Often, when I reflect on memories of the many precious hours I was allowed to spend with
my son, one particular incident comes to my mind. It was a warm, muggy late afternoon in the
summer of Jeff's fifth year with us. He was playing at a little friend's house down the street, when
suddenly a ferocious thunderstorm struck without warning. I ran to the front door and saw Jeff
racing wildly down the street towards home. He was frightened to death of thunderstorms and ran
screaming into my wide open arms. His little heart was pounding so hard, I could feel it through his
shirt. As I held him tightly and continued to quietly reassure him that he was alright, within a short
time he calmed down because he knew he was completely safe in his mommy's arms. There have been
so many times during my own lifetime that I have fled into the safety of my Heavenly Father's arms.
How good it is to have a 'refuge in the time of storm'.
It is almost one year since Jeff has been gone from us. There are still many tears shed by his
mommy, his daddy, and his brother. We'll always miss him. I still haven't even been able to buy his
favorite ice cream when I visit the supermarket. Daily I continue to have to ask for strength from
above to deal with life in general. When strangers ask in the course of conversation, "How many
children do you have?" I want to answer them by saying, "Jerry and I have two children, Jeff and
Jamie. The only difference is that Jeff now lives in heaven and Jamie lives in our earthly home."
Physical death has not altered the fact that Jeff is our son -- he will always be our son. He has just
moved to a better life a little ahead of the rest of his family, but some day, we'll all be together again.
As I complete the final chapter of my book, I can feel a new life stirring within my body. How
I thank God that in a few short months, our new baby will be born. As I feel each tiny kick, I thrill
to know our Heavenly Father has seen fit, once more, to bless our home in this beautiful way. When
I find myself wondering, as every expectant mother ever has - "Will this baby be alright?", I once
again do the only thing I can. I give the situation to the Heavenly Father and trust all will be well,
just as I did throughout Jeff's illness.
Realizing the awesome responsibility that is to once again be ours to raise a child to become
a responsible person in society, I also feel a supreme joy at knowing the feeling of achievement that
will come as I ask God's guidance and direction in helping me once again be the kind of mother He
would have me be.
We cannot help but be very happy with the name we gave our son. In a book giving name
descriptions, Jeffrey means 'God's peace, brave'. Had we known what was to be in our newborn
baby son's future, I do not feel we could have chosen a more appropriate name for him.
Writing this book is, I must confess, the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life.
Countless tears have fallen from my eyes as I sat at the computer and had to recount the many painful
situations which have taken place in my family's life during the past two and a half years. Scenes
became very vivid in my mind once again -- scenes I wanted only to try and forget. However, I
somehow would have felt extremely selfish had I not tried to share Jeff's sweet, simple faith in the
way in which he, himself, expressed it. Also, I felt it was very important to share with others how
Christ does sustain during trying and unbearable times.
The last day I worked on the book, I went alone to the cemetery. As I knelt at my son's
grave, I wept. Engraved on Jeffrey's plaque are the figures of children, sitting and standing beside
Jesus - the same Jesus who said in Mark 10:15, "Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid
them not: for of such is the kingdom of God". My heart cried out to God that day, and my fervent
prayer as I knelt there was that He would somehow use the book sharing Jeffrey's story to touch
many lives for Him I hope that, in some small way, I have been able to help another parent who has
to go through sorrow and having to learn to somehow make a new life for themselves and their
family. There is nothing else in life that I want, except to know that each member of my family is in
the center of God's perfect will .
Once again, I thank God from the bottom of my heart for the very 'SPECIAL GIFT' He
allowed us to keep for over eight beautiful years. With all sincerity, I can say from the very depths
of my soul, "GOD IS SO GOOD, HE'S SO GOOD TO ME".
END May 1980.
In August of 1980, the following announcement appeared
in the Brockville Recorder and Times newspaper:
McMILLAN - With grateful hearts, Joan, Jerry, and Jamie
thank God for the special gift He has sent to share in the
love of their home. Jonathan Terry, 7 lbs. 11 oz., was born
at the Brockville General Hospital on August 9th, 1980.
Thanks to Doctors Ng, Lindsay, and Dunn, Nurse
Nancy Bresee and all nursing staff for their