My Son My Hero

Real Estate Agent with National Realty Centers Livonia--Bob Jakowinicz

Michaels Air Force PictureBob Jakowinicz Marine Corps Picture  My son my hero was the best title I could think of for what he has brought to me, my family and so many others over the years.  This blog is something I felt I needed to do for the past few months now.  My son Michael the picture you see on the left was taken from us in March of 2011 while serving in the Air Force in the Middle East.  The picture you see to the right is of me many-many years ago.  The first thing many notice about the picture of Michael is that he is smiling (very few smile for the boot camp picture).  I can't even express with words what it is like to be told the news that your son is not coming home.  It has taken me the past 10 months or so to come up with enough strength to write this blog (something I felt I had to do).  Besides being our son why am I now saying Michael is my hero?  I honestly feel he would be upset with me if we didn't take the positive things he brought to our lives and learn and grow from them.  Yes he is our son and oldest child, in looking back we really can look back at how much we grew and learned from him.  He brought such joy to our lives in so many ways that I can only think of a few that really stick with me now.

*  Don't sweat the small stuff (Michael never did, I can't say I was always that way until now)  This has impacted my professional career as well as my personal life in great ways.

*  Learn to smile and appreciate life (In the pic Michael was probably being yelled at by a Air Force drill instructor and smiled anyway)  

*  Learn to listen to others, I mean really really listen.  Michael was from the day he was born a natural born great listener.  I would watch people tell him stories all the time while he just looked in their eyes and smiled.  I was not a great listener until recently and really wish I would've done this sooner.

*  Live our lives to the fullest!  We shouldn't wait to do this till our later years.  Work when it's time to work and enjoy your friends and family while your off.  I heard over and over again how Michael lived life ( I saw it as well he being in his early 20's made us nervous at times, lol).  "Too many people seem to work or think about work all the time I get tired of the shop talk Mom/Dad" Michael saying to us as a child many times over  

* Of course many many other things


Bob and Michael Playing PS2  The picture you see to your left is not long before Michael went into the Air Force.  Seems like yesterday him and I were playing video games together like little kids.  Actually this picture was just when you could go on the internet and play others with the PS2, Michael loved that so much he didn't know what to do with himself.  I in many ways relived my youth through him whether it was video games, sporting events or any other things he was into at the time.  I sit back and look at all the great times we had together and just can't believe how fast it has all gone. 

  There will never be a second I am not thankful for everyday I had to spend with Michael.  I will cherish what he brought into our lives forever.  Someone said to me during our morning time "This is why I don't get close to people, cause of all the pain"  I said back to them "I can see why you would think that as it is an unbearable pain to go through BUT I wouldn't give back a single second and with the choice would take being close to people with the chance of losing them over not knowing them at all".


    From a real estate agent standpoint:  My business has done very well since I have come back to work ( I was off for almost 4 months).  What changes have I made?  I don't get all worked up over every little thing, I just take a few minutes to calmly handle whatever the issue is and move on.  If someone calls you yelling and screaming tell them "Call me when your calm"  if they don't I hang up on them.  Yep, believe it or not so far it has been extremely effective.



Comments (18)

Carolyn Roland- In Delaware and S. Chester County PA
Independent architectural histor'n - Wilmington, DE
Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS

Bob, So glad you are back and have taken on some inner peace from this loss. God Bless you and your family!

Jan 16, 2012 05:47 AM
Paul Campbell Realtor Lexington
Rector Hayden, Lexington, Ky - Lexington, KY
Kentucky Homes for Sale

Bob, I am so glad you had the courage to write this post.  I have not lost a child but I endured five years while my son was treated for cancer.  I know the pain of having to see your child hurt.  I do not know the pain of having a child taken from me.  May prays are with you and your family.

Jan 16, 2012 05:52 AM
Mike Martin
(909) 476-9600 ~ - Fontana, CA
Realty Masters & Associates

This is a unbelievable post, it really brought some light to my gloomy day. You really preached to me with this post. I am so grateful that I had the privilege of being able to read it, and hear your story. God Bless you and I wish you much more continued success in your area!

Jan 16, 2012 06:09 AM
Bob Jakowinicz
National Realty Centers Livonia--Bob Jakowinicz - Livonia, MI
Michigan Real Estate Agent-- MI Real Adventures

Carolyn-- Thanks for stopping by and the kind words

Paul--  Thank You, very tough indeed and so glad to hear you ultimately did not go through it as well

Mike--- Very tough to write but for some reason felt I needed too, thanks for the lift up

Jan 16, 2012 06:14 AM
Renée Donohue~Home Photography
Savvy Home Pix - Allegan, MI
Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer

I remember a post you wrote last fall with the same picture.  I was perplexed because I felt like he was taken from you yet he was still here.  I felt something was very wrong Bob. I am so sorry that a parent must hurt this bad when they lose a child.  I will give my son - the same age - an extra hug tonight.  Because you made me appreciate what I have and may take for granted on a daily basis.

Virtual hugs from Vegas to you and Teena.

Jan 17, 2012 09:48 AM
Bob Jakowinicz
National Realty Centers Livonia--Bob Jakowinicz - Livonia, MI
Michigan Real Estate Agent-- MI Real Adventures

Renee, you were right if I remember correctly.  I just wasn't able to really deal with it yet at that time but was really trying too. 

Jan 17, 2012 10:42 PM
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

Bob, sorry about your loss. I have 3 little girls and I don't have any idea how I could deal with the things that you've went through. Keep your spirits up, pal.

Feb 03, 2012 05:53 AM
Bob Jakowinicz
National Realty Centers Livonia--Bob Jakowinicz - Livonia, MI
Michigan Real Estate Agent-- MI Real Adventures

Eric-- Been very tough no doubt about it.  Thanks for stopping by

Feb 03, 2012 05:58 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH@Properties - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Hi, Bob.  I just included this post in Last Week's Favorites I know you didn't write it last week, but that's when I found it.  And it's a beautiful post.  Have a great week.

Apr 01, 2012 10:55 AM
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Bob, This is the best post I have ever seen on AR. You are a better man than me. I do not think I could handle things as well as you. Your son and all the other young men who have given their lives for our country are my HEROES!

Apr 01, 2012 11:13 AM
Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate
Kelly Right Real Estate - Hood River, OR
Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs

What a beautiful tribute to your son. I'm so very sorry for your loss. It seems like you've found some peace through your sorrow and are remembering the good times with joy. I wish I could say something meaningful to you, but am at a loss. I'm humbled by your bravery in writing this and by all you've been through. I send prayers and good thoughts your way.


Apr 01, 2012 12:32 PM
Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A.

My son served two tours in Iraq and his best friend was killed by a roadside bomb.  We idolize sports superstars and rock stars, but it takes a special person to endanger and give their life to protect others.  These are the superstars who walk among us. 

Apr 01, 2012 12:33 PM
Margie Kopp Sorrell
Coldwell Banker Lake Oconee Realty and Lake Country - Greensboro, GA
Lake Oconee Real Estate

Your post is a reminder to us of the most important thing in life and that's family. Thank you to you, your family, and most importantly, your son, for his ultimate sacrifice.

Apr 01, 2012 10:49 PM
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Company - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

From a mother's heart, thank you so much for sharing this very touching story.  I am to tears thinking of your loss.  May you find blessings daily from the joy that he was in your life.

Apr 02, 2012 12:12 AM
Bob Jakowinicz
National Realty Centers Livonia--Bob Jakowinicz - Livonia, MI
Michigan Real Estate Agent-- MI Real Adventures

Thanks for stopping by everyone-  I think I needed to write about this and just let it out.

Apr 02, 2012 05:07 AM
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Bob-my deepest sympathies on the loss of your son Michael.  I understand the pain of the knock on the door and the healing that comes afterwards.  Your points about living and appreciating life are important for everyone to realize.  Thank you for gathering the strength to write about Michael.

Apr 02, 2012 06:45 AM
Phil Leng
Retired - Kirkland, WA
Phil Leng - Retired

Hi Bob,

I didn't think I would cry reading your post.

But I did!



Apr 02, 2012 07:11 PM
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Bob - Oh my... I do not know how you were able to manage it. None of us are prepared for that. I am glad you are back, that it did ot break you, that you are coping with the loss, that you worte this

May 30, 2012 11:05 PM