April 9th, 2019. Josh has turned 19 today. Every birthday brings me back...it was only a few days before his 5th birthday in 2000 that he started to get sick. It's hard for me to remember the times when he wasn't sick. Before I knew the words 'kawasaki disease'.
We were raising our kids in a small town outside of London Ontario called Wardsville. So small there were no stop lights, and the stop signs were far and few between, with most of the town using them for a rolling stop anyway. The population was 400, everyone knew everyone. Rob was (and still is) working at the aircraft plant in London, beside our golf course. Most days we travelled in together dragging the kids along.
When I was six months old my dad started building the golf course, I could literally putt before I could walk. So it seemed only fitting that our kids grow up there too, that the regulars and members became like a second family to them. I never had to worry about the kids, they always had many eyes watching over them. These were what were known as 'normal' days for us. Wake up early, get to work and by the time Rob was done work next door there was always something my dad needed help with so we wouldn't generally get home until after 7 or 8 at night. Until school started. Then things changed drastically.
I wanted to be a very big part of the kids schooling. I was dedicated to being at the school as a volunteer as much as possible. Food drives, fundraisers, track meets, BBQ's, you name it, I was there. It was important to me. I became known as "Mama J" and the staff joked that I needed my own office. I worked endless days and drove back and forth to make sure we didn't have to leave the kids with a sitter for more than an hour or two everyday.
All 3 of the kids were active and happy. Kat, the oldest was very into horses and her riding lessons. Maddy, became obsessed with fashion at a young age and then began to play the violin.
Josh took after his dad who was raised on a farm, liked the tractors and especially John Deere (nothing to do with grandma Jackson making sure he had all the green tractors!). Besides all the family court drama with my ex, our lives were fairly normal. Normal. I had no idea that would not be a word in our lives for a while. If ever again.