Happy Birthday, Sister! I Still Miss You.


As many know, I lost my sister a year ago. I’ll be honest, it is hard to talk about it. Not about Daina, she is awesome and I have many stories and memories to tell. I mean it is hard to talk about all of the feels I’ve gone through and am going through from losing her. I’ll warn you, this post is very raw, emotional and may be offensive or seem rude. It’s not meant to be so please try to remember that.

On a Tuesday morning last year I was getting ready for work when Joe called me. He told me to get dressed and meet him at the shop. Of course I nagged until he told me why, I wish I hadn’t. He told me Daina was at the hospital and my dad said to hurry. Honestly, there were times my sister had gone into the ER before over not such major things so I was thinking this was surely no biggie, just another false alarm. False. Daina had a stroke in the nape of her neck and went brain dead within 4 seconds. She was dead upon arrival to the ER. I remember begging the Lord for one his fancy miracles that would bring her back to life. I pledged to have no more children if he’d just give her all of the life my body was ever meant to bear. It was the longest day of my life.

It seems like almost immediately after the next few days and services, life reconvened. It’s true, no matter what, life goes on. The calls and texts checking on you and offering condolences stop all too soon. People go back to work, back to their everyday schedules and rightfully so.  But the truth is, for a few of us, life as we knew it does not go on. A new life starts and you have to learn to live it, fast.

At first was the shock. This was not real. This was not happening. Going through every occasion in your mind thinking ‘she won’t be there’, ‘she won’t be there either’. Going to holidays and events without her seemed like a night she was just at work because there is no way I will never see her again. Having my second child without her here was unthinkable.

Soon after shock the sadness became overwhelming. I’d cry all night in the shower until the septic tank would over fill. Sadness that makes you physically vomit. Where you mope around like a zombie and sleep your day away. Sad beyond description. Joe also brought to my attention that I began to recluse and stay to my self and my kids. I didn’t want to leave the house and the thought of being social was a nightmare.

I don’t think the sadness will ever fully go away, it just made room for an undercover angry girl to live balled inside me. Seriously. Every time I see siblings together, even my own in-laws or cousins, I get angry. Why can they have each other and I can’t have Daina? God forbid they argue or fight, like ALL siblings on earth do, I want to go into a sermon on how lucky they are and how they should cherish each other. Because guess what – the other may not be here tomorrow. That saying we all thought was cliche’. Yeah, that shit happens for real.

When I say ‘I miss you sister’ or ‘I lost my sister’ and someone chimes in with instructions on how to move on or reminds me ‘it is not a loss because she is looking over you‘, please know I’d like to punch you in the face. Yes, I know she is watching down on us. But when a physical being was always around and is now no longer there, that is considered a loss to me. Ok?!? I know many people have dealt with loss but everyone has a different experience. There is no right or wrong, there is only what is best for that person.

This anger also wants to come out when people awkwardly ask how I am. I know it is genuine and you’re doing it from the heart, but know this – it is okay not to ask me. Because let’s be real, you know I am not. But I will never tell you. I will say yes, there will be a long silence that I have to fill with small talk and I am not good at small talk. I just lost my other half. The person I grew up with. The one who knows things I will never talk about aloud. The one with the same DNA. The one who is suppose to be here with me when our parents go to carry on our traditions.

That brings me to the hardest area of all of this – our parents. Obviously I was never an only child. And to be honest, I’ve done it for the past year and it is for the birds. Naturally, our lives became busy with our families but we always leaned on each other to balance out time and the needs of our parents. Now, it is all me. ALL ME. It is overwhelming. I am their sole focus which can be suffocating. But at the same time I do not want to go 2 hours without hearing from them. The mere thought of them going on a vacation or even on an overnight trip without me gives me a panic attack. I literally think I struggle to breathe. I cannot be with out them. When I travel with work I cry myself to sleep in my hotel room knowing how far away I am from them.

The other side of this is an insecurity I’ve grown towards them. I am constantly thinking, “I am enough?” They used to have 2 wonderful kids, now it is just me. Am I living up to what they need? Am I living up to what they wanted in their children? Did I call or text enough tonight? Did I spend enough time there today? Did I buy a good enough gift? You know, because I have to fill the void that once was Daina. If you knew Daina, you knew her personality was larger than life. The pressure is real y’all.

How do I get by on the day to day? God, my husband, my boys and my family – we all just take this new life one day at a time.  Even through all of this sadness and anger, I have many happy times too. Usually when I hear Jase say ‘Tia‘ as he points to her picture or just sitting around sharing memories.  My happiest memory was when Daina was 11 and I was 8. We accepted the Lord to be our savior. We come from a very, VERY close family so doing things of such magnitude didn’t seem the such then, it was like any another thing we would do together. As we got older we confided in and leaned on the Lord more, soon realizing how big the step we made was. Now, living everyday below her, there is not one other thing I am more thankful for in my life than knowing she is with the Lord. That is where I find comfort for my heart, a positive attitude and the smiles I wear.


Today would be her 34th birthday. Me and the babies are going to spend the day with my parents celebrating Daina. That’s how she would have it, so we’ll make this a forever tradition until we are all lucky enough to celebrate in Heaven together.

I love you sister.

Goodnight loves. Goodnight sister.


The Style of Our Life

Hey y’all! So much has happened since my last publish. The most obvious is I’ve moved my blog here to www.joeylovesjenna.com. Get excited because there is more content to come to the site in the next few days! I’ve also had another sweet baby boy and lost my sister. We’ve completed the move-in renovations on our home and I moved agencies. See, I told you a lot has happened! To get us all, old and new, on track I thought the first post would be best as an Welcome to Me styled entry.

I’m Jenna and I’m busy being Gods child, a wife, a mom of 3 boys and a Media Director at an advertising agency – Wife Hard, Mom Hard, Work Hard, right?!?  I have a sick passion for style – anything boho, rustic with extra jewels – it’s for me. This is why God gave me boys, he knew the damage I’d do to our Amex with a girl! But it’s not like I gave up on boys style, they are on point everywhere we go. And they match. Yes, I am a matcher. The babes are too young to be annoyed and the oldest feels left out if he doesn’t so it all works in my favor.

My babes, Danny 10, Jase 20 months and Rhett 3 months, are all awesome. They all have such different personalities. Danny is my stepson and one of the reasons I knew Joe was for me, because of how he loved his son. Even though I come from a huge, extended, loud Latin familia, I never really knew if kids were for me. Now I know. They are and right now I am wanting more! Especially after losing my sister. I put Jase and Rhett in our shoes and think the more I have is really the more they have should, God forbid, something happen to one. I wouldn’t be leaving one alone, like a sudden only child, which is a world of difference when you’ve always had a sibling.

My husband is a stud and talented beyond words. We have so much doing projects and almost together. Except for hunting. The last thing I think I would ever want to do catch a smelly, dirty, mean wild hog with my bare hands. No thanks. I’ll go get a pedicure and a PSL. But I truly understand hunters and their absence from everything that is life from September – February. My Nanu Boy built a hunting cabin years ago and now every man and son and close family friend carry on that tradition. I’m actually excited to see my boys enjoy it too!

My life lends me unlimited content! With something almost always going on, how do I even find time to type? I look at the 2 loads of laundry next to me and mumble ‘you can wait‘. Something I will regret when I see wrinkled pajamas tonight… Oh well! My blog shares life tips, projects, recipes, stories and my love. The way we do things here, The Style of Our Lives.