Justin Ryker Swick

Justin Ryker Swick

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sweet is the voice of a sister in the season of sorrow. ~Benjamin Disraeli

When we were younger my little sister and I bickered all the time!!!! I remember my parents telling us that one day it wouldn't be like that, that one day we would actually get along....and may even become friends.  I did not believe that at the time.  After all, she did steal my spot of being the "baby" of the family, which I was quite comfortable in for 7 years.  Well, low and behold, parents do know somethings!  ;)  Now that we are older my little sister is one of my best friends.  Don't get me wrong, we are still sisters, which in turn means, we are are not going to agree with each other's decisions all the time, but the nice thing about being sisters is that we are not afraid to tell each other when we disagree with some of the choices we make.  I love that about having sisters, the honesty, the compassion, the protection, and the fearlessness of knowing that we will always be there for one another.  Not just when times get hard, or when times are great, but always.  I talk to my little sister daily, see her almost every month, even though money is tight and time is scarce she is always there, not only for me, but for my children as well.  She was present during the birth of each of my children, even though with Riley and Jake it was over a 5 hour drive, and with Justin it was still 3. (Jack was there too, claiming that Justin was waiting until his 'Godfather' got there to make an appearance).  It wasn't so much her support during that time, that means the most to me, but when Justin was transferred to Des Moines, it was Jill who stayed with me those 11 long, long days, and even longer nights.  She sat with me, she cried with me, laughed with me, and helped ease my mind on the the trying days.  And even though I am sure I was unbearable at times with being frustrated, scared, confused, and overly tired, she never once complained, even though she had every right to do so.  She also left as soon as she heard about Justin's passing, once again, staying after everyone had left and helped me adjust to a different life without Justin in it.  It was not so much the days right after Justin passed away that were the most difficult, don't get me wrong they were awful, they are days that I never ever want to relive again, but with all the hustle and bustle of getting things done, and all the people that surround you, (once again I am so thankful for all you), and just being in utter shock, those days seem like a blur to me.  It was the days after everything seemed to settle down and it was time to pretty much relearn "life", that were really hard.  I am not sure I would have gotten through it without her by my side.  Not only have Jill and I gotten really close, but we know each other, the good and the bad, what makes each other happy, what breaks each other's hearts.  We have a sort of empathetic connection that even though there are times we don't agree with decisions each other makes, we know each others hearts well enough to know why those decisions were made.  We feel each others pain, know each other's sorrows, and embrace each other's happiness and joy.
Jack and Jill mean so much to us and our children, once again, not because they are there for the good times, or the bad, but because they have always been there for everything, even the moments that are dull, boring, and everyday sort of life days, they are there.  That is why they were named Justin's Honorary God Parents. 

I love you both so much, thank you for all you both have done!  Jill, you are the best little sister in the world, and Jackeious....you're not too bad of a guy yourself ;) Love you!

Here are Jack and Jill's letters to Justin:

Justin Bustin,

            Hey buddy I am not completely sure what to tell you in this letter. I never thought I would have to write a letter under these circumstances, I honestly never thought I would be strong enough too. I know the only thing helping me write this letter right now is the strength God is giving me and my love for you. You have touched so many lives in the short time you were here and even now after you have gone. You have helped countless people find Christ in a way they never thought possible. You truly were an amazing little man. You always were one of the most special little boys I had ever met. The day I called your grandma Tjarks back because she had called and said it was urgent was the worst day of my life. The last thing I ever expected to hear was that my precious and perfect little Justin Bustin’ was no longer living. In that moment I thought my world was crashing. Nothing seemed right anymore I remember begging God to change it, just let me wake up and it be yesterday, please don’t make anyone in this family face this. Well those thousands of prayers I said in that short time were never completely answered. But this isn’t a letter to tell you how much I am hurt that you are no longer with us. This is a letter to tell you how much you mean to everyone you ever had contact with physically or not, especially me, and all the great memories I had with you. I remember when your mom thought she was going into labor the first time and I rushed down there as soon as I could the next day. It ended up being a false alarm, but it wasn’t long after that you were here with us. The whole time your mom was delivering you Jack and I took your big brothers to the mall to keep them, and well us, occupied. We were all so excited. Your brothers kept asking every 5 minutes if you were here yet and if they could see you or hold you and I was looking at my phone nonstop awaiting a call from your daddy or grandma. I remember not long after you were born you were sent to Blank Children’s Hospital, I rode in the ambulance with you because I just couldn’t imagine taking my eyes off of you, being too far away, and letting you make that trip alone. You would stay at Blank for 11 days and I am so honored that I got to spend most of those days there with you. I would not trade those days for the world! I also remember when your mom and dad brought you up to see everyone and the whole time you were here I didn’t want to let you go. Other people wanted turns holding you but in my eyes you were my nephew and I didn’t ever want to let go. I later had to let go in a way that I will never fully heal from. Even as I am writing this letter to you I find it hard to see the computer screen through the tears I miss you so much my precious little boy. You know I was your godmother another great honor your parents bestowed on me. And another great honor that I would not trade for anything. I miss you a little more and more everyday people say it will get easier but that is only if you push it to the back of your mind which I find hard to do since you were always one of the first things on my mind anyways. But again I am going back to how hurt I am. The last time I went up to see you, you were 12 pounds and your chubby little cheeks just made you that much more adorable and cuddly in my eyes. You were being kind of a punk the whole time I was there though. You would only smile when I wasn’t looking, I think because you knew that was one thing I wanted to see more than anything. You always had your own little personality when you weren’t happy everyone knew it and everyone always ran over to help you and see what was wrong. Even the last time I saw you I didn’t want to put you down every time you would cry I would rush over to you side and pick you up. Partially because I just saw it as an excuse to hold you and cuddle you, but also because I didn’t like to see you cry, but you will never have to do that again. You meant the world to me Justin and I cherish every moment I ever got to spend with you and every moment I get to spend with you now when you are with me. I swear I feel you with me sometimes and those are the only times that this is truly ever a little easier. I cannot wait until God grants me the chance to see you again I hope you are one of the first faces I see at the end of that bright light. Well buddy I am sure this letter is getting a little too long, I could go on for pages about how much you meant to me and still not have it all written in here. Words cannot describe how much that was or how lost I feel without you here. Without being able to call your mom and hear you whole I am on the phone or being able to drive up there and see that smiling face (that you didn’t like to show me very often)  and especially knowing I will never get to hold you in my arms again. It kills me to end this letter but I know if I keep going I’ll drown the keyboard. I love you so much my angel boy!!!! And I will miss you always!!!

Love you forever,

Aunt Peanut

      Dear Justin,
      You were a very special little guy you changed so many lives in the little time you were here. There are so many things that I want to tell you I could go on forever. I remember when I first heard the news of you. I was so excited to hear that you were going to be born. I had  never known  anyone that was having a baby. When the date was set I was just finishing welding school and was offered a job in the city one of the first things I thought of was it was going to be during the time that we were expecting you. I was in the last week of my job and I got the news they were expecting you early. I was upset because I wanted to be there when you were born. When I was on my way home I received news that you and your mother were sent back home and that they wanted to wait a while longer. I was really glad to hear this news because it meant that there was still a chance that I could make it up to see you when you were born. I made plans to come up that Friday and during that weekend you were born. I was the first person to know your size and weight it made your Aunt Peanut really mad at me because she wanted to be the very first to know. We went to the hospital to see you and you were in the nursery getting cleaned up so we couldn’t see you yet so while we were waiting for them to bring you back to the room peanut went to get coffee. While she was gone they brought you in and I was able to touch you and talk to you. I was afraid to touch you I didn’t want to get you sick or make Jill anymore mad at me. Through the next week I came down to see you in the NICU when I could. I hated that you had to be on the machines they looked so uncomfortable and like they were hurting you. I would just hope that you would do all the things they wanted you to do so you could get out of there and go home. When you finally got out of the Hospital Jill and I would come down to see you when we could. I always was excited to see you and loved to hold you and see the funny faces that you would make or when you would smile at me and frown at your aunt peanut. I’ll always think of the things I could have showed you, like batman. I wish I could do the things with you like your brothers always want to do anything from seeing the cows or spinning them around. I always wonder what you would be like today. What your personality would be how you would act or what you would even look like. I wish I could watch you grow up and be a part of your life and watch you succeed. I’ll never understand why your stay was cut so short. You made an impact on my life the first time I held you and I will always miss you. Look over your family and keep an eye on your brothers.
Love, Uncle Jack

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