Wednesday, June 6, 2012

"My Hero, Jack Bennion"

Jack has always, and I mean always, inspired me. More than just being my son, Jack has changed my perspective about life. He has taught me about what is important.. and what's not. He has motivated me to be a better person, to not feel sorry for myself. I'm not the only one. His story, and everything he has been through, has been the catalyst for others, too.

Something pretty cool happened recently at a high school graduation. The commencement speaker, who has his own amazing story of overcoming the odds, spoke of Jack to the graduating class.

Dustin Frost had these things to say about our very own Jackpants:

"Life will happen, and it will not always be kind. Figuratively speaking, the boat you're riding on through life WILL unexpectedly crash into the rocks. They key difference between happiness and failure in your life will be how you deal with that circumstance. Walk away from it with a smile on your face, proclaiming to the world "I AM NOT A VICTIM."

When it happens, this decision to not be a victim is perhaps the most difficult one you'll ever make, so I'm going to provide you today with a cheat sheet that I think will give you the kind of perspective required to answer "Am I a victim?" with an emphatic "NO!"

In case you hadn't heard, almost three years ago, I spent a little bit of time in a hospital. After I woke up from 10 days in the Kalispell hospital, I was moved to Community Medical Center in Missoula for inpatient rehab. I've got to be honest with you -- fairly early in my therapy, I had convinced myself that I was a victim. I had a poor attitude and spent too much time feeling sorry for myself. But then, someone reminded me of someone else who was also a patient at Community Medical Center. 

I'm handing you each one of these sheets. The pictures on this side are of my hero, Jack Bennion, from about the same time I was starting to feel like a victim at the Missoula hospital.

picture shown to graduating class

You see, Jack is bar-non the toughest guy in Montana. He was born at 23 weeks, 2 days gestation, weighing in at 1 pound 2 ounces. He spent over 100 days in the neonatal intensive care unit. I'm fairly certain my hero Jack has been through more challenges in his short years than any of us will ever see in a lifetime. 

Now, after being reminded of Jack when I was at the hospital, I grabbed my laptop and took a quick look to see how he was doing. Beyond providing a reminder of the existence of miracles, Jack's story put my victim mentality into the right perspective. And thanks to Jack's amazing parents and their website,, I'm handing you a cheat sheet to make sure that perspective is something we never lose. 

Just this last week Jack celebrated his third birthday. Take a look at the backside of this sheet at my hero's beautiful, miraculous, and smiling face and tell me that you're a victim -- that there's no hope and joy for you in the world! Say it with me now -- I AM NOT A VICTIM!

picture shown to graduating class

How cool is that? Thank you, Dustin, for speaking about our boy and telling his story. He's definitely our little hero and hopefully, a new hero to the class of 2012.
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Christina M said...

what an amazing young man to have so much perspective already at such a young age!!

Aidan and Evanna said...

Jessi, your family always inspire me! Jack is the one who continuously giving me the strength to take care of my kids!

Arianne said...

Oh my gosh, you must have been in tears! How touching.....

The Westbys said...

What an amazing artifact for Jack's scrapbook when he gets older.
Awesome perspective.

Jacksonsmommy said...

Wow, I think this amazing that Jack at such a young age is able to give hope and inspire others around. I can say personally that his story has touched me and helped with my little man Jackson a former 24 seeker (turning one tomorrow) . He gives me hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks Jack for being an incredible boy!

J and Y said...

Well, I just got my boohoo in for the day! :). Amazing words from what must be an awesome 18 year old about an awesome 3 year old!

Jessi said...

This was actually the commencement speaker, not a graduate. We feel so honored that he chose to speak about Jack!

Dustin Frost said...

Thanks for posting this, Jessi. I hope Life with Jack saw at least 18 brand new visitors with a north Toole county IP Address in the last couple weeks! (and maybe some more from their friends and family too).

Samantha Lindsay said...

Absolutely wonderful,.. And such a beautiful reminder! He's a wonderful hero!!