Sunday, July 20, 2008

Eulogy & Poem

...Here's a eulogy written by my brother Steve and read by him at the cemetery. Below that is a poem written by my sister, J'Nelle.

Eulogy for Jacob

Thirty-three hours. That’s about how long Jacob was with us. He never let out a sound, yet his presence had a profound impact on family, friends and strangers. Reflecting on the past week, I found myself amazed that a life that is measured not in years or months or even days, but in hours, could bring about so much emotion. Jacob brought out our love and our sorrow; our hope and our fear; our sympathy and our empathy. He brought out the prayer of those who would never see him and the compassion of those who were blessed to meet him. I saw the tears from friends and coworkers at the mere thought of losing this precious child. I saw the love of parents for their own children as they heard Jacob’s story. I read the words of encouragement sent to Scott and Kira as they dealt with this difficult circumstance. I saw people reaching to God to help them understand and cope. I realized that Jacob’s life brought about an outpouring of faith. The extent of Jacob’s impact, or rather God’s impact through Jacob, has been far reaching and powerful. As the news of Jacob’s condition spread, I witnessed the outpouring of words of faith in God’s reasoning; faith that God had big plans for this tiny little boy’s brief life on earth. As we reached for God’s guidance and for clarity in understanding His design, we prayed for His influence on the doctors and hospital staff as they cared for Jacob. Ultimately, we prayed for peace for Scott and Kira as they began the grieving process. We prayed that they would find a sense of comfort in their time of despair. Isaiah 49:13 tells us “…the Lord has comforted His people and will have compassion on His suffering ones.” God will comfort us in the sorrow and sense of loss that so overwhelms us in times of grief. Many of us sought the reason for all of this. How can this be right? How can God’s plan take this life away from such loving parents? In His compassion for His people, God seemed to present a glimmer of understanding after Jacob’s passing. The news that, in spite of his weak state, Jacob’s heart was strong. Strong enough, in fact, to be used to save the life of another parent’s child. Maybe this was the “why” that we all sought. Maybe it was only part of the story. Certainly, it was an answer that was needed to comfort Scott and Kira. Of course, this doesn’t erase the pain, but it reminds us that God’s plan is right and is often just too big for us to comprehend. I have taken from this the belief that we can all find a reason in Jacob’s story. For some, it has brought renewed faith. For others, it has brought appreciation for family and loved ones. Jacob’s life and how Scott and Kira have dealt with his death have drawn many to grow closer to God and, hopefully, inspired some to discover God’s love. For me, it has driven a stronger sense of purpose and a greater connection to God and family. It is my hope that everyone who has been touched by Jacob’s story will find the answer that they seek and use the experience positively. Let Jacob’s time with us be a catalyst for growth, understanding, compassion and faith. Let it drive us to care for those around us. Use it to help make a difference in this world. By trusting in God’s plan for Jacob’s life, we can honor his memory for more than mere hours. By finding strength in Jacob’s story, his memory can live for a lifetime.

Jacob’s Heart

God has a plan, and His will is right.
We hold these promises as true,
But oh how our souls become heavy
With just the thought of you.
We saw your precious nose and lips
And even held your tiny little hands,
Yet you were only ours for a time
In this world of ever-shifting sands.

While we waited to hear the outcome,
God held your heart so strong.
He knit you with precision,
For His plan was perfect all along.
Our precious baby Jacob
Into this world you came
To give amazing gifts to others.
God knows each and every name.

With heavy chests and sobs of sorrow,
We consider our great loss,
But our eyes are turned toward heaven,
Where we find peace in He who endured the cross.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Today was Jacob's funeral and it brought with it an important step in the closure process. We had been going back and forth on whether or not we wanted to see him in his current state (it was closed casket), but in the end, we just realized there could be regret either way so we might as well go for it. We did, and it was a healthy step for us. Seeing him like that was difficult and sad, but in a weird way it was good to see the lifelessness about him. ...just kind of confirming that he's no longer with us on earth.

There is much we could write about today, but we'll leave you with the words that we tried to speak to those at the service.

Thank you for being here and walking through this with us. When we think about losing Jacob, we are heart-broken over the hopes we had for his life… getting to see him grow up with Brody, seeing his personality develop, which one of us he would more closely resemble, and the kind of man he would one day become. We will always wish we could have had more time to know him, and we will always wonder, what if.

Yet, we are so thankful for the 33 hrs that we had. We are grateful that he held on through nine months of pregnancy so that we could meet him, even in his imperfect state. We are grateful that another child my have life through his donated heart valves.

We are grateful to have loving and caring family and friends at our side. You have given us overwhelming support, prayerful encouragement, and perspective. Often, it has been your acts of selfless compassion and sympathy that have brought us to

Yet, as amazing as this support has been and as grateful as we are for family, friends, even this church, we know that it would all fall short if we did not have an abiding faith in and relationship with Jesus Christ. It is the truth of His word that gives us hope. Even in our sin and shortcomings, our questions and our doubts, He remains steadfast in His grace, and it is the promise of eternity laid out in His Word that brings us great joy for Jacob. He has been set free from the long list of challenges that bound him on earth, and one day, we will join with him again and have all of the why’s of God’s sovereign plan unfold before our eyes.

Thank you being here to meet and say goodbye to Jacob.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Here's the info on Jacob's funeral arrangements...

Calling/Visitation: 11am - 1pm, Thursday, July 17th at Muncie Alliance Church

Memorial Service: 1pm, Thursday, July 17th at Muncie Alliance Church

Burial: Immediately following the memorial service at the Gardens of Memory Cemetery.

*Muncie Alliance Church is located at 5601 W. Jackson St. Muncie, IN 47304
*Gardens of Memory Cemetery is located at 10501 North State Road 3 Muncie, Indiana 47303

Sunday, July 13, 2008

We are so thankful to have these images to help us remember Jacob. ...A friend of ours knew about an organization called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, and she arranged for one of their photographers (Brandy Ellen) to rush to the hospital for us on Thursday. ...In brief, this organization is a network of photographers who donate their time/skill in situations like ours. What an awesome organization. So glad our friend arranged this.
...After spending a few days at a half-way house (really just my brothers house in Dayton), we inched closer to the real world by coming home to Muncie today. The two nights at his house provided much needed rest and quiet away from the nurses checking in on us every hour. (Random Fact: It turns out when you're recovering in a hospital from child birth and you've lost that child, they put a small card on your door of petals falling from a rose.) ...We're doing OK. This whole grieving thing is still new to us, and we're kind of winging it.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

...Wanted to briefly mention that we will be sitting down on Monday to go over funeral plan stuff for Jacob. All we really know right now is that it will be held in Muncie probably mid to late this week, and something will be set up in lieu of flowers. We hope to have more info to share regarding all of this on Monday.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Jacob's Heart

During the many ultrasounds we have had over the last 9 months, we continually noticed Jacob’s strong and steady heart rate. We would be sad and scared to see his poor little head so full of fluid, but as they checked over the heart, we were comforted each time to see that his heart remained strong. Even in the hour before the c-section, we could see his steadfast heart rate on the monitor and hear each strong beat.

Once pulled from his mother’s womb and away from his source of oxygen, his heart stopped. Immediately, the doctors resuscitated him, and as their machines began to breathe for him, his heart came back strong.

In the span of a day, it became abundantly clear that Jacob lacked both the lung and brain stem capacity needed to sustain life. So yesterday, our friends and family each had the opportunity to meet, pray beside, and say goodbye to Jacob. His grandparents then gathered with us and a pastor/friend as we asked God to gather little Jacob into His arms. Kira and I stayed back to say our private goodbye, and as we comforted Jacob in our arms, the sweet nurse tearfully withdrew life support.

Our hearts are so broken to let go so soon, but there is joy and peace knowing God’s promise for Jacob and the complete healing that awaits him.

Later, Kira and I were alone in our hospital room when we received a phone call. A man on the phone from the tissue bank explained that the valves of Jacob’s strong heart could be donated for use in as many as two to three heart-sick babies. We gladly agreed to this donation.

…While we would not begin to assume or understand God’s plan behind Jacob’s short time with us, it was a timely encouragement for us to know that Jacob’s steadfast heart may give life to others.

Your prayer and encouragement continues to give us strength in this sad time.

We rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trial, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God love us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. (Romans 5:3-5)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Please pray for us as we cope with letting go of our Jacob this evening. All tests indicate he does not have a normal brain stem to support life. It is with great sadness that we say goodbye.

...A friend shared this vision with us yesterday, which has provided much needed encouragement.

I'm prompted to share the picture I got as many of us were praying for youand the Blakely's at church tonight. Take this for what it is -shared by human who could miss God. After I had seen the picture of Jacob on your blog tonight and as we were praying for you guys at church, I saw a picture (more like a moving picture) in my mind of Jacob running around playing, having fun in a beautiful field. He looked like he does in the picture but just a larger, 2 or 3 year old version freely playing in a field. Everything in the picture was bright and beautiful and it seemed like heaven. He was joyful, fun-loving, smiling and free there. Forgive me if this is hurtful but I hope that it brings some peace in the journey.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Update on Jacob

We wanted to give a quick update ....Kira's doing well following the c-section, but Jacob has a lot of unexpected complications. Most importantly, he cannot breathe on his own. It appears this is partly because his lungs are underdeveloped and possibly because his brain stem is too underdeveloped to regulate normal body function. Whenever they take him off the ventilator, he doesn't appear to make any effort to breathe on his own.

There is still a lot of testing and time required to know the situation better, but unfortunately the doctors are concerned about his survivability. We'll know more over the next few days. ....On top of these primary concerns, Jacob also has many other secondary abnormalities that are either pieces of a larger syndrome or a result of the hydrocephalus (low set ears, clenched fists/jaw, club feet, etc).

It's been a trying day, but we are hanging in there. Your prayers have meant so much to us!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Info on the big day

Less than two days until Jacob’s debut! This may be info-overload, but here’s a glimpse of how the doctors think Wednesday and Thursday will look…

The c-section is scheduled for 10:30am. Once they yank him out of there, they’ll give him a thorough exam while they put me back together. We’ll then be able to visit with him in the NICU. Later that day, we think Jacob will be transported about 5 minutes away to the Dayton Children’s Hospital where he’ll have a CT scan and other tests. He’ll stay the night there and have brain surgery Thursday. The neurosurgeon usually likes to wait 24 hours after birth before he would perform the shunt procedure. Meanwhile, I’ll be at Miami Valley Hospital for 2-3 days recovering from the c-section and being kept company by family and friends. Scott will be doing a little back and forth between hospitals until I’m able to join him at the Children’s hospital. …We’re really not sure how long Jacob will be in the hospital. It will all just depend on how he’s doing – his health in general, eating, gaining weight, etc. They’re guessing a couple weeks, but there’s not any way to know at this point.

While we’re in Dayton, Brody will be staying at Scott’s older brother’s house and Scott’s parents will be there to help take care of him.

We’re feeling pretty ready to move forward and see what God is going to do with all of this. Our hope is in Him, and we’ve been really encouraged by all of the support and love from everyone. I’m sure we have no idea what is in store for us, but we’ll soon find out! It’s just starting to hit me that this baby is actually going to be a real person and my son. I know that sounds a little dumb, but before you know the baby, it’s just the baby, but when he comes out, it’s a whole different story. Plus with all of the appointments and ultrasounds, the focus has been on this baby’s brain, kidneys and feet and not him. So I’m excited to finally meet this little guy, look at his face and know him.

Thanks for your support!! We’ve been overwhelmed by your prayer and encouragement.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Fun on the 4th

We were grateful to have a fun and relaxing 4th of July weekend before Jacob's arrival on the 9th!! Brody loved the fireworks almost as much as the glow stick/necklace his uncle Mikey got him. I don't know what it is about those things, but as soon as he got it he started shaking his little booty like he was at one of those rave parties. ...Then he kept saying "Whoa!" every time a big firework would go off.

...It's hard to believe the big week is already upon us!!! It will be great to meet this baby that soooo many people have been praying for. (Tomorrow we'll plan to post some more details about the week ahead.)