. I feel for you and jacob both and I am proud to be abel to join you in watching this wonderful selfless young boy grow into the young man he is meant to be. thank you for sharing jacob and chloe with me. It is hard to believe that we have been connected since J was just six yrs old where does time go? I am proud to call you my Nephew jacob and no matter what this nasty chrons throws at you never give up you are a strong young man and an inspiration to many myself included. I love you jacob and happy birthday.

  2. Beautifully said Melissa...He sure is an amazing kid...xoxo

    1. Happy birthday to you
      Happy birthday to you
      Happy birthday dear jacob
      Happy birthday tooooo youuuu