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Timeline
 
1987
Born in Minnesota on June 24, 1987 at 2:05 pm.  Jesse came into this world the way he would live his life:  easily, quietly, lovingly.
 
1989

Sadly, the boys' father, Francisco Gochez, and I divorced in this year. Jesse was only 2 and Will only 4.  When their father became sober about 2 years later, I let Will and Jess spend time alone with him.  He immediately became and has remained an involved part of the boys' lives.  They spent time with him regularly.  Will still looks forward to spending time with him.

 
1985-1991

From the time Will, Jesse's big brother was born, the boys and I spent almost every summer weekend at my Dad's house.  He and his wife Mary live on a lake.  The boys loved the water.  Both learned to swim by the time they were 3.  My Dad had a houseboat, so even when Jess was a babe we took rides and Jesse napped on one of the bunks.  He absolutely adored Grandma Mary -- his whole life.  When we were on the boat he wanted Grandma to take care of him.  He wanted to know Mom was there just in case but like I said he adored Mary - and for good reason.  She is the best Grandma a mother could hope for her children.  We would spend entire day's out on the lake.  Grandma would pack a lunch and the fixings for Grandpa to grill dinner out on the boat.  The boys and I stargazed on the boat, saw comets, saw satelittes, learned some of the constellations.  As they got a little older they'd jump off the top off houseboat, swim around, climb up and jump again.  I have a photo of Jess swimming to the ladder where he can't be more than 4 years old!

My Dad would take the boys with when he walked his dog(s).  He always had schnauzers, sometimes one, sometimes 2.  There was an alley behind their house that went along another bay of the lake they live on.  One summer it was especially dry and there were grasshoppers everywhere.  The boys were in ecstasy!!!  They named the alley grasshopper alley.  The name sticks (in our family) even today.  My Dad gave them their first haircuts sitting out on the front lawn.  The boys played in leaf piles. "Helped" Grandpa fix things, watched movies, Will built things with blocks and Jess snuggled with Grandma.  What more could a Mom want!!

In the winter Dad would snowplow an ice skating rink for the boys and me.  And every night, every season he fed us a wonderful, home cooked meal, something it never seemed like I had time or desire to do during the work week.

Will and I have so many wonderful memories of all the times at the lake.  We practically lived there.  And it was wonderful
.

Grandma Mary writes:

I thought of another thing for the timeline...
 
Remember the knee-high picture of the corn stalks for the 4th of July?  What did we have 2, 3 or 4 cornstalks?  That was a fun picture!  I think we ate that corn when it finally matured, didn't we?  Or did I dream that?
 
But the picture was the main thing for me.  I think of that every time I cut the grass or walk past that end of that little garden patch as I go from the lake to the house.  I smile when I think of the boys giggling about it.
 
Red heart emoticon
 
1991

In 1990, I met, and fell in love with a man, Mike Morley, who lived in a town about 40 miles northeast of where the boys and I lived.  I finally made the difficult decision to move to Forest Lake (that town).  If Mike and I were to have a long term relationship it would have to be there.  He had lived there his whole life and all his family, friends and work were there.  I had grown up in Milwaukee so my roots were not very deep where we were living.  The move was hard on all of us.  I rented  a duplex and for the first year the boys stayed at the school they were going to (kindergarten for Jess and 2nd grade for Will) which was close to where I worked.  The next year I switched them to school in Forest Lake, we moved in with Mike and I found a job only 9 miles from home.  Lots of change.   I wanted stability and family for my sons, something I could not provide.  Mike was a very stable, conservative man, who I loved very much.  He has 4 brothers and sisters and wonderful parents who live in the same town.  His oldest sister lived across the 2 lane highway from us.  She has 3 boys and they slept at our house or my boys slept at hers often.  It was hard being so far from my Dad and Mary though.

 
1991
In 1991 we moved to Forest Lake to be closer to Mike.  We rented the upstairs of a duplex.
 
1994

In December of 1994 Mike and I were married.  It was an event that changed our family in ways I never anticipated.

 
1996

In July of 1994 our family moved to a home on 6 acres.  Most of the land was woods, but there was also plenty of room for my favorite hobby - flower gardening.  Gardening was my hobby, I never made my boys help.  They could if they wanted , but never had to.  Each summer I would give Jesse a flat of annuals (even at the other house) and say "go plant them" when he'd ask if you could help.  The first few years he'd ask me where and I'd say wherever you want I trust you.  His face would just beam with pride.  As it turned out he was a natural gardener and loved it as much as I did.  One year he helped me plant over 400 daffodils along the road.  We thought it would be nice to share the beauty with the neighbors.  If I ever wanted cut flowers for a vase, I'd just give Jess a scissors.  He'd always say what can I cut?  And I'd always say, anything you want.  His bouquets were beautiful.

The woods at that house, with a small creek running through them were the perfect hideout, mishevious spot, etc. for the boys.  They'd build fires and roast hot dogs.  They'd play good versus evil for hours on end.  The only disadvantage was the bugs!!



Jess had to start a new school, the idea of which he didn't care for.  As it turned out he found lifelong friends their.

He played baseball with the church team.  Went camping for the first time with a church group.  That's when  he came home and said "Mom, I really think you underestimate the power of prayer".  I don't anymore.

 
2001
Passed away on April 26, 2001 at the age of 13.
 
APRIL 26, 2005
As they do every year, Jesse's friends, now seniors in High School, met me at the tree they planted in his honor 4 years ago.  This year was harder for them, and for me than the others.  I don't know why - maybe it's because they're seniors and it's a major milestone that they know Jess will miss.  Maybe it's because they know, as I do, that meeting at the tree on this day will become much harder from now on.  I don't know.  They told me wonderful stories of Jesse's kindness, of his smile, of his wish that everyone could be happy and get along.  Some had stories as far back as first grade.  In all there were 20 or 21 kids, about 5 girls the rest  boys.  The usual group.  One boy made me a plaster relief of a beautiful cross and Jesse's name and dates on it.  Another gave me an envelope of photos of Jess he found.  I haven't looked at them yet.  What sweet gifts.  And all of them had wonderful hugs for me, hugs of genuine caring and concern.  These are exceptional kids and my son was truly extraordinary to have touched them in this way.
 
Half brothter for Jess
Jesse's father and his wife Silvia are expecting a child.  It's a boy who they plan on naming Sebastian Jose.  I'm sure Jess would have enjoyed the baby and having a little brother.
 
July 2005
Sebastian Jose was born - 9 lbs 10 oz!  Healthy and happy.  He already has a guardian angel watching over him in Jess
 
AUGUST 4, 2005

Jess' beloved Grandpa died of lung cancer.  Mom and Will really thought Grandpa would live to be 90!  Mary, the boys Grandma and Jesse's favorite, is doing the best she can.  Jess give Grandpa an extra big hug from Mom okay.  Just like with you, I wasn't ready to see him go.

I love you Jesse and I miss you more and more as time goes by.  Watch over Grandma Mary too Jess.  You were her favorite too.

Love,
Mom

 
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