She was a fine addition to our family.
Sara Jean's brother had married her mother a short time before, inheriting this beautiful 14 year old cheerleader. It's Thanksgiving Day, and we are realizing more and more what a wonderful choice he's made. Both fit into our family seamlessly.
Dinner is still an hour or so away and she's taking advantage of our great weather outside, practicing her cheerleading moves. My Dad grabs his camera and begins to record her practice.
Now we have transferred that recording to DVD. Anytime we want, we can go back and see her moving this way and that, pausing, biting her lip a little in thought, then continuing with her routine.
That was 22 years ago.
Our cheerleader went on to become a grade school teacher. She married a fine young man and had two children, both boys. A little over a year ago she had an odd pain and sought medical care...
Of course we were crushed. But so long as she is alive we can hope for a miracle...
Some new medical breakthrough...
But you know from the outset it'll be a tough journey. Hard for her. Hard for her family. Hard on her little boys who are too young to understand what's going on with Mommy. And hard for those of us in the extended family to watch from a distance.
And in the end, as is so often the case, you just pray for an end to her suffering.
Her suffering ended Sunday morning as the sun rose on an absolutely beautiful day. That near-Springlike weather has continued, so as we set out on our journey to celebrate her life with family, we rejoice that our long drive won't be made more difficult with ugly late-Fall weather.
Tears will come, of course. But smiles and laughter too. And in the back of my mind I'll always have the memory of that pretty 14 year old, pensively biting her lip, trying to remember that next move.
We love you Jenn. We are glad you are at peace.