Today my little cousin, Jacob, would have been 8 years old. He would have been starting 3rd grade this fall and he’d be learning multiplication and division. Right now he’d probably be playing with his little brother, teaching him how to catch a baseball. He’d be asking his Mama for some sweet tea because it’s so hot outside. Sadly, he’s not doing those things. He’ll never have the chance to do those things because in 2008 - barely even 4 years old - he was ripped from our family.
This post isn’t raising awareness about how he died - though if your curious he passed way because he contracted a MRSA infection in his brain. A staph infection, simple yet deadly, took him away and left my aunt childless and heartbroken.
This post is about life. Life is so precious and fragile; it can bend to the challenges of humanity but can also break like a petal of ice between your fingers. It’s strange, to think that people can go to hell and back and survive, but a little boy’s immune system can’t fight an infection. I guess that’s the wonder of life, you never know when its your time.
This post is about appreciating life. Yours, your loved ones’, even the lives of those you dislike. Jacob had no choice in living or dying - it just happened. No matter what you believe, you should be able to agree that a mother shouldn’t bury her four year-old baby in the ground.
Life is so amazing, all the possibilities to do greatness and become great. Every moment, every decision sculpts your future. You can bend a life, you can break a life, but ultimately it is not your decision to take a life.
Let me repeat more clearly: it is not your right to take a life. Not your own, not someone else’s. As cliche as it sounds, suicide is murder. You were not given your life, or someone else’s life, and you have no right to take it away.
I can speak for someone who has been touched by death and suicide that the gash a loss leaves can never be filled by “at least they’re in a better place”. I can accept that there is a reason Jacob left us, but that doesn’t mean I have lost sight of the importance of life. I would pay in blood for him to come back to me, as would most of my family. He was literally an angel in disguise and taught me so much about love and innocence. His life - every life - has meaning and purpose.
Life is precious and meaningful and short. If you are reading this, then count your blessings and not your insecurities, fears, and doubts.
Happy Birthday Jacob