Justin Ryker Swick

Justin Ryker Swick

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Letter From Daddy

I don't have much time to write today.  But I do want to say how much I love my husband, he has been my rock through all of this.  I am so glad God chose him for me.

Also and update on the publishing of Justin Jesus, we have not gotten the final draft sent into the publisher yet, I still have a few things to add to it (prologue and acknowledgements) and I need to get all the letters added to it, then we should be good to go.  Obviously getting it done by Christmas is out of the question, but it WILL be done by Justin's first birthday.  I will keep you posted on the progress! 

Dear Justin,
There were so many things I wish I could tell you, so many things I wish I could do with you. I will never forget the precious times I got to spend with you. Holding you for the first time, watching you fight from the beginning. I can remember how strong your mom was being with you in the hospital. I know how much she loved you. She could not stop talking about you and how precious you were to both of us. I remember when your mom called my work, to tell me that you were going to get to come home. My excitement grew with each minute and each mile I drove. I remember the few nights where we fell asleep on the couch and your mom would wake us up(well me anyway) to tell me to come to bed. Days seemed to be filled with new excitement. I remembered the times when you would smile, it brought so much joy and happiness to us. All the little things you did without having knowledge of it, how our little guy brought happiness to not only your mom and dad, but to your brothers as well. They both loved you and cared so much about their little brother. I remember your sweet baby smell, then I look for your blankets to remind of how close you are to me. Knowing that I will not get to play with you when you are older, play catch, shoot hoops, or take you to the tractor store which is your brothers favorite activity when we go to town hurts me because I know what’s missing. But I know you see it all from where you are, I just wish you would get to do it with them. There are nights when I wake up and I think I hear you cry, it’s hard for me, but I know where you are your cry is a happy one, but more of a giggle. Mom and Dad love you with unconditional love. I find myself thinking of you and don’t have to wonder what your mom is thinking because I already know. When I have my rough days I close my eyes and I see your smile, and at that time I feel that you letting me know that everything is going to be ok and that you are safe. I know that you will always be a part of our family, but our family has an angel watching over his family from heaven. You will always be in my heart, my prayers, and always in my thoughts, but I know that you are among the angels in heaven. Your dad will always remember your first smile, the first time I heard you giggle, and how you made me feel when I held you. You will always be one of Daddy’s little boys. I love little buddy, keep an eye on your brothers, your mom, and me.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My Sister (the real writer)

If any of you have read Justin's Jesus (the full story) it says in there that I have never been much of a writer, until God placed Justin's Jesus in my hands of course.  However, I cannot take credit for Justin's Jesus, I am simply the hands that type the words that the Lord has given me to put down, to not only help others get through a hard time, but for myself as well.  My older sister on the other hand has always been an excellent writer.  In high school she had books upon books filled with poems she had written.  She has always had a knack for expressing her feelings so eloquently and reaching readers with heart felt words and expressions that a reader could get lost in. 

I have always been close to all my sisters, but Kandi and I have had more ups and downs than the rest of us.  There were a lot of times I didn't agree with some of choices she was making for herself and I told her so(most times distastefully) on numerous occasions.  I am sorry for this. 

Kandi has had a lot of really hard struggles in her life and at times couldn't seem to catch a break, even from her own sister's judgement.  I was in wrong.  I would like to tell you all how very proud I am of her.  She had been battling a long hard stuggle with addiction, and sometimes it seemed to all of us that the addiction had consumed her life so much that there was no turning back, forgetting that God is bigger than struggles, problems, and even the strongest of addictions.  What a great and powerful God we have.  Since Justin's death, Kandi has turned her life around.  Kandi Iwant you to know that you are a wonderful sister, a great mother, and an all around beautiful person.  I am so proud of you, and thank you! 

Here is Kandi's letter to Justin 

To My Sweet Nephew, Justin Ryker Swick,
Since you left for Heaven, the lives of those you touched have been better because of you. Our faith has grown stronger, our families have grown closer, and our hearts have grown more thankful. You were, and continue to be, a blessing in more ways than any of us could ever have imagined. Only He could have known what you would do for all of those who knew you and I know that He knew you were exactly what all of us needed.

For me, your short life and sudden passing brought a new beginning, opening my eyes to the value of life. Prior to your passing, I was consumed by addiction, barely surviving every day. I took unnecessary chances, gambling with not only mine, but the lives of others as well. I hurt those I loved without reason. I took life for granted, every day putting myself, my son, and complete strangers at risk. I was weak, thoughtless, and unworthy. It was through you, Justin, that God touched me. Since your passing I have been sober. I treasure every day like it is my last. My relationships with my family have grown stronger than ever, and my son has the mother he always deserved. Though I miss you tremendously and wish every day that I could hold you again, I feel certain that if it were not for your life, I might not be here today.

Your life, though far shorter than any of us desired, had such an incredible impact on our livelihoods, that your memory will live forever in our hearts and on our lips. Your story will be told for generations, by family, by friends, and by strangers, as the boy who brought us closer to God and to each other.

My love forever,
Aunt Kandi

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Mommy's letter to Justin

I am in the process of getting Justin's Jesus ready to submit to the publisher, although there is a lot left to be done!  One of the things I want to add in Justin's Jesus is letters from his family and friends.  If anyone would like to write about Justin, a letter to him, or how Justin's Jesus has touched you, please let me know before I send it to the publisher, I will be sure to add it.  I have been dealing lately with being angry, and I'm not sure what about.  Generally when I see a baby and I am happy, I am happy for the babies parents that they get that baby, that I am able to see them, and even sometimes I get the privilage of holding one.  The past couple of days, my arms feel empty, and it is such a heart breaking feeling, that a lot of times, if I let it, turns into bitterness.  I do sometimes think, "you know there are a lot of families out there with multiple kids, living in proverty, in horrible situations, and, Lord, why not save one of those children from living a life of proverty on the streets, than to take mine?  Horrible, I know.  I try to think, "why not me", when these thoughts pop into my head, but sometimes I do let human nature take over and I start to feel sorry for myself.  I am sorry, Lord, I know your plan is better and bigger than mine, I know I should be happy Justin is with you, (Riley tells me everytime he sees me crying about missing Justin), and I am, I know Justin is happy, healthy, and will never feel heartache or pain, but I am still living among human flesh Lord, and I still do, this heartache and this pain is very real.

Here is my letter to Justin, in Justin's Jesus

A Letter to Justin:

From Mommy:


There are so many things I want to say to you.  I never thought I would have to write them in a book, though, I just always thought I would always be able to tell you.  As much as I worried that this would happen, once it did, I was at a loss as to what to do next.  You are and always have been so precious to me.  I think about you, everyday, as if you were here.  I wonder what I would put you in to wear that day, if your hair would always be baby soft, if I could cover you in baby lotion forever, just so you would smell the way you did when we first brought you home.  I snuggle with your blanket, I rub it across my face, the same way you liked to fall asleep, and it still smells like you.  I miss you so much, I can’t even begin to put it into words.  I know you are happy in Heaven, and you are in the care of so many amazing people, but I’ve got to say, sometimes I still wish you were in my care.  My arms feel empty without you in them.  I see a baby in church, or at the store, and my heart breaks for me, and yet I am so happy for their mommy’s and daddy’s that are still able to hold their babies.  I hate so many things about you being gone, I hate that my arms are empty, I hate this hole in my heart, I hate not being able to watch you grow up, or feel your hugs, your kisses, or  hearing you say, “I love you, Mommy”.  There are so many things I want to see you do, hear you say, and be proud of you for, but I want you to know that, little one, I am so proud of you! I am so proud to be your mommy, and there are so many things I am glad about also! I am so glad I got the chance to feel you in my arms, to hear you giggle in your sleep, to see your smile, to smell your hair, touch your skin, and watch you roll over.  I don’t remember the sound of your cry, and that’s okay because you don’t cry in Heaven. I am so thankful to have a baby in Heaven, I am so glad you will not feel any pain, that you live among rainbows and light, that you are always happy, and what better place to live than among Jesus and his angels.  I miss you, Justin, and I always will, but I have peace in my heart knowing that Jesus is keeping you safe in his arms until I can see you again.  Please watch over your brothers, as sometimes they get into more mischief than even I can handle.  I love you so much.  I still buy things for you, we talk about you every day, and you are in all of our prayers every night.  Please ask Jesus to keep your soft baby hair so that I can rub my face against it when I get the chance to see you again.  If mommy and daddy ever have another child, please know that we are not replacing you, you could never be replaced!  You are amazing and wonderful to us, you always have been and always will be, and please give that new baby kisses from you, I find comfort in knowing that you will be with your brother or sister before we ever get to know them.  There are so many people that love and adore you, and I cannot even imagine how many lives you have touched, you really have been a work of God and again, I am so proud of you!   I love you, sweet baby, and I will see you again, at the feet of Jesus, in a world without sin.