|Birth: ||Oct. 4, 1978|
|Death: ||Feb. 10, 1999|
My daughter. How do I begin to tell of her heroism, courage, strength and stuggles. She was born to two parents whose lives had been charmed. A most wanted child she was a joy to behold. We thought we had it all!
From birth she seemed to have one cold after another but never anything serious. She was delightful and brought smiles to all who came in contact with her. By the age of two it was apparent to me, as a mother, that something just was not right. After several months the heartbreaking diagnosis came back. She had Cystic Fibrosis. How do you raise a child knowing she would not live to see and experience everything any parent wants for their child? It broke up a marriage but the bond between mother and daughter could not have been stronger!
Jess was fortunate. She had a relatively normal childhood. She was game for anything. Gymnastics came first, horseback riding, skiing, and finally her life long passion, figure skating. She was bubbly and full of life. At a young age she knew not to take anything for granted. We never parted without saying "I love you". Cystic Fibrosis never defined her. It was part of her but not who she was. She never used her illness as an excuse and hated any pity. Watching her grow and blossom was a wonder and bittersweet.
As she entered High School she had many friends and never missed a formal dance. She delighted in her friends, her family, and her home. Jess was mischievous and like any other teenager could turn my hair gray. She never hurt me or anyone else. Life was all too important to her. The delight of snow, the changing to spring, and the fun that summer brought never ceased to amaze her.
As she grew into her teens the disease started to take it's toll. Weeks spent in the hospital. Always her homework taken and completed during her stays. When she graduated she was not only a member of the National Honor Society but an Illinois State Scholar. College seemed obvious but she had other plans. She had met a young man who loved her for herself and treated her with such great love and kindness. She knew her fate and she would not waste her time with school. Michael had joined the Navy and it was her obstinate insistance that she join him. They were married in Everette, WA on December 3, 1996. She was 18 and only months out of school. She delighted in marriage but was overwhelmed by the paperwork involved in getting proper healthcare from the military. Her health declined immediately. Within a year she was in serious condition. She kept on, through the loneliness of a husband gone to sea often, and the lack of all her family and friends. I ached for her.
She had been trying to have a child from the moment she got married. It was all important to her, it was her reason for being here. After a year she told me that she had given up on having a baby. I knew her health had to be in serious jeapordy. A month later she phoned with the news, she was pregnant. The fear was evident in her voice but there was no way she would not have this child. The pregnancy was an up and down experience. Finally, two weeks before Christmas she gave birth to a beautiful healthy baby boy. She was thrilled and thrived for about two days. Then her body gave way to the ravages. She went downhill quickly but so bravely. She loved her husband and she had fulfilled her destiny. Studying her only option of a double lung transplant she decided her mission here was complete. Her faith in God and the afterlife was unshakeable. She was ready to go and be with Him and her grandpa.
I wish I could say she went peacefully but it was agony. I sat by her bedside for nearly two weeks and helped my daughter die as painlessly as possible. She took her last breath surrounded by her parents, stepmother, husband and slipped the surly bonds of earth. At peace she has left us all with memories of a lifetime lived in 20 years. The heartbreak is never far. As I watch my grandson grow I see his mother etched in his face and in his actions. I know she is still here inside of her child.
Though my heart never stops hurting, even after so many years, it is her story I want people to know. An ordinary life by most points of view. But look closer. She taught us all how to live. Never take anything for granted. Be good and kind to each other. Take every opportunity to tell someone you love them. Live each and every day as if it might be the last. I was so blessed.
Her ashes sit on a dresser in a bedroom in her father's home which she loved.
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.
Created by: For RGS
Record added: Dec 05, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 16914131