I loved you the minute I knew I was pregnant. I loved you the minute you were born. Then I saw your face and fell in love some more. You were only a minute old but I knew I would die for you & to this day I still would. When you choose to have a child you make a conscious decision to allow your heart to walk around outside your body. Then if something happens to that child and you have to bury him a part of you dies with him

Jake was my youngest son who was killed on June 17, 2010. He was 40 years old but still "my baby". Left to tell his story are Mollye and Mike, Jake's mom and step-father; Skip and Jill, his dad and step-mother; his two sisters Lori and Shari, and his brother Buddy.

I hope you will get to know Jake as a person and what an awesome person he was. My wish is that you might leave here feeling just a bit more blessed from reading our memories of Jake our son, our brother and our friend.

The purpose aside from paying tribute to Jake is to honor those who were a part of Jake's life. Friends he loved and friends who loved him and who loved us through our heartbreak. I especially acknowledge in love Jake's Home Depot Family.

Thank You For Visiting Jake's Story and God Bless You, mizmollye

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


It seems to be hard to find someone today with long time employment at the same job. I've always had the tendancy to work somewhere for a period of time and when tired of the hum drum routine, or maybe tired of my boss, or in many cases my boss had grown tired of me!!! or whatever the reason, it was time for me to move on and find another job. There was just always a seemingly good reason why I needed to leave one job for another.

I had a son who felt differently. He was my youngest, my baby, the least of us. He had a GED which he was very proud of. He also had worked hard to obtain his Horticulturist Certification and license. Double proud of that!

Jake knew how to stick with something. He was hired over a decade ago to help set up and open the first Home Depot Store in our area. He didn't have a clue how long he might be there but was proud as punch and excited to be in on the ground floor of such an awesome company. I remember the first orange apron he brought home. You'd have thought it was ties and tails fit for the White House. Jake cherished his apron. He thought it was cool to be awarded the company merit badges and loved lining his apron with them. Badges and patches. Also you could write with Sharpie markers little motivational slogans on your apron and he did that and wrote his name JAKE in big letters with his marker.

After the store opened he started in the garden center. He worked there several years and developed many friendships that stood the test of time with co-workers and vendors. And especially with his customers. Many of them later called upon him to come to their homes and cut their grass or build a flower bed and rake leaves in the fall. He did this on weekends and was always conscientious of not letting side work interfere with his main job with Home Depot.

He later was trained to operate the fork lift and got to work in other areas of the store such as lumber and flooring. Later on he was moved to the Pro Desk and one of his daily tasks was to make coffee take charge of cleaning the coffee pot and always having supplies on hand. He too worked the lot and loaded trucks with lumber and other heavy purchases for builders and contractors. He was responsible for bringing in the buggies and keeping the lot clean.

He got to help outside with the Christmas trees sales and with the chain saw helped trim and load them and he got a lot of pleasure from this.

Jake was discouraged and saddened that he had been passed over so many times to become a department head. I always tried to encourage him saying I felt that one day he would be a department head but that it was just not the right time. He never became bitter but kept on working and doing each task to the best of his ability. He just loved working for Home Depot. He loved so many he worked with.

He had a 401K savings plan which helped him buy his mobile home and other things which made him happy but I don't recall ever hearing him boast of things like that.

During his early days at The Home Depot he became a racing fan and of course that meant he was a huge Tony Stewart supporter. He and his wife Anna got to go watch him drive several times and it was nice for his family because we never had any problem with finding something to buy for Jake for Christmas or his birthday because the Tony Stewart merchandise was never ending.

He amassed quite a collection and when he first bought his little home and invited me to come see it after his decorating was done, I opened the door and was nearly blinded by ORANGE. Well Jake just got the biggest kick out of all the orange, the Home Depot and the Tony Stewart.

He kept it all around his house until he began seeing a young lady and he thought he might just look a little childish or that his place might look a wee bit "batchelorish" to her that he decided to pack up much of his collection and let her have her hand at decorating and he also liked the new look as you can see here and felt more grown up indeed.

He was married much of the time he was employed at Home Depot and he and his wife enjoyed the parties and made friends they saw outside of work. He and his wife divorced about four years ago, but remained friends.

About three years ago Jake felt he was having a problem with alcohol and he went to his supervisor who led him into a substance abuse program and with much humility and gratitude Jake was able with God's help to overcome his desire to drink and was coming up on three years of continued sobriety. I think this heightened his respect for "his company" and theirs for him.

Two things Jake always wanted was to become a Daddy and to be Self Employed. He never had children but dated a couple of very nice women who had children and he thought so much of them. He was a terrific uncle to many and I will be writing soon about the impact Jake had on his nieces and nephews.

He left The Home Depot for a few months to start his own landscaping business and saw that the challenges were too great. You see to make a success of your own business you must make a profit and Jake had a terrible time in charging his customers. He seemed to be just as happy with a sandwich and a glass of tea and of course the opportunity to share scripture with them.

He just could not get the concept of how to charge and many times made barely enough to cover what he had paid for the plants to put in someone's flower bed. So he abandoned the dream of self employment and he was hired back to work with the Merchandising Team of Home Depot. He worked with a great bunch of folks there and loved each and every one of them. How in awe Jake would be to know that because he had not been back long enough for his life insurance to be in effect that his family was reimbursed all of his funeral expenses from the goodness of a non-profit charity of this wonderful company called The Homer Fund. I think he knows.

Many of his co-workers signed this brand new orange apron and presented it to Jake's family before his funeral.

The church was full of friends he had worked for, with and had gotten to know as customers. Many, many eulogies were given and people told of how their lives were changed as a result of knowing my son. Many told of their relationship with Jesus Christ as a result of Jake's witness. How proud we were.

Jake's family is broken up and broken hearted with his passing. He is missed at The Home Depot, at his church and in the hearts of all who had the pleasure of knowing him. We know he is with Jesus. We know he knows no sadness. Our grief simply comes from our knowing we won't be seeing him in this life and seeing that great smile of his. But we will go on and we will be a little better of a person because we knew Jake.

TODAY'S LESSON FROM JAKE: The grass is not always greener on the other side. Loyalty is hard to come by but so richly rewarding. No job should be beneath us; if it needs doing just do it. And last but not least, a full day's work for a full day's pay. Honor and integrity is something money cannot buy. So many lessons from someone so much younger and believing even the smallest, the youngest can lead and can teach.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


As you look at the little pictures in the collage below, do you see a common demoninator in practically each and every picture?


Yep...it didn't matter what the circumstances. Jake was just going to be SMILING.

He was a grateful person. He could be rubbing two coins together to try to make a nickle of them and be wondering where his next meal was coming from because you see he had not stayed within his budget. BUDGET.. what was that. Jake had tithed his more than 10 percent in church the week before and had run out of money before pay day. He didn't think before hand if he was going to have enough money to last the week, if his truck was going to have enough gas to get back and forth to work. He just did what came naturally. He gave to God what was God's to give.

When a co-worker hit him up for a loan, he didn't think "gee, that will leave me with nothing, better not do it". He just reached into his pocket and if he had a five and a one dollar bill, he readily handed over his five to whoever was in need. You see Jake did what we're all called to do. He gave his best to YOU and kept the least for himself.

And a smile always denotes a cheerful giver. A person full of optimism. Of hope and of faith.

Jake believed. He truly believed and lived each day of his life knowing that God would provide. He always tried to teach us this without ever voicing it. He knew he was the least of us...the baby. We would surely have argued with him to try to make him see things OUR way. He stood tall. He stood firm in his belief. Many times I and others have said things to Jake like "Jake, God is not going to send you a check in the mail for your rent. He understands your pocketbook. and God will provide but he wants you to do your part". You see I was constantly browbeating Jake with the notion that he should learn to manage his money better. I worried that when I was not here Jake would need these skills. Little did I know God was teaching Jake what He wanted him to learn and Jake was listening. Jake would not argue...he simply listened intently to what I said and said things like "WOW, Momma you're right I am going to try to do better" and of course he did the same things over and over. Jake frustrated me with his naivity and his childlike attitudes about his money. He gave freely.

Am I ashamed of my attitude with Jake. Extremely. I did not know he would die first. I wanted him to learn to manage his money so he could have a better life. I cannot beat-up on myself though, because these are things parents are supposed to teach their children.

Jake just saw things differently. He knew that God was taking care of him and providing for him and he never ever thought things like "I'll do this and I'll do that for this one and that one and I will score up some points in heaven". No Jake was just Jake and giving came as natural to him as breathing. Jake was a cheerful giver. A smiling giver. He gave to others from love and out of a wanting to help.

God did provide. Five years ago Jake was able to buy an old mobile home. He had done something many never do. He was a homeowner. He knew the old thing was run down, and needed so much work, but to him he had a home. He got on his knees and prayed. He gave thanks to God. A God who had provided for his child. Jake's response when I took him to this mobile home so he could pay the woman who sold it to him was "Praise the Lord".

And incidentally ..... Jake had borrowed the money for the purchase from his 401K plan! I spent much of our time together trying to advise him on the principals of money management, and HE had a savings plan!!!!!

Oh Lord...who says we can't learn from evey single soul we come in contact with!
my bad...

TODAY'S LESSON FROM JAKE: Have faith, give more to someone than you keep for yourself; and do not argue with those who try to teach, how important really is it to be "right". And never, never forget where you came from and who you are and be eager to always give God what is His and Thank Him for what He gives you.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Hello Everyone, this is a new venture that my family and I are undertaking. On this blog we want to introduce you to Jake, our son, brother and friend.

We hope you'll come back often and get to know Jake through our writing and recollections. Our memory bank.

More than anything we'd like you know about the way this remarkable young man lived his life and our intent and purpose above all is to carry his legacy to all we can through blogging.

I am learning through my intense comtemplation of my son's life that he is teaching me today and I hope to share with you at the end of each post the lesson I learned. This is not to admonish or imply that it is a lesson for YOU but rather what I learned from the least of us............my youngest child showing me that we can learn from someone younger.