Breakfast/ Dessert/ Dinner/ Exercise/ Fitness/ Lunch/ Product Reviews

Meet Mikey

Well, I’d be lying if I told you things were good today….but I think they were better.

Its so strange…..some moments things will feel normal and then it’ll flash through my mind, “john is dead!” and I’ll just break down all over again. I tried to get some normalcy back to my life though today because I knew it would be another long one with more family coming in town from all over the globe. My uncle flew in from Scotland, my aunt on the red eye from LA and tomorrow all my cousins come.

I guess the good news is that even though I thought it wasn’t possible, I’ve actually been sleeping. Eight or nine hours a night. I am returning to work a week from today so I don’t have to worry about crazy hours or any of that….I can just sleep. So, this morning I woke up at 7:45 and decided to go to the gym. I ate this fruit leather before I went:


And then I just zoned out completely on the elliptical for 30 minutes. No music, nothing. Just zoned out. It felt good to sweat and get my heart rate up and I was glad I went. Afterwards I came home and made breakfast—-

Today was the first time I’ve ever tried PB2. I was very excited to receive some samples from the kind folks at Bell Plantation and I tested it out for the first time this morning. I mixed the two tbsp sample of PB2 with a little water and topped my oatmeal with it, along with raw almond butter.


For the oats, I used 1/2 cup mixed with 1 cup water, half a banana and 1/4 cup egg whites. I really liked the PB2 because it had such an intense peanut buttery taste….it was a little messy though (or that may have just been me). I can’t wait to try the chocolate PB2 tomorrow. I feel like this stuff would be awesome mixed straight in with greek yogurt.

The rest of the morning was spent at the church….the ceremony on Wednesday is going to be really nice and I wish you all could be there with me. You will be in spirit, I promise. We are having a reception at our house to follow with friends and family and its going to be catered by Wrights, and we are expecting at least a couple hundred people. I didn’t photograph my lunch because I couldn’t find my camera but it was a leftover turkey deli sub and some raw veggies and hummus. One thing I’ve learned for sure over the past few days is this: NOTHING ruins Jenna’s appetite!!! I’ve been eating like mad, and the good stuff….chocolate chip cookies galore! The way I see it, when your brother dies you get a “I can eat anything I want for free card”. Life is just too short not to eat that cookie!

Snack was yogurt and puffins:


And then Ryan and I went to see Mikey. I mentioned Mikey the kitten before….John was going to do his senior internship at a Vet starting next week and was SO excited about it. He came home from his interview telling us that a tiny, tiny kitten was brought in and didn’t have a home so he kindly adopted it! Now my mom and I were sort of stunned when he told us this but it was just so John. He didn’t want anything or anyone to ever not have a home or not be loved. He loved that little cat so much and was so excited to bring it home next week when his internship started. Well, my parents officially adopted Mikey and we are getting him on Thursday. I started crying when I saw him today because he’s just so John. He has John’s spirit.



Dexter and Mikan are, of course, excited to be big brothers and when I held this tiny little kitten (he’s only 8 weeks old), I felt John there. I talked to John last night and told him that we are getting Mikey for him and I know he smiled down at me. This was John’s kitten and every time I ever hold him I will always think of my brother.

When we got back from the vet’s, there were cars parked all down the street. Guys, kids were POURING into our house. There must have been about 35 of them…..they came straight from school and just held my mom and I close. It touched me so much—-all of John’s friends today wore shirt and ties to school for John. They came to our house all dressed up and so handsome, as only 19 year old boys can be…trying to be strong for my mom but you could see the glimmer of tears in their eyes. The kids stayed for about an hour and a half and we went through stages of crying together, laughing together and being silent. And I found out that my little brother had a girlfriend for 5 months!!!!! Her name was Jessica and she was a complete doll. She came today and just held me close, telling me what a gentleman my little brother was and all he did for her. John kept her such a secret…I can’t believe I never knew! Now that I think back, he DID smell nicer during that time of his life! Jessica is going to speak at the Memorial and I know that we will stay in touch for the rest of our lives. John had good taste πŸ™‚

Dinner was brought over by another friend…….Cuban food to feed a crowd. Here’s my plate of chicken with rice topped with black beans, onions and hot sauce (told ya I didn’t lose my appetite!)


There was also a glass or two of red wine and half of an amazingly thick and rich oatmeal raisin cookie from the health food store that someone brought over:


John’s history teacher stopped by after dinner and ended up staying for a good two hours…just telling us all his good memories of John. Now that deserves a teacher of the year award. Through this horrific experience I have never been so incredibly thankful. Never. And mark my words, I will NEVER let this rest. I’m going to do something…I don’t know what yet but I’m going to do it. I’m going to take a stand against guns, do something with gun control, anything, SOMETHING. I don’t want this to ever happen to another innocent kid again. What 22 year old kid just has a loaded 45 on the coffee table I ask you?! I’ve never felt so passionate about anything in my life and now I know what I’m meant to do. I couldn’t save John’s life but I will save others.

Whew! Had to get that off my chest. I’m also going to be getting another tattoo to honor John. John was DYING to get a tattoo and we told him he had to wait until he was 19. Well, he just turned 19 two weeks ago and he had the whole thing planned out. He wanted a cross with the words “give me strength” across it on his back. My dad is now getting the exact tattoo John wanted, in the spot John wanted it, but I’m going to get something as well.

I’m going to bed now. Going to try to run in the morning and more family is flying in tomorrow. Again, I thank each one of you from the bottom most core part of my spirit for your condolences. Your emails, your comments and your calls and messages have brought me to tears. You will be the thing that gets me through the upcoming days when reality sets in and I just don’t think I have the strength to move or even breathe. You all are it. And I love you for it.

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  • Amy
    April 27, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    I’m thinking of you and your family, Jenna. This is a terrible time for you but we’re all here to help you through it. I think it’s great that you are going to take a stand against guns and that you’re adopting Mikey. I’m sure John is really proud of you.

  • Danielle
    April 27, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    Sounds like you have a very strong support system which is so important. That kitten is adorable and such a good way to remember your brother.
    Of course I would rather this have never happened to you and your family but it has made me realize how I took so many things for granted and tonight I spent a few hours with my sister and made sure to say I loved her before I left because you just never know what can happen.

  • Courtney (The Hungry Yogini)
    April 27, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    You are just radiating with love for John. It is so beautiful and I know that he hears you when you talk to him. Oh Jenna, I wish there was something I could do to make this easier for you. I love you my friend and you and your family haven’t left my mind. I keep repeating this poem in my mind and it just makes me think of you.

    i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
    my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
    i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
    by only me is your doing,my darling)
    i fear
    no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
    no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
    and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
    and whatever a sun will always sing is you

    here is the deepest secret nobody knows
    (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
    and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
    higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
    and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

    i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
    -ee cummings

    I know you will always carry John’s heart with you. And he will carry yours.

    Love and prayers,

  • katie s
    April 27, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    That is such an amazing post, Jenna. I am once again in tears thinking of you and your family. I hope nothing but the best for you, your family, and Mikey. I am just in so much awe of you and your strength. John sounds like such an incredible person, how blessed we were to have him. We all love you and will keep you in our thoughts. Stay strong, be brave, an keep love in your heart no matter what.

  • Emily
    April 27, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    We love you too Jenna and hurt for you! I am so glad that there are so many people around to comfort you and your family. Mikey is adorable and I am sure your brother would be so happy that you gave him a home! You are continually in my prayers!

  • Samantha
    April 27, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    I love those fruit leathers! One of the MANY things I haven’t found here yet on this island. I have to thank you though, through so many of your product mentions and reviews, I am finding so many people that are willing to ship items to Guam…such as Katie from Naturally Nutty.

    Mikey is absolutely precious and I know you’re just going to delight in him. How freakin’ cute!!!

    There’s a passage that was shared with my family and I when my father passed away suddenly at a young age from a heart attack…I felt compelled to pass it along…

    I WISH YOU ENOUGH by Bob Perks
    “I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
    I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
    I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
    I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much
    I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
    I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
    I wish enough “Hello’s” to get you through the final “Goodbye.”

  • Kristin @ Iowa Girl Eats
    April 27, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    It must be incredible to hear and see how much your brother was loved and will be missed by his peers. I have two brothers and I just can’t imagine what I would do if anything like this happened to either one of them. It sounds like you’re incredibly strong and have an amazing support system behind you. My prayers continue to be with you, your family and your brother. What an awesome way to keep him on your mind daily with the kitten – very sweet. πŸ™‚

  • Anais
    April 27, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    I didn’t know your brother but I definitely see what you mean about Mikey!!! I don’t know if it’s the color of the fur or what but you can feel John in his furry little body πŸ™‚

    I am also so proud of you for wanting to take a stand against what happened to your brother. People often don’t realize what guns can do until something bad happens, so the fact that you will be there to prevent that from happening to others is truly great. You’re an amazing person! πŸ™‚

  • mags
    April 27, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    jenna i am in awe everytime you write. you are truely an amazing person.

  • Brooke M
    April 27, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Mikey is the most gorgeous little kitty I’ve ever seen! I am sure your brother is watching over you and your family from heaven every single second of the day. That must have been so touching to see all those high school boys dressed up in honor of your brother. He sounds like he was and is so loved by everyone! And look at all the yummy food that I’m betting John has been bringing into your house.. especially for your blog πŸ™‚

    p.s. Listen to the song Lifetime by Better Than Ezra; it’s beautiful.

  • Michelle Hisae
    April 27, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Stay strong. That tattoo is a sign of him you can carry with you and show forever. You are a truly resilient person, even keeping us updated. All the best.

  • Laura
    April 27, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    I am glad to hear that you are sleeping and feeling a little better. I know it must still be a blur but you really seem to be do amazing and I give you so much credit. Clearly both you and your brother were loved and admired and I am so happy that you have received so much support. It is true that life is short and I am sure you know that more than ever so definitely indulge and live to the fullest. I wish you all the best in you future stand that you are contemplating I know that your passion will lead you far. Keep on being strong and I will keep you and my family in my prayers. πŸ™‚
    <3 Laura

  • Emily
    April 27, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    Hi Jenna,

    I’m so glad that you are finding some comfort in the amazing people around you, Mikey, and the blogging community. I have been thinking about you and your family so much and are keeping you in my heart. You have been the ultimate vision of strength and continue to act as an inspiration. Please take care.


  • marie
    April 27, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    Again, there is nothing to say except that you and your family are in my prayers, and I so, so wish that there was more I could do.

  • Michelle
    April 27, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    Jenna, this is another beautiful post. I’ve really enjoyed getting to hear about your brother and wanted to say thanks for sharing so much about him with all of us. It’s so hard to find the right words at a time like this, but I just wanted you to know I’m thinking of you.

  • Faith C.
    April 27, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    What beautiful tributes to John – all of his friends, his teacher, Mikey and the tattoos….these are the ways that he will live on through others, for sure. I love that your dad is getting the same thing John wanted and that you will get one to honor him as well. This may sound silly, but I got the Chinese character for strength tattooed on my back when I was 21, it was a way to symbolize what I had needed to get me through some very tough times, and you know, every time I think of it or see it, it reminds me of that inner strength and that I had been through terrible things and come through…..I hope that your does the same for you, to remind you of not only your wonderful brother but the strength that he had and that you have as well. We love you too, Jenna…you are an awesome person. πŸ™‚

  • Marissa
    April 27, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    You are such an amazing person!

  • Sarah
    April 27, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    Jenna, I’m a long time reader and I have been thinking of you and your family constantly since I read about your brother. You’re not alone! There have been so many times over the past few days when I’ll stop and think “I can’t believe Jenna’s brother died”! It’s affected me so much and I don’t even know you. You’ve brought so many people into your life through your blog and now we are all here to love on you and your family through this time in your life. I’m so thankful that you know the Lord and I pray that He will graciously give you strength during the coming days and weeks.

  • Lindsay
    April 27, 2009 at 8:19 pm


    I’m so glad you’re able to get back into the routine of your normal life. John’s friends and girlfriend sound amazing; your family must be very touched. Also, your passion is so evident, even now. You are truly an amazing woman – you have lots of people who look up to you, myself included!


  • Kelly
    April 27, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Jenna – I have been a lurker for about a year now. I really enjoy your blog, since I can’t read it at work, catching up on what you’d have been doing over the course of a week is always a highlight for me and a way to get some great ideas about healthy and yummy snacks. At the same time, I have to be honest and say I was always a bit cynical. You were ALWAYS smiling and in a good mood, using a ton of exclamation points and bold font!!! Never once did I ever see you write about having an exceptionally bad day or wanting to just hide away from the world. I used to think to myself, “man this girl is too much, there’s no way anyone can be that happy, she must be delusional.” Except it was me that was wrong – you are not delusional, because I see now that you are blessed with this gift of joy. Despite your troubles and these hard times, you manage to write to us all to tell us about yourself, even if you say its for you, we are all here waiting to see how you are doing. So, I learned something about my own capacity for seeing the bigger picture by reading about what you are going through. And for that I want to thank you. I hope you find peace with your family and friends around you, you are a lucky girl.

  • Ali
    April 27, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    You are so strong. Thinking about what you are going through is impossible, but I would like to think if I ever had to go through a tragedy like this, I would handle it like you. Put your energy, anger, sadness and love for John into changing the world and you know you will have hundreds of people behind you.
    You and your family are in our prayers.
    πŸ™‚ Ali

  • Michelle
    April 27, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Beautifully written. You’re so honest, raw, genuine and moving. I get teary from reading it because I feel for you. Guns are such an interesting thing which America is seems battles with the most. Good on your for taking a stand. Bless your family and the kitten is adorable.

  • courtney
    April 27, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Your readers love you too, Jenna! Your family is amazing, and all of your love and work to honor John’s memory is heart-warming. I am so sorry this has happened, but I know that John will live on in your hearts and that his wonderful personality has touched so many people both in life and here in the blog. Mickey is one lucky kitty, and will be a reminder of what a special brother John was. I am thinking of you!!!

  • Laura
    April 27, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    as a cat lover, i know how they channel everything you love and everything you miss. when i’m happiest and when i’m most sad, i can bury my face in my cat’s fur and just breathe in the wild smell of natural freedom and the docile scent of 15 years of loyalty. i’ve poured into my cat all the lost friendships, lost dreams, lost grandfather, and lost days of my soul, and i feel her powerful healing when she purrs.

    hopefully mikey will be that comfort for you too, one day at a time, for years to come.

  • Jessica
    April 27, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Jenna, that picture of you with Mikey the kitten is adorable. I’m sure your brother was smiling down thinking what an amazing sister he has.

  • Eleanor
    April 27, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    My thoughts are with you. I admire your grace and strength in dealing with this so much– I hope you know that even in the worst of times, you are an inspiration.

  • Amelia
    April 27, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    I think it’s wonderful the ways you and your family are choosing to honor John. It is clear he was a tremendous person who touched so many lives. I think the things you do now will be the big things that give you strength going forward.
    You have been such an inspiration to so many, including me. Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • jessnyc
    April 27, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    mikey is so adorable! i love that you’re giving him such a good home πŸ™‚ i love the tattoo idea, your’s and your dad’s! stay strong, but know friends are here when you need anything.

  • Amy
    April 27, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    What an adorable cat. I know that your brother is looking down and smiling. It sounds like he was an amazing person, who led an amazing life, that was cut tragically short. I know that you will do something important with this and bring awareness to so many more people.

  • Priyanka
    April 27, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    Jenna there are no words to describe your strength and how amazing you are! Your love and passion for your brother is just radiating out of your writing. Guns! I still don’t understand why are they so out in the open like some candy! Great stand!

    Mikey is adorable! You have a great support system Jenna! You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers!

  • Juli
    April 27, 2009 at 8:26 pm


    Keep on being loving and forgiving with yourself. So many wonderful tributes to your kind-hearted brother. Also glad to hear you can smile some, as well as cry. Feel what you feel- honor yourself.


  • Sarah (lovINmytummy)
    April 27, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    I cried when I saw Mikey too. He is perfect.
    I kind of knew you would find a way to give this tragedy a bigger purpose and meaning. You have such a STRONG voice and a gift for reaching people, and I am so excited to see how you will use this to make an IMPACT on gun control laws.
    Still praying for you and yours!

  • Rebeca
    April 27, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Mikey is beautiful… I’m sure that John is so happy that he can be part of your family and help heal your hearts. Please let me/us know how and if you need anything.

    I had a really long conversation with my brother about this issue, too many young “kids” think they are immortal and that they can “play” with some really dangerous things… I’m glad you’re eating so well and that you have such a wonderful support system.

    It might not mean much coming from some stranger, but I come from a family of deep faith and grew up as a missionary’s kid… My family is all praying for you, and I hope you don’t mind but I added your name to our church’s prayer list and now my entire church family is praying for your family.

    Continue taking care of yourself!

    Love in Christ,

  • Brittany
    April 27, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    It sounds as though John was such a great guy. I’m happy that you have a lovely family and network of friends to support you during this time. And, all of us blog readers will be with you in spirit tomorrow.

    I love Mikey. He is the cutest little kitten ever.

  • Natalie
    April 27, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    Jenna we absolutely love you to. I am glad you are so able to express your emotions and reading each of your post about John has given me chills and left me in tears. You are beyond beautiful inside and out and have been a huge inspriation to me since I started reading this blog over a year ago. I have been thinking about you and your family all weekend and will continue to pray for you everyday.

    Peace & Love

  • Jen
    April 27, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    Mikey is adorable, Jenna. It warms my heart so much to know that you and your family are carrying out John’s plans–adopting Mikey, getting the tattoo he wanted. I also most definitely support your desire to take action towards guns and our youth. I pray you’ll stay strong during these next few days, when things will undoubtedly be even tougher for you; I know you can find the astounding strength within you to get through it.

  • allijag
    April 27, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    I love Mikey! I think that is so fabulous – and I know John is so happy Mikey has a wonderful home now. I think the tattoos are fabulous as well. Your brothers physical body may be gone, but quite obviously his spirit lives on through all the lives he touched, and will continue to do so for many years. Keep hanging in there Jenna!

  • Kodi
    April 27, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    I have been thinking and praying about you and your brother all weekend. I have no words for you, but I know that God is with you and your brother and he will never leave us alone. Keep your strength up and chocolate is meant to be eaten ;).

  • polly
    April 27, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    I agree with Sarah. Mikey is perfect. Cute as ever, just like John. Love you, sunshine and God has huge plans for you in all of this! He gave you that AMAZING spirit for a reason! XXOO

  • Lisa
    April 27, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Thank you for posting this week. I know how cathartic writing and exercise can be, and I’m glad you’re engaging in both. And talk to John…I promise he hears you. I was close to a 15 year old girl who died, my boss’s daughter. I pray to her all of the time. She had such a strong faith, and I know how happy she is that we pray to her. And your testimony this week has already spoken to us about guns. You are already making a difference.

  • Alisa - One Frugal Foodie
    April 27, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Mikey looks like an amazing little cat for such a wonderful home.

  • Char
    April 27, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    I’m not a cat person at all — but just looking at the photos of Mikey makes my heart smile! I’m sure John is smiling as well, knowing that Mikey will have a great home with your family. You, Ryan and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Andrea
    April 27, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    we are all thinking of you. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Mikey is so adorable, John picks his pets well πŸ™‚

  • Adie
    April 27, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    Jenna, it’s great that you’re trying to get back to some type of normalcy. I know it’s hard and may seem selfish, but you need to do the things that make you happy and the things that make you, you. John loved you for who you are…and the things you do make you who you are. He would want you to be happy and to be doing the things you love. You will be honoring him by doing so.

    On another note, I cannot imagine what you are going through. My 3 siblings and I are SO close and I don’t know what I would do if something happened to them. It’s hard enough to know that I have a brother I’ve never met, I can’t imagine how hard it would be losing the one I have now, or either of my 2 sisters.

    Stay strong and know that God is watching over you and your family during this tough time.

  • Allison
    April 27, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    John seems like he was such an incredible guy! Your love for him really shows. I think that is such a blessing that you have Mikey. He will be a perfect reminder that John is always at your side. It’s good to hear that your sleeping well. Taking care of yourself is important and can be hard at times like these. Keep praying and hang in there. You and your family will continue to be in my praryers.

  • Brooke
    April 27, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    I am constantly checking your blog to make sure you are doing ok. I am so glad you have your family and Ryan and now Mikey with you during this incredibly hard time in your life.

  • Allie Katie
    April 27, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    Mikey is just about the cutest kitten I have ever seen. He is oddly boy-ish (manly?) looking. Maybe it is his coloring. Clearly it is John coming through in Mikey.
    Jenna, your strength is amazing. And in the times when you don’t feel strong, we’re here for you, your family is there for you, God is there for you. You are loved, and I am glad you are seeing more and more just how loved your brother was.

  • Monica
    April 27, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    Oh Jenna, Mikey is so cute. He will be a wonderful reminder of John and the compassionate person he was. Thanks for sharing stories about John. Your family is truly one of a kind. I am continuing to pray for you all.

  • Nicole
    April 27, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    I recently became interested in food blogs and happened to stumble across your blog on Sunday. Reading about the loss of your brother made me so sad but reading about how you are managing to keep his spirit alive as well as keeping yourself sane has given me new meaning for the word, ‘strength’. And as I continue reading other food blogs, I am realizing just how special of a person you truly are from seeing all the support and love that people are sending to you and your family. Jenna, I don’t know you very well but what I do know is that you are an incredible person. Your brother was lucky to have a sister like you and you were lucky to have been blessed with the time you had with your brother. My thoughts go out to you and your family. Please keep smiling and know that you are in our prayers. John seemed like such an extraordinary person and I know he will forever be your angel. Take care.

  • Shelly
    April 27, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    While I read your wonderful blog daily, Jenna, I’ve not commented until now. I’m so sorry for the loss of your brother. He seemed to be as genuine and kind as you are. You are truly one of the strongest, most inspiring people I know. You and your family have been in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Kimberly
    April 27, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    I cried reading this post… I feel like I know John more and more through each mention of him, and am so glad I do! In only 19 brief years on Earth, how deeply he enriched the lives of all he knew. Mikey is precious, and I’m so glad that he is now part of your family.

    I believe very, very strongly in gun control, especially here in the state of Florida. We WILL stop this sort of tragedy from happening again.

  • Tamara
    April 27, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    We love you, too, Jenna! Stay strong!

  • emily
    April 27, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    I’ve always been really strongly anti-gun but last year when my friend was shot it reinforced my beliefs even more. I talked at the time about doing something to change policy but never followed through. I (most likely) am moving to FL this summer and I would love to be involved with helping you in any way.

  • Jennie
    April 27, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Again, your writing was so beautiful and your candidness brought tears to my ears. Stay strong.

  • Meredith
    April 27, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Mikey is adorable!

    When my dad died, we donated his organs and someone sent me this newspaper clipping that I have saved for years:

    To Remember Me- By Robert N. Test
    The day will come when my body will lie upon a white sheet neatly tucked under four corners of a mattress located in a hospital; busily occupied with the living and the dying. At a certain moment a doctor will determine that my brain has ceased to function and that my life has stopped. Don’t call this my deathbed. Let it be called the bed of life, and let my body be taken from it to help others lead fuller lives.
    Give my sight to the 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 caused nothing but endless days of 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 the 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.
    Explore every corner of my brain.
    Take my cells, if necessary, and let them grow so that, someday a speechless boy will shout at the crack of a bat and a deaf girl will hear the sound of rain against her window.
    Burn what is left of me and scatter the ashes to the winds to help the flowers grow.
    If you must bury something, let it be my faults, my weakness and all prejudice against my fellow man.
    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.

  • emily
    April 27, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Jenna, your strength is beyond inspiring and you are so brave and full of love to be sharing this with an undeserving world. That picture of you and Mikey brought tears because you are holding him with such affection and hope and it’s beautiful to see someone who is caring enough to do things for others in times of sadness- I hope he brings you comfort. I am also so proud (who knew how proud you could be of someone you’ve never met!?) that you want to take a stand because of what happened to your brother- I have been involved in gun control organizations and rallies and one of the most touching and convincing moments of my participation was when a man came to the podium at a Million Mom March to talk about his little brother’s death because of a tragic, preventable accident. His words were full of pain but also purpose and it was incredible to see the impact that he had on a huge crowd of people. I wish you all the luck, strength, love and support that is clearly already out there for you. you are such an amazing woman.

  • Katrina (gluten free gidget)
    April 27, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    Your brother seemed to touch everyone who knew him. And, that kitten is his gift to you and your parents. He is smiling down from heaven.

  • sandy
    April 27, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    Bless you and your sweet nature Jenna.
    What a beautiful thing to be able to hug and cuddle that kitty for years to come and be able to feel so close to your beloved brother.

    I don’t know how you and your family are coping with the senseless cause of John’s death.
    We have slightly better gun laws in Canada.
    If this isn’t a cry out for change with gun laws in the U.S.A. then I don’t know what could possibly.
    How many other amazing lives have to be lost?When will it finally be too many that something will really change?
    Your family should never have had to experience this.
    I know you will try and do something Jenna, I feel the strength of your words and determination.And you are not alone.I have a feeling this blog community will be more than supportive to the cause.
    Bless you and all who are grieving for your brother.

  • ashley (sweet & natural)
    April 27, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    Jenna, your posts are so beautiful. Thank you for sharing with us. You and your family will continue to be in my thoughts.

  • Heather
    April 27, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    Jenna, you are truly an amazing person. Stay strong. I continue to think of you and your family. Mikey is adorable! I’m sure John would be proud of you all.

  • Whitney
    April 27, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    I had a friend that was shot less than a week before we graduated from HS from an accidental shooting and it has made me hate guns. I will never understand people that have them, especially hand guns.

    I am still so sad for your unspeakable loss. Looks like Mikey will grow into an adorable cat to live on the memory of your brother.

    Thinking about you again today.


  • Laura (On the Threshold of Greatness)
    April 27, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    I will continue to keep you and your family in my prayers. How thoughtful of the guys to dress up in John’s honor. The picture of you and Mikey made me tear up, as did the story of the tattoos. You are honoring John in the most beautiful and thoughtful ways.

  • Beth
    April 27, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    You are an inspiration and so strong as you share your emotions with us. I would have loved to have known your brother; he sounds like an amazing person. Take care and keep letting us know how you and your family are doing.

  • Claire
    April 27, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    I will be praying for y’all even more on Wednesday. We know a church in Clewiston, FL that just lost it’s 30-something year old pastor this past Friday and are having his service on Wednesday as well…so many prayers will be lifted for those who mourn on Wednesday! Just remember, Jesus wept for those He loved but He is also the giver of joy and strength! He will provide this for you, I am confident of it!

  • Claire
    April 27, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    BTW, Mikey is just PRECIOUS!

  • Karissa
    April 27, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    Jenna I just wanted to say that I’m thinking, praying, loving and supporting you through this tough time. I can not begin to imagine the pain you and your family are experiencing right now. I admire you and please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Stephanie
    April 27, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    God bless you Jenna. I’m praying for you every day. You are loved. Stephanie

  • krista
    April 27, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    I have been praying for you, John and your family for the past 3 days. You are such a beautiful person and such an inspiration of strength. I think about your situation often throughout the day and it has truly changed me. Life is too short and I have been telling people I love them a lot more frequently. I will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
    In Christ,

  • lora
    April 27, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    it sounds as though you are holding up well because of the amazing support system you have….I personally have 3 tattoos but my FIRST was of the name of Max Ehrman’s poem “DESIDERATA” the most beautiful poem ever…after I went through a life altering year, I decided to get this poem in cursive on my wrist as a reminder that we are all children of the universe and of nature and we all deserve peace and happiness..I know you will love the poem once you read it.

    have a nice tuesday and I am praying for your family and John in heaven.


  • Lindsey
    April 27, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    Jenna, I am in awe of your strength. I assure you, you are stronger than you give yourself credit for! I’ve been reading your entries and have been crying with you. I know what it’s like to lose someone you love and your tragedy is bringing up emotions for me as well. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, I promise you it will get easier with time. I know it doesn’t seem like it, but it will. You will always miss your brother, but he will always be with you too. I am certain that he is looking down on you and seeing what a great sister he has. He’s with the Lord now–what a great place to be!
    Also, Mikey is absolutely adorable!

  • Amandamoo
    April 27, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    I’m in awe of your strength and composure. You are such a strong woman, don’t doubt that. Get yourself up on that gun control soapbox! We’ll stand there with you.

  • runeatrepeat
    April 27, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    I’ve been thinking about you and your family constantly since you posted about John. You were so lucky to have such a great brother, even if it was for such a short time. It is a shame that his life ended so soon, he sounds like a blessing. I am praying for you. God bless and take care.

  • Lindsey
    April 27, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    Also, my first (and so far, only) tattoo is of my nephew’s footprint who passed away 5 years ago. It’s on my foot and I absolutely love it. I think tattoos are an amazing way to honor someone you love.

  • Amanda
    April 27, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    Keep on keepin’ on Jenna. You have amazingly seen the light in the storm and I am sure that your brother is looking down on you and smiling. Mikey sounds like the perfect addition, it’s almost like he was brought to you for a reason. Also, I think it’s WONDERFUL that plan to make a difference regarding gun control. We are absolutely all behind you … just tell us how we can help (coming up with ideas, signing petitions, donating money, running in races, etc.) and we will be there in a heartbeat! You have no idea how many people you have touched since you started blogging, and we have your back πŸ™‚

  • Mary
    April 27, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    *adorable* kitty. You are so strong Jenna, and I am so very glad for all of the support you are receiving. A lot of prayers and support coming out from California.

  • Kelly Olexa
    April 27, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    I’m so praying for you and thinking of you.

  • Rhoni
    April 27, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    I’m a newer reader, but I seriously enjoy your blog. And I’m so sorry for your loss. But it’s great that you have so many who care to help you through this. And I’m so glad to hear you want to take a stand against gun violence. I’m so sick of people saying “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Well, this story proves that wrong once and for all. Watch “Bowling for Columbine” if you haven’t already. And then if you need help, supporters, anything…don’t hesitate to ask for volunteers! πŸ™‚ I’m not local, but I’d love to help in any way that I can. Peace and love to you and your family.

  • Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat)
    April 27, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Aw your kitten is so adorable! I can’t wait to see what sort of tattoo you decide to get!

  • Eliza
    April 27, 2009 at 9:59 pm


    I read your blog often but have never commented. I am so inspired by you, truly, and I am sure you must fell horrible, but I have confidence that you will deal with this tragic challenge with all the grace you exhibit every day on this blog. Last year, a loved one of mine died, and at the funeral, someone read this poem. I hope it brings you some comfort, as it did to me.

    Do not stand at my grave and weep,
    I am not there, I do not sleep.
    I am in a thousand winds that blow,
    I am the softly falling snow.
    I am the gentle showers of rain,
    I am the fields of ripening grain.
    I am in the morning hush,
    I am in the graceful rush
    Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
    I am the starshine of the night.
    I am in the flowers that bloom,
    I am in a quiet room.
    I am in the birds that sing,
    I am in each lovely thing.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry,
    I am not there. I do not die.

    I wish you all the best, and you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • meryl
    April 27, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    hey jenna πŸ™‚

    I just wanted to say thank you for being so transparent and for allowing God to work through you in this tough time- it truly has made a difference, and you are carrying John’s legacy all over the country because of it.

    I thought you should know that I shared your story with my church today via the email prayer chain and asked them to pray for you. I directed them to your blog and you would not even believe the response I have gotten.

    People are so encouraged and uplifted by your spirit and faith, lady! A couple even emailed and told me that after reading your blog, they reached out to their estranged son because it reminded them how precious life is.

    I know we have never met, but I wanted you to know that John is still helping people today… rest in your Father’s arms, I am praying for you guys.

  • Christine
    April 27, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    That kitten is beautiful and you are an inspiration to us all. You and your family are in my prayers and thoughts.

  • Kailey (SnackFace)
    April 27, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    Jenna, I am so happy to see the embodiment of your brother in Mikey! My goodness, that kitten’s eyes look as though you could peer into them, and the kitten would understand and always be there, just like your brother’s spirit. I got teary when I saw the pics of Mikey and you together. Amazing.

    I think it’s great that you are going to be proactive with something relating to gun control. You are such a powerful force with a strong spirit that I can’t wait to see (and support) whatever you do.

    The tattoo to honor your brother is also phenomenal. He will always be with you.

    I know I’ve never met you, but after reading about your life for over a year now, I honestly have love for you. You and your family are still in my thoughts and prayers. Sleep tight.

  • Janet
    April 27, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Girl, you eat what you want! You’re right – life’s too short, have that cookie, etc! I’m so, so glad to see that you are able to sleep and eat and also that you have such an amazing support system around you. You and your brother are very loved!

    I’ve been thinking about you and your family a lot these last few days. I can’t imagine what you are going through, but just know that so many people are thinking of you and wishing you the best!

    Mikey is adorable and I’m so glad you guys got to adopt him!

  • *Andrea*
    April 27, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    jenna i am in tears again reading your posts. i cannot imagine how you feel as i have a younger sister too. i think the Tatoo sounds like a great idea and mikey is an adorable kitty. your idea to do something for gun control is such a great way to do something to honor your brother. it speaks so much to him that all his friends are there for your fmaily and his teacher! he was clearly VERY LOVED<3

  • Hangry Pants
    April 27, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    I am glad you are able to find some sort of normalcy in the midst of all this. It’s wonderful that friends and family are around you. And I am totally with you on gun laws. I know all the arguments on both sides, but I don’t care – I see no reason for it.

  • Marion
    April 27, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Jenna, I’ve been reading your blog for almost a year but never left a comment. Catching up on your past few posts just now has left me so sad for you and your family. I am praying for you guys, and am so so sorry for your loss. May you be given peace that surpasses all understanding through Christ.


  • patti
    April 27, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    i’m also a lurker, love your blog. sending prayers to you and your family during this heartbreaking time

  • Jessica
    April 27, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    The kitten is adorable, and what a great way to remember and honor John. Again, I am so sorry for your loss. You seem remarkably strong. I’m still praying for you and your family. Take care.

  • Petra B
    April 27, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    Your strength is increadible, Jenna. My thoughts and wishes are with you all through this tragic time.

    It’s so lovely that you adopted the kitten, it is such a beautiful act of rememberance, as are the tattoos. He will remain forever with you all.

    Take care of yourself.

  • Danica
    April 27, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    Awwww – the kitten is soooo adorable! I am so glad his spirit lives on through the kitty. Continue to take care of yourself.

  • Tabby
    April 27, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    I just wanted to let you know that I have been and will continue to pray for you and your family. God is definitely giving you the strength to get through all of this and I pray that he will continue to strengthen you and your family. I think that the kitten is such a great way to honor your brother, he would be so happy to know that this little animal that he loved still has a place with your family even though he is no longer there. The cat will be a great reminder of the love that he had for your family and that you all will always have for him. I’m keeping all of you in my prayers!

  • lisa
    April 27, 2009 at 10:51 pm


    that photo of you and mikey is such a genuine portrait of how you are feeling john’s spirit. i have no doubt that you will continue on feeling his spirit, just like you said.

    i know tomorrow’s ceremony will be very fitting for john, i hope you find some healing in it.

    take care!

  • Anne P
    April 27, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    Mikey is so adorable… what a wonderful way to keep John’s spirit alive. That is a really beautiful photo of the two of you.

  • Moran (The Running Addict)
    April 27, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    Thank you for sharing this with us Jenna!
    It feels good to know John through your eyes, and he sounds like such an amazing young man!

  • Alex
    April 27, 2009 at 11:04 pm


    You have great strenght to be admired for and how you are handeling your loss. It’s great to see that you are getting some of your normal routine back. The strenght that you have to keep going and stand to do something against guns. The photo of you and Mickey really shows the passion you had for your brother. Again I am very sorry for your loss and just keep going foward and keep having the great strength you have.

  • Still Life in South America
    April 27, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    I’m wiping tears away as well. That was such a touching post.

    I’m glad that taking care of little Mikey can be a reminder of John’s love, care, and thoughtfulness.

    Keep eating and writing, lady.

    A @ Still Life

  • Stacey M
    April 27, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    *Love Lives On*
    Those we love remain with us
    for love itself lives on,
    and cherished memories never fade
    because a loved one’s gone.
    Those we love can never be
    more than a thought apart,
    far as long as there is memory,
    they’ll live on in the heart.

  • Jessica
    April 27, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    Stay strong Jenna!! It sounds like you are doing the best given the situation, and the new kitten and future tattoo will leave you with such great memories of your brother!! Once again, I’m so sorry about the loss but I think it’s great that you are going to be so proactive now about gun control!

  • justrun
    April 28, 2009 at 12:03 am

    Jenna- My thoughts and prayers are with your family and will continue to be. I am inspired by you now more than ever.
    God bless you and your family.

  • Leah @ Simply Fabulous
    April 28, 2009 at 12:19 am

    Mikey is adorable. I’m so happy that you were able to hold him and feel your brother’s presence. I’m so glad that you have so many people there who are able to laugh, cry, and tell stories with you. Cute story about the girlfriend by the way!!
    Love the tattoo sentiment. It will be a wonderful tribute to him.

  • amanda
    April 28, 2009 at 12:43 am

    that kitten is so cute! I am glad you are going to do something to try and save other kid’s lives, I wish you the best in that and I know you will do a good job! It unfortunatly happens more then we think, people need to have those things locked away!
    God Bless =)

  • A
    April 28, 2009 at 1:03 am

    I think about you often, Jenna, at random moments, when I’m working or happily chatting away with friends, and the tragedy of this incident strikes me every time…
    I am sending you many good thoughts, and many prayers. The strength you have is such an inspiration, and a constant reminder to get a better perspective on what seems like a stressful day, a never-ending project, or any other small, insignificant annoyance. You reminded me to shift gears and to love more, to reach out more, to connect more. I wish I could come all the way to Florida from France where I live to give you a big hug (and bring you a huge basket of fresh pastries).

  • Stef
    April 28, 2009 at 1:16 am

    I’m so glad that you haven’t lost your appetite or your sense of humor! You really are an amazing person, but again I’m sorry I only found your blog because of the tragedy of your brother’s passing! That kitten is PRECIOUS!!!! Wow, I can’t think of a more perfect way to feel connected with your brother, that is so special. And the tattoo idea is great, can’t wait to hear/see what you decide on! I hope God gives you strength during the next few days, and that the ceremony is full of love and celebration of John’s life!

    I admire your determination to do something about gun control to make sure this never happens to another family. I’ve always been disturbed by gun violence and accidents, but hearing what happened to your brother really put a face on the issue. I KNOW you will make a difference!!

  • Runninduff
    April 28, 2009 at 3:50 am

    Mikey is adorable!!! Its so weird reading your posts because everything you say takes me right back to how I felt. It sounds like you have tons of family and friends to support you. We are all thinking about you and praying for you and your family. John is so proud of you for how strong you are.

  • Amy
    April 28, 2009 at 3:55 am


    I bawl every time I read your newest post – I can’t imagine the raw pain you, your family, and friends are going through right now. May God hold you close in the comfort of knowing that John is out of all pain. You are such an inspiration.

  • caitlin
    April 28, 2009 at 4:35 am

    ooo mikey is so adorable. i feel like he is the embodiment of john’s spirit and i’m so glad you got to adopt him!

    i love you jenna. stay strong.

  • MizFit
    April 28, 2009 at 4:41 am

    Checking back in on you.

    Praying for you to find some comfort in how John was loved.

  • Lara
    April 28, 2009 at 4:58 am

    Mikey is perfect–I am so glad he helps you feel closer to your brother. You are being so wonderfully strong! What great stories to hear about John’s teacher and friends and girlfriend. So much love.

  • Beadie @ What I Ate Yesterday
    April 28, 2009 at 5:06 am

    I am so glad you are adopting that precious kitten that john loved so much. He will give you such comfort in the time that is to come. I have to tell you again that your spirit is shining so brightly, I have no doubt that your brother is living in your heart. Thanks for sharing with us, we support you all that way. {{{Love and Hugs}}}

  • chandra h
    April 28, 2009 at 5:09 am

    you are such a talented writer. your words really and truly touch my heart. I wish you continued strength. God bless you ♥

  • Shelby
    April 28, 2009 at 5:25 am

    I love everything about this post. From the kitten adoption, to the good memories, to the tattoo, and the dream to fight against guns. You are truly an amazing person and I am so proud of you for doing what you believe in. Stay strong hun!

  • megan
    April 28, 2009 at 5:31 am

    Jenna, you are amazing. My heart just aches for you and your family. I’m glad you are still able to post, because I think we all can help you through this. I can see that John’s memory and spirit will live on through you and all the people who loved him and you will be stronger for it. I am praying for you.

  • Renee
    April 28, 2009 at 5:31 am

    My ex-boyfriend and I used to argue back and forth on the subject of gun control. He takes the literal interpretation of β€œthe right to bear arms” in our Constitution. One of his hobbies was going to the shooting range with his buddies, and he insisted that even after getting married and having kids, he would always keep a gun (or several) in his home. Needless to say, the relationship didn’t last. Thank you for your strength and resolve in taking a firm stance on this issue. John’s legacy will continue through your efforts.

  • rhodeygirl
    April 28, 2009 at 5:36 am

    every post I read of yours has brought me tears. thinking of you and your family through this time jenna. Be strong, God will be with you.

  • MLT
    April 28, 2009 at 5:55 am

    Thank you for sharing your grief and pain with us. I know most people would probably just shut down and I’m glad you have a way to let out some of your feelings through this blog and your beautiful writing. I hope you know that by sharing your memories of John and your feelings during this horrible time with hundreds and hundreds of strangers, you are doing a real thing to commemorate him. Because of you so many people have heard his name and seen his face and I know that because of you and John I’ve appreciated my own little brothers even more. That’s an amazing thing for a big sister to do.
    I hope you continue to take care of yourself and take comfort in your wonderful family and friends.

  • Sam
    April 28, 2009 at 5:58 am

    Jenna – my heart goes out to you and your family at this most difficult time. I read about your brother yesterday and since then he, you and your family have been on my mind constantly. You all were certainly in my prayers last night and will remain there….. Keep strong and what a wonderful thing you are doing adopting Mickey – I am sure he will bring you some joy and comfort πŸ™‚

  • Lindsey (Mrs. LC)
    April 28, 2009 at 6:03 am

    So many times things happen, tragedies happen for no reason, out of the blue, freak accidents that we have no control over. We can’t control these moments but we can control our lives, how we deal with them, and how we use our lives after these events. God has given you such a gift with words, a gift with people, and a gift of your wonderfully strong, compassionate spirit. God IS using you, your family, and John’s life and his story.

    You and your family will continue to be in my prayers! Oh, and Mikey is adorable, I am so glad you all get to adopt him!

  • Jennifer
    April 28, 2009 at 6:04 am

    You are amazing! I will support you any way you ask once you decide what to do regarding taking a stand on gun control. Mikey is adorable – I know John is smiling down on you.

  • Lyss
    April 28, 2009 at 6:04 am

    Though I don’t know why God faced you with this burden, I do know one thing: You are handling it the way He would have intended and honoring all 19 beautiful years of your little brother’s life. I, too, have a little brother, and I’m going to squeeze him tight the next time I see him in your honor.

    John will live on forever… Through the kitten, through your tattoo, through your soul and through the lives of his amazing friends. Please continue to reach out to all of us; we are here to offer you nothing but support!


  • kirsten
    April 28, 2009 at 6:11 am

    You are so strong ! Even though I don’t actually know you I feel like I do through reading your blog and I have been thinking about and praying for John and your family since this horrible tragedy happened. Gun control is something I am passionate about too, you fully have my support in any type of stand you take on it. Mikey is so cute and it will be such a great reminder of your brothers life.

  • Jan
    April 28, 2009 at 6:12 am


    I am a lurker that has read your blog for over two years and I wanted to say that I am so sorry about your brother John. I wish that I could drive to your home and just give you and your family a great big hug. But, for now all I can do is give you a cyber hug. I will continue to pray for you and your family, and may the Lord our Father be with you and your family.

  • Colleen
    April 28, 2009 at 6:12 am

    I hope you all feel God wrapping you in his arms …sending many hugs and prayers to you.

  • Jen
    April 28, 2009 at 6:21 am

    Mikey is adorable! I’m so glad you adopted him & I know he will bring comfort and sunshine to your life =D Sounds like you are coping well given what has happened. Keep on hugging those family and friends – they sound like a wonderful support system.

  • elliebelle
    April 28, 2009 at 6:23 am

    The strength you are radiating off is amazing.
    Still thinking of you and your family,

  • Nicole
    April 28, 2009 at 6:23 am

    Your words are so touching and this post brought me to tears. Stay strong, Jenna. <3

  • mel
    April 28, 2009 at 6:28 am

    God bless you and your family.

  • lisa
    April 28, 2009 at 6:42 am

    Reading these past few posts I am amazed at how strong you are. You have my full support in any gun control action you take. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Julia
    April 28, 2009 at 6:42 am

    Your posts bring tears to my eyes.
    I think it is wonderful you and your parents are adopting Mikey as John wanted to. It is a great way to remember him and keep him close!
    Take care!

  • stephanie
    April 28, 2009 at 6:48 am

    I went for a long walk yesterday in the warm California sunshine, pushing my 5 month old baby girl, and you and your family were on my mind. Tears well up every time I imagine the pain and disbelief you are dwelling with during these days. Know that you are being prayed for across the country…prayers for a supernatural comfort, peace that passes understanding, strength of spirit, rest for your body and mind, hope in things unseen, purpose in the face of pain, renewal from the Heavenly Father.
    Stephanie H.

  • brandi
    April 28, 2009 at 6:55 am

    How awesome that you guys are taking in Mikey and getting tribute tattoos for John – it sounds like those would be 2 things that he would love to see you guys do πŸ™‚

    I hope today is good and filled with family and friends and support.

  • Lauren
    April 28, 2009 at 6:58 am

    A very beautiful and moving post, Jenna. My thoughts remain with you and your family during this very difficult time. Despite the hardship, I know that you will emerge the same strong person that we see day in, day out on this blog. I think that taking a stance for better gun control is one of the best ideas in the world–I know you will be successful in your efforts.

    Take care.

  • Fitzalan
    April 28, 2009 at 6:59 am

    I’ve cried every post I have read of yours these past few days.

    Just know that we are all here for you to use this blog how ever you want in the days, weeks, months to come. You have a journey of grief, anger and sadness that you will be going through. And I am sure that everyone who reads your blog religiously would agree that we are all here for you no matter how you use this outlet. If it be to have it remain completely a food/exercise blog or if you want to continue to use it as an emotional outlet.

    We are here for you.

    Happiness Awaits

  • Melomeals: Vegan For $3.33 a Day
    April 28, 2009 at 6:59 am

    It’s wonderful that Mikey is home now..

  • Ozlen
    April 28, 2009 at 7:03 am

    Hi jenna,

    Being a mother of 3 young children, I totally and fully support you on your effors against gun control. I am there with you and will do antyhign I can from up here in baltimore to support your efforts, to run, bike, swim, or donate $$$ whatever it takes. As I said I have an 8 month old John myself along with two older ones. Noone should live this pain. And I agree a loaded gun should never be left around but it is not a toy- they should be controlled. I support you 100% and will follow your blog to help you and support you in your upcoming efforts to protect our children, babies, brothers, husbands and fathers.

  • Paula
    April 28, 2009 at 7:04 am

    Mikey is precious! I can’t think of a better way to honor John’s memory than adopting him. Bless you guys.

  • Sara
    April 28, 2009 at 7:09 am

    Hi Jenna,

    You’ve totally amazed me with your strength during this horrible time. You and your family remain in my thoughts. Tomorrow is my (and my twin sister’s) 30th birthday, but I’ll be thinking of you, your family, and John, knowing that the service is tomorrow.

    Something has to be done about gun control. I will never understand the easy access to guns in this country, and we should all work together to do something about it.

    Be well and stay strong,

  • Tina O.
    April 28, 2009 at 7:12 am

    I am so glad you are doing better. I think about you & your family every day and keep checking back in. I think adopting Mikey is a great thing you are doing and will help your family so much.
    The celebration of life sounds perfect. Last year my friend Rachel died. She was the wife of a musician. At the service, all of his friends gathered in the organ balcony and did a rousing rendition of “When the Saints Go Marching In”. He danced out of the church with their 2 little boys and everyone was on their feet dancing and clapping. It was a such a wonderful thing and she would have loved it.

  • weight and meditate
    April 28, 2009 at 7:13 am

    Your posts lately bring goosebumps to my flesh and tears to my eyes. So many things about this touched my heart, for the millionth time. Mikey is adorable and beautiful and I’m thankful you have something alive, breathing, jumping, and playing to help you keep your spirits and John’s memory alive and well. Your dedication to the cause of gun control is so strong I could feel it leaping off the page at me! I have felt that way about guns for many, many years, and I truly hope you make a huge difference in some people’s lives because of your dedication. Also, that is so beautiful that your dad is going to get the tattoo John wanted, and I’ll be interested in seeing what you get – I didn’t know you had one already! Jenna, we’re all thinking of you and praying for your strength and happiness.

  • K
    April 28, 2009 at 7:27 am

    Jenna, knowing your through the blog I know that you can do anything you set your mind to! You will be a powerful advocate against guns if you choose to go down that path! Something does need to be done, you’re right. Please keep us updated!

  • Leila
    April 28, 2009 at 7:30 am

    Mikey will be an amazing addition to your family. Again, your strength if formidable and ever empowering to myself and I would even say to all of us reading. I feel the passion in your words about the passion to ensure something so senseless and abhorrent doesn’t happen to anyone else. I love the fact that you are all celebrating the life John had rather than focusing on the one moment that he died. When I had someone close to me pass, I felt celebrating their character and our times together was the only and best way to honor them. As always, thoughts and prayers to you and yours.

  • terry
    April 28, 2009 at 7:32 am

    The night this happened to your brother my 7 yo son was playing with a nerf gun not paying attention to where it was pointing and my husband told him to make sure to never point anything at your face and that the most dangerous gun is the one you don’t think is loaded. And the next morning I read about your brother, so tragic and I can’t imagine the pain. It still gives me chills. There is more education about guns, but there needs to be more. Our pediatrician even talked about it at his check up, because there are guns in other people’s houses. Thank you for sharing and God bless your family.

  • Jessica
    April 28, 2009 at 7:32 am

    Aw Jenna, this post brought tears to my eyes. Mikey is adorable and it’s amazing to see such love radiating from you for a little tiny, innocent kitten. I can’t imagine what you are going through, to lose a brother. I commend you for wanting to do something to prevent this from happening to someone else. When things like this happen, it makes us realize how much we have to be grateful for and how precious life really is. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • erinbeth
    April 28, 2009 at 7:33 am

    so what stage of the grieving are you in today? it cycles, you know. some days you’re mad all over again, and other days your heart is just shattered and you don’t want to get out of bed. and then the good days come, more and more frequently. you start to get back to normalcy, and notice that an entire hour has passed without you remembering. and then another hour, and another. and then one day you walk into a store and see something that you know they would just love, and remember. and it starts the cycle all over again.
    i know how badly it can hurt, jenna. and how a piece of your life will always feel a little hollow, but it will get better. the cycling of emotions will become less extreme, and GOD will heal you from the inside out. bring HIM glory. prayers and hugs~e

  • Ida
    April 28, 2009 at 7:37 am

    Your posts have been so powerful. I am so sorry for all the pain you and your family has been going through. I think the tattoos will be an awesome tribute to John, as was adopting Mikey.

  • Shelbney
    April 28, 2009 at 7:42 am

    Hi Jenna,
    I will say it again, your strength is so amazing. I know I will be thinking of you all day tomorrow. Will you be speaking? And please tell us how your parents are.
    So awesome you guys have Mikey.
    Thoughts and prayers to you all.

  • Michelle
    April 28, 2009 at 7:44 am

    I truly admire your strength, Jenna. I have to say I cried when I saw that picture of you with Mikey. I am sure through this experience you will have saved many lives by educating others about the danger of guns.

  • Nadia
    April 28, 2009 at 7:47 am

    Again, so sorry for your loss. I think you’re an incredibly strong and amazing woman. God will get you through this….keep faith and stay strong.

  • Kim
    April 28, 2009 at 7:52 am

    What an amazing post Jenna. I have been reading your blog for a couple of months now and feel like I know you. I talk about you to my husband, and he even askes about you. lol. You truly are an amazing person. Your strength threw this horrible time is amazing. Our thoughts an prayers are with you and your family.

  • Kelly
    April 28, 2009 at 7:54 am

    Hang in there Jenna, the pain of your loss will never go away, but time will lessen the pain…I recently lost a loved one and 2 things that helped me grieve were my workouts every morning…by myself lost in my own thoughts….and warm chocolate chip cookies…I found comfort and both…and at a time like this a little comfort is what you need.

  • Lauren
    April 28, 2009 at 8:07 am

    Jenna, Morie, a wonderful man who died of ALS, taught us many things about death and dying. One of the most important things he shared in his process was a reminder that “Death ends a life, not a relationship.” Your relationship will go on in many ways taking different forms, like in Mikey. Although it doesn’t seem so credible because John is not physically here, he is very much here and will be with you always. Please know that John is as shocked as you are in his departure and too needs time to adjust. Talking with him will help you both do this. It’s comforting to see that you have so many friends and people who care so deeply. Sometimes incidents like this cause us to question our faith and wonder why. Know that God is with you in your healing and its okay to be angry. This kind of anger can motivate you to make a difference, as I’m sure you will Jenna. xo

  • Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter)
    April 28, 2009 at 8:08 am

    Still thinking of you constantly wishing I could be there in person to hold you tight and tell you “IT’S GOING TO BE OKAY.” Some days are just going to suck, but it will get easier, and you will ALWAYS hold John in your heart…always.

    I’m with you on the whole gun thing – 100%.

  • Megan (Runner's Kitchen)
    April 28, 2009 at 8:12 am

    I’ve never met you, but I feel like I’ve gotten to know you through your blog. When I read about your brother last on Saturday I immediately started crying. I wish I could be there to give you a hug. I’m so so so sorry that this happened. I have been praying for you. Your blog posts have really encouraged me to start enjoying every minute of life. God bless.

  • Nicole
    April 28, 2009 at 8:12 am

    I have typed about 10 different messages and can’t seem to say the right thing…or I can’t get it out how I want it to.. so I’ll just stick with this.
    You remain in my thoughts and prayers each nite. Keep on taking good care of yourself through this time.

  • katie
    April 28, 2009 at 8:15 am

    jenna, so sorry to hear about your horrific loss. i cannot even begin to fathom what you are going through right now, but the show of love and support for your brother and family right now is amazing. and mikey will be a great reminder of your brother and his spirit on an everyday basis.

  • Shannon (The Daily Balance)
    April 28, 2009 at 8:22 am

    What an adorable kitten! I’m sure John is BEAMING down at you. Still sending you many thoughts and prayers…

    God bless πŸ˜‰

  • becky
    April 28, 2009 at 8:23 am

    And don’t forget about YOGA! Thinking of you in NYC.

  • Jerilynne
    April 28, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Jenna, you are really amazing. You’re so strong and never give up – such an inspiration!

    And P.S. Mikey is adorable!!

  • Denise
    April 28, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Your strength is amazing. That’s all I can say.

  • Ryan (Chase Daylight)
    April 28, 2009 at 8:28 am

    All of the things you are doing to commemorate John’s life are truly breathtaking. Your brother sounds like he was an amazing person and I’m sure he would be proud of how you are dealing with this loss. Mikey looks like has some serious soul in his eyes and I can only imagine the emotion you feel when you look at him! Keep on pushing through, you are so strong Jenna!

  • Kristilyn (The Food Journey)
    April 28, 2009 at 8:40 am

    Jenna, my heart is with you and your family. It sounds like John had some amazing friends and that’s wonderful that they are all sharing their memories with his family. Good for you for taking a stand for gun control – I hope you can make a difference. And I applaud you for adopting Mikey – he’s too cute for words and based on everything I’ve read on this blog, he’s found a very loving home. *hugs*

  • Rachel
    April 28, 2009 at 8:50 am

    Mikey is precious! I’m so happy you got to adopt him. What a great way to remind you of him. BTW: your highlights look great! πŸ™‚

    I’m so glad you’re doing ok. It’s great to have all the support from your family, friends and the blog world. You are such a strong woman and I’m so glad I have gotten to “know” you.

    Don’t even get me started on the gun issue. I HATE them! I’ve shot a shotgun once and scared me to death. I’ve never had them in my house and never intend to. Two years ago my best friend was shot and killed by some guy that was obsessed with her. Her shot himself right after. 6 months later my friend was out shooting in the country with some of his fraternity brothers and accidently got shot and killed. Almost 8 months ago a close family friend of mine got shot while he was getting robbed. It’s not just crazy people with guns but accidents happen and you don’t get many second chances after a gun accident. Anyway…enough ranting.

    I’m glad to hear you’re doing ok…we’re all here for you.

  • Jennifer
    April 28, 2009 at 8:53 am

    Just wanted you to know that I have not stopped thinking about you or your family since I heard about this. You are such a strong person and I know you will take this cause and “run” with it. And Mikey is just as sweet as pie and I know he will give you comfort through these tough times. Hugs from NC!

  • Lisa
    April 28, 2009 at 8:58 am

    Your strength truly amazes me! Mikey is adorable and I’m sure John is smiling down at you and your family!

    Jenna, you have such a gift. You really know how to “speak” to people. I’m sure there are hundreds of lurkers just like myself who really “listen” to what you have to say. I don’t know what it is…if it’s your cheerfulness, passion or what, but it gets through to me. I think with your gift and your passion to stop this tragedy from happening to others, speaking to people about gun accidents would really be effective. People would listen to you. Hearing the story of your brother told in your words I think would make people who would normally think “it wouldn’t happen to me” think again.

  • Melissa (Nibbles and Wiggles)
    April 28, 2009 at 8:58 am

    What a cute little kitten. I’m glad your family is adopting him!

  • Meredith (Pursuing Balance)
    April 28, 2009 at 9:06 am

    I definitely cried reading this post. You and your family remain in my thoughts and prayers.
    I am glad you are taking a stand against guns. I always hated going over to my ex’s and seeing his gun. I always made him put it in a drawer while I was there, but apparently he slept with it under his pillow when I wasn’t there (accident waiting to happen!). I really believe that if it wasn’t so accessible to him he wouldn’t have chosen to end his life.
    God Bless.

  • Sarah
    April 28, 2009 at 9:13 am

    I’m bawling at my desk reading about your new little kitty and how wonderful your brothers friends are. I can’t even pretend to imagine what you are going through right now, but I am praying for you and your family. Asking God to give you guys strength as you are grieving. And that little kitten looks like he has found his new home in your arms, he will be the most loved kitten and he knows it!

  • Gina
    April 28, 2009 at 9:17 am

    Jenna, I am so sorry for your loss. I’m praying for you and your family every day, and I know God will work this out for good (Rom. 8:28).
    Like others have said, I wish there were a way to make this easier for you. Continue to rely on God for your strength; He will always be with you!
    Lisa (comment #163) said exactly what I planned to say. You know how to speak to people; and you can use your story to make a difference. Thank you for sharing John with us.

  • Kudret
    April 28, 2009 at 9:27 am

    I think your brother was such an amazing person who had his head squarely on his shoulders. He had an amazing family, great girlfriend, loving pet and left his legacy amongst hundreds. I think a life as short as that with that sort of impact and footprint is a rich, full life and I’m glad you carry him with you always. I also think the world was blessed to have him here for those 19 years and his legacy will live on be it through you, your parents, his girlfriend, friends or school. His memory will live on, which is what anyone could want, be they 19,56, 100 or almost 21, like me.

  • Linda
    April 28, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Sweet Jenna I loved this post. Your family deciding to adopt that little kitten in honor of your brother is so beautiful! I agree with you on gun control and with your passion and intelligence you will truly make a difference. You can turn this tragedy into a catalyst for helping people. . .amazing, life does go on and you are proof of that. Once again thanks for letting us in to your life right now. Much love and peace to you and your family.

  • Amanda
    April 28, 2009 at 9:34 am

    I’m a longtime reader but don’t ever comment. Just checked the blog today for the first time in a few days. I am so, so sorry for your loss. This is such a terrible situation and no one should ever have to go through something like this. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  • katecooks
    April 28, 2009 at 9:40 am

    dear jenna, your brother sounds like a truly wonderful person, and i am 100% sure that he is with you now in some way, through mikey and his friends and the stories and memories, and will always be there for you. know that we are all thinking of you, and inspired by your strength. you’re amazing πŸ™‚

  • Julie
    April 28, 2009 at 9:51 am

    I’ll be thinking of you and your family tomorrow, as you have been in my thoughts every day since this tragedy happened.

  • Lauren
    April 28, 2009 at 10:01 am

    I just read your blog for the first time in a few days and I am so heartbroken for you and your family…sitting here in tears at work.

    I think I finally have a very strong stance on gun control…

    I just prayed for you and I will be praying for you.

    Hugs from a Longtime Lurker,

  • Rachel
    April 28, 2009 at 10:03 am

    Jenna, I haven’t commented yet but I have been thinking of you every day since I heard about your loss. It is evident to me that your brother’s presence made the world better, and that it something no one can take away. My thoughts and prayers are with you, your family, and your loved ones right now and in the future.

    PS – Run as much as you want.

  • Sarah W.
    April 28, 2009 at 10:15 am

    hey Jenna – mikey is SUPER cute!!!!!!!!!!!! That is so fantasticyour family is adopting mikey πŸ™‚
    I have a question – did the loaded gun have a safety or the safety on? Guns should have safetys engaged in order to prevent such occurances. remember plaxico burrs or whatever that stupid football player is who shot himself in the foot b/c he had his gun in a POCKET without the safety engaged!!! ??? I would be curious to know if the gun that shot john had a safety and why it wasn’t engaged. (feel free to post the answer to this question in a blog post) Pretty reckless…its so sad. You should take a stand!

  • Tiffany
    April 28, 2009 at 10:16 am

    Jenna, I’ve been a lurker for the last several months and have always enjoyed your blog. These last several posts have brought me to tears and I cannot find the words to tell you how sorry I am for your loss. I went through something similar five months ago when the guy I was dating was killed and reading your words brings back that same searing grief. Your brother sounds like an amazing person and I hope you can hold the love of his friends and your family close and let it help you through this pain. I know it doesn’t seem like it, but it does get better. Eventually, slowly, gradually, until you can finally feel almost normal for an hour. The best thing anyone did for me when I went through this was be available for me if and when I wanted to talk to them and though I don’t know you, please don’t hesitate to email me. As much as anyone can, I can begin to understand where you’re at.

  • Robin
    April 28, 2009 at 10:23 am

    I read your blog daily and my heart goes out to you and your family. You are such a positive and inspirational person and that is going to push you through this rough time. It is obvious that your brother continues to live through your heart, your actions and your words. Take care of yourself.

  • Angie
    April 28, 2009 at 10:25 am

    It warms my heart to read the stories of John’s friends and colleagues, professors, visiting to comfort your family. You all continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Organic Girl aka AshleyH
    April 28, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Powerful. Beautiful. Inspirational.

  • Lisa
    April 28, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Jenna, you are amazing!!! You’ve got such great loved ones around you!!! I love the tattoo idea! That’s awesome your dad is getting what Jon would have got. That’s so special and very cool πŸ™‚

    Remember, you’re constantly on my heart and in my prayers!

    And eat those cookies!!!!!! haha you’re my kind a gal πŸ˜‰

    Lisa <3

  • Diana (Soap & Chocolate)
    April 28, 2009 at 10:35 am

    What a wonderful addition to the family! Mikey is lucky to receive the love you had for John, which was obviously immense. Thinking of you as your brother’s service approaches.

  • Betsy
    April 28, 2009 at 10:35 am

    All my love to you and your family.

    What a wonderful way to honor John with such a sweet kitten. I have no doubt that his spirit is radiating through that little guy.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • LT
    April 28, 2009 at 10:35 am

    The picture of you holding Mikey brought tears to my eyes! I, too, feel very strongly for more stringent gun control. You definitely have it in you to make a difference, Jenna!!

  • Ashley
    April 28, 2009 at 10:38 am

    You are such a strong person!! My prays are with you and your family.

  • Kelly
    April 28, 2009 at 11:02 am

    You are officially the most courageous person I have ever known. I am in awe by your strength. I completely agree with you on the gun control issue. I wish you the best of luck in addressing that issue.

  • Sara
    April 28, 2009 at 11:12 am

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this hard time! You are so amazing for being able to talk about it and write about it they way you do. This post brought tears to my eyes. I love the idea about the tattoo in honor of your brother and for Mikey getting a good home. πŸ™‚

  • Kathleen
    April 28, 2009 at 11:12 am

    I hope little Mikey brings some peace to your family during this difficult time. Having something that John cared about to nurture right now will be good for everyone. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your entire family. I have no doubt that you will indeed make a difference when it comes to educating people about guns and the accidents that can happen as a result of having them laying around. Huge hugs.

  • nikki
    April 28, 2009 at 11:24 am

    Hi Jenna,
    i sporadically read your blog and i have maybe commented twice. i am so sorry for the loss of your little brother. i have one and we are very close, it must be extremely difficult for you. just remember all the good times and you will always keep him alive in your thoughts and memories.

    you are in our thoughts up here in canada. stay strong.
    with love,

  • lainb
    April 28, 2009 at 11:31 am

    I’m thinking of you so often. Thank you for continuing to post.

    And please know that if/when you want to take a stand about gun control…I’ll take a stand with you 100%!!!!

  • Mariposa
    April 28, 2009 at 11:45 am

    Oh Jenna the kitten is so precious… goof for you for still adopting him .. it is a great way to honor your brother..
    same thing with the tattoo. I have a tattoo in rememberance of my boyfriend who passed away after a tour in Iraq.. alot of people thought i was crazy for doing it… but it is a wonderful way to show everyone that you LOVED someone.. i cant wait to see a picture of what you get- im sure its going to be amazing.. stay strong girlie you have so many people out there praying for you..including me!

  • Katherine
    April 28, 2009 at 11:45 am


    Please continue to write, to release all of these thoughts and emotions from your system. This is your space to make it what you want, and I know we will all continue to come here every day to read about what you are feeling, thinking, and, of course, eating! I feel like I know you…. I only wish I could go there in person, give you a hug, and tell you what an inspiration you have been to me in many ways. What a wonderful spirit you have.

  • Emily L.
    April 28, 2009 at 11:52 am

    What a wonderful chance to bring a little piece of John home with you. Every animal DOES need a home. I hope Mikey brings you some peace and happiness.

  • Babycakes
    April 28, 2009 at 11:59 am

    I have been thinking of you very often these past few days. I just wanted to send more love and prayers your way. Mikey is beautiful and most definitely carries John’s spirit.
    Big hug

  • Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food)
    April 28, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Mikey is an adorable kitten! How wonderful that you and your family adopted him as John wanted!

    Wishing you all the best, and keep taking care of yourself!

  • Mindy
    April 28, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Mikey is so cute! And tiny!
    It’s so touching that your dad is getting the tattoo John wanted. And I love that you’re getting something to represent John too. Perfect πŸ™‚

    This is a side note, and sort of unrelated to everything, but I think so far we’ve “met” your mom and your brother on this blog.. I’m not sure if we’ve ever “met” your dad (i mean, he’s been mentioned before but never seen lol).. Maybe one day you can introduce him to us! Take care, Jenna.

  • Ruby
    April 28, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    Mikey is SO adorable! New kittens are so sweet and this one is so extra special… I know what you mean about feeling like normal one moment and then suddenly feeling it again. When my grandma died I couldn’t bring myself to go to the gym, as I felt it would “break the spell”. It didn’t of course… there’s no guide to how you should grieve. I found this important to remember: you can’t do anything wrong when it comes to grief. I think doing something with this horrible incident will help you ad others as well.

  • Cassie
    April 28, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    Awww Mikey is soooo cute! Thats so nice that Johns teacher and friends stopped by. You and your dad getting tattoos I think is a great way to honor your brother, especially your dad getting EXACTLY what John wanted, I think thats amazing. You know he’ll be there with you guys, Im sure hes with you now. Im glad that your giving yourself time alone by heading to the gym thats probably the best thing for your metal wellbeing right now. Your soooo strong and I admire you for that. Keep your head up girlie…Im prayin’ for ya’

  • AshleyP
    April 28, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    awww mikey is so sweet! I really admire your grace in this hard time, continued prayers for you and your family.

  • Joy
    April 28, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Of COURSE you get the ‘eat anything you want’ pass! πŸ˜‰ Even if it’s sortof a “front”, I can tell your doing a little better today and that makes me so happy. Mikey is absolutely adorable and it is perfect you adopted him, I bet it will console your family always because part of John is with you. I also think a tattoo is a great idea. John is so happy right now seeing how much he is loved.

    Again, I’m so glad so may people are pouring into your house to be with you! We all wish we could be there too. Love you <3

  • Angelina
    April 28, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    I have lurked on your blog here and there, and I wanted to express my condolescences.
    I am very impressed with how strong, yet, honest you are through this horrific experience.
    My thoughts are definitely with you, and your family, in this trying time.

  • Lauren
    April 28, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    This is such a powerful post, Jenna. I am sitting here in my university’s computer lab trying to hold the tears back, but it just isn’t possible. Your love for John has truly been shinning through on your last few posts, and it is obvious that he was such a wonderful individual who made a significant impact during the time he was in this world. You are such a great sister for adopting Mikey. I know that John is looking down on you with a smile. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I am so glad that so many people have been stopping by your house, but just know that all of us “bloggies” wish we could be there too!

  • Jess
    April 28, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Hi Jenna! Your brother sounds like the sweetest boy. I love how powerful and moving your posts have been. I think your idea is great! Keep on trucking. It’s all going to be okay girlie–You are such an inspiration!
    <3 jess

  • Amy
    April 28, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Jenna, a song that might be of some comfort to you right now is Kristin Chenoweth’s “Borrowed Angels.” A few of the lyrics are…

    They shine a little brighter, they feel a little more
    They touch your life in ways no one has ever done before
    They love a little stronger, they live to give their best
    They make our lives so blest, so why do they go so soon?
    The ones with souls so beautiful
    I heard someone say–

    There must be Borrowed Angels, here in this life
    They come along, into this world, and make this world bright
    But they can’t stay forever, cause they’re heaven sent
    And sometimes, heaven needs them back again

    They reach a little deeper, they see what’s in your soul
    And even when they leave you know, you’ll never let them go
    The world’s a little richer, just cause they came along
    Their love goes on and on, so why do they go so soon?
    The ones with souls so beautiful.

  • greenbean
    April 28, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    even though we don’t all know you, we’ll keep being here for you. always. and never feel that you can’t share whats on your heart with us. your heart will heal, but it will take time. if you need to talk about it, everyday, for many days to come, never feel like you have to hold back.

  • Caitlin
    April 28, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Mikey is so sweet. I also have such a soft spot for kittens, and I am sure he will bring bundles of joy to your mom and dad.

    The idea of the tattoo is very nice. I am always a favor of tattoos that symbolize something, and this is just as good an example as anything. You will have to keep us updated what you decide to get.

    Stay strong-as you have been πŸ™‚

  • Nicole
    April 28, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    That cat is so gorgeous. I think it is a beautiful thing that you are adopting the cat and getting the tattoo… and I understand your passion for preventing this from happening again. Keep us updated and make sure to take lots of pictures of Mikey and your tattoos!! Take Care!

  • Jenn
    April 28, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Jenna, you and your family are in my prayers. You seem so strong; I don’t know how you’re doing it. What a blessing to have so many people come to your house just to sit, cry, laugh, tell stories…I’m sure you’re finding out so many wonderful things about John. One lighter note…I recently bought the PB2 and like it (my kids don’t, though). I mix both the regular and chocolate together-yummy! I love your idea of putting it in yogurt:) I will have to try it.
    God’s blessing on you and your family,

  • Annah
    April 28, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    I can’t imagine what you and your family are going through. You are truly an inspiration in the faith that shines through you. My prayers are with you.

  • magicanderson
    April 28, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Adopting Mikey is an awesome way to honor your brother and his wishes! Kittens are about the sweetest thing in the whole wide world! You so know John is smiling at you all! Hugs and prayers, Lisa

  • Joanna
    April 28, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    I’m so glad you have such a wonderful support system. It is during these difficult times that you realize how many people have loved you, your brother and your entire family. I’m still thinking of all of you.


  • Lindsey
    April 28, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    These lyrics have put my heart and mind at peace countless times….

    MercyMe – Bring The Rain

    I can count a million times
    People asking me how I
    Can praise You with all that I’ve gone through
    The question just amazes me
    Can circumstances possibly
    Change who I forever am in You
    Maybe since my life was changed
    Long before these rainy days
    It’s never really ever crossed my mind
    To turn my back on you, oh Lord
    My only shelter from the storm
    But instead I draw closer through these times
    So I pray

    Bring me joy, bring me peace
    Bring the chance to be free
    Bring me anything that brings You glory
    And I know there’ll be days
    When this life brings me pain
    But if that’s what it takes to praise You
    Jesus, bring the rain

    I am Yours regardless of
    The dark clouds that may loom above
    Because You are much greater than my pain
    You who made a way for me
    By suffering Your destiny
    So tell me what’s a little rain
    So I pray

    Holy, holy, holy
    Is the Lord God Almighty

  • KZ
    April 28, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Your strength is inspiring and has brought tears to my eyes. I’ll be thinking about you and your family during this difficult time. Take care of yourself, get lots of sleep, eat good food, exercise when you want to and remember we are all here for you. πŸ™‚

  • laci
    April 28, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    *Awww mikey πŸ™‚
    you are a beautiful girl with a beautiful soul- I especially loved the last paragraph about gun control- I try to always keep in mind one CAN make a significant difference! πŸ˜€

  • Emily
    April 28, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    hi jenna-just wanted to say that the picture of you and Mikey made me cry..the hardship you’ve gone through is just fiercely unfair, and the amount of love you show for your brother is beautiful. i know it would have been a priviledge to have known him. i’m also overjoyed that a spark of change has come over you in the form of gun activism-we need more people like you in the world. stay strong and know that i admire you hugely.
    lots of love sent your way honey.

  • Nicole
    April 28, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    It is truly amazing to see how strong you have been through all this. I have cried reading every post thus far, & I offer my condolences from the bottom of my heart. It is beautiful the amount of love you have shown for your brother. I admire your strength, keep your head up. Lots of love and best wishes being sent to you and your family. <3

  • Fancy
    April 28, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    We love you, Jenna and we are all thinking of you and your family. Mikey is a true blessing to your family πŸ™‚

  • Erin
    April 28, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    I ? that your dad got John’s tattoo.
    Good girl for eating & sleeping.

  • Erin
    April 28, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Hm, that was supposed to be a heart up there, not a question mark!

    I love that your Dad is getting John’s tattoo.

  • Kelly
    April 28, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    That whole story is so sweet about the kitchen. I continue to be so sorry about your loss but am touched by how many people have shown an outpouring of support four your brother. It sounds like he is very loved.

  • Richelle
    April 28, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Jenna. I can’t imagine what you’re going thru, this is such a terrible accident. I’m sure John is looking down on you and your family and seeing how much he is loved by you all. Mikey is so cute and the tattoo is a great idea. Stay strong.

  • beerab
    April 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your brother πŸ™
    When I read about Mikey I thought to myself that John brought him to you just in time. Just before a family member of mine passed, my husband bought me a pet, and when they passed away unexpectedly my pet really helped me through that time, as silly as that may sound.
    My condolences to your family.

  • Jess
    April 28, 2009 at 5:23 pm


    Here I am, yet another long-time reader compelled to comment for the first time. I can only offer you my deepest sympathies- I literally burst into tears when I read about your loss. You seem like such an amazing person and the only thing I can hope for you is that your strength will allow you to stay above the surface. You always brighten my day and I truly hope that somehow all these beautiful vibes that you send out to the universe will be brought back to you and your family. Your brother’s spirit will go on always, he will be forever in your heart and in the hearts of all the people you have touched with something as simple as this blog. Let your faith guide you. I am truly so sorry.

  • Oh She Glows
    April 28, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    You speak so beautiful…with so much love. Your posts have brought me to tears each time. The amount of love you have for John is so clear…the kitten is beautiful too. What a lovely thing to do for John.

    I was actually thinking the same things about gun control too and I was wondering if you were going to do something. I think it is quite possibly your calling in life and I know you will make John proud.

  • kate
    April 28, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    jenna i am thinking of you. mikey is sooooooooo cute and a wonderful addition to your family. i’m sure his older siblings will treat him well. i can’t wait to see your tattoo!

    what happened to you and yours is such an unspeakable tragedy. i am with you on gun control.

  • heather
    April 28, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    Oh Jenna, my heart breaks for you and your family. I have a younger brother and I don’t know what I would do without him. You have an amazing base in your family and your internet family. We follow your life through this food blog and although most of us have never met you, we all feel like we know you. I am in awe of your faith and inner strength during such a difficult time. I know that tomorrow will be a tough day for you. Know that we will all be with you in thoughts and prayers.

  • Lisa
    April 28, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    Oh Jenna. Your posts have been so touching, strong, and powerful. You seem so strong, I admire you so much. This post brought tears to my eyes. I’m sure John is looking down on you and your family and smiling. Keeping my thoughts and prayers with you and your family….

  • Jenni
    April 28, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    jenna, it’s good to hear that you’re staying strong and getting sleep and eating a good amount of chocolate πŸ™‚ nobody deserves to go through what you’re going through, but if it makes you feel any better, how you are dealing with your situation shows the world what grace, passion, and love you have to offer. i think that getting a tattoo is a wonderful idea, and very cathartic. also–i’m glad you’re taking a stand on gun control. it’s way too loose and unsupervised, and it NEEDS to be reformed, and it makes my heart hurt to know that good, smart, kind kids die from this kind of craziness. i’m continuing to keep you and your family and friends in my prayers.

  • Kristie
    April 28, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    Jenna, you are so incredibly strong and I am amazed at how positive you are able to stay through this. A tattoo in your brother’s honour is so sweet and how incredible of your dad to get John’s exact tattoo. I also wish you the best in figuring out how you can do something about the gun situation. I’m in complete shock about how that happened. I have full belief that you will figure out the perfect way to fight against it though and definitely make a difference.

    All the best to you and your family. And to John.

  • tiffany
    April 28, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    We love you, Jenna, and are thinking about and praying for you. You are SUCH a strong woman.

  • Angelina
    April 28, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    I have lurked on your blog here and there, and wanted to send my condolescences.
    I am so incredibly sorry for your loss, and my thoughts are with you and your family.

  • Cate
    April 28, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    John was a great young man. He has shown that through the love of his friends, teachers, and most of all you and your family. Thanks for letting us know more about this beautiful person. I think it’s wonderful that you and your father are getting tattoos in his memory. Mikey is so cute.

  • Sarah
    April 28, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    Beautiful kitten. Beautiful writing. Beautiful tributes to your brother.

  • Meghann
    April 28, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Thinking of you and your family tonight, Jenna. I love the pictures of Mikey, I can definitely see how you see your brother John in him. You are already making a difference by sharing so much with us.

    “Now we are seeing a dim reflection in a mirror; but then we shall see face to face. The knowledge that I have now is imperfect; but then I shall know as fully as I am known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12-13

  • michelle
    April 28, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Jenna, you are constantly in my thoughts!! I am praying for you and your beautiful family!!!

  • Caroline
    April 28, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    Jenna, I recently discovered your blog and have been enjoying reading about your life so much. Hearing about your brother’s death affects me even though I don’t know you or him. It sounds like he was a great person– and such a cutie :). I admire the grace with which you are handling this situation- you are a strong lady.

  • Ashley
    April 28, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Mikey is beautiful! I hope he brings a little light into your days. Big hug for you!

  • Theresa
    April 28, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    Hey Jenna,

    My heart aches for you, even though I don’t even “know” you. I’m so sorry for your loss, and for your family and friends’. I’m so happy that the blog world can support you right now. And also that you have a representation of John’s spirit in Mikey. I hope adopting him helps somewhat to heal the hole in your heart. I check back every day to see how you are doing. I’m clearly not the only one =)

  • Kristi @ Sweet Cheeks
    April 28, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Jenna, I love ya girl. You are so amazing!
    I think that is so great that you are going to take a stand against guns…and that you are getting a tatoo in honor of him.

    Keep strong, lots of love!

  • Rachel
    April 28, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    I keep saying this every day, but thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and emotions with us…I think that it’s an incredibly brave thing to do. You’ve helped us get to know John through these posts.

  • Carine
    April 28, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Hi, I have an adorable cat which I adopted from the local SPCA 3 years ago and his name is Mikey too πŸ™‚ He is brown and white though hehe. I stumbled upon your blog just a couple of days ago and I am so sorry to hear about your loss πŸ™

  • Jess
    May 5, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    I’ve actually just stumbled across your blog via, Meghann and all I can say is how incredibly strong you are, to be living through such tragedy right now and still keeping up a beautiful blog. You’ve moved me to tears and my co-workers are now giving me sideways looks, but who cares. Stay strong, as I have a feeling you will.
    Much Love,