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John Michael Jeckot

John Michael Jeckot

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December 27, 2014
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December 27, 2014
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December 22, 2014
Dear John,

Christmas is fast approaching and I find myself thinking of you so much and wishing you were here to enjoy the holidays with your wife and daughters.

When I am going about my day, I may pause and scan through the files of my memories so that I may relive a moment in time when you were alive. I have recalled you wrestling in the basement of Lincoln Avenue with your brother in your Collingswood singlets on the carpet, riding your bike with a full leg cast, playing baseball or soccer in Knight Park, working on one of your cars in the driveway, watching you dance with Nancy at your wedding or holding one of your precious girls on your knee. I thank God for all of these precious memories.

John, you were so many things to so many people. You were a son, grandson, brother, nephew, friend, uncle, husband and father. You were funny, smart, talented, loving, loyal, helpful, endearing and handsome man.

We wish you a heaven full of love as you live in a world we cannot fathom. We know you are there, here and we will be with you again.

All of us, your family and friends, love and miss you.

Merry Christmas.
Love, Mom
October 30, 2014
Dear John,

We will be celebrating your birthday today as we always have because we can't imagine it any other way. You are our Halloween baby.

Your father and I talk about you so often and revel in the memories we have of you as a man and as a child. Just today we drove past Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital. As we passed by the sidewalk that lead up to the front door, I could not help but privately reminisce about your birth as your father had a conversation with your Grandmother in the front seat of our car. We were incredibly happy to welcome you into our family of three. We knew we would name you after your father, as well as after my brother who passed as an infant and as it so happened he was also born at Our Lady of Lourdes some thirty years earlier. As a matter of fact, I was born there too when the hospital was just one year new.

You were the sweetest baby. The cutest little boy you could ever imagine and handsome to boot as a grown man. You had the awesome talent of making people laugh, so quick with a joke, so fast with the comebacks. You made our lives better.

We wish you were still here. We wish we could see you one last time and say all the things that were left unsaid. We wish so much you didn't have to go.

Please know I see you in the clouds and in every gloriously colored sunset. I see you in the moon and stars. I see you in a butterfly as it dances across our yard. I see you in your beautiful daughters. They are so amazing, John.

We had the privilege of having you in our lives for thirty-nine years. You gave us love, laughter and three delightful granddaughters.

We wish you a very Happy Birthday. We wish you love for all eternity.

Happy Halloween, to my little Pumpkin Head.

Love, Mom
August 24, 2014
Dear John,

Upon the referral of my friend, Mary, I just finished reading a beautiful written book entitled, “Proof of Heaven” by Eben Alexander. Although I truly feel in my heart that you are in heaven, reading Dr. Alexander's book affirmed my beliefs by describing his incredible near death experience with such great detail and conviction.

Interestingly, butterflies are an important part of his experience. I found this portion of his episode to be very powerful for a couple of reasons. One being most definitely the story my mother shared with me during a conversation we had while she was in the ICU. I surely did not know, at that time, she was only days away from dying. The other reason is the recurring presence of butterflies I have been exposed to since her passing.

Recently I was speaking with my friend, Marie about these experiences and she brought up the fact that butterflies symbolize death or rebirth after death. She further stated that many believe that these beautiful creatures represent the souls of those who have recently departed from this mortal world. This was news to me, as I had not heard this before.

How perfect I thought, considering my mother took such delight in reliving her event of standing in a room full of illuminated butterflies. You could tell their beauty stunned her, by the expression on her face and the sound of her voice as she recanted those moments.

This theme continued the morning after your Mom-Mom Teddy died. Your Aunt Madelyn and I were sitting and talking at our Mother's breakfast table in Texas having tea and coffee respectively, when a very large butterfly in the back yard distracted us. We couldn't take our eyes off this butterfly of unknown origin as it flew closer and closer to us and then suddenly crashed right into the window next to us with a bang. We were so startled! I do remember saying that maybe Mother was saying hello.

When the day of her funeral arrived here in New Jersey and her coffin was carried to its resting place next to Dad at the cemetery, a Paper White Butterfly appeared and lilted silently around the head of Mother's casket. Time seemed to stand still. My sister and I elbowed each other in the side, as we giggled inwardly at the sight. Ever since, when I see a Paper White, I can't resist saying hello to your Grandmother.

In the meantime, unbeknownst to me, my friend, Marge took a liking to raising Monarch Butterflies at her home in Florida, due to failing numbers. The very time I was struggling with your loss she called me on the phone and managed to lift my soul in just moments. She went on to explain that before each time she releases one of her butterflies, she kisses it in the name of your girls and asks the butterfly to pass on that kiss to you. I smile at the thought of this sweet and thoughtful gesture.

When your father and I were in Dacono, CO a couple of weeks ago, I was standing by the stage where your Dad was setting up his equipment along with the rest of the band. Suddenly I noticed a Monarch Butterfly as it darted across the sky, back and forth it went, as if trying desperately to get my attention. I watched as the butterfly flew to my right and landed softly on the steps leading up to the stage, right behind your father. I thought it was quite curious of a place to land. Before long, another Monarch made its appearance and both of the butterflies flew rapidly back and forth, across the air space between myself, and the stage. They seemed to have super powers because of the speed in which they flew. Soon they soared together higher and higher as they encircled each other. I remembered thinking they look so happy as they performed their dance. Then in a flash, they were gone.

In different parts of the world, a butterfly is considered a good omen. So, I say, keep the butterflies coming. I'll be sure to enjoy each visit.

Spread your wings and soar, John. Look out for the butterfly kisses!

Love from your Mom.

Many thanks to Mary, Marie, Madelyn and Marge.
July 22, 2014
A year and a half ago you left this earth all too soon.

We miss you dear, John. Just as we do your brother and sister, your Dad and I love you more each and every day. You are our angel in the sky. We believe you are watching over us and so proud of your wife and children as they carry on.

There are times when we struggle with the loss of you and a tear or two may fall. There are many times we remember you and this brings a smile for all.

I pray for your soul each day my son. Keep us in your view.

Love, Mom
May 30, 2014
I remember John as a kid, I was 2 years older and John was really likeable and mature. I saw the terrible day he got hit by a car and broke his leg. I felt bad then, now i'm really saddened to know hes gone. I will pray for his salvation and for strength to come to his family. Im deeply sorry for your loss.
May 16, 2014
Dear John,

PLease watch over us. Especially Nancy, Anna, Isabel and Jonna.

Isabel told me that she wishes she could see you and Anna is becoming anxious because of the fact that Father's Day is coming. I have to admit I am too.

Hear my prayer.

Love, Mom
May 08, 2014
Dear John,

I am feeling especially sad this week. I truly thought I was doing alright until each passing day brings me closer to Mother's Day. The thought of this holiday is pressing against my heart with such force that I feel at times I can't breathe.

Yes, I am thankful for my family, your Dad, our beautiful daughter and son and our wonderful grandchildren but it isn't the same life without you here. I don't want to complain to you but it is downright horrible that you died. It sucks the life right out of me when I least expect it. I may look like I am ok on the outside but on the inside I am torn to pieces.

I may be impatient, distracted, frustrated and unfocused and out of control. I feel ill with worry about what you went through. I am afraid there is no cure for a mother like me who asks herself the same questions over and over. Questions like, why didn't I know? Why didn't I see? Aren't I supposed to know what was troubling you? I didn't do enough. Did I fail?

Things that seemed important to me before don't carry the same meaning. Life cannot go back to normal no matter how hard I try. It is taking every bit of my strength to carry on as I did before you died.

I pray for your spirit every day. I pray you feel loved where you are and know that we all love you. There is not a second of the day that I am not aware of your absence.

We miss you, John. I miss you. I so wish this was all a dream and I could wake up to see you walk through the back door.

Love,
Mom
April 23, 2014
Dear John,

I had a dream about you but all I can remember is the fact that you looked and sounded great. It was you. Whenever I am able to recall you from a dream I feel as though we actually spent time together. Come and visit me again real soon, won't you? This time though, stay a bit longer.

I love you,
Mom
April 04, 2014
Dear John,

I feel nearest to you when I am with your daughters. They bring light where it is dark. They bring laughter where there are tears. They bring love when it is most needed.

Every time I look at one of your photos a tear comes to my eyes because I miss you so very much. My heart even seems to stop for a moment as I remember you are truly gone.

I struggle between wanting to honor you in my thoughts and words with the many memories you have given us and the true sadness of your absence in our lives.

I don't believe I will ever be the same person I was before you died because you took a part of me with you. But in all honesty, I glad you did.

Your sweet girls are growing so quickly. Jonna's personality is beginning to emerge. She has the largest bright smile you can imagine. She loves to laugh out loud and has found ways to make us laugh right along with her. Jonna, just yesterday, started to do her own version of waving hello and goodbye. Isabel is as adorable as a three year old could ever be. She is at the age where she is learning to express herself and recount experiences she has had as well as being full of questions that never end. She likes school, she comments regularly that she LOVES to paint and dresses herself every day making sure she has matched the color of her articles of clothing and shoes perfectly. I especially love her genuine hugs and dear kisses. Anna's focus is on discovery and her friendships. She truly loves to read. As soon as I drop her off at home she grabs a book and heads for the couch. I rarely can get her to say goodbye because she has her head buried in a new book from the library or purchased from the school book fair. Anna loves horses most of all and is anxiously awaiting horse riding lessons during this spring. Both Anna and Isabel get a real kick out of observing and playing with Jonna. Jonna, on the other hand, can't take her eyes off of her sisters as she studies every move they make.

Your family misses you. Your Dad and I miss you. I know you miss us too. You will always be our John. Big, strong, funny and loving.

Love, Mom
March 10, 2014
If John could write to us, maybe he would say...

Dear Mom and Dad,

When you are dreaming or on your own
Remember that you are not alone
We will always be, you and me
In your heart and soul where no one sees

Pick out the brightest star and there I'll be
Shining down on you a gift from me
I will always know where you are
Look within yourself I'm not so far

Remember, Mom. Remember, Dad. You are not alone.

Trust me when I say to you this day
Life is special, live, laugh, don't delay
I send my love and joy to you
Don't worry so, I am fine, it's true

If our kingdoms seem like worlds apart
We are closer really in our hearts
It won't be easy for you now that I'm gone
Please keep your faith, you must be strong

Remember, Mom. Remember, Dad. You are not alone.

Love, John

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