"Our Little Trooper"

"Our Little Trooper"
"Let me live, that I may praise you!" Psalm 119:175

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Jalene's Memorial Garden...Part Two..."the end result, the dream garden becomes a reality"

At last, the pictures you've all been waiting for...the big reveal...Jalene's Memorial Garden comes to life!

Everything was pink and yellow and blue, and beautiful, just like Jalene!

Rowan hand painted the pink and yellow butterfly for the cross on the tree...

These are the planter stands that Jen's family already had, that Rowan noticed in the background of a photo of Jen's.  He wanted us to use them in the garden plan, and turn them the right way so our hearts would be right side up, instead of sad and upside down.  We painted them white so the hearts would stand out, and filled them with pink and yellow flowers.

He picked this type of plant out for the little table because the leaves were pink and yellow, shaped like hearts, and looked like butterfly wings...

He wanted to make sure that lots of birds and butterflies would come around, and I am pretty sure they will love it here, with the bird bath, bird feeder, bird seed, and beautiful flowers.

What makes this garden, and all of it's meaningful mementos even more special is how Rowan placed and positioned all of the final touches himself, with such care and love.

(This picture brings me to tears every time I look at it.  There is something so beautiful and innocent, and it shows such Christ-like love to me...Rowan gently filling up the little dress of the birdbath with water, in honor of his angel friend.  So precious, so poignant.  I feel as if it symbolizes him offering healing waters to her family...I pray it works, daily, and continually.)

Then, the cutest thing happened after we all started cleaning up the tools and trash...I looked over and Rowan was walking all around the memorial taking a series pictures of the garden himself, and then... he started taking "selfies" in the garden! I'm talking from EVERY angle!  It was adorable, so priceless.

He could not be happier, or feel more fulfilled after this.

His dream garden for Jalene is complete!

Rowan sat down with Jalene's Grandma for a little bit once it was all done...


Then they recorded a short video for Jen, so she could see it when she got off of work.

See, today is Jen's birthday, and this was Rowan's gift to her... with balloons, pink and yellow flowers, cards, and a tremendous amount of love...

For you dear, sweet, Jen Salinas...

In honor and memory of your princess, your angel, Jalene Estella Salinas...

God bless Jen Salinas, and Jalene's entire family, today, tomorrow and always.

And thank you again to Rose Martinez, Keller Williams, and all of the RED DAY volunteers and contributors.  Without you all, and your mission to "give where you live", this garden would never have become a reality.  It might have been Rowan's dream garden for Jalene, but you all made it come true!


Love, Rowan


Jen got off of work tonight, and Face-timed with Rowan as she walked into the back yard and saw the garden for the first time.  It was so special.  They talked about each of the special parts of the garden, one by one.  He had tears in his eyes, and she and I both cried for sure!  I am so glad I caught this moment on camera.  It was the perfect end to a great day.

When they hung up their call, Rowan looked at me and said, "We did it.  Jalene is going to be so happy for her Mommy!"


  1. So beautiful and peaceful. I am sure that Jalene would be pleased. WTG Rowan!

  2. Hugs and kisses for rowan! Such a great kiddo with a heart of gold

  3. Trish DeffenbachMay 15, 2015 at 10:34 AM

    That's one extremely special boy you have there and I'm sure Jalene is smiling and happy for her mom

  4. I love reading your blog, I cry all the time but it makes me feel close to you all.

  5. I remember when Rowan was in your tummy at harvest fellowship women's retreat and I was in your group. He is one special little boy. God uses him in a mighty way. Robbie Jo Anglin

  6. It is even more beautiful than I imagined it would be ...you did an awesome job Rowan..!!!

  7. This is the most beautiful gift for Jalene's Mother, Rowan, you made the most beautiful garden I have ever seen, May the LORD bless you with health and happiness!

  8. Can we know what rowan saw, heard and talked to jalene about in heaven? I've been anxiously waiting to know since last month.

  9. The care, thoughts, and love are shown in each detail of this beautiful garden. I cry bittersweet tears each time I read this post and see the pictures. A beautiful gift for Jalene's mommy. God bless you Rowan.

  10. Rowan you are the most amazing little boy I have ever had the pleasure of taking care of at Methodist children's hospital....I have also had the great pleasure of taking care of our sweet little angel Jalene....I was blown away last night listening to your story from your mother and got goose bumps a few tines.....you are truly a living angel....