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.     


Katherine said...

That was an awesome post, Karen. Too bad it had to be something so heartbreaking that bonded you together with Nancy. At Stake Conference a couple of weeks ago, our Stake President, who just found out he has lymphoma was saying that sometimes the Lord wants us to grow, and sometimes he wants to deliver us. I have to stop and think about things from an eternal perspective when they get hard and I just want to curl up in the fetal position. One day we will understand the bigger picture. I can't wait!!!!((Hugs))

Anonymous said...

That was awesome! It really touched my heart, as I have watched you and Nancy become closer and I've seen Alice weep for you and try to help you both, it's good to see you all become better friends and sisters thru all this. I love you all and pray that you'll always try to help each other. I really enjoy your posts that you make here, it helps me in my mourning too.