Saturday, January 2, 2010

For you Jessica

One might say that teardrops can't bring back a loved one. Yet somehow I think giving voice to the memories you treasure of them can keep them forever alive in your heart. On intuition I believe this is the case of Jessica.

I learned today that the same fashion-minded girl who just two short weeks ago reveled in outdoing me in an ugly sweater contest is gone. She died late last night...and took a piece of my heart with her.

Jessica was a special light among our TLC group, she could dazzle you with her smile...and charm with her simple, blunt humor. She was uniquely straightforward. One would never wonder what she was thinking because it escaped her lips the moment the thought fluttered into her mind. Unfailing honesty, that was Jess.

Many people called her "Sassy" (including me) because that adjective certainly captured her vivaciousness and characteristic spunk. Cancer forced her, like many, to leave behind some mythology that all too often accompanies youth. Such harsh reality was an extraordinary weight for such a 15 year old to be burdened by...but her spunk remained.

It's Jessica that's drawn me back here...because as I sit here tapping out an entry into my my oft' neglected blog the only thought in my head is of Jess. She left in the dawn of a new year she had not even a glimpse of, and with us all wishing for just one thing... a chance for more time.

Jessica was a mover and a shaker, a young woman of action. She liked to dance and she like to move fast. Waiting around patiently wasn't her style. And so naturally when cancer clipped her wings and slowed her down her frustration was clear...and achingly justified. Walls built up...but they were only made to come down.

Rays of light began to dip in and slowly trickle through her wall of protection. She began to let in new friends that lightened her load, eased her into laughter and allowed her the gift of shared experience. Her smiles became more abundant. Her wisecracks were rapid fire. It was obvious she had stolen all of our hearts. Indeed she has made off with them and if that means that she can carry some of our love with her...beyond these earthly boundaries... than perhaps we can be ever grateful for what she took, with our most sincere permission.

I will never forget you Jess... Your memory lives. That etching has been made and not time, nor circumstance can erase it. Any time I dance the Cha Cha Slide and I misstep I will remember your will echo in my ears and run straight to my heart.


Holly said...


You write so beautifully of difficult days and journeys cut short. We are all lucky to have you trekking along side, especially the TLC crew.


Lisa N. said...

Thank you, Leah for expressing so eloquently your feelings. You have captured Jessica's spirit so succinctly - she did touch our hearts.