Jonathan 2nd Birthday
On April 23, 1975, Jonathan Wayne Braddock was born on a beautiful spring day. He looked dark blue when he was born; I'd never experienced childbirth before so I didn't know what to expect. The Dr. and nurses didn't seem alarmed at his color so I thought everything was okay. The pediatrician checked him over and said he was a normal healthy baby--just what we had prayed for--we didn't care if our baby was a girl or a boy as long as it was healthy.Dewey really preferred a boy. Our son had red hair and blue eyes.
We took him home on Saturday. He still looked blue to me but no problems were detected. Jonathan was welcomed home by two sets of great-grandparents, two sets of grandparents, seven uncles and two aunts. He was the first grandchild on either side of the family.We were all so proud of him.
At age two weeks I was taking him in for what we expected to be a routine well visit. I'll never forget the look on the P.A.'s face while he listened to his heart. He then left and returned with the Dr. They heard a bad murmur and the next thing I knew they were making arrangements to send him to San Antonio to a pediatric cardiologist. Thank goodness my mother had the day off and had taken me and him to the doctor. She didn't know what was going on all I could do was cry. The Dr. finally came out and explained it to her. I remember after going home to get things together I just wanted to sit and rock Jonathan and never let go. We prayed about this too. At age three weeks he had a heart catheterization and it was determined he had several heart anomalies, but they wanted to wait until he was three to do open heart surgery. We just had to keep taking him back to San Antonio for check ups. He usually looked very healthy although at times he would get cyanotic and after he got old enough to play he would lay down while playing because he would tire out. He was a real good baby and started sleeping all night at three weeks. He had a good appetite and his growth rate was good.
On October 3,1975, his only first cousin he'd get to know was born--her name was Heather. They adored each other and were always together. They were very close to each other.
Jonathan was sick his first Christmas but that didn't stop us from taking pictures and oh how we cherish all those memories. He ended up in the hospital for a week right after Christmas but then did well.
Nothing much happened in 1976 or 1977. I was a stay at home mom and enjoyed every minute of it. We would keep Heather one or two days a week so they could play together. They would take all of the toys out of his toybox and they would get in it and think they were hiding from me!
In December 1977, Jonathan was told he was going to be a big brother. The baby was due in July 1978 and he liked the idea of being "Big Brother." Even though we didn't know what we were going to have he told everyone he was going to have a baby sister and we would call her Genniser (Jennifer) was what he was trying to say.
One day in February while we were shopping for Valentine stuff (we always made a big deal out of all holidays) Jonathan started picking out stuff for his baby and was so proud of it. Everytime someone came over the first thing he'd do was to take them to the nursery to show them what he'd picked out. To this day we still have a teething ring he picked out for her. My Valentine that year happened to be a new car and Jonathan was so proud of it . He could sit in the back in his carseat and look out the window and see where we were going.
The first of March he and I went shopping for Easter stuff and this time he found some books he wanted; three of those books were about God. We went home and read his books. I've often wondered if he knew he would soon be joining God.
Unfortunately Jonathan never had a chance to have his heart surgery. Tragedy struck us on Thurs. Mar. 2, 1978, and he was killed on that dark cold night by a drunk driver-Even though we didn't get to hold him while he died-the 3 of us were together at the time of impact and I do believe he was killed instantly and he was buckled up and in his car seat and died in his new car he was so proud of. I was thrown 30+feet that was before seat belt laws. I heard the most wonderful soothing voice say "he's ok he's with Me now." I drifted in and out of consciousness. I knew in my heart that my Jonathan had earned his wings and was now one of God's little angels. It was difficult for me because I was critical and unable to attend the funeral. I had multiple injuries. They estimated the drunk driver was driving between 95 and 110mph whe he hit us. Part of me died with him that night and I will always have an empty place in my heart for him. My poor husband was not severely injured physically but bless his heart-the mental anguish he's gone through - being there in the car with Jonathan and there was nothing he could do and he couldn't find me at first. He didn't know if I was going to live or not. He's the one that called my parents - we were on the way to their house. Then he had to call his family. He had to make the funeral arrangements without me. He tried to be brave for me. I can still remember waking up at night to his sobs and I tried to comfort him and let him know he could cry in front of me. It's really been harder on him the last several years when Jonathan would be older - because he looked forward to taking him fishing, hunting, teaching him to drive and have a father and son bonding. He dealt with his grief by working execessively. Even though Jonathan will soon be celebrating his 21st year in heaven - there's never a day that goes by that we don't think of Jonathan and sometimes we still cry. Time does help to mend these painful memories.
Valentine's Day was the last holiday we spent with him and I remember his first Valentine's Day in heaven - I went to the mailbox and the only mail we got that day was addressed to Jonathan - it was from his cardiologist.
After the accident when Heather would come over she would go to his toybox and look for him. Jonathan may have died too young but he brought much happiness to all of our families and a lifetime of memories.
I know he's been with us since then and I know he was smiling down on us that sunny July 12th morning when I gave birth to our miracle baby - a daughter- yes we named her Jennifer and then again on Oct. 14, 1982 we were blessed with another precious daughter and Jennifer named her Amy. We've always told our daughters they have a very special guardian angel watching over them.
Before the wreck I always worried about something happening to us and Jonathan and I would be by ourselves and what would I do - since the wreck I have learned what will be will be and we have to put our trust and faith in God and he will be there to guide us.
My brother Keith wrote a lengthy story about Jonathan and this is just a little of that story:
My belief is that God does not cause the bad things that happen to us. I don't think he singles people out because of their weaknesses. I don't believe he took Jonathan because of his heart condition. I think He stands ready to help us cope with such tragedies. We all realized that we had to accept what had happened sooner or later. No one ever promised us a life free of disappointment, pain, and suffering. The most that was promised was that we would not be alone in our pain, and we would be able to draw upon a source outside ourselves for strength and courage. I now know that God does not cause our misfortunes, but helps us - by inspiring other people to care. We were sustained in Jonathan's death by people who showed they cared. All the food, the cards, the words spoken to us by people who knew and loved Jonathan, and even those who didn't know him. These people were Gods way of telling our family that we were not alone in the days of our bereavement. I believe that Jonathan served Gods purpose. Not by dying, but by giving us the love and laughter that keeps us going. The love he gave me in his short life was more than most people receive in a full lifetime. I know he gave the ones who knew him more hope and courage to handle the difficult times of their lives, even though he was too young to know and understand.
Poem by Keith - "The Death of a Little One" I sometimes wonder why, Little children have to die, I guess their time has come, to go to heaven and live in freedom. "The Lord gives," "and the Lord takes away" He gave Dianne another child But Little Jonathn He called away. By:Keith McCoulskey 3-15-78 Jr. @W.V.H.S. Note: The answer God gave Keith told him why this happened. He didn't create this disaster, but after it happened he let Dianne's little child live and chose Jonathan to live with him.