Jack is a good-looking kid with a lovable smile who lives life in full-throttle and has a thirst for activity, adventure and amusement. He also can be a bit loud, but the volume merely represents the excitement he is experiencing in the moment.
Jack was a good big brother to Belle. With only two years’ difference in their ages, they were buddies, roomies and confidants. He protected her as a big brother should and he challenged her as any sibling would.
Belle’s fight against cancer ended Jan. 17. Jack and his sisters Taylor and Emily stood by her side through it all and were so strong as they said goodbye. They, along with their mommy and daddy, miss her beyond anything words can describe. So many of us do, but theirs is a pain only they can understand and a hurt so deep that climbing out of it seems impossible at the moment.
And while Jack is the younger brother to Taylor and Emily, I can already see those brotherly instincts to protect his older sisters kicking in. I have a younger brother myself and he has those same instincts. The age order doesn’t always matter when it comes to brothers looking out for their sisters.
Jack was already prepped to make this move because he had turned a corner last summer. I’m not sure what clicked when he turned 9, but he was different. His mannerisms changed and he developed a protective and courteous spirit toward lots of us that we had not seen before then.
And that new maturity continued to grow and develop through the fall and into winter, right in line with the decline of Belle’s health.
As I watch Jack help shoulder grief and pain that comes with the loss of a child in a family, I also see him embrace his mom and dad’s decision to “praise the name of the Lord” in all circumstances (Job 1:21).
Even at his young age, he gets it. He lives with hope and peace and knows that “God works all things together for good for those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).
I can’t wait to see the young man he becomes. His life is richer because Belle was his sister and I know he won’t waste an ounce of the part of his heart that belongs to her.
Thank you for inviting others like me to join you and your family as you walked through Belle’s journey. Though I never met Belle, I felt like I knew her through your emails and photos. I will continue to pray for God’s comfort and peace to surround your family.
Belle was grace and mercy in motion — a life filled and explosive in the name Jesus. Belle has shown me how to do life in the face of death. She is joy in the flesh. Jennifer, thank you for allowing me/us to see the way a little life with a big spirit and heart lived life to the fullest.
Until We Meet Again …
My eyes are only the telescope peeking in on the big screen production of your life,
you may think how can she learn anything simply from the gentle email Belle’s aunt took time to write.
My life has been forever changed by someone I’ve never met —
she made me think twice before dwelling on life’s complaints and yesterday’s regrets.
She fought sickness with such spunk, with a smile that could beat cancer itself
and told jokes that brought joy that could make your heart just melt.
Through it all — surgeries and even despite the loss of her hearing,
she continued to hear God and stay in that fighter mode,
teaching those even multiples of her age
lessons far wiser than she’ll ever know.
Any loss may bring tears,
but peace comes when we think about where angels go.
We can still hear her laugh and see that smile,
as she is probably playing with her halo.
What a blessing to be taught courage & the power of prayer,
something we all needed to learn.
From an angel God let us borrow,
who He has now called to return.
With us still here on earth, we keep alive sweet Belle’s story —
which teaches far more than any of us may ever comprehend.
But, I do understand this
Though I have never seen you with my eyes,
I’ve seen your spirit — so I say, rest in peace my sweet friend.
I’ll introduce myself when the time comes,
so save me a pair of angel wings for until we meet again.
By Brittney Knox
Former intern with The Alabama Baptist
Dedicated to Belle
It’s amazing how someone so young and small could have such a galaxy-sized influence over those much older and larger. Her star will forever burn brightly in my universe and I look forward to meeting her again someday.
If there was ever a little girl that was full of life, courage, strength and happiness, it was sweet Belle. In her short life she touched so many with love and laughter. She will be in our hearts forever.