Sports was my husband’s thing.


He coached our son’s baseball team. And our son’s football team. 


The last spring he was alive he coached Steven’s baseball team.  Even though he was diagnosed with a blood clot in his brain and could no longer regulate his temperature, he was out in the Florida heat coaching baseball. 


He died in September and he helped coach Steven’s football team that season until he died. When was really sick towards the end, he came home from the hospital and went to Steven’s football game.  He sat on the bench and cheered the team on. 


After his dad died, Steven finished the football season.  And he played baseball the next season of baseball. But that was his last season of baseball.  It wasn’t the same without his dad. 


But he continued to play football.  And still does. 


Football was our family sport. 

Jared coached Steven’s team. 

I was at every game.

We went to Gator games every year. 

Football was a way of life in our family. 

And it still us.


Except now Jared isn’t here to coach Steven or watch games with us. 


That now is solely my privilege.


I know his dad watches from heaven. Cheers him on.  Smiles with pride.


I can feel it.  Feel Jared shining down on our boy. Feel Steven trying to make his dad proud. Feel the love when I hug our boy after a game. 


I have the privilege of getting to sit in the stands and cheer for our son every game. 


I have the privilege of hugging after every game. 


I have the privilege of telling him how proud I am of him each day.


I have the privilege of raising our son.  Watching him become a wonderful young man.  Seeing him grow into the man his dad and I hoped he would be.  


Sports is now my thing. 

And it is my privilege to be here to enjoy them with our son. 


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.