Today marks five years or 1,825 days or 43,800 hours which equates to over 2.6 million minutes that have crept by since you left us for heaven. My heart records every single tick of the clock as a scar; invisible to most but entirely suffocating to me. Sitting just a few feet from your room as I write this post, snow is gently falling and I can't help but remember every detail of your last morning with us. How giddy you were to be on the mountain for a beautiful Spring ski day. Wearing an In-N-Out t-shirt and basketball shorts over base layer; long red hair bouncing...you bounded down the stairs for breakfast.
Five years...it can hardly seem possible. You have missed SO much of us just as we have missed SO much of you!
I want you to know that even midst so much sorrow...joyful and happy times have weaved their way back into our world. Our family has been blessed to welcome the miraculous addition of baby Olivia Jocelyn
and twice blessed to witness baby Henry's miracle arrival just 6 months later. Your Mom and dad are grandparents...which makes you Auntie Jocie, can you believe it?
And your big sister is a mother, an incredible mama. Her once structured life now chaotically revolves around two little people. You would be so proud of her, I know we all are! Cass regularly tells her babes about Auntie Jocie and the millions of memories you made during your short life.
These little ones have stolen our hearts.
Sometimes their antics remind me of you...especially Olivia. For she is a girly girl who loves to dress up, adores all amounts of sugar, and thrives on teasing the dog along with her baby brother. Sound familiar?
Speaking of your baby brother, he is no longer little. Next month he'll be driving a car and going out on dates. Chet is now older than you were when you left us...such a difficult thought for me to navigate. Oh how I wish you were here to tease him and wrap you freckle kissed arms around his manly shoulders and squeeze him tight. The two of you would be knee-deep in music, skiing, and shenanigans...I'm certain of it.
Your dad is still the man of my dreams. Although he has experienced overbearing pain and grief from your loss...he has also found strength to smile again. Just like always, he continually makes me laugh.
Last year he proved to all of us that he is still a pretty tough guy. But beneath that strong exterior lies a daddy heart that beats a little quieter since you have been gone.
Every single time his skis lay tracks across freshly fallen mountain snow, I know he longs to turn his head and see you following close behind. Instead he settles for your spirit trailing next to him.
The Garlick sisterhood of the brown one, the blond one, and the red one is noticeably incomplete without you Jocie. Much like a three-legged stool missing that third leg, the balance is not quite the same. I know their loss is different than mine.
Living in LA now, I refer to Dione as lawyer girl. She is just a few months short of finishing law school at UCLA. Her commitment and achievement in accomplishing this law degree amazes me. You would love her new pooch Dorothy, she is sweet and adorable and just a tiny bit mischievous.
Love, Chet, Dad, Mom, Dione, Olivia, Bob, Cassandra and Henry
PS...And thank you for the snowflakes, I think they are a sign of your love showering down on everyone who misses you today.