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

Saturday, August 28, 2010


(Written by Buddy Wendling)

My Brother Jake was a special person.

He loved everyone he met regardless of their religious views, political leanings, sex, age, or color. He saw us all as children of God and therefore something to be loved. He loved sunny days when the smell of fresh cut grass was in the air and the possibility of using his hands, head, and heart to plant some of God’s green creations. Planting and landscaping was his art, and the earth was his muse.

He loved to fish and hunt. He wasn’t too concerned with whether he caught fish or got a deer, he just loved the idea of being in the woods where God could be seen in every direction. Hunting and fishing was a love we shared.

I looked forward to any time when I could sit in a boat with him, or sit around a campfire in the bayou explaining to him all of the night sounds and listening to his wonderment at such amazing and beautiful things. One of my greatest regrets is that I didn’t take the time to make more time for things like that with him. I always knew that he would be there all through my life, and that we would always be best friends and find time to be together.

As it turned out I was wrong, his life was cut drastically short and so many people were robbed of the company of such a special man. When I look at his pictures I see his beautiful face and that smile that was the most real thing I’d ever known, but I also see all the mistakes I ever made in not taking every chance to be with him. Regrets are terrible things.

I know that when people lose a loved one they often have a tendency to elevate that person to Sainthood. This isn’t the case with my Brother, Jake. He really was all the wonderful things you hear, and so much more. He did have his shortcomings like any other human, for he was not perfect. He didn’t always manage his money very well, and he had a tendency to spread himself too thin in an effort to please too many people. But when he told you something he meant it. If you needed something that he had he would give it. He would readily sacrifice his comfort for another’s.

The thing Jake wanted most in life was to serve the Lord, and he did so in all that he did. He wasn’t always quiet about it but he was never offensive about it. He made it into a fun thing and would joke with people about it, which was incredible in it’s self because to him it no laughing matter. He just cared for people’s souls and didn’t want to hurt their feelings.

The second thing that Jake wanted most in life was to be a father. He loved little children, and he was also worried that his last name would not be carried on if he didn’t have a son. Anytime you saw Jake with a child or around children he would be beaming with a great big smile.

In many ways he had so much in common with them in that his faith and love was like that of a child. He had faith because it was real, he had love because it was natural. As Jake grew older he became more concerned that he might never be able to parent a child of his own, so he became somewhat obsessed with finding a woman to help him with this. Along the way he met several good women, but they never seemed to be in the same head space as him at the same time, so things wouldn’t work out. In Matthew 10:14 the word says “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town.” In a way Jake applied this to potential relationships. It is what ultimately led him to the person who harmed him the most, who robbed him of all he had ever been and all he would ever be.

In the Spring of 2010 Jake was introduced to a girl who was many years younger. He found her attractive and exciting and I think he likely saw her as someone at a good age to help him bring a child into the world. It must have seemed as if he’d struck gold. The eternal optimist in Jake took over and he began to foster a relationship with her.

At first he was blind to her flaws. She would talk down to him, and as time went on she would threaten him with things that she knew mattered the most to him, such as the relationship they had. He began to discover that she drank alcohol and used drugs. Jake was celebrating almost 3 years of sobriety and even still he found ways to love her.

It has been rumored that she was having a relationship with her ex-boyfriend and that while Jake was at work she would be carrying on with this person. I believe that Jake had arrived at a place in his heart that told him things would never get better with her. I think he realized that she was not fixable and that if he stayed he might eventually sink to her level. Still he tried, because he was the kind of person who never wanted to hurt another person. I’m sure she threatened him with terrible things like ending her life if he left her. It was revealed that she had a mental illness that compelled her to act this way. She knew it was so yet she knew that she had options which would allow her to be more normal. Still she chose to live without accepting those options. In doing so she put Jake through hell. She preyed upon his desires and used them against him.

On the day of June 17th her hateful grasp was finally released. There are many versions about what may or may not have happened on that afternoon. She herself has told several versions to people. She told police and family that she and Jake had been laughing and joking around in his living room before they were to have dinner with her parents. We know from Jake’s neighbors that this isn’t the truth. Neighbors say they heard her yelling at Jake, cursing at him and talking down to him. Neighbors said that they often heard her yelling at Jake, saying mean and hurtful, hateful things to him. She also told police that Jake had gotten up to go get a shirt out of the closet and as soon as he entered the room she heard a shot. We know from witnesses outside that Jake had come out of his home and gotten into his truck, driven to his mail box and then driven back to his house, and a shot was heard moments later. It is believed that she told Jake that she was pregnant and that she had been unfaithful to him. I have heard that she said many things to many people, but because I was not there, I do not know.

All I have to go on is the relationship I had with my Brother and how well I and the rest of his family knew him. Other family members had witnessed bad behavior directed at Jake from her and were alarmed enough to try to talk to him about it. He simply wasn’t ready to hear it or deal with it. Perhaps the Lord had a greater plan for Jake and no amount of talking would change that. It is said that “the Lord works in mysterious ways” and perhaps it was time for Jake to leave this sad world and enter into God’s arms.

I will not continue to write about the many inconsistencies regarding her actions up to, during, and after my brother lost his life. I will say that there are a great many unanswered questions and a mountain of evidence to support that something happened in that home that detectives simply are not willing to explore. To them it is an open and shut case. They’ve seen it a million times and that’s all there is to that. But to the family and friends of Jake there must be more to the story. In the end Jake is still gone. Regardless of how he lost his life, or who was directly responsible, he is gone.

We know where Jake is now, and for that we are so thankful. Never again will Jake toil under a scorching sun so that he can buy gas or food, or be lonely on a winter’s night, wishing he had a wife and child. Jake now only knows bliss. None of us can know what Heaven is like, but we do know through our faith that is eternity in paradise. Knowing that and knowing that Jake is living it is a wonderful thing. Even though I know these things I miss him. I long to be with him and to do more of the things that I should have made time for. I guess that in my deep down heart I also want to assuage my regrets. I know that I miss him every moment, as do the rest of the people that loved him so.

The pitfall of wanting something so badly is that you can become blinded by that desire, allowing you to make costly mistakes.



No relationship is worth taking one from their family. No humanly relationship is equal to one’s faith in God. God sends us signs, and it is up to us to read them and abide by them. If you are living with a person who is sick and refuses to be helped and who through this sickness is hurtful and abusive then you must not allow yourself to stay in this situation. You must get out. Life is too short to allow yourself to be so unhappy. Listen to your loved ones. Pray to God for the answers and act upon them when he gives them to you.

He heals the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds
Psalm 147: 3

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Jake and I

In 2005 I came home. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to say that I ran home. I had to leave California and all of the trappings that it represented to me. I came home and with the help of my family I made a new home. I carved an existence out of the wilderness and was at times hungry, cold, hot, and always alone. But I never really was alone. I had my family. I had my parents and sisters, and I had my brother. My Brother was and always had been my best friend. It was such a pleasure to be near him again. We did things like went fishing, hunting, went to football games, and spent Saturdays at my mother’s helping her with projects around her and Mike’s home. I didn’t know it at the time, but those were the best days of my life.

This picture was taken of me with Sonny and Daisy Mae in my front yard there in the woods of Louisiana

In 2007 I met the woman who would later become my wife, and who lived in Alabama. We became serious toward each other and at first she would drive to my home and spend weekends with me. After some time I started driving to Alabama to spend time with her and the three wonderful children that she had sacrificed so much to raise on her own. Going to Alabama was no easy task. I would have to find time from work, rent a car, and then find someone to watch my place and care for my animals. That someone was always Jake, my Brother. Jake had a child like innocence as well as a child like faith. He loved animals and delighted in them almost as much as did I. I always had a garden, a yard full of chickens and turkeys, rabbits, and two dogs that I called my children. Sunny and Daisy May are and have been my children and I have always treated them as such. Allowing Jake to watch them was my way of giving him my greatest responsibility. I trusted him above all others. I would leave him detailed instructions and he would follow them to the letter. My animals were always loved and cared for as if I were there doing the job myself.

Jake would come and stay at my house and I would make sure that the pantry was stocked, for Jake loved to eat almost as much as he loved the Lord! The man had an appetite! These trips to Alabama went on for some time and Jake was always there, ready to sacrifice for me. He asked nothing in return and he gladly accepted each time I would ask him. I truly thought that he enjoyed being out there in the deep country, away from lights and city sounds, rude people, and all of the rest of the urban trappings.

It wasn’t until I returned from Alabama for what would be my last visit before I moved there that my mother told me something that Jake had told her. He told her that he just couldn’t understand how I did it. He said the freezer was indeed full of food but it was all game such as deer, rabbit, chicken, and fish. It all had to be cooked and Jake was more of a “open the can, pour it in the pan, heat it up-eat it up” kind of guy. I never knew that about him. Something else I never knew about him was how lonely he was out there. He told my mother “I just don’t know how Buddy does it, living out there like that. It’s just so lonely.”

I never even suspected that he felt so alone out there. He never let on. He just accepted the task and care took for me as if he were caring for his own home and animals. He just served with his heart, because that was the only way that Jake knew to be. He truly had a Servant’s Heart, in the way that Christ would want for us all to have. He served quietly and with love and devotion. He asked for nothing in return, yet he gave all that he could when he met someone in need. I don’t know if he knew it at the time, but he taught his big brother some things that I likely would never have learned had it not been for him. He taught me about giving. Not money or fancy presents, not coveted things gotten from monetary wealth. He taught me how to give of myself. He taught me that it is truly better to give all that you can, all that you have in order to better another person’s situation in life. He brought me closer to the Lord because of his gentle soul and caring ways. Jake’s greatest gift to me was the wondrous gift that I carry each day and that is the knowledge that someday I will see him again because he taught me what I needed to do to ensure that. I have since done so, and each day I try to be more like him, and to honor my loved ones and serve my Lord. I falter, and I do fail but I never stop trying because I know that like Jake, I am but a mere human. But knowing that I am not perfect and that he now is and why this is the case has made all of the difference. It is through child like faith the words of Jesus Christ and a servant’s heart that we gain our greatest accomplishment, eternity in paradise. I thank you Brother, for showing me the way.

This picture of Jake was made a year or so ago at Mom and Mike's

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Jake as a Cub Scout at around the age of seven.

Upon Jake's death, I "inherited" one of Jake's journals and this excerpt came from one he began in 2004 and was the story of his life up until that time. In Jake's own words and spelling:)

"Shortly after my mothers father died which my whole family was close to, by then I was a freshman in high school I was a joker, and class clown but still I wasn't a good school student. I liked to get into a little trouble sneaking a cigarette once in awhile, cut class now and them. But there was one thing that I had great pride in I had become an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America, I really understood the scouting ways and the way a young man should act and live, and at that time the Scouts was my only real Gold Star."

It gave me reason to remember sweetly about Jake's scouting days. He began as a Cub and I was his Den Mom and then he advanced to Weblow and on to Boy Scout. He proudly wore his uniform and made many friends, some remained friends all his life.

I think Jake was about eleven here and had earned three badges at this point as a Boy Scout.

It was with humility and pride that his "old" scout leader came to his funeral to pay his respects. He was so shocked that Jake's life had ended so soon. My son Buddy realized that we had neglected to mention in Jake's obituary that he was an Eagle Scout, so Buddy wrote on a plain piece of paper the following:

"Jake was an Eagle Scout. Once (around the age of 14 or so) while at Garland Scout Ranch he and a close friend, Charles Young, were out hiking and were miles from camp. At some point in their hike they came upon a lake or pond and saw an overturned boat on it's shore. They decided to investigate further and when Charles reached down to turn the boat over he was bitten in the wrist by a venomous snake. I believe that the snake was a copperhead, although it may very well have been a cotton mouth water moccasin. Both boys were very frightened, but were able to keep their senses about them and struck out for camp. Jake stayed right beside Charles the entire time and worked hard to keep both himself and Charles calm. They eventually reached camp and were able to receive medical attention for the snake bite"(and this note was propped up in his casket. Mr. Langley, his scout leader also wrote his name and troop number on the note.)

And Buddy goes on to write:

"Jake had already been confirmed to the "Order Of The Arrow" http://www.oa-bsa.org/ and was well on his way to becoming an Eagle Scout. This incident cemented his ascension to that highest of Scouting ranks. It is both honored and coveted among both scouts and their families. Jake represented the true nature and qualities needed to be an Eagle Scout. He was unwavering in his faith in the Lord, his desire to help others, and his belief that in order to live in a loving, caring society one must live to be a loving and caring person. He set that example every moment of his life. There never was nor will there ever be an Eagle Scout that better fit the mold of what every Eagle Scout should be. I was there when he received that promotion and I have never known a more proud moment in my life. As well as being my younger Brother, he was and remains my hero. My greatest influence in life for what a good and loving Christian man is supposed to be like. My Brother, my hero, my best friend. I miss him beyond measure."
Buddy Wendling,Jake's brother.

Jake receiving his Eagle Scout award at about age fifteen. A proud moment.

All the family got to take a plant home from Jake's funeral and I chose a simple split leaf philodendrem and it was in fact given by Mr. Langley and his wife. I'm reminded each day when I look at the plant of the special scouting days with Jake.

Awesome! I regret I didn't mention this more to Jake, but I think it is normal for us to have regrets. Isn't this just part of a humans make-up to assign some blame for things we cannot control even if the blame has to be on ourselves. I must stop doing that because it is a little slice of negativity that I cannot afford to have.

Moms and Grandmas please encourage your boys in scouting. It is such a worthwhile organization and truly helps shape your boy into an honorable young man.

And for you stay at home moms, consider volunteering. I promise you'll be so glad you did!
Check out Boy Scouts of America today!

TODAY'S LESSON FROM JAKE FOR ME: I believe that school and fitting in with the "normal" kids was difficult for Jake as he was diagnosed with a learning disability and may have seen himself as "different" from others so to speak, but as for his self esteem I think Jake exhibited a good feeling about himself because he saw the best in everyone and therefore I think overall he was treated fairly by most. He certainly had the opportunity to go "bad" and hang with the wrong crowd as it is often easier for kids to do, but he knew what was right and what was not, and he stuck to his values. I think when we're able to do that others admire and look up to someone who can do what is right in the face of adversity and with humility rather than arrogance, and Jake was not arrogant. So I think overall the lesson I got from this little story is to do the right thing even when doing the wrong thing would be easier. And not to live our lives riding the fence but to stand for something.

Thank you Lord for the priviledge of being Jake's Momma for forty years. It just was not long enough.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Have you ever known someone that regardless of the place, reason or event everyone wanted to HUG?

Jake was that kind of guy. He was a hugger. He like to give really small tender hugs to everyone. Man or woman and age or the length of time he'd known you didn't matter, he would just give a handshake if it were a man and reach out for a slight hug. If it were a female he'd forego the handshake and just hug. But while Jake's hugs were slight, he loved to be hugged tightly and this is what most everyone did to him. You could just predict it.

Another predictable of Jake's was his phrases. He never left from talking to anyone that he did not say "God Bless You". And of course most folks said in turn "God Bless You Too". He also said this to people far enough away who could not even hear him. Someone who let him have the rightaway in turning or someone who gave him a friendly wave while driving. I don't even think he said this from habit. He truly wanted God to Bless everyone. He was working with our bird; a Sun Conure named Louise to repeat the phrase. So everytime he visited us upon leaving he told Lou several times "God Bless You". She has not repeated it yet, but these birds have such a long life span I feel she will begin saying it before she is really old. We continue Jake's legacy of Blessing Lou often now.

The next phrase or "Jakeism" as one of his co-workers refers to is "Bless His/Her Heart". When he was at a loss for words or rather than saying something unkind about someone, he simply smiled and said "Bless His Heart". Then if the other person had been gossipy he stopped in his tracks upon hearing Jake want to Bless them as who can talk badly about someone when the other person is wanting to bless them. And I've been with Jake more than I can count when someone or something has occured to Jake that would make most of us curse and become bitter, and he'd just lower his head a bit, shake his head slightly in bewilderment and softly say "Bless Her Heart".

What on earth can bring out these traits in someone constantly and consistantly? I think NOTHING on Earth can. I know God can and I know God did. Oh please don't get me wrong folks and think this is a bereaved mother who can only see the good in her son and will next think he should be nominated for sainthood. Jake had his faults, his character defects as we all do. He was human. But truly among our family they were so small and far and few between that we really as a whole have a hard time seeing them as anything glaring. He was just a special kind of guy!

And I cannot forget to mention Jake's trademark phrase. WOW! Yes Wow is something Jake said so many times a day you just barely noticed. Anything he found to be good, amazing, unusual, funny, happy, sad, or any emotion you can think of Jake thought it to be WOW! And he drew the word waaaaaaaaay out like WOOOOOOOOW! I will never again hear that word without thinking of Jake and seeing his face either in amazement or disbelief or from just pure bliss.

Predictability...I think it is refreshing.

I've been doing a lot of reading, praying, listening to others and thinking and I believe that when the blast of the shotgun entered Jake's neck that his soul was lifted from his precious body at the same instant he was looking up seeing Jesus, arms wide open welcoming him into heaven, saying "Jake c'mon home" and Jake was trying to say WOW!

I just miss and love my boy like crazy.

Bless His Heart!

TODAY'S LESSON FROM JAKE: What I have learned is to ask God to give me a servant's heart and one that truly cares and then let people know that I care. Caring is contageous and it can change the world one person at a time.