Every time my son and I embark on an adventure, I wish my late husband was here.  I never stop wishing for that. For him to be there.

Instead, Steven and I will continue to make lifetime memories without Jared.  

Yes he is always with us but he is not in any picture.

Yes he is always with us but he does not get to witness first hand our adventures.

Yes he is always with us because we make sure to talk about him.

What I wouldn’t give to have him with us. Rolling his eyes at one more photo.  Encouraging Steven to learn the history of each place we visit. Making us laugh with his antics.

But he cannot be here.  Instead he is in heaven.  Sitting at Jesus’s feet. Holding my spot.

But what I wouldn’t give for him to be here.

To be taking these trips with us.. To help us make memories. To smile and pose for a family photo.

Jared hated having his picture taken.   Yet, he married a woman who loved to snap pictures.

I used to tell him…someday I will only have these photos of our memories.  So he would oblige me and begrudgingly smile for one more picture.

And now…now I treasure those photos.

Those pictures remind me of happier times.

Those pictures remind me of love. Of laughter.  Of a life well spent.

Those pictures give me HOPE.

Hope that one day my son will have a family and he will begrudgingly pose for photos for his wife.

Hope that my friends and family know to always take the photo.  Who cares what you look like, if your hair is done, or if you have a few extra pounds?  Take the photo. You’ll wish you had.

Hope that I will always remember to treat each day life a gift and live life to the fullest.

Those pictures remind me of a life well lived.  And more life to come.

I wonder if Jared knew that someday those photos would remind me of our amazing life?

Of our amazing love?

Of a promise?  A promise that I would live.  Photographic proof that I could live.

Maybe that was the reason he suffered through so many photos.  To prove that out of darkness comes hope.

What I wouldn’t give to have him here.  But God had other plans.

So instead, I will continue to make new memories with my son. Memories that include his dad.  Just not in the physical sense.

Memories that remind him that his mom loved him.  That his mom was resilient. That, although sometimes scared, his mom never said no to an adventure.

Memories he will treasure for a lifetime.

Because of Jared, we will embark on many adventures.  And he will be right beside us. With the moonlight giving us hope for brighter and better tomorrows.


Carla always knew she would be a widow but didn’t have any idea how it would actually feel. When Carla met her late husband Jared, he was waiting for a lung transplant due to Cystic Fibrosis, a chronic disease affecting the lungs and pancreas. So she knew that most likely someday she would say goodbye to her husband. But she never dreamt it would be exactly one week before their 14th wedding anniversary. In August 2014, Jared was diagnosed with a rare bacterial infection in his transplanted lung and was expected to survive at least 6 months if not a year. Instead, he died just 6 weeks later. And in the blink of an eye, Carla became a solo mom to their 10-year-old son. And even though her life was forever marked before and after, she was determined to live life to the fullest because her husband would expect no less.

She founded Breathing for Jared, a Foundation to provide college scholarships to those suffering from lung disease in honor of her late husband. Became a supporter of the CF Foundation and Donate Life. And discovered that writing out her emotions and fears on her blog Transplant Wife and Widow helped her to process her grief

Carla recently remarried and is now blending a family with her new husband, bonus daughter, and son.