News-Sun photo by SAMANTHA GHOLAR Alicia Jetton, with her twins Carter, left, and Hayden. The children, born a few months after their father was killed in combat in Afghanistan, recently marked their first birthday.
published: Friday, September 21, 2012
Jetton twins celebrate first birthday
By SAMANTHA GHOLAR
SEBRING - One huge birthday party and just over a dozen teeth later, Alicia Jetton and her twin babies Hayden and Carter are moving through the year with grace and growth.
"It's been a busy and quick year," Jetton said.
Jetton was thrown in the public eye last summer after the death of her husband, 21-year-old Army PFC Joshua Jetton, in combat in Afghanistan. At the time of Jetton's death and burial, Alicia was several months pregnant with the couple's first children.
Born on Aug. 15, 2011, the twins were a welcomed blessing to Alicia and the family.
"We had a really big party for them last month," Jetton said. "There was about 65 people there."
The first birthday party was a bittersweet moment.
The two walking toddlers provide plenty of action and things to do for Jetton and she has learned to just go with the flow.
"Time management and lack of sleep are the things I've had to learn this year," Jetton said.
The differences between Hayden and Carter are another thing Jetton has come to learn and love.
"Carter is a wild child. He's a wild man. He likes to fight; he likes to bite. Hayden is a princess. She's very high maintenance; she's very quiet and shy," Jetton said.
The three spend plenty of time together as Jetton has decided to put her education on a brief hiatus so that she may be at home with the growing toddlers.
After receiving a scholarship from a local medical college, Jetton began considering a career in the medical field. She also has an interest in possibly pursuing a law degree in her future, but for now she's enjoying the challenge of motherhood.
"I wanted to go back to work and school. I was excited about it, but right now this is better. The longer I can stay home with them the better," she said.
The obvious void left by Josh's death is something Jetton has come to accept and endure. Through their children, Jetton is able to see her husband everyday, she says, and it makes things much easier when she has a bad day.
"Mostly in Carter I see Josh ... he makes a lot of facial expressions like Josh," Jetton said.
Besides the obvious things being taught to 1-year-olds like new words, no biting and sharing, Jetton spends a great deal of time teaching her children an additional useful and unique communication skill.
"I'm teaching them sign language. They know a few words and phrases. They know milk, all gone, good-bye," she said.
Hayden and Carter are happy, healthy babies that have an immense amount of love and support. Jetton herself is surrounded by family and friends who continually provide the love and support she needs.
Jetton makes sure that the twins remember and recognize their brave father in every aspect of their lives.
"I keep a picture of him in their room between their beds. Every night they say good night to him and kiss him. For the longest time, that is the only person Hayden would give kisses to ... she would barely even kiss me, just her dad. She's gotten a little better with kisses now though," Jetton said with a laugh.
Though the absence of Josh seems like it would be an unbearable burden to outsiders, Alicia has made it through the first year, first anniversary, first steps, first teeth, first holidays and the first birthdays with grace and strength.
"It's hard sometimes. When the milestones come up, that's when I really miss him," Jetton said. "But I just cry. When I really miss him, I just cry and cry and get it out."
Now, Jetton looks forward to the future and remembers the past honorably. She looks forward to more holidays with her precious children, more visits to her mother-in-law in Indiana and more time with the ones nearby who love the three of them so dearly.
twins (by: glad - 9/21/2012)
I am happy to see this article as I often wondered how they were doing? Glad to hear that all is well...
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