Adoptee Jake got to spend 6 wonderful years with his family, Mary and Chris, before succumbing to lung cancer. Although his passing leaves an empty place in his family and friends’ hearts, he had a wonderful life. His mom, Mary, says it far better than anyone, “It’s been a week since we lost our sweet Jake to lung cancer at 8 years old. It feels like a lot longer, and the house is very empty. Looking back, though, the almost 6 years we had him were filled with a lifetime of love and adventure… that boy could sure keep us on our toes! Who would’ve thought our request for a 4-5 year old girl in 2012 would go so perfectly, delightfully south and bring us one of the greatest joys of our lives. We are so, so lucky.
It was love at first sight when you all brought Jake into our lives, and we can’t thank you enough for trusting us with that amazing soul. He immediately stole the hearts of our family, friends and neighbors. He went everywhere with us and amazed people with his gentle manners and calming energy. He loved his walks. His pond and fish. His escapee explorations (Mama wasn’t too fond of those…). He loved to hug and seemed to know who, in any given place, needed a little extra love. He was never more excited than when his Papa would pull up to the gate at the end of the day. He was the perfect example of living in the moment and–when the time came–in fighting for your life.
Jake was a warrior. Though he only lived 3 months past his diagnosis, we were able to pack in so many incredible moments. His bucket list was quickly checked off and he did everything from “get married on the beach” to “get in trouble with the law” and “write a song with Papa in the studio”. His tail wagged until the very end and he trusted us when we promised him that we’d take the cues from him and let him go when he was ready.
On Jake’s last day, he still enjoyed his walk and tried to (unsuccessfully) pull Chris into the local pub that became a routine stop on his exploration of the neighborhood. (They have bacon there, after all…). He enjoyed his tuna dinner and spent time resting in his back yard with one eye open looking for flies and lizards. We weren’t expecting to say goodbye that night, but he crawled into my lap (something he never really did), looked me in the eye and told me he’d had enough.
I’m so grateful that we didn’t see it coming that quickly because it let us be present in all of the little moments we were blessed with in the days leading up to it… what we came to call “taking a Jake break” aka “stopping to live in the moment”
It’s one last lesson he left us and, though we’re heartbroken, we know we three belonged together and that we are far better people after being his family.
I just wanted to share how grateful we are for the gift that was Jake and thank you guys for bringing him to us.”