Saturday, October 30, 2010

Jessica Marie Jensen- My beautiful Niece

Jessica Marie Jensen passed away on October 4th, 2010 at the age of 22.  My sister's (Nancy Taylor Jensen) daughter  suffered her entire life fighting to live because of congenital heart defects plus other complications that evolved from that.  Her entire digestive system quit working and struggled for 64 days without food before passing over to the other side.
I am so grateful she is out of pain and now she actually knows what it is like to take in a full deep breath, run, jump, do cartwheels, and just plain feel good, things she never could do on this earth. I am so grateful she was a part of my life.  She is the closest example, to me, of what being Christ-like is.  She had a unconditional love for everyone she met.  She was concerned for others and wanted to help them in some way. She spoke of Christ as her best friend, wanted to do his will, and gave unconditionally.  She was an Angel here on earth and continues to be now.  She was an example of what Christ referred to as "be as a little child", believing, trusting and obeying the Lord.  She will be exalted to the highest degree of glory for completing her mission here on earth and doing it with such a beautiful spirit, a joy of life, and having complete faith in her Father in Heaven.  What more can we ask for, she deserves it all!
Back in August when we first found out that she wasn't eating and that it could be anytime that she could pass, I made a special trip to Arizona to go see her and her amazing family.  I hadn't had the chance to see them since the year before Marcus died.  I am so grateful that I went.  She was so happy to see me, and has been every single time I went to see her in her life. When she heard I was coming, she traced a princess picture of Ariel for me and had been working on it for a while.  She was trying to get it colored for me before I left, but she just didn't have the strength to do it.  She would get it out, start coloring and nod off after a few minutes, but she was determined to do it.  Finally, my last day there, she had most of it done but said she was done working on it for me.  I feel so privileged to have one of her last works of art.  It will hang in Marcus' room, which has turned into sort of a shrine... OK, it is a shrine. 
I have been so comforted knowing that Marcus and Jessica now have each other.  Over nineteen years ago, Jessica had one of her surgeries and Marcus was just a few months old.  Nancy would come and hold Marcus where she would receive so much comfort from him while Jessica was in ICU fighting for her life.  As I remember those days, I look back and think that Marcus and Jessica had a special bond from the beginning.  Who would have ever thought that Marcus would die, and especially before Jessica.  The Lord had plans for them, ones that we can't completely understand, but Nancy and I feel like we understand them more now than before.  Families!!  It's all about FAMILIES!!  We are connected in this life, but also the afterlife.  Our ancestors, our posterity... we are all connected and we all depend on each other.  Our memories of them were taken at birth, but return to us in the next life.  Those on the "other side" work for us and help us while we are here, they depend on us and we depend on them.  I know that Marcus and Jessica will be by my side for the rest of my life.  Marcus was there for Jessica to help prepare her to pass over and is there for Jessica as she adjusts to her new environment, just like my cousin, Martin (who passed away 13 years ago from a brain tumor at the age of 17) was there to help Marcus.  I have felt my Grandparents, especially my Grandpa Horne helping me as well.
The most difficult part of this whole thing has been the pain that I can sympathize with my sister.  Knowing what it feels like to watch your child slowly deteriorate, then leave their mortal body.  We know what it is like to make funeral plans, kiss them goodbye and put their bodies in the ground.  There is no other pain like it. Now my sister and I, who have never really seen eye to eye on a lot of things in our lives, share that pain.  And now that Marcus and Jessica have each other, Nancy and I have each other.  I know that we each have our own pain and sorrows, and every one's pain is different, but we can share the comfort knowing that if anyone can understand, the other can.  This, I believe, was part of the Lord's plan. 

I will cherish every memory of sweet Jessica.  Take good care of her Marcus.... farewell and "till we meet again" Jessica.     

Friday, October 01, 2010

My New Laptop!

As much as I hate to admit it, I had a birthday this month.  Over-the-Hill jokes are old news for me.  Once I turn 40, anything older than that is just a given and no need to remind myself how many years I have been over the top of the Hill.  Of course, I don’t mind the gifts that go along with the birthday, it’s just the number of birthdays that is a bother.  This year, We broke down and got a laptop.  Our PC is on the fritz and I have wanted something that the kids could not ruin.  That means that I have to hide my laptop so that little sticky fingers don’t get all over my keypad. 


I decided to try out the fun features of a laptop, including the camera.  It’s not a great photo, but here I am in all my glory!  I have put on a lot of weight, as I have mentioned in past posts, but here is the proof.  At times I am really embarrassed by my weight and other times I just don’t care.  Well, I should say… MOST of the time I just don’t care.  I am who I am and my life experiences have made me who I am.  I wouldn’t trade them because they have taught me so much in my life, but then, It would be nice not to carry it around with me 24/7.  I completely agree when some psychologists have said that weight is a actually baggage that we have taken with us through life. All I can say is… I sure have A LOT of baggage!!  The last 2 years has added so much more.  I am not in any hurry to get rid of this baggage.  To me I hang on to it to remind me of what I have been through and not forget Marcus.  I think if I do, I might not remember him as often as I do now.  That’s crazy, I know, but I am hanging on. 

We come to October and my heart sinks.  I don’t like October for a few more reasons than the obvious.  Now there is more to hate about October.  My Niece, Jessica, is slowly withering away to nothing.  Her digestive system has shut down now it is only a matter of time before she passes on to the other side. She has gone 61 days without any kind of food.  She continues to hang on even though she is so miserable.   Marcus is taking good care of her and will help her as she nears her time to pass over.  It has been so difficult to watch my Sister, Nancy, go through the similar experience I had.  It breaks my heart because I know how much it hurts to turn your child over to the Lord and trust that He knows that this is best for all of us.  All of this has brought back so many memories of watching Marcus  get ready to pass on.  There are things that I remember that I haven’t thought of in over a year.  Little things that only he and I shared.  I have been amazed that my heart could still hurt so much after 2 years.  I am sure that hurt will never completely go away, how can it?  A piece of my heart and soul are gone.  I do feel at peace with what Marcus is doing, especially for Jessica.  I think Jessica has been his main focus since he passed, to prepare her to join him.  She is quite stubborn and determined to stay on this earth. 

All the torn feelings have come back to me.  The sense of not being in the same earthly realm with everyone else.  I remember saying it felt like I was on a little cloud floating outside of everyone else, watching them live their lives… running around and doing the daily things that need to be done.  Almost like watching life through a glass window.   Maybe I was.  Maybe that was the Savior carrying me, lifting me up out of the complete darkness, comforting me.  I have always wondered about that.  Sometimes I can still feel that separation, like some things here on earth are just aren’t important anymore. I know one day I will understand it all.  Until then, I will keep leaning on the Lord for support while I try to go on with a broken heart, knowing it will be healed someday. 

Today I pray for my sister and her dear daughter who has fought everyday of her life to be here with us.  May she have peace, Love and joy as she joins my son in the Spirit World. May Nancy and her precious family feel the Love of Jesus Christ and our Dear Heavenly Father as they go through the heartbreak of separation in this life.  I know they are with them now.