Jonathan was my first child. He was born with a rare genetic disorder called Trisomy 13. We found out prenatally and were told IF he were born alive, 90% of children with this disorder do not survive one year. Jonathan thrived for 10 years! He was the light of our lives, with a laugh that was contagious and a smile that could light up a room. We were very involved with Easter Seals Jonathan’s entire life. He was even the “spokesperson” for their telethon when he was 4.
Every birthday was a curse and a blessing for us. As he got older, we knew we were on borrowed time We didn’t live that way, however. Jonathan enjoyed Disney, parks, zoo trips, water play, school and going to Grandmas house like every other kid! We were going to give him all we could, while we could.
When Jonathan passed away, our world was turned upside down. Even when you know it’s coming, it still grips you and changes you like nothing else. One day, we received a package at our house. The staff at Easter Seals chipped in and gave us two Jonathan apple trees. We were so surprised and incredibly touched.
We cherish those trees. Each spring, the apple blossoms remind me of new life, hope and carrying on. The buds produce baskets of apples each year and I produce apple pies with them. I always give pies to people or places special to our family- Ronald McDonald House (we had to stay at one in Florida when Jonathan was hospitalized there on vacation), Easter Seals or just friends and family who loved our boy. Now it’s a family affair. Jonathan has 3 brothers who do the picking and I do the baking. We love those trees.