As you well know, I named you after your Uncle Jack, who was in the Army in Vietnam during the time of your birth. Little did I know then, of how your courage matched his own courage. I know it now. I am so touched by your strength and will power to get things done.

Jackie, you have raised three wonderful sons who exemplify your moral code. It does not go unnoticed that you were instrumental in the seamless moving about that our family accomplished through the years. You had attended four different high schools as we moved from state to state for employment purposes. You never complained. You just did what it took to get it done.

I am remembering, as I most often due these days, that your were born on Memorial Day almost 50 years ago. As a little girl, you marched in parades to celebrate the 4th of July, Memorial Day Parade etc. Your smile was so infectious and beautiful.

I am thinking of how you had the courage to return to college and study, and study very hard to achieve your goal of becoming a surgical tech, and at the same time raising the boys alone. You raised the bar for all of us.

What most people comment about you is your wonderful attitude and your chuckles and laughter because you have a great sense of humor. You seem to look beyond the difficulties and find fun wherever life takes you. You have the unique talent of letting things go where they will, pick it up and go on.

I am remembering how close you were to your Grandfather, Pappa and to your Grandmother, Mamma. I remember a particular event when someone in your high school tried to hurt you and Susan came to your rescue, and then Mamma and Pappa drove down from Cincinnati to make sure you were alright. You have been through some things. You always rose above it. How many other Mothers could have handled the deployment of their Son to Irac and carry on with so many responsibilities?

I look to you so often for help with decision making and advice. How is that, that a young woman can be so far ahead of her Mom in those respects? I think it is your birth right. Being first-born, you had to learn the lessons of life early on. Thank you for taking me along with you on the journey.

You have some more adventures awaiting you. I will have much joy watching all of your achievements and the empathy you extend to your family and medical associates. You are amazing!

Love, Mom