It was at almost this exact time last year that I got a picture in a group text from Chaney. She and Morgan were smiling as she laid in a hospital bed hooked up to tubes and wearing a gown. It was captioned, “We’re having a baby today!”
She was 37 weeks along and I had talked to Mom earlier that day who told me Chaney might go into labor that day because of some complications.
We were all on the edge of our seats for the rest of the evening and I was trying my hardest to stay awake for as long as it took to celebrate Jett’s arrival with the rest of my family. It got later and later in the evening and I put Damian to bed. The last time I looked at the clock was around 11:45 and then I knocked out without realizing.
I should add that Damian shared a room with us, and about two weeks earlier he started a phase where he would sleep in his crib until 2 AM and wake up crying and just lay on his back and cry until we came. He did not like his crib one bit. So when I woke up just before 2 am to the sound of him giggling, I thought I must be dreaming.
He was holding onto the bars to help him stand up for the first time in the middle of the night, and on top of that he was bouncing up and down like he was very excited about something! I have no idea how long he was awake before that. I brought him over to our bed so he could help me stay awake, and he kept giggling, rolling all over the place, and acting very silly.
It was just then that I got a text saying that Jetty had arrived!
It was also then that I realized Damian had been trying to tell me that the whole time.
I had such a strong feeling at that time and I believe with my whole heart that our boys know and love each other. Damian was celebrating Jetty’s arrival.
The next couple days were filled with beautiful pictures of Jett as I tried to find a way to get to Utah and continued to help M pack the apartment because we were moving that weekend. During one of those days, I packed Damian’s baby blessing suit. But on the way out the door the morning I flew out to meet Jett, I saw the little white tie from his suit that I was sure I packed sitting on the counter next to the door. Unsure why, I grabbed it and headed out.
Mom met me at the airport. We made our way to the ICU. We used the ultra-sanitizing hand sponges before heading back to Jetty’s curtain.
There, I found my angel sister holding the most perfect baby in the world.
I cried and hugged her and cried and admired them both. She was strong, soft, and radiant. He was gentle, calm, and delicate. Unlike any of us would have guessed, Jett was born with blonde, gently curly hair, blue eyes, and absolutely porcelain skin. One big toe from his dad and the other from his mom. Chaney had to get up for a minute, so I was lucky to hold him. He fussed at first until I gave him a little pat on the bum. He settled down so softly, but he definitely preferred his mom.
Every time I have met a newborn baby in the hospital, I have cried. Life is an absolute miracle, and meeting a baby is the beginning of a lifelong love that changes us forever. This time was different than others, though, because everything was magnified ten-fold with Jett Tomás Ventura. We got to know him, we learned so much from him, we saw how well he knew us, and we were asked to let him go all in the beautiful and eternally edifying week we were privileged to hold him.
Jett brought us together as a family in unexplainable ways.
Members of the family were traveling to Utah from all sides of the country, and Jett held on to make sure every one of us was there before he said goodbye. I felt numerous times during the trip that he was helping to calm the situation and telling even me that it was going to be okay.
The day before the funeral, Mom, Jess, Kendra, and I wanted to get Chaney a pearl necklace because that is Jetty’s birth stone and she would be able to keep him with her. We also thought it would be nice to have something wrapping around the stone as a symbol of Chaney protecting him. Store after store did not have anything that stood out to us. We visited literally every jewelry store in the entire city and were down to our last shop and had decided we would probably have to special order it online. As soon as we walked in, the sweet woman who greeted us had a necklace with a round pendant on it with a pearl in the middle.
We were immediately drawn to it and asked where we could find something similar, and it turned out that she made it herself. She listened to us, grabbed a piece of paper, and drew a picture of exactly what we were thinking. The next morning, we picked up a delicate little pearl cradled in the arms of a loving mother.
Before the funeral, I mentioned to Mom that I brought a white bow tie with me and wasn’t sure why. She gasped because they had white clothes for Jetty but had realized they had forgotten a tie. Now, a token from Damian gets to stay with his best friend. That was no accident.
Miracle after miracle.
That’s what Jetty shows us. It was only after saying goodbye that I could look back and recognize just how clearly and directly he communicated with us. His wisdom and strength filled the room like a blanket for us to share.
When I think of him, all of the emotions from that week flood back. I think of the moments we had together. I think of how much I love my family and how important it was to him that we be together. I think of how much I wish he were here, and about how none of us will ever understand even a fraction of the depth of emotion his beautiful, wise, and selfless parents feel.
Jetty, we love you so, so much. Happy first birthday, sweetheart!