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A Little About Lauren

Jace and Lauren

Since Lauren’s 24th birthday is coming up (Feb. 25th….TOMORROW!), I ordered her a really amazing gift that I’ll post below. Plus, I want to describe the unique bond between Jace and Lauren. It’s actually hard to put what they had into words. Lauren is 20 months younger than Jace. They were as close as twins….maybe even more. As young kids, they never fought. They did everything together. As teens, they seemed to click with opposite circles of friends but at the end of the day they told each other everything. Now when it comes down to personalities….they were almost complete opposites lol. It makes me laugh knowing how incredibly close they were and how different they are.

Lauren has 3 of the most beautiful kids, my grandchildren. Noah is 6 1/2, Bella 4, Aliyah 7 months old (a Fourth of July baby). I’m so proud of how hard she works. Not only is she a super mom, she’s been by my side and helping me since Jace passed. I don’t know what I’d do without her. I just hope she has a great day tomorrow. I know it’s going to be hard without Jace…he really gave us all the gift of love.

Happy Birthday to my Lovie Magoo 💛

Sorry if the pics are too big and crazy. I really am going to have someone help me modify the webpage soon. Be patient with me lol.

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What’s Next….

First of all, I want thank everyone who’s shared the link to this webpage. It truly means so much to me to see how many people love and care about Jace. I couldn’t believe the spike of viewers! Please, make sure to also follow and continue to share the link.   Please, continue to share the link to this page.  I’m not feeling too confident that legal justice will be done.  For now all I can do is make as many people as possible aware of Jace’s story.  Some people have suggested I send this story to a more public outlet (local news stations, newspapers, social media, ect.).  For one, it was hard enough just to share as much as I did in writing.  Plus, I do not want that kind of attention.  I want all the focus to be directed to the police department and the amount illegal activity going on in my area.  I want people to know how the people involved have threatened my Lauren’s life, sent us messages that we’ve saved, have told us they know who and how the set Jace up and how law enforcement responded….by continuing to let us down.   I really don’t know what to expect to happen right now.  Honestly, I haven’t thought that far ahead.  All I know is that I have to do something….

Again, I appreciate everyone who’s been sharing the link and all the support.  And I’ll be sure to keep posting.  

To my Jace….my Rinny, So many people are fighting for you.  You still continue to make such an impact on people’s lives.  You are missed and loved more than you ever could imagine…       Love, Mommy xo💛

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Grief and Corruption: Part 3

One month after Jace passed, FBI detectives came to my house. Keep in mind, my family thought Jace relapsed and suffered a fatal heroin overdose. So, I just assumed this was just part of the process for FBI detectives to come ask the family questions….case closed. Wow, was I in for a complete shock!

Oct. 5, 2020, FBI detectives told me and my Lauren (23 yr daughter) that Jace’s death was not from an accidental overdose and was now being investigated as a homicide. He was targeted and given what they call a “Hot Shot” purposely. Lauren said she knew immediately that morning that things didn’t make sense. Of course I was just in complete shock that morning (and for a few weeks) to notice how the pieces didn’t fit. One thing that stands out the most, the needle was capped and placed in his pants pocket. It is 99.99999% not manageable for an IV heroin user to securely place that cap back onto the syringe and into their pocket during an overdose. A heroin overdose starts almost immediately. Especially, when it’s laced with fentanyl. Also, there wasn’t any bags or items found of how he would’ve mixed it. His wallet was found on open I front of him. Almost everything was left out on the walkway….ID, different cards, bank cards, receipts, ect. Lauren remembered he had $11 in cash which was gone. After almost 2 hours with these detectives, my grief turned into a feeling of rage I felt brewing in the pit of my stomach. As I am leaving bits and pieces out for now, I’ll try to explain what detectives told us.

One thing they made clear….Jace’s role into their overall investigation only plays a small part. They couldn’t tell us too much except they were after someone who is very dangerous and that Melissa and Kevin (refer to Part 1 and 2) worked for him along with others. They also asked what happened the last time Jace and I went to the police department. After telling them that story and how they dismissed us that we never actually made a report because the cop said we were wasting their time. This is when I was told that they were also investigating the police department. They said the day we went there and with the information Jace gave them and wanting protection could’ve been the difference in his death. I can’t emphasize this enough….The POLICE, law enforcement officers, these trained men and women to protect us and the ones we are told to go FAILED Jace. They failed our entire family and the ones who loved him. That is disgusting!

Now, 6 months after Jace passed, 5 months after our first conversation with FBI detectives, law enforcement is failing us again. I’ll give a real quick overview. Lauren and I retraced Jace’s last 24 hours. We went through his phone, messages, bank statements….everything. The detectives also traced his the last 24 hours along with the weeks prior to his death. Melissa and Kevin caught wind somehow that Lauren was learning details that involved them and recently people have been threatening Lauren’s life. Also, it’s believed that Melissa went back to her mother’s (her parents introduced her into this life years back when they lived in Florida and managed a gambling cruise ship with criminal connections). Melissa’s mother is now telling Lauren that she’s as good as dead…basically. Now you would think after what happened with Jace and now being under an investigation that ended in a death, the police would be on top of their game. Lauren saved all these messages…..take a wild guess what she was told. She was told that she probably provoked them and if they find out she did that they would arrest HER! And they added with….”You saw what happened to Jace. Do you want to be next?”…..WTF?!?! I am so done with the cops. I’ve had enough of the bullshit that protects them. Not just here but everywhere. It’s infuriating to know that there’s no fighting or beating them because they are never held accountable. They suffer no legal penalties or reprimanded. I’m sorry but giving them paid time leave is a slap in everyone’s face who have been let down by them. You know, we hear stories on the news how the police discriminate, how they abuse their gun rights, abuse using forceful tact measures, seek out people of color and ultimately have wrongfully killed people. When it happens to someone like me, it really opens your eyes to this reality. It’s maddening and frustrating because in the end, law enforcement is somehow protected and nothing will happen. Now I know they’re not responsible for Jace’s physical death. And it may seem to others that I am a grieving mother and just want someone to blame…I do know how others may think that but….they’re part played by dismissing Jace, the fact that FBI detectives are investigating that….they absolutely played enough into this for me blame. Even now…threatening my Lauren instead of stepping and doing what they’re trained to by protecting her….God help them if anything happens to her or anyone else in my house. I will never go to them ever again. It’s sad to say I feel more protected by my 6 1/2 year grandson….I’m almost serious about that.

Before I end this brief story, I want to make clear that I do ultimately blame whoever or the person that purposely caused Jace to die. The reason I just had to push myself to start telling his story is to expose the police. Since nothing will happen, even after being investigated, not even as little as an apology (which would not be accepted or taken well….AT ALL), the only thing that can be done is to tell the story. My wish is to have everyone share this story over and over again. I will never stop telling what we’re going through because this is a life long nightmare that I live everyday. Losing my Jace has changed the person I once was….I’ll never be the same. No one understands how hard it to have to push myself just to do the simplest of things. It’s agonizing and a struggle.

I hope one day down the road I can tell this one part of Jace’s life and story in more detail. I know he would want that because below is one of his FB posts of him doing just that, telling this story. Exposing people who hurt him and earning others to keep their distance from them after the police refused to step in. I know it might be hard for some to see his beaten face or read his words. Believe me, it was worse since these pictures are over a week after his assault.

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Heartbroken Valentine Day

I’m sure some might think Jace made this for me when he was much younger. He was actually 22 years old when he made this. One of so many cards and letters he’s given me throughout his life. I remember this particular Valentine Day because Jace was in a rehab. That was our toughest year or so during Jace’s addiction years. It’s bittersweet….knowing the struggle, pain, defeat, self-blame…ect…he battled back then with himself and then witness his strength, faith, courage and journey that led to the life of recovery and positivity he shortly lived. It’s hard to explain just how beautiful of a person Jace was (inside and out) to people who didn’t know him. He deserved so much more. His heart was too caring and forgiving.

To my Jace,

I’ve told you a thousand times…you were and always will be my first true love. I still can’t even believe you’re gone but, I’m starting to feel you around me. I miss you more by the hour of everyday. I love you, Mommy 💛🏳️‍⚧️💛

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Grief and Corruption: Part 2

Before I continue where I left off, I noticed I left out a few things (there’s quite a lot I left out….otherwise I’d be writing forever). 1. Right around the time CYS came and took the baby, Jace found out that Melissa was pregnant again….4 months pregnant. Obviously, Melissa wasn’t honest or faithful from the very start of their relationship.
2. When Jace went back thinking Melissa wanted to get out of her situation and go to rehab, Jace reached out and set up arrangements at a rehab for them. They did go but, Melissa instantly wanted to leave. One of the rules in rehab is not to be in a romantic relationship with anyone there. Melissa got them kicked out purposely by letting staff know her and Jace were together.
3. Many people meeting Jace at this time weren’t aware that he was transgender (born female). He had been on testosterone for 3 years and in January 2020 had his top surgery. Of course Melissa knew. Also, Kevin, the 50 year old man…Melissa’s pimp and drug dealer…he knew. That didn’t stop him from beating Jace unconscious.

I also want to let anyone reading this know that it literally makes me sick that any of this happened. Honestly, I can’t even believe that this is real life….that my Jace went through this. Sometimes I think if someone else were telling me this story I wouldn’t believe them. Trust me, I know how insane it sounds.

Picking up where I ended was convincing Jace to make a police report so we could press charges. So, we get to the station and an officer comes out and starts taking notes as Jace tells him what happened. He told the officer that he knew the hotel and room number, the room was in his name, the exact date was foggy since he was in and out of consciousness and gave him Melissa and Kevin’s names. I think Jace figured if he was going to report the assault then he might as well let them know everything. So Jace went on to tell them about all the prostitution, drugs, weapons, robberies….everything he knew about them and the people they associate with he told the cop. He said that last time he went back it was as if they wanted him to really see what they were all about….almost like a visual threat. I think they did that because they were furious that I reported Jace missing and talked to the police. They wanted Jace to know if he ever left again to keep his mouth shut. The officer went back to see how to get the hotel log and info of how to file for a restraining order. Ten minutes later he comes out with another officer. This one was in plain clothes, younger, cocky and instantly had his mind made up before hearing anything we had to say. He knew Jace from an incident 2 years prior when he and his friends went to a gas station and stole quarters from the car vacuum machine. His first words were, “Oh come on Korynn (Korynn is Jace’s birth name)…what trouble did you get into now”…. I cut him right off by letting him know that it’s been at least over 2 years since he had been in any trouble and that Jace needed help. He tells us that he’s been updated of why we were there and then proceeds to tell us that there’s nothing that can be done. Here are the reasons he gave us:

  • Jace didn’t have any physical witnesses or video evidence of his assault.
  • Jace couldn’t remember the exact date and time of the assault.
  • Since Melissa is now the ex-girlfriend, Jace’s could be making this all up just to get back at her.
  • That this is just all “hear-say” from Jace and proceeded with…”You could’ve done this to yourself”….
  • IF they did question Melissa or Kevin they can deny these accusations which would be a waste of their time.
  • If these people were heavily into illegal weapon distribution, prostitution, dealing drugs, ect…they would’ve known.

These reasons are complete bullshit! I couldn’t even believe what I just heard. As I looked over at Jace, I could just see the disappointment and look of defeat all over his face. If this cop wasn’t going to serve and protect, which is their job, then he would hear what I had to say. I basically called him out on his reasons because it was bullshit. How the hell could Jace beat himself like that?? It was a week after the beating and his face was still severely swollen, vision still impaired. I also told them there’s no way these people don’t have an “In” with the police department. It just didn’t make sense to me that they wouldn’t look into anything at all that Jace told them. Everyone has the right to file a police report yet we are being told we couldn’t. I told them that I get it…they see someone who is/was an addict and they’re just over it already, they’re mad. It doesn’t give them the right to discriminate towards them or use they’re personal opinions/assumptions as reasons to lie to people they way the just did to us. This cop truly didn’t care one bit that I knew he was full of shit or that I called him out on it. He just rolled his eyes, shrugged his shoulders and sarcastically snickered “Whatever” as we left. I just checked my planner to see when this happened and it was on a Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020.

On Sept. 5, 2020, my 16 year old daughter was coming home after spending the night out. It was very early, 6:40-6:45am….she found Jace sitting on our front door step, slumped over, unresponsive. By 8:05am I was in an ER trauma room by Jace’s bedside as a doctor stopped all life saving attempts. At that very moment so much of me, of who I was…also died.

I wish I could explain more but, my grief still weighs as heavy now as it did then on my heart. I’m trying to tell this part of Jace’s story now because our family has recently been let down by our city’s justice system again. I know in the future I will tell this story in more depth and detail. For now, it’s easier to explain what we’re going through without reliving how heartbreaking Jace’s last weeks were before he came home to us for good. I also know how impossible it is to fight unjust discrimination by law enforcement. Since that’s already a battle lost, I’ll expose them of their lies and corruption by telling the truth.

Hopefully, there will only be one more part after this because I have to stop at this point. It’s taken me a few days to write this Part 2. Mostly because we hit the 6 month date (Feb. 5) since Jace passed. I wish I could say I don’t grieve as heavy as time goes by….I feel like I grieve heavier and feel the pain harder as time goes by.

Again, I want to thank anyone whose read my blogs and I am so appreciative to those how have been following. 💛

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Grief and Corruption: Part 1

As much as I want to share Jace’s story with his path through his gender transformation, gift of writing/art, addiction/recovery and the truth behind his death….it hasn’t been easy when the legal/justice system continually shows their true colors of how corrupt they are. In fact, I’m at the point of such disgust that I wish I were never told about the investigation of Jace’s death. It almost seemed easier to deal with when we thought he relapsed and accidentally overdosed.
Feb. 5 will be 6 months since Jace passed. One month after is when FBI detectives told us his overdose was not accidental. That he was purposely sought out and given a “hot shot”. After ending a toxic and dangerous relationship with a girl who not only lied and manipulated him, she was also connected with a circle of dangerous people, prostitution, drugs and weapons….and other criminal activity. The detectives described these people as paranoid and dangerous and afraid of what Jace would do or say. They preyed on his vulnerability of being an addict which made it easy for them to set him up in a way that would look accidental. After being let down by the police a week prior to Jace’s death, I thought justice just might be done. Wow…I can’t believe how our family would be let down….again.
Let me go back to the few weeks before Jace passed. I’ll try to give as short a version with as much detail as possible so bear with me. Jace had been dating a girl, Melissa, for a short time. She has 2 kids but custody of only her younger son who was less than a year old. End of July, beginning of Aug, Jace found out that Melissa was keeping what only can be described as a secret life behind his back. She is a prostitute and a drug addict. She tried convincing Jace that she wanted help and forced into this situation. Somehow she convinced Jace to stay with her as she hotel hopped and Jace took care of the baby. It wasn’t long before Jace caught Melissa in more lies. Melissa knew his weaknesses against him by leaving crack for him as she left for hours or days to make money off other men. Eventually, CYS was notified and took the baby that Jace grew so attached to away. That’s when Jace tried ending the relationship coming home….Aug. 8th. Against his better judgment and believing the lies Melissa told him, he went back twice thinking they would go to rehab together. The last time Jace left to go back and “save” Melissa, I hadn’t heard from him or knew where he was for almost 2 days. I finally sent Melissa a text that if I didn’t hear from him that I was reporting him missing. Jace already told me what was going on as far as he knew. My gut just knew Melissa was lying to him but nothing I could say would convince Jace otherwise….not at that time. So, I went and reported him missing. I told the cop that what was going on, that Jace had relapsed and why I was worried and reporting my 25 year old as missing. I gave him Melissa’s number and he called and left her a message telling her that I was only worried about Jace and that was all. When Jace finally called me, I urged him to come home. Still, he thought Melissa needed help. Only hours later would he realize otherwise.
Jace called me on a Friday to let me know he was ok, a day or so when I reported him missing. That weekend, Melissa’s pimp…Kevin, beat Jace unconscious for two days. They left him in a hotel room, in and out of consciousness, blinded my swollen eyes and cheek fractures, unable to find his way to use the bathroom. From what Jace told me, he thinks his crying and moaning is why they dropped him off a block away from a hospital ER for him to walk there. They told him they’d be back to pick him up….that never happened. Still, as he waited in that ER, he would try calling them for almost 2 hours before finally leaving the hospital (without being discharged) and getting a ride to come home to us, his family. Seeing Jace’s beautiful face so beaten, so swollen….seeing him so defeated, so broken…completely killed me. I refused to let them get away with hurting him this way.
Jace came home with absolutely nothing except the clothes on his back. He was done…finally. He was still heartbroken, still struggling with what went wrong, battling with self shame and disappointment of relapsing with crack but, he was finally done with her and finally home with us and willing to start over. Arrangements were being made for rehab (we figured if he was able to beat his years of heroin addiction, he would beat this crack addiction), we gave him time to rest, cleaned him up and I took him shopping for things he needed. The day I took him shopping, I told him we had to go to the police and report the beating. That’s when he told me that before they beat him is also when he found out what Melissa and the people she associated with were really about and how dangerous they are. I think they did that to scare him so he wouldn’t try leaving or try telling anyone anything. None of that mattered to me. I told him that I was taking him to make a report and press charges. He said if we do that then he needed to get a restraining order which was fine with me. I never would’ve imagined I’d be shown how disgusting discrimination by law enforcement truly is.

Sorry, I have to stop at this point. I will definitely continue as soon as I can. I struggle with so much with everything that’s happened everyday. It wasn’t easy writing this much and as I try to tell the rest is even harder. To anyone reading this or following my page, thank you for listening and all the support and kind words shown. It means a lot. I’ve come this far with what happened so I promise, I’ll finish tomorrow. Xoxo 💛🏳️‍⚧️
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Trans Warrior💛🏳️‍⚧️

Tonight we are honoring Jace’s 1 year Re-Birth Birthday with a small celebration of his memory. I can’t even believe we’re doing this without him. When I read his FB posts and journal entries from this time last year just shreds my heart into a million pieces. Remembering how he and I talked about how to celebrate this day from now on….and now facing the reality has been incredibly difficult these last couple of weeks.
Tonight I want to honor Jace’s Legacy with his transitioning and gender identity with a message to others in the Trans Community:

To those who struggle with gender identity and transitioning…You are all brave. You should all be proud of who you are and who you are meant to be. Don’t let anyone take that away from you. Be selfish with loving and respecting yourselves. Walk away from anyone who disrespects you. If any of you feel unsupported, just know that I am proud of all of you as I am a proud parent of a transgender child. All of you going through this deserve to live as you feel…as your true selves. Never give up on any of your goals no matter what they are. Finally, never forget how amazing you all are.

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Anger/Grief/Healing

I don’t think I will ever fully come to accept that Jace is gone. He wasn’t ready….not this time. As odd as that may sound there were times when he was heavily battling addiction, feeling defeated, depressed, ashamed….he would tell me he was going to die. He would tell me because he wanted to almost prepare me. He would tell me that he accepted his fate and was at peace with it. The things he would say I did not doubt. I could see the pain and despair all over him. It literally lit a fire within me back then. I truly fought blood, sweat and tears for the both of us back then. I absolutely refused to let this addiction epidemic win. That was over 2 years ago now. I knew his patterns as he struggled back then. From head to toe I knew back then when it was “Go Time” to fight these wars. Plus, he would tell me how everyone and everything would be better if he weren’t here. When he would start saying those things I would plead with him to see how much he was needed, wanted, loved. No matter how much I try to explain what we went through, no words or details could bring those times to their true light….it was a nightmare as I grieved a living child then. Those years are the reasons why I’ll never accept this now. Besides the fact that FBI detectives told us this was not an accidental overdose and is being investigated as a homicide, this time was so different in so many ways. I know to others I sound like any other grieving mother but….I knew Jace as well as I know myself. Our relationship was so opposite from other parents and their adult children. And there’s no way to explain that unless you knew us personally so I won’t even try. I just know this time he wasn’t ready to leave us. It just makes grieving and healing and understanding how to cope so much harder. There’s also another side that I struggle with.
After years of battling this war, the revolving doors of rehabs, IOP treatments, therapy, relapses and overdoses….something clicked and he was seriously working towards a positive path of recovery. July, 2019…he we went to an inpatient long term rehab in Altoona, PA. He came home mid-October a completely new person. He was so positive and focused on his sobriety, mental health and determined. He had an aura about him that absolutely glowed. He was making goals and slowly achieving them. It was such a wonderful thing to see. Being with him just made you happy, made everyone happy. It felt almost too good to be true….and it now seems that’s exactly what it was. Too good to be true. By the end of February, beginning of March….he fell into the trap of wanting what he desired just as bad as he did drugs….Love, companionship, a soulmate. I struggle with knowing how much he had it together and then allowed someone to take that away in such a short time. This person lied, manipulated, used him and ultimately took his life.
One month after Jace passed, FBI detectives came to our house and told us things that seemed so unreal. It was like something you would see in a movie. Our family felt that something wasn’t right after he passed but wasn’t sure what was exactly wrong. Jace’s ex-gf was a prostitute, an armed thief, an actively using drug addict and associated with some sort of ring with organized crime felons.

That’s just a small part of his story. Below are posts that I’ve come across on Jace’s Facebook memories. Just looking at those dates and remembering how proud he was makes my heart break so much knowing that he thought he could help and change someone who used him.

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Celebrating Gender Identity

There are few dates throughout the year that are special and celebrated for Jace besides holidays. The most meaningful one is quickly approaching, January 29th. This will most likely be the hardest to for us since Jace never even had the chance to celebrate it himself.
Last year, January 29, 2000, Jace had his top surgery done. It was the second big step in his gender transition. Jace was born female but identified himself male. He had been on testosterone for a little more than 2 years which was his first step with transitioning. This surgery was a huge goal and meant so much. The excitement and anticipation the weeks before were one of his happiest. He was also on a more serious path in recovery from addiction, had a trans sponsor who was supportive in both (recovery and transitioning) and the first time he attempted, worked and finished his 12 steps. It was also the first time in about 7 years that I felt more relaxed and calm with him. Things were finally falling into place for him. He glowed with excitement and proud of himself….we all were.
Now it’s one entire year later and it’s unimaginable that he’s not here to celebrate his Re-Birthday Birthday. I remember he and I talking about how we would call it that and how we would plan a little party to celebrate. Even though he’s not here I have got to still manage a way to honor this day with my family and have his first Re-Birthday Birthday for him. I honestly don’t know how I’ll even handle my emotions without him.
I know his Spirit will be smiling.

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Just Stuck…

I’m so stuck…just stuck. That’s the only way to describe how I feel. I wish I could do the things I think about with this page and with a ton of other things. I know no one understands and I don’t expect anyone to. I feel like I’ve been trying to avoid the reality. It’s just hard to hold my emotions in for too long. As time passes it seems harder. I just keep thinking there’s so much Jace is missing. It’s so impossible to think he won’t be in my life as the years go on. That’s probably the hardest to deal with right now. People sometimes tell me I seem to be managing/coping pretty good. I’m glad I seem to look like that on the outside because I’m falling apart on the inside. I know this is just another phase of grieving…this feeling stuck phase. I wish I wasn’t feeling this way this week. Tomorrow is my 17 year wedding anniversary. It’s incredibly hard to pull myself out this. I wish people understand how hard I’m really trying even when it seems like I’m in another world and unable to do anything. I don’t know what I’d do without my kids, grands and husband. They do everything for me. Especially my Lauren. She never stops trying to make me laugh or smile.
My Jace…I miss you so much it hurts sometimes. Xoxo 💛

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Another incredible Gift

So many people have been sending gifts to us in memory of Jace. Not just something bought but actually unique, personalized gifts! Most of them have Jace’s beautiful smiling face on them. I’m just blown away and completely speechless over the generosity and support, overwhelmed actually. I’m so thankful and grateful these people that words could never describe.

This one gift in particular is the most heart touching and sentimental and most treasured. This bench was given to me by my sister. The actual bench itself was from our parents old patio furniture. My brother in law managed to salvage and refinish it. My sister then created and painted, added pictures and other unique memory details by hand. I can’t even believe she did all of this. I never knew she had such a talent for art. I love it so much that I don’t even want it outside. For now, it sits in my room for Jace Bear to sit on.

I find myself still protecting him in weird ways. Besides having the bench in my room to keep close to me I also have a small bag of clothes of his safely tucked away in the corner nook of my room. I had to take him shopping that last week he was home became he had nothing (one day when I can finally tell his story this will make more sense). We didn’t get much, just the basics….boxer/briefs, socks, some tees, comfy pants, toothbrush, ect…he never even got to wear most it. The clothes he did get to wear I keep in that bag too. There’s a pair of socks that still hold the shape of his foot. It’s been a while but sometimes I’ll just hold the clothes he wore (the sock too) just to feel and smell him. In my closet I keep two boxes of writings, journals, letters that he kept and his baby book. And on my dresser are his ashes. I still can’t help that I want to protect and keep him close to me. I know it might sound stupid or strange….others mentioned it seems selfish. I’m not trying to keep anyone away from him, I’m just not ready to accept this or part ways with him…not yet, maybe not ever…I really don’t know. And no one will ever understand.

I’ve been trying to hold back how broken I am because I know I bring everyone down and it’s depressing. Usually once everyone goes to bed it all pours out. I know I shouldn’t hold my emotions in too. It seems to always hurt more when I do break. I’m just so lost and heartbroken. And no matter what anyone says or thinks, it does get worse as time goes by. It just becomes that much longer since he’s been with us.

To my Jace, my Rinny…
As Lauren keeps saying…Your face is plastered all over the house now in so many ways that you’d be so cheesy about it lol. No doubt that you loved yourself, finally and not shy to admit you were a damn good looking kid. 😉 If you’re Spirit is hanging around I’m sure you’ll be with me, Lauren and Becky the day we get our tats. I hope you’re happy with the decisions we’ve made to remember you. You’re so loved and even more missed then you’d ever know. You still have taken most of me with you…no one can deny that. Visit me.
Love….Mommy xoxo 💛

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I wish I could stop time

Although 2020 was the worst year of my life, seeing it come to an end sends a heavy wave of my grim reality over me. There’s no stopping time as it passes by. It’s just impossible to imagine the future without Jace.

To my Jace,
If I could turn back time….ugh… It’s so unfair and still so unreal that you’re not here. We all miss you so much it hurts. What am I going to do without you? Please, send your Spirit to visit me again in my dreams.
Love,
Mommy xoxo

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Letting Out & Letting Go

After posting about my extremely small circle of friends that I trust outside of my family, it got me thinking about the other couple friendships that ended in a way that really broke my heart. After maintaining such close friendships for so many years and being thousands of miles away….that whole “Our lives just took on different paths” is just a nice way of admitting the truth. Although I’ve gotten over these ended relationships, it still has a bit of weight in the back of my mind. I never really let it out and release my feelings to truly let go, make it final for me. This post has me stepping so far out of my comfort zone by admitting how one particular friendship changed my ways to trust anyone for many years and even now.

It felt as if I was in that relationship alone for so many years, from such a young age, sharing and going through all my many lowest moments, celebrating my few successes that the feelings weren’t mutual. It’s strange now that I never saw the way I was used as the odd one out. As kids I’d be the one who was blamed for any trouble we’d get into, made their mother think of me as an unruly/bad child. I’ll never forget their mother saying to me once I was older and had my first child that her skin would crawl every time I came over to play. First of all, that was so mean and I felt really bad. Second, I certainly was not the leader or decision maker ever when we were that young. Even as teenagers, I was easy to blame when actually I was just going along with whatever everyone else was doing. The way their mother made me look like some sort of scheming juvenile delinquent going down the “wrong road to failure and trouble”….you’d think I was literally tying up my friends and forcing them to do the stupid shit that we did. Really??? Whose parents are that naive or too afraid of her child’s reputation to admit the simple fact that sometimes her “perfect, smart, future thriving” child was as much an asshole teenager as the rest of us?!?

Okay, so I get I was used as the bad little kid that could be easily blamed, made to seem like an unruly teenage delinquent in case we got caught doing something stupid to blame….👍🏼 I get that. It’s wrong and mean but…we were kids. What I had trouble understanding was why as adults did it continue? This time it was our mutual friends we made after high school that would be told a different version of how they felt about me or bashed me every time I turned my back. They few friends I made then finally came to me because they couldn’t stand how I was being made to look like such a fool. Still, I couldn’t find it on my heart to think I was the only one who cared, the only one who was “the friend”.
Below is what I had to edit out of my previous post of my truly valued friends because I obviously let my rambling thoughts take me waaaaay off track ha. Managing my emotions obviously are still an issue for me lol. It’s not only when my heart is heavy and my brain is in overdrive because of my Jace, it’s with every single thing now. Every. Single. Thing. At times it’s maddening and others, like now, can be therapeutic. I hate confrontation, too old for it to waste my time because it resolves nothing. I’ve respected the privacy of everyone with these mentioned issues I’ve held onto for too long so, it makes me feel even better about the weight that’s lifted from me as I am therapeutically letting go. So, I do apologize if the rest of this post seems repetitive. I tried to edit what I could but, also couldn’t stop writing because I was in the zone lol. Ahhh, I can’t believe how much better I feel now.

My Elite Golden Girls Group💛…Three people who have dealt with me, been there for and who I trust the most. (Missy couldn’t make it so we edited her in~as a Purple Stick Figure lol)



Through my few 40…ish years I’ve been disappointed with only a few failed friendships that started from early childhood years and lasted until adulthood. It was heartbreaking for me when paths “drifted apart”. Drifted Apart…Even though those few friendships did take different paths with life’s unexplained chaos there were things I discovered later that took years of secretly dealing with the why’s and how’s. Like, how can you be friends with someone since almost out of diapers up until close to our 30’s and not have the same love, respect, appreciation or value that equally?? Why waste all that time? Why did other friendships mean more by people who have done things that hurt you? Why were friends who we met together in our 20’s reaching out to me because they felt as if you wanted to ruin my reputation….lie about how hard I worked to be the best mother I could and work so hard. Instead of rooting for me, you rooted against me and what hurt most was how much credit you gave yourself to say you raised my two oldest kids more than I did. Then mention how inappropriate you thought I acted at Jace’s funeral, how rudely treated you felt that I didn’t show more appreciation that you came or spend enough time to chat….at my Jace’s funeral, at my lowest, my most devastated, a time I barely remember now because that day I struggled through a fog so thick of shock you still couldn’t find the tiniest bit of compassion in your heart not to pour salt into my heartbroken wound to still try and tarnish my reputation. How, why? Honestly, I don’t care and stopped caring and asking those questions years ago. As for not thinking I was appropriately handling myself during my oldest child’s funeral….I hate to put it this way but, how appropriate would you think you’d be through your child’s funeral?? Is there a code of conduct that I wasn’t given? Because I couldn’t handle the trauma of seeing Jace in a coffin, looking so unlike his beautiful self that I spent more time outside on the deck with my brother and Monique…because my brother was probably the only person in this universe that comfort and console me and manage to make me laugh when all I wanted to do was crawl into that coffin, to even mention that you felt I was over dramatic for attention makes me sick but…because you seemed to have forgotten how genuine, emotionally/compassionately expressive my family can be, not disguising our flaws but owning and dealing with them and loving my family can be (it may be dysfunctional but…), was that just forgotten or just not seen? Maybe it’s because we never tried to pretend and act like the perfect family who has the perfect life and disguising it with material things while hiding the embarrassment of what lies behind closed doors. I’m sure you’d say that’s just my opinion but, how much is it my opinion and how much will you never admit are facts?? I’m proud of who I am, how I was raised, that I’m expressive and compassionate, that I actually care more than people seem to think and that I don’t deny my flaws, I don’t pretend to be someone I’m not, never have, never will. I am especially proud of all my wrongs because I’ve damn sure made most of them right. I’m sure there’s also an opinion you’d have that I’m sharing and venting but I’ll tell you what, it feels good to let it out and let it go completely.


As for the other one or two broken friendships, I don’t deny my mistakes but, I’m not going to put myself through the years I felt it was only me who made mistakes. It hurt then and sometimes I still miss those friendships I had in my early 20’s but, they became learning experiences that made me a better person.

I don’t live with any stress of the walls I keep up because not everyone deserves my compassion and vulnerability into my personal life. In fact, I thank my broken friendships for allowing me to respect myself and my personal life. For me, the smaller my circle, the better.

I appreciate everyone who reads or follows this page. I know I may sound crazy sometimes so it means a lot to anyone who I haven’t scared away lol. 💛💛

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Friends who became sisters since we were 6 years old

It’s not as common as it should be to have friendships as long as this. Monique and I were in 1st grade, 6 years old, when we met and became instant best friends. We’ve weathered it ALL together! You name it, we’ve been there, done that and more that only her and I will have to take to our graves lol (you know…being teenagers in the early 90’s without social media or cell phones and cameras recording every move we made…good times ha).
Not only were we close, we became close with each other’s families. In fact, Monique’s mother has been a huge part of my support circle with Jace’s passing. She’s the only mother figure I have left. Talk about a time that I so have been wanting/needing my mom…💔 Monique, her mother, her entire family will never know my love and appreciation I have for them all for everything. After 38 years, going through pregnancies together, raising our adult children together as single mom’s (before meeting our husbands) and now living at opposite ends of the country, even with COVID wreaking havoc didn’t stop by BFF from flying 2000+ miles to be here for Jace’s funeral. It’s definitely at the top of my list a few things I am proud of and truly treasure. I also have two other dear childhood friends that I’ve reconnected with over the years. Jamie I met in 2nd grade and she was my crazy ass sidekick who was funny and weird in the same way as me. Thank goodness because I thought it was some sort of genetic defect that only certain members my family suffered from lol. It killed me when she moved to Puerto Rico after 8th grade, 13 years old. We have always maintained to stay connected but had those in between years of life getting in the way and had few absences here and there. I’m incredibly grateful that we’ve reconnected more frequently with texts, calls, whatever way we can. It’s crazy how we have that unique bond that nothing has changed how much we love and miss each other and can pick up as if no time has ever passed or separated us. I’m making it my goal to Florida and steal her away for a weekend within the next year or two.
My only other childhood friend I met in middle school, Terrell (nickname Pooh back then). Reconnecting with her within the last few years has been great. I never knew how much I’d appreciate it as I do now. We share a sad but different grief that’s heartbreaking and painful and will be with us until we meet our loved ones again. She reached out as soon as she heard Jace passed and her support has been a blessing. She’s in my thoughts everyday now and hopefully one day I can be as supportive to her as she has been for me if she ever needs it.

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My heart is getting heavier as Christmas gets closer

I know I’ve mentioned how hard December has been for me, which is why I haven’t been posting as much as I’d like. I never knew it would be as hard as it actually is. I’m starting to feel the anxiety getting heavy and my emotions are definitely getting the best of me. The last 2-3 days I’ve tried to get at least some gifts but, I’ve broken down every single outing, have lost all concentration everywhere I’ve gone, found myself annoyed by others talking about their adult children and ended up crying myself to sleep over personal guilt and angry with myself. Christmas Day is my youngest, Gracie, 14th birthday. I feel like I’m going to fail her….and I’m not even sure why or how I’ll fail to make her day special…I just know it won’t be the same as all the others and that breaks my heart even more than it already is. Honestly, Christmas just isn’t going to be too great for any of us without Jace. I knew that since the start of the month. I wanted to make up for it with more gifts than ever and by doing things special for each of my girls….I know it’s not about the gifts…it just would’ve been nice to try. Now with only 2 more shopping days left and the fact I haven’t been working much (since my mini meltdown back when I decided to dive in head first), I just hope they understand.

Jace’s only best, truest friend (Becky) has given our family the best gift ever by recording and taking pics and saving text, messages, ect…of every moment they shared together. I’m hoping to share some of Jace’s silly side with some short clips very soon.
Becky also made Lauren and me a Build-A-Bear with Jace’s voice saying, “I just want you to know that I miss you”….💛 Lauren and I have become so grateful for Becky in so many ways. **DON’T FORGET TO PRESS PLAY TO SEE AND HEAR JACE BEAR**

Best gift ever 💛

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Needing a December time out

December seems to be hitting me harder than I thought. I knew it would be tough but, I’m really having a hard time. I’m missing my Jace so much lately. He loved Christmas time and all our family gatherings and traditions. Even my grandson, Noah, and granddaughter, Bella, have been saying how much they miss Jace recently and breaks my heart even more….hard to imagine that’s even possible. I’ve also been finding it harder to write on here about him or how I’m managing or feeling. I think I might just have to take things one day at a time through the holidays so I don’t completely breakdown. I still want to try and hold myself together for my other 3 girls and grandkids. I know it’s not easy for any of us right now. So, I just thought I’d share some very early Christmas memories of Jace for now. Hopefully, I’ll be back to sharing and posting more. Also, I’m hoping to get some help putting this page in some sort of order lol. There’s so much I want to write about but, I’m not tech savvy at all!! I really do appreciate (more than I can even put into words) everyone who follows this page and anyone else who may happen to come across some of my posts who like or comment.

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December Sucks

I have lost all sense of time, days, weeks. Reality has become such a fog lately that can be oddly welcoming….sometimes. I guess it just seems easier to embrace the fog that blurs how fast time can fly.
I just realized today is already December 1! My mind still thinks it was just August only a week or two ago. Now it’s December, an unwelcoming month for quite a few years. My Dad passed away Dec. 5, 2012. I was always very close with my Dad. Probably because he and I were alike in so many ways lol. It took a few years after losing him for December to become bearable again. Until….Dec., 2016….
My biological mother, Donna, and my 3 brothers live in North Carolina (my grandparents adopted and raised me who I call Mom and Dad). I had an unusual and unique relationship with Donna, almost like sisters in a way. Dec. 6, 2016, I get a call at 2:30am from my brother telling me Donna is in the hospital and may not make it through the night. She was in liver failure from Hepatitis C. I took the next flight I could get and spent 90% of December in NC. Sadly, Donna passed away on Dec. 18, 2016…10 days before her birthday which was Dec. 28. She was only 58 years old.
Needless to say, December became my month of Hell. I dealt with incredible guilt hating and dreading December because there was one day that meant the world to me, Dec. 25….and not because it’s Christmas Day. Dec. 25, 2006, I gave birth to my youngest, Gracie. There was such a mental/emotional battle of hating most of the month but loving it for just one day at the same time. Last year….finally….things seemed to be falling in place and it felt really great. Last December was the best I had since having Gracie.
So, it’s December again and filled with unimaginable pain….again. This year my dad has been gone for 8 years, Jace 3 months on Dec. 5. Missing and thinking about my Dad, Donna and Jace makes my emotions feel more intense, now accompanied with a sickening anxiety….I really can’t explain these feelings. Within less than 10 years, I’ve lost the 4 (including my Mom) most important people who loved me unconditionally in my life. It’s hard for me not to feel plagued by death. I know I still have 3 beautiful, loving girls, 3 happy and healthy grandkids and an amazing husband who love me….who I’m very grateful for and love more than they’ll ever know. What I battle the most with is the mental/emotional guilt between love, pain and failure that I go through. I feel like I’m failing as a mother and wife because of the pain of overwhelming grief. I wish they knew how it takes every ounce of me just to manage and get through each day. Believe me, I know it looks like nothing or like I might’ve given up. Sadly, the little to nothing it takes me to do is a hard goal for me to achieve. This nightmare is just impossible to explain. If only it were a nightmare I could wake up from…..

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The uncanny timing in Jace’s posts

Maybe my Lauren is right when she told me that Jace’s spirit is reaching out to comfort me and not just coincidence that I come across certain posts??? Whatever the reason might be, these posts of his show me how much alike we actually are.
An entire weekend home completely alone turned out to be unproductive and in no way relaxing. Instead I feel exhausted, drained, depressed, sad and every other shitty emotion people tend to associate with grief. I’m still trying to share memories and remember Jace rather than becoming the broken record of my pain. It still doesn’t make how I feel or what I go through just to get by each day. Maybe diving head first on going back to work wasn’t the best idea. Especially since I’m not even close to discovering ways to cope with stress, chaos, emotions, feelings, work or people (because we all know people can be shitty). Well, I took someone’s advice that work might be a different distraction for me. Now I know not to take anyone’s advice when it comes to suggesting how I do anything. I’m just not ready for anything more than only a few hours a week right now. Lesson learned!

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Messages from Jace 💛

I really don’t want to be the page that is so depressing, so repetitive in sadness and grief. My Jace was always full of love and wore the most beautiful smile even when his darkest demons were haunting him.
About once a week I like to log onto his FB acct mainly to see the memories of past posts and pics. Here are a few that I’ve come across recently. My Lauren swears that he’s sending signs on my darkest, painful agonizing days letting me know that he’s with me through certain posts. I love how Lauren does her best to comfort me and I do appreciate it so much. It’s just Jace’s absence that no sign or spiritual affection can ever replace. No one has ever loved me the way he loved me. He took every opportunity to always let me know.
My Jace…..I miss you more and more with every passing hour. It gets so much harder each day to realize this nightmare is my reality. I wish I could just accept that you are now my sweet Angel looking over me but, I can’t….I’m just not ready yet. It’s impossible to imagine the future without you. Please, if you’re Spirit is with me, just hold me tight and don’t let go…..otherwise, I’ll fall apart. Love always, Mommy xoxo

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Managing my emotions

I knew the holidays were going to be incredibly difficult. I just wasn’t expecting it would make me feel so awful….draining mentally, emotionally and physically.

Thanksgiving will probably be the hardest out of all the holidays. It was my dad and Jace’s favorite holiday because of the food lol. Now that they are both no longer here, it made me not want to even celebrate Thanksgiving at all. I did not handle yesterday well. I feel awful and so selfish about how miserable I was when I still have such wonderful kids, grandkids and husband to be grateful for.

I really have to figure out ways to handle how I act while struggling with my emotions during family gathering and holidays. I don’t seem to realize how I’m making other people I love feel until the next day when I’m feeling full of regret and embarrassment. It’s hard to explain the way I feel and act on these especially hard days because I don’t quite know myself. In fact, I don’t even realize it until the day is done and over with. I want my family to know that I love, appreciate and need them now more than ever. I can’t imagine what they must think or how they must feel when I’m saying things like…”I’m done with Thanksgiving. This is the last year I cook or celebrate”…..”I’m too empty and just don’t care about the holidays”….and I’m sure there’s a hundred other things I say that don’t make them feel appreciated or loved.

I did finally reach out to my grief counselor about this. I’m hoping that using this blog will help take some of the stress off my chest. I know Jace found solace and comfort in writing as an outlet when struggling with his emotions. That’s one of many reasons why I started this page.

I’m open to any and all suggestions how everyone deals with stress or difficult times they go through. Please, don’t be afraid to share. I appreciate the people who take time to read or follow this page. Thank you 💛
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It’s the random bad days that suck the most

I didn’t need to be told that certain dates from now on will be tougher and hurt the most. I don’t think about them and I don’t intend to prepare for them because…I know that would be impossible. Obvious dates like Jace’s birthday, Mother’s Day and the dreaded anniversary day when he passed. There are a few milestone dates besides those dates as well…I just try not to think about them now.

It’s days like today…random days when I’m feeling overwhelmingly distraught, upset, anxious amongst many other emotions that there just aren’t words to describe. It’s these random days that I’m struggling with. On these days I feel like a terrible person. I feel mean and hateful about everything and nothing. I’m also having a selfish pity party and feeling….I guess the best way to describe it would be selfish because I miss Jace’s love and how affectionate, silly, annoying at times he could be with me. I feel like I’m not being fair to my other 3 girls on these shitty days which makes me become more emotional. My mind can be my worst enemy. It’s like I’m beating myself up by thinking what some people would want to say…like:

1. You have 3 other children, 3 grandchildren and a husband who love and need you. So, knock it the fuck off and go spend time with them.

2. There are people who have nothing and have lost more. It’s not like I’m starving, homeless, jobless, moneyless…I have a pretty damn good life. Get a grip and be grateful.

3. No matter what I do, how I feel…there is absolutely not a damn thing I can do to make Jace come back or change what happened. Stop dwelling and start accepting so I can move forward.

4. Now you know Jace would not want you to be this way. Make him proud and put all the effort you have from those feelings towards something positive to remember him by.

5. Start living because you aren’t the one who died. You’re just delaying the grieving process and doing this to yourself.

6. Life doesn’t always seem fair. You gotta take the good with the bad and be an adult and deal with it. You’re not the only mother in the world whose ever lost a child. If they can move on with their lives than so can you.

Although no ones actually saying these things to me on days like today, these are the thoughts that play like a broken record, non stop, over and over again in my head. I know that people think these things, some of them anyway…because they’ve expressed some of those thoughts in “nicer, more sympathetic” ways since he passed.

Well, guess what?!? I can’t fucking help it when all of a sudden my day takes a turn for no apparent reason. This is one of the reasons I have anxiety of leaving the house…it happens so fast and unexpectedly no matter where I’m at.

I really have to work on myself and have a ‘Random Bad Days’ playbook with strategically thought out game plays of how to deal and cope so I can stop hurting peoples feelings or being mean to others. I don’t like that I do those awful things…I’m embarrassed and hate that I do that. No matter what I’m going through or how bad I’m feeling, there’s no acceptable excuse for me to make anyone else suffer too. Similar to how quickly and unexpectedly these bad day emotions creep up on me is the same way to describe how quickly and unexpectedly I seem to take it out on someone. Fingers crossed, I’ll try my very hardest to make today the last day I react negatively towards others through my emotional outbursts.

As for my little shit list, no matter how true they might be, no matter if people do think those things… I will never get over this…never! I don’t know where my emotional, mental path is going to take me down the road with learning how to cope better. Hopefully, this is all part of my personal grieving process. It may take months or years until I mange my coping mechanisms. All I know is my pain and loss is the worst and most painful and devastating thing…this is mine that I have to live with. I’m not going to rush or force myself to just push through it. It really doesn’t work that way. I know I’m depressing and uncomfortable to be around…trust me, I don’t like it either but I’m kinda stuck with myself. Until you’ve experienced the loss of a child, an adult child with 25 years of memories….you’ll never know what this is like. In fact, you’ll become regretful for ever saying or thinking anything mentioned above or from my previous post of things not to say to a grieving mother. I know because I used to think only a couple those things mentioned a long time ago. It’s worse than I ever could’ve imagined.

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Educating ignorance…Who’s with me?

**I apologize that I’m not great with technology, punctuation or editing so, bear with me****

Below is an email that I had to send to my youngest daughter’s principal and guidance counselor. Yes, kids can be mean. I get that teasing and gossiping happen and parents can’t fight all those battles for them. One thing I refuse to tolerate is ignorance and disrespect. These are 13-14 year old kids, not 4-5 year olds so, they definitely know better. My main problem….WTF is wrong with this kid to say one word at all about someone who has passed away…..AND say it to their sibling?!?! Not even once but, continually! I’m hoping his parents will be understanding enough to help their son realize what he did was wrong….main word is “hoping”. I’m well aware that young kids and their opinions come from their upbringing. Since there are so many people whose beliefs and uneducated opinions discriminate against the LGBTQ and Trans Communities, my feelings and words could be falling onto deaf ears. That is why I’m making sure I prepare myself. I’m going to have links with facts and information to give them, reference some books, offer places for them to go and volunteer to get one on one knowledge that these communities are people just like they are. I can’t begin to express how much I absolutely despise the stereotype that surround transgender or gay people. I don’t understand how there are people who can’t wrap their brain around the fact that there is not a damn thing wrong with someone who chooses love, chooses their way to live as their true selves and just want to live and have the same rights and opportunities as everyone should. Questions I’ve always asked when getting into heated debates, “How are gay or trans people affecting you personally? What are they taking from you?” As for Holy Rolling religious believers that like to shame by using sin as the excuse and how sinners are banished to Hell…”As we are all in one way sinners, isn’t it believed we atone all our sins when we die? If Mary Magdalene could be a repentant prostitute who Jesus loved and appointed as one of his disciples, a man who loved all beings on earth whose compassion was so pure and true not accept and love gays or trans people?” It’s amazing how angry those simple questions can make some people. Btw, I’ve never been given any actual answers unless you consider stuttering and huffing and puffing as an answer. 😏
I know I can’t change everyone’s opinions or beliefs but, I will never stop trying or fighting for doing what’s right. I also will never allow Jace to be disrespected in death. I may sound like an over protective mama bear, maybe I am, but my kids all know my love and support is unconditional and they will never go through anything without me in their corner. If I’m still alive when they’re in their 50’s, 60’s, 70’s….If they need me or being done wrong, I’ll fight for them with my last breath.

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A Gift for Gracie

My youngest is a spunky, silly, loud and funny 13 year old (turning 14 on Christmas Day). She is very much like Jace in personality. Jace loved her sisters so, SO much and really had such a unique individual bond with all 3 of them.
One of the millions of reasons I love and am so proud of my Gracie is the way she surrounds herself with such true, good hearted, caring friends. Not many girls in their early teens, boys too, do that because they want to be “Cool and Popular”. I know it was always a concern and huge issue Jace and I had when he was that age. I’ll never forget him telling me the one thing I was always spot on and right about every time was how I was always right after meeting someone he wanted to be friends with. See parents, they will admit eventually lol.
Gracie, on the other hand, has such amazing friends who have been 1000% supportive, all of them and their parents came to the funeral, they are in constant contact with her and seem to be a cheerful distraction. This collage of memories and such kind words written on the back of the frame was made by one her best friends, Jackie. Our family loves Jackie and her family. They are such nice people. Jackie’s mom and I have always had such fun conversations over the last few years. I am so grateful for Jackie (her mom too) and the rest of her circle of close friends (Sofia, Grace, Lylah, Casey…and their parents) for not turning their backs since there’s such a negative, false, stigma that follows after an addict relapses, overdoses and dies. It breaks my heart to think there are probably many kids close to Gracie’s age (11-16 years), going through the loss of a sibling, parent, family member, whose friends and classmates completely abandoned them at such a devastating time. Imagine how that affects kids that age and how it can forever imprint a scar on their lives. More education, more support outlets, more compassion, more of just so much needs to be done!! When kids are left to feel and think no one cares, no way of grieving, no one to talk to or go to….the circle of addiction will never be broken.

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Diving in head first…I guess

Well, I decided to go back to work. I haven’t worked since Jace passed. At first, I thought I’d try just a few hours a couple days a week. With all this pent up anger and negativity that’s overtaken grief at this point….I just figured I really need to do something rather than let myself become someone I’m not…angry. I’m extremely lucky to have a boss who is 100% understanding and supportive and is letting me take it day by day. I’m not sure what I should do but, going back for just a few hours a couple days a week turned into going back full time. I honestly don’t think anything will ever keep my mind from racing or thinking about Jace. I also know that I have such a long way to go with the grieving process and the worst is yet to come. It’s just so frustrating how quickly things can happen….even after the death of a loved one. One minute my family was grieving what we thought was an accidental overdose from a relapse to anger and despair of discovering that wasn’t the case and now a homicide investigation. Now I relive that morning in such a different way. Things we thought didn’t seem right actually weren’t right. Some people will ask me or say things like, “At least justice will be done”….or “It’s got to make you feel better knowing….” Neither makes me feel better. All it did was ignite a flame in the pit of my stomach of rage and wanting revenge. I almost feel as if it was easier to grieve and accept (eventually) an accidental overdose. If I really think about it, it’s scary that people like this and, finding out more as the investigation goes on, how close to where we live that things like this goes on. It’s like I’m living an unimaginable situation in a movie. That’s how unreal it feels. If I weren’t living this and someone were to tell me these things I would never believe them. It’s truly a nightmare.

Oh my Rinny, my Jace….your sisters feel like you’re finally standing up for yourself in Spirit and demanding the truth be told and justice to come. I’m proud of you, I was always proud of you even when you felt you were at your lowest. I love and miss you beyond words. If your Spirit is visiting or can hear me, please, please…I need to feel you. I’m so lost without you. I love you always, Mommy xoxo

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Hello, God??

So, the last week or so has been super shitty. I feel like I’m one big Pity Party and I hate that. Hopefully, I’ll feel a little lighter after getting things off my chest. Let’s see….

I’m still feeling on edge, a little mean or selfish like I explained in my last blog. There are several things I hear all the time that make me want to scream. If anyone is reading this, please…I beg you never, ever, never say the following to a grieving mother. In fact, not saying anything at all and just listening or being supportive is really the best thing to do.
1. “God only gives you what you can handle” or “It’s all part of God’s plan” —Well, I’ve pretty much waved my white flag a few years ago after losing my parents (my grandparents adopted me and raised me) and my biological mother within a 4 year period. Unless, God him or herself can personally pay me a visit and explain these two stupid saying and give me one hell of an answer to his plan, I never want to hear this said to me again.
2. “Jace is at peace now” “Jace is no longer suffering”— And how is that supposed to make me feel better? He wasn’t suffering enough to die. He wasn’t ready and he’d be at peace if he were still alive now. Jace was much more religious than anyone else in our household. He prayed all the time, read the Bible, attended church services and was accepting of everything he ever gone through.
3. “So and So lost 2 kids, their house and their pet and this and that….and went back to work the next day….”—Isn’t that wonderful for So and So?? Guess what? I don’t care about who thinks their loss is worse or anything. Mine is different! Everyone’s is different and it’s so beyond wrong to ever compare someone else’s experience to anyone anyway. Especially a mother!
4. “Sadly, life goes on” “Although you’re in pain and will always miss him, you need to remember that you are still alive”—Mmm, thank you. I had no idea. Like wtf?!?
5. “You have so much to live for” “You still have 3 kids and 3 grands that need you”—No, I need them right now! Yes, they’re grieving, we all are. We all need each other.
6. “Everything happens for a reason”—I don’t care what anyone says, I don’t believe everything happens for a reason. I think sometimes things happen and there’s no good reason.

I know I don’t sound like it but, I really do try to be somewhat positive. Times like this really seem to test your strength though. Like I said in the beginning of this post, the last week or so has really tested any strength I may have left. My grandson is 6 years old and needed oral surgery. It’s heartbreaking to see him in pain and having a hard time eating even a week later. On top that, our dog (who Jace spoiled and would refer to as his son) started having seizures. In fact, my husband had to take him to the animal hospital ER because one was so bad we thought it may have been a stroke. It just seems like whenever I’m dealing with something it’s followed by a shitstorm that never ends. So, the more I hear those phrases above and the human kicking bag of Life’s sick joke I feel like…..it’s hard to keep my feelings and emotions in check. I feel like I’ve been a terrible mother, wife, friend….person in general since Jace passed. Not that I was ever near perfect but, I always tried harder than I probably am now.

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Feeling mean and Angry

I hate how some days are worse than others. I also really hate how I feel when I say things like…”I don’t care about other people’s grief” or “I don’t care what other people have been though”….when the suggestion comes up about joining groups of other grieving parents. I know it sounds mean. I have a grief counselor who I talk to one on one with. She tells me my feelings aren’t mean and they are normal and not to apologize for them. That there are no right or wrong ways to deal or feel with my loss. That still doesn’t help how I feel when. It makes me sound mean and selfish but, that is how I feel right now. I hate it! I’ve never dealt with anything as painful as this before. Sometimes I wonder if it’s harder to grieve properly after finding out Jace’s death is now being investigated by the FBI. I’ve noticed a difference after that. There’s more of a relentless, boiling rage brewing in the pit of my stomach now. The more we discover and piece together just becomes such a toxic mix of emotions that are impossible to explain. I’ve also realized that the days I consider “better” (not that there have really been any good or better ones) only seem that way because I’m subconsciously forcing myself not to think of anything. Hmm…not sure if this will make sense for me to even try to explain it but, I’ll give it a shot. Not thinking of anything means not allowing myself to think Jace is never coming back. Not allowing myself to think about the investigation. Not allowing myself to accept the horrible circumstances he went through a few short weeks before he passed. I don’t know how or why I tend to do that. It seems like a short pattern of only a couple days that I do that. All I know is that I have to stop and be more aware if it starts happening again. That’s when I noticed I tend to become short and distant. Now is definitely not the for people to feel like I’m pushing them away. Even if my circle of support say they understand, it’s not fair because they’re grieving too. I usually like to send little messages on here to Jace. Tonight though, I think my family needs to know how much they are appreciated.

To my husband and 3 wonderful girls….I know I’ve been incredibly distant and at times completely lost. I’m really sorry. I know we are all having a difficult time right now. I love you all so much and need you all more than ever. Don’t ever think or feel that I’m not grateful to have each of you in my world. Right now, you guys are my only light. I love you more than you’ll ever know…xoxo

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Until we meet again….

MAKE SURE TO CLICK ON THE IMAGES TO VIEW THIS VIDEO 💛🏳️‍🌈💔

Forever and Always in our 💛

I don’t think the audio came through ☹️
Anyway, it plays to the music “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri. Jace loved that this singer was from our town and was also a fan.

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Family💛

It’s hard for me to find any reason to smile or any glimpse of light….my tunnel has collapsed. I have to stop myself when I feel that way because I have an amazing and supportive family to be grateful for. 💛

Family💛

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Social Media crap

So, I deleted my Facebook account over a year ago. I used it more to keep in touch with family that long distances and I don’t see very much. It was also good to see how friends were doing that I’ve lost contact with over the years too. I don’t know if I just grew tired of it or if it was something else…

Anyway, I also have an Instagram account that I never go on and honestly, forgot about it until I received an email about my password. I decided since I was on there I would reach out to a few people on there privately and also post pics of Jace letting people know he passed. For the most part it was nice to see how many people reached out with condolences. It was even greater that I’m not in personal contact with 2 childhood friends that I’ve always loved. Then I let the bullshit that social media tends to attract get the best of me….the drama of negative people and their opinions. I received a pm from someone who knew Jace and my other girls. At first it seemed nice so I replied, not expecting anything more. Then he sent another message regarding Jace’s addiction and made sarcastic jabs about his life and choices. Now I already knew there would be people who would assume or say and think negative things because Jace had struggled with his recovery for a very long time. As much as I don’t care about those people and their opinions, you would think they’d respectfully keep it to themselves let alone mention them to a grieving mother. It was definitely a trigger that set me off because I responded to him by losing my shit….I don’t regret it either. It actually felt a little good to breakdown a little. I’m not sure if I’ll completely delete my Instagram acct but, I won’t be going on there or posting about anything anymore. I feel like sharing Jace’s story and especially, the circumstances that caused his death should only be shared by people who I feel are worth it. Even now that he’s gone, I’m still protecting him. I already set a personal goal of becoming a speaker because that was one of Jace’s main goals. Now I want to make it happen more than ever with both LGBTQ and Recovery Awareness communities. The stereotypical stigma surrounding these topics and the lack of education is why proper therapy and proper treatment is never a priority. I don’t know if I can make much of a difference but, I will do my best….for my Jace…I will do my best. 💛🏳️‍🌈


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Weakness or Strength

I’m slowly going through more of Jace’s things. Besides the hundreds of journals, he kept folders…of what seems like every single scrap of paper, junk mail, appt cards…you name it, he kept it. The reason I say slowly is not only because it can be overwhelming and emotional, I’m also making sure I read and look through it thoroughly. What could look like trash might have something jotted down or random phrases or just something that feels special in a way that pops…just how it felt to be with him when he was here.
One thing that stood out was this saying he printed or was given a copy. I truly feel that when the time comes and I finally have my full on breakdown of the pain that’s still brewing with grief deep inside of me that it might kill me. Maybe not literally but, I don’t think I’ll ever get through it.

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Jace, this is for you💛

youtu.be/jSnMVVXuN4M

Anyone and everyone who is struggling, doesn’t matter what you’re struggling with, I beg you to watch this video. 
Again, (I know I’m a broken record, sorry) this just screams out my Jace in every way.  

Jace….I’m fighting for you and I promise that I will do my absolute best to make the world know that YOU were, still are and always will be someone who was great, who was special, whose story will be told and shared and hopefully inspire people for the better.   Although you’re gone…it doesn’t mean you can’t still make a difference in the world.  Your sisters and I will never let you be forgotten, we will never stop sharing your story, we will find some way for your name/story/legacy heard worldwide because you will always be GREAT! 💛                                       Love always, Mommy xoxo

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Yes, I am re-posting my post.

I have literally lost myself in almost every way since Jace passed. Most of all, my creativity is just about gone completely. Even speaking or writing don’t make sense to most but, it’s hard to put feelings or describe my endless struggle I go through 90% of everyday because there aren’t words that exist to explain my new found Hell. I know I’m uncomfortable to be around, that I can be a broken record, that my thoughts or how I feel or that pretty much what goes on this head of mine can be insanely fucked up…I also am aware that I wish for things that are unrealistic. Like, refusing to leave the house because I’m waiting for him to come home, thinking that holding onto anything of his and really hoping/praying/wanting/loving him might…just might make this all be a bad dream or time will dramatically rewind like a movie and I’ll know what to make happen differently. I’m also not completely delusional. Yes, I do know none of my hopes or wishes can happen. Yes, I know my Jace is gone. Yes, I know he’s never coming back…he passed away (no, still not comfortable with the D word). And yes, I know I lose myself when I go on these depressing pent up feelings I share because I’m just so desperately trying to find an outlet. Even if no one followed me or read any of my posts I would still keep writing. It was one of Jace’s main passions of his that was also self therapeutic and he was genuinely amazingly gifted at writing. Did I mention I tend to lose myself and train of thought….sometimes?? Ha… Well, I replied to someone’s kind words earlier and lost myself in a sane way for a change. In fact, I not only made sense, I was able to express how I genuinely was feeling. I haven’t made sense or express my feelings since Sept. 5th…I also finally feel like my special baby would’ve been so proud of my mini breakthrough by sharing something that he and I both fought for and felt strongly about so…..Ta-daaa….I’ve decided to repost it here in honor of Jace’s Legacy!! Now after a ridiculously long blog only to repost something that might only mean something to me….here it is:

Aimee Nekoranik
November 5, 2020 at 6:01 am
Not only so important to our family, every single person who was blessed to have crossed paths with him. I know I sound like a biased, grieving mother but, posts on his FB and just today I received such a treasure of things that were his that had over 20 or so letters from different people who knew my Jace. Every single letter, from all different people….all expressing such an overwhelming outpouring of love, hope, prayers and encouragement with his transgender transformation and recovery….they all made sure to express that their lives were changed for the better because of him. It kills me and makes my heart fill up with love at the same time. I’m going to try and post about this more later….hopefully. I’ll definitely get around to posting very soon if not tonight. I’m definitely going to post a picture of the pile of letters. It makes me so grateful and proud that he came from me, that I raised someone so special, that he was mine….and then I break because I can no longer tell him, show him these wonderful memories, remind him there’s so much more he has to offer and support him….to partner with him and make a difference, make change…show the world that addicts are more than the stereotypical stigma that shadows their path….that being gay, bi-sexual, transgender is courage and hope to be at peace within your own mind, spirit and body’s rightful being and ultimately fight the battle for equality for recovering addicts and the LGBTQ community. We are human, we err, we learn and we grow. Maybe not everyone of us deserve second or third chances and you don’t have to fall into the category of recovery or LGBTQ to be someone who may not deserve more chances. Like I said, we are all human, we all err, we all have flaws….it’s what makes us unique, different….human.

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Spending time with You

It’s been a while since I sat on the front step. My Lauren (23 year old daughter) bought the plaque and lights candles every night. Since no one’s home I decided to spend some alone time with my Jace. It’s so vivid yet such a blur that morning that we found you on this step. I remember feeling so dumbfounded, wondering what was happening, grabbing your face….you looked like you were just sleeping. Almost 3 years ago, Jace overdosed in our hallway bathroom. I took the door down, I gave him narcan…..nothing. That time was so much worse. He was bloated, purple, not breathing (I won’t describe everything). I woke my husband up who had 9 years of EMT experience and he started CPR. At the hospital Jace said that was the first overdose that he completely stopped breathing, no pulse….had clinically died. A brain scan showed some brain damage from no oxygen for about 4 min. It was the 10th overdose but the first time it happened at home with me. He described other times he’d OD, how he felt, what he heard, what his thoughts were and the pain and despair that followed. This time Jace was exhausted and felt completely defeated by addiction that he said this overdose and the feeling of just nothing was the first time he felt a bit of peace and he accepted his fate, telling me that he just didn’t have any fight left and wanted to prepare me that this was going to kill him. I remember pleading and begging, telling him that I wouldn’t accept that and if I had to fight for us both, so be it. The fight was such a bitter battle but, I remember (about this time last year…end Sept, 2019-ish) thinking we were going to win. That time 3 years ago was so much worse that it makes this reality not seem real. We really were so close.
My Jace….I know you weren’t ready this time. Your journal had your grocery list, drs appts, goal planning….I would wonder if you even knew you were gone the first couple weeks. I knew something was wrong. I never would’ve imagined how wrong it truly was. I’m still fighting for you. I love and miss you so much…you have no idea. Please, send me a sign, anything….I feel like I’m the only one that hasn’t felt you or your Spirit.
Love always, Mommy xoxo

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Smile-Cry

In Jace’s final journal he left all his passwords and pin #’s to every acct he had. Once a week I go on his FB because it’s posts like this that people have been sharing that make me smile-cry. I know when I say how truly special and unique and different he was it sounds like any other biased mother’s opinion of their child…..until I see or hear something that proves the world really has lost someone who was more than a blessing for so many. Oh my Rinny….you are so, so missed and loved by so many. What am I going to do without you? If there’s a Spirit world beyond this life and if you can hear me, please….don’t be a stranger and let me know you’re with me and that you’re ok. Give Mom-Mom, Pop-Pop and Grandmom Donna my love and that I miss them so much too. Love always…..Mommy xoxo

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Welcome 💛

This website is in memory of “Jace” Korynn Berry. Jace was transgender (born female). He was my oldest of four. Early morning on Sept. 5, 2020, my 16 year old daughter found Jace unresponsive on our front step. After several attempts of life saving procedures, the dr brought me into the trauma bay as they ended the code at 8:05am. My entire world became shattered and will never be the same. It’s going to be extremely hard to share his story but, it’s one that definitely needs to be told and shared with the world. Jace was the kindest, most caring, empathetic person anyone ever met. He was such a talented writer (he’s kept journals his entire life), smart, witty and has a unique humorous personality. His only flaws were his addiction and desire for love/companion. As a legacy for my baby, I’ve decided to continue where he left off with his journals. So, bear with me on this journey because it’s going to be a long one…..

Jace, my Rinny…..I love and miss you don’t even come close to how I feel. You were my first true love. You took so much of me with you the morning you passed and I’m struggling without you. Thank you for loving me and for the unique and special bond we had. You are sorely missed…xoxo. Love, Mommy

Welcome 💛

This website is in memory of “Jace” Korynn Berry. Jace was transgender (born female). He was my oldest of four. Early morning on Sept. 5, 2020, my 16 year old daughter found Jace unresponsive on our front step. After several attempts of life saving procedures, the dr brought me into the trauma bay as they ended the code at 8:05am. My entire world became shattered and will never be the same. It’s going to be extremely hard to share his story but, it’s one that definitely needs to be told and shared with the world. Jace was the kindest, most caring, empathetic person anyone ever met. He was such a talented writer (he’s kept journals his entire life), smart, witty and has a unique humorous personality. His only flaws were his addiction and desire for love/companion. As a legacy for my baby, I’ve decided to continue where he left off with his journals. So, bear with me on this journey because it’s going to be a long one…..

Jace, my Rinny…..I love and miss you don’t even come close to how I feel. You were my first true love. You took so much of me with you the morning you passed and I’m struggling without you. Thank you for loving me and for the unique and special bond we had. You are sorely missed…xoxo. Love, Mommy

Rambling thoughts

I originally thought I would tell Jace’s story from the beginning….yikes! I wouldn’t even know where to start. Not to mention the endless journals I’d have to read through. One thing for sure, Jace always kept a journal no matter what he was going through. It was a therapeutic outlet. Some journals he’s writing to God, some to me, some pages are just random drawings. Since I decided to “continue this journey of journaling”…..I’ll try not to confuse anyone and fill in the blanks as I go. I do apologize up front…I am not computer/tech savvy at all. I’m sure my blog posts/page looks like a hot scattered mess, sorry. I’m just so desperately looking for an outlet to grieve. I do talk to a grief counselor and my dr but, there’s a lot of feelings that I still feel brewing deep down. It’s like my body won’t allow them to surface. All I know is when I do have to face these feelings….ugh, just ugh. There’s also another reason I think I hold a lot in… Our family just found out that the FBI is investigating his death. It should make me feel a little better knowing that justice will be served but, it doesn’t. It actually infuriates me to know someone purposely preyed on my baby’s weakness. I just thank God he was home and not left abandoned and alone. Even that doesn’t ease my pain all that much. It’s just so unfair.

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