Thursday, August 21, 2008

In Memory

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I've said before that the purpose of this blog is to make you laugh. That's still the case, but today I'd like to do something a little different. You see, yesterday I lost someone very near and dear to my heart. His name was James, and he was the son of two incredible individuals: John and Abby Gjertsen. (In a way, Abby is actually responsible for the creation of this blog: she is the one who first e-mailed me the "Under Neat That" cake, which in turn inspired me to start Cake Wrecks. So if you enjoy this site, you owe Abby a small debt of gratitude.)

James was born with a host of medical problems, and he overcame huge obstacles while spreading joy and inspiration to all who knew him his 482 days here on Earth. Through their blog SweetBabyJames.info John and Abby provided encouragement to other special needs families around the world, and James was able to touch countless lives. His legacy is assured, and will be one of unceasing joy, strength, and courage. (Click here for a beautiful video celebrating his first year of life.)

Not only are John and Abby close friends, they have been hugely supportive of Wrecks. So today, in honor of John, Abby, and sweet baby James, I'd like to dedicate this post.

And because I still believe in the healing power of laughter, here's a great video for cake lovers everywhere:




Thanks to reader Rachel for the video link.
Anonymous said...

:-( :-( My condolences to your friends for their loss :-( :-(

TheCourteousChihuahua said...

What an amazing and beautiful family. I am humbled by their strength, faith and devotion.

Anonymous said...

Thoughts and prayers to the family and friends. I am sure there will be blessings that come from this sadness.

KraftyKerilou said...

Lord Bless them and James. I will keep them in my prayers. You are right. More than once I have come to see your blog downtrodden, and been uplifted. I enjoy each and every post! Hugs,
Kerilou

John and Abby said...

Thanks for the love and the laughs, Jen. We love you guys. We were just looking at the pictures of the cake you made for James's first birthday. It turned out to be his only birthday cake, but it was unbeatable anyway.

John & Abby

tkdquintmom said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. I did enjoy the tribute though to 'cake'. That had me in tears and brought a smile to my face. Thanks for sharing. Love your blog, by the way. Pretty funny stuff. Lori

Manggy said...

Jen, thanks for the link. I've never heard of sweet baby James till today but I was touched, inspired, and deeply saddened. Left a comment there.
Hee, Jim Gaffigan :) Thanks for the video. As a cake lover, I thoroughly enjoyed it!

MichaelTenery said...

Thank you for this. It brought tears but also joy in seeing the video. Those parents are wonderful people. I can only hope they find peace and comfort in the happiness he obviously had in his short life from their love and care. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Being the parent of two, I cannot fathom the grief your friends are experiencing right now. I hope they are able to find strength and peace in the days, months, and years ahead.

PamperingBeki said...

How sad! :(

It was a very nice tribute from you.

Thanks for making me laugh myself silly every day!

nathancontramundi said...

Jen,

John, Abby, and Sweet Baby James, and you and all surrounding the Gjertsens in this time of mourning remain in my prayers.

Chris said...

My thoughts are with John and Abby.

margret303@yahoo.com said...

I am sorry for your loss. Sending love to you and your friends.

Thank you for the video--so funny! Loved it.

Gus3284 said...

I'd like to offer my condolences to both you and baby James' family.

HeatherPride said...

Oh, I'm so sorry for the loss of your friends' beautiful child. I can't imagine their heartache. I will keep them in my prayers.

hennhouse said...

I follow your blog because, as an amateur cake decorator, it makes me laugh and smile. Today you made me cry. I will be thinking of and praying for you, John, and Abby today and in the days to come. Thank you for sharing their story.

Princess Bride said...

Praying for this whole family. I am so sorry for their loss.

Lisa said...

My condolences to you and to your friends, Jim and Abby. He was a beautiful little guy with unbelievable eyelashes. What a sweet boy.

Sherry said...

blessing on them, and you. i watched my best friend's daughter go thru much of the same with their son noah a few years ago and attended his funeral.

there really are no words.

mommy skonovd said...

as a mom, it is heartbreaking to read james' story. however it is clear he touched and blessed many lives. thank you to his family for sharing his life and spreading his love. may he be free and healthy in heaven, and may god be with his family.

Maire said...

What a thoughtful memorial for your friends' little angel. A little prayer has been said for you all to take comfort.

Janell said...

How sad for a family to lose such a young child. He's such a beautiful baby and I hope they can find comfort.

Nicole said...

I am really sorry for your loss.

Neen said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your friend's son. I just read their blog and fell in love with little James. My heart is breaking for their family.

Christin said...

I'm so sorry for you and your friends' loss of James. I looked through his website, and he was blessed with such strong parents. I hope they can find the strength to make it through this phase of things, too.

Anonymous said...

I read this blog every day and never comment, but my heart goes out to the family and friends of your little buddy James. Even though it comes from readers who don't know this family, maybe the offering of good wishes and sympathy will give them some additional comfort.

MaryO said...

Prayers to Sweet Baby James and his family. I'm sorry for your loss.

Wendy said...

I am very sorry to learn of the loss of baby James. How lucky he was to have parents that loved him so much. I will pray for his family and friends. Thank you for sharing his life with us.

EmBee said...

My sympathy to your friends. I can't imagine anything worse than the loss of a child.

Thank-you for still bringing on the funny.

Bethany said...

Very sweet post. (No pun intended.)

Our hearts go out to them.

wilver-and-ecru said...

Sorry for your loss. I send my condolences.

The cake video's funny, though. Thanks for sharing. :D

Cassykins said...

I think this is a wonderful post. Kudos to them for being the kinds of parents who cared for their child no matter what and who inspired others to do the same. Lesser people would give up and it's wonderful that they didn't. I'm sure James will be remembered for a long time thanks to them and now thanks to you as well!

Tabitha said...

God Bless Baby James and his family. May his family find peace and comfort at this sad time.

Tabitha G.

Tiffany said...

I'm really sorry about John's,Abby's,and your loss.
That video of James' first year is very touching.
I wish you all the best.

Faith said...

All my best to John and Abby. I hope they're able to pull through this difficult time as easily as possible, with help from good friends like yourself.

Laura said...

And then there's the immortal Eddie Izzard: "Cake, or Death?!"

He's relatively tame compared to some modern comics, but not entirely clean and inoffensive, so click at your own risk.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNjcuZ-LiSY

Cheri-Beri said...

Thank you for this post. It's easy to see your heartfelt sorrow for your friends. Prayers for all of you!

Alli said...

I'm a big fan of your site.
Thank you for sharing the video of baby James' life. What a sweet little angel. Your friends are in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

My deepest sympathy to John and Abby and to you.

hugs,
Shannon

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for the loss of James. May God bless and comfort you and James' parents, John and Abby. Ann J

Jenn said...

Sorry to hear about the loss of your friend's son. Thoughts and prayers to you all.

Dea said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Many thoughts, virtual hugs, and strength wishes to John and Abby. What a beautiful tribute in their site. I wish you all the best, and again - I am so sorry for the loss of a sweet angel boy.

trash talk said...

Thank you for some tears and some laughs.

Sarah said...

Very powerful blog...condolences to you and all who knew that sweet little boy.

Twistie said...

My deepest sympathies to James' family.

Thanks for the Jim Gaffigan clip. It made me laugh a lot.

JennyF said...

My condolences to John and Abby on the loss of their son. I know I don't know them, but I cannot imagine anything harder to bear than the loss of a child.

heddo said...

Wow. Thanks for sharing that. I am sure that every day he was there was one more special day for all who knew him.

My friend had twins earlier this year (after having a stillbirth and miscarriage last year) but delivered very early so they stayed at Winnie Palmer for a few months. She lived in Winter Springs too, though recently moved to Winter Park. I myself used to live in Maitland, only we moved to Canada about 10 months ago. My mom still lives in Altamonte.

My thoughts go to you, Baby James' parents and family, and all who knew him.

Oh, and thanks for adding the cake video. I think it was a good way to end the post.

Thimbelle said...

I was so sorry to read about the loss of Baby James.

We will pray for Baby Jame's parents that they find the strength they need to continue, and that they find some small comfort to help ease their pain and loss.

Kristen said...

Rest in peace, James. My condolences to his loved ones.

Susan said...

Jennifer, I know you are feeling the same grief I am today. I saw all of these cake wreck references on James's blog and had to check it out. Thank you for pulling me out of a pretty dark place today and giving me a laugh. This is a great site.

four little blessings said...

I am so sorry to hear of the loss of James. I will keep Abby and John in my prayers. May God bless them and keep them. Thanks for your post, and for your wonderful blog. Tammy

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. It's amazing how many people's lives are touched by the amazing spirit of special children. I had no idea what a blessing they could be, whether with us a short time or a long time, until I had a special one of my own. Thank you for posting about James. Again, many condolences to you and his family.

Darrcie

Crazy Raven Productions said...

I'm so sorry to hear of their (and your) loss.

Wendy said...

My condolences to John and Abby. Peace to James.

Jacque Benson said...

My thoughts and prayers are with these loving parents upon the loss of their son, James.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost my father a few years ago, so I know it can be hard. Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

I checked out their site (at work - big mistake) and was in tears by the second posting.

These two are much stronger people than I am. To cope with James' disabilities for more than a year and then to lose two children in two months' time is a burden I cannot even begin to imagine.

My thoughts are with them.

Katie said...

My condolences

LadyShay said...

My love and prayers go out to you and John & Abbey.

Anonymous said...

So sorry for your loss. John and Abby must be pretty special people. I lost a niece about 5 years ago. She only lived for 1 hour after her birth, but her life touched mine in such a way that I still feel the effects today. I believe these kids are "old souls" and come to teach much in their brief time on earth. Please give my most heartfelt sympathy to John and Abby...

Carol said...

Just stumbled upon your site today. So sorry for your friends and their loss. Amazing family! We lost my dear niece Megan when she was 15 months old and know how much a little one can touch and change your life. I love your site I cried over Sweet baby James and then laughed till I cried some more over these cakes. Thanks for touching both my heart and my funny bone.

Carol

LizC said...

Being a mom, this really touches me. Thanks for sharing James with us.

Michael said...

I'm very sorry to hear of your friends loss!

Chris said...

God Bless James.

3 to get ready said...

I'm so, so sorry to hear about James. My heart goes out to all of you, and especially to his family. But thank you for sharing his incredible story.

*Shannon said...

John and Abby will be in my prayers as well as anyone else affected. What a terrible tragedy to have to go through, but his young life was obviously celebrated, and very loved. Thanks for all the laughs you have given me as well as countless others, I hope you have someone close who can put a smile on your face! Love Jim Gaffigan, by the way.

Vicki said...

Thank you for posting this. I'm not a member of youtube so couldn't leave a comment there.

This just breaks my heart, the struggle, the love and the loss.
My most heartfelt condolences to John and Abby. And my love to James who touched my heart with his smile.

Tiffany S. said...

I am so sorry for your loss and theirs. I think it's so brave to have a child and then to lose one would be unthinkable. My heart goes out to all of you.

Trudi said...

May God Bless James & his mommy & daddy.

Marie said...

Thank you for sharing Sweet Baby James' site. I smiled and cried and was reminded just how precious life is.

Catherine W. said...

Many times you've made me laugh til I cried. Today I cried for a different reason.. reading James's story and watching his video. Thanks for sharing such a moving story and a testimony of God's sovereignty.

Lisa said...

So sorry for the loss your friends and you are experiencing.

Debbi said...

I am so sorry. I never knew Sweet Baby James until today but he has my heart. I am in love with him and his *beautiful* eyelashes. You are in my prayers - all of you.

Debbi said...

John and Abby ~ To lose two babies two months apart ... my heart is yours. I will say extra prayers for you tonight. Now you have 2 little angels to watch over you!

Sunshine said...

No one should have to live with the death of a child. Especially when said child barely had a chance to live. I'm glad that while he was here he was able to touch so many lives. My heart goes out to John and Abby.

amyd said...

I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of James. My prayers for comfort and strength are with James's family and friends. Thank you for sharing the tribute to his life...what a beautiful and blessed family.

John Seavey said...

My deepest sympathies to John and Abby on their loss. I lost my niece to SIDS just over a year ago, and so I know that there really is no kind of pain that can compare to that of a child's death. My heart goes out to them, as does that of my whole family.

Mary said...

Oh, how unutterably sad!!!! I read through most of the blog, and this is an absolutely incredible family. Thank you so much for helping share their story.

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to them and to anyone touched by the loss of their son.

Lisa said...

To quote a song that's near to my heart right now.
I stood and watched an eagle fly
Spread his wings and soared across the sky
So gracefully he flew


James is flying now, with his baby sister. All of you are in my prayers.

jason said...

God bless them all.

(and thank you for this site!)

Shay said...

I read this post earlier today and thought all day about it. My thoughts are with you and James' family. What an amazing family. You have me counting my blessings today, and I thank you for sharing.

Jessie said...

What an amazing family. My heart and prayers are with all of James friends and family.

Jorge Patiño said...

I'm really sorry. I hope you can bring some light into their lives.

woolywoman said...

May his memory be a comfort and a blessing.

Kate said...

I'm without sufficient words to express my sadness after reading John and Abby's blog. I pray that they will find comfort as they grieve. The world would be a better place if there were more wonderful parents like them.

Thanks for your posts, Jen! They've brought lots of laughs to our home. I'll keep you in my prayers, too. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Claudia said...

I am so very sorry, and that is all I can say.

Tina H. said...

What an amazing account of Baby James' life. He fought so hard to live. John and Abby have a strong faith and it will help them during this difficult time. I enjoy your blog and how nice of you to dedicate this day to special people in your life. May baby James rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

What a sweet, beautiful little boy. I am so sorry for their loss. Thank you for your tribute.

bassetsnbrits said...

I am so sorry for the loss of an incredible little boy. His light will continue to shine on in everyone he touched during his short time here.

Lee, Melissa and Jackson said...

I am so very sorry for all of your loss. What a beautiful angel heaven has now!

Jaedyn said...

I am in tears... I watched the video and started crying less than 30 seconds into it, and cried all the way through. What a beautiful family, and my heart goes out to them in this difficult time. James looks like he is the light of their lives, and I'm so sad that he had so little time with them.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts are with John & Abby. They are truly amazing people.

Aims said...

Rest in peace baby James. I'll remember you in my prayers. X

Anna B said...

love and healing to your friends

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your friends' babies. There are truly no words to convey how much that hurts. I can't even imagine. I will lift them up in prayer.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing James' story. My deepest sympathies to his loved ones.

Libbie said...

How sad - what a sweet little guy! Thanks for sharing his story with us.

Kathryn Johnson said...

Okay, I'm seriously sitting here crying. My heart aches for the family. May James be at peace.

bunny said...

We read through this lovely family's blog today and were moved to tears at the way your friends cared for and adored their sweet little one.

Thank you and thanks to them for sharing their wonderful lives.

Blessings and prayers for this family and for their son.

Jen said...

God bless Sweet Baby James.
All of my thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Corinne said...

My prayers to the family. I wish I had known about their blog when James was still alive. They sound like very special people.

Abbie said...

All my love to Abby, John and everyone else James touched. I'm so sorry.

Karen said...

I'm so sorry.

Wandering Chopsticks said...

My sympathies. Your blog brings me so much laughter. My deepest condolences to your friends for their loss.

Anonymous said...

I know that God's comfort will be with this loving family and the many friends whom James touched in his short life. God bless you all.

sarah-sdr said...

My husband and I read Baby James' final blog together - my big strong soldier was in tears before it was over. I was, too. And yet, I had to smile through the tears because the love and joy in one another was so apparent in every picture and video of James and his family. They are all such wonderful examples of unconditional love! Thank you so much for sharing that with us. I am so glad that your friends obviously chose to appreciate the wonderful parts of having James with them, as well as slogging through the difficult times and facing so many challenges. God Bless! *hugs*

Sheryl said...

My deepest condolences to Abby, John, you, and all who loved baby James. If the measure of a life is how much you are loved, then perhaps James did all the living he needed to. I can't begin to fathom the depth of the pain of his wonderful parents, though, and wish peace for them, and comfort in happy memories.

Chad said...

Love your site! Good laughs. Please visit mine if you'd like. BRIGHTSEEKER.COM. Love the video.

la-princesa-di said...

I often come here for the amusement that all these silly bakers provide us with, but reading this today made me so sad. I ventured over to baby James' blog and I couldn't not cry. He was the most precious little boy and I have nothing but the upmost respect and sympathy for his parents for being so strong and loving. I know many people who would give up when presented with such situations, but instead they gave little James an amazing life, short as it was. I'm so deeply saddened by his death. I can't imagine the pain they must be going through. He, his parents and you are in my thoughts <3

Nicole said...

aw, I'm sorry for your loss :( I'll keep his parents adn you in my thoughts, hugs

Jen said...

My deepest condolences. :(
Good Thoughts and prayers sent out.

chiffonade said...

My heart goes out to you and your friends. They are truly special parents and I hope they are blessed with a baby again soon. God love them and keep them for how they loved their sweet boy while he was here on Earth.

Cupcakes Lady said...

How sad. It was a very nice tribute from you. Touching

Thanks for making me laugh, you have a talent for it ;) x