Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tribute to my sweet aunt Jennifer

It’s great to see all of you dressed in red to honor Jennifer, who died on Valentines day. Thank you for doing that for her. I’d like to read a poem that came from this plaque that was my mom’s when she was growing up, that Jennifer had:

  “Yesterday is already a dream, and tomorrow is only a vision, but today, well lived, makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope.”

Jennifer loved life. Her sister, my mom, said, “Jennifer as a child always attracted lots of attention because of her jovial attitude, blonde hair and bright blue eyes.”

Now in her passing she still continues to draw lots of attention from people everywhere, who felt her love. Many of these people are here today.

Jennifer was a neon light in a dark room.  Her smile,laugh, and self-confidence drew people to her.  If you met her once in your life, you’d remember her.  She had a way about her that made you feel loved and special.  She was always willing to listen to your problems, talk to you and give you advice.

Jennifer collected crafts like she collected friends.  She was always making something to give to someone.  She was skilled at cooking and loved to host lots of parties and family gatherings.  It was always exciting to see how she would decorate her home or taste her feast she’d created.  Her creativity expanded outdoors into gardening and planting.  She beautified outdoors as well as inside.  Her home was like a Garden of Eden.  She would use her talents to bless everyone.  She’d make food, sew, create jewelry especially designed for your liking.  She had projects around her home half-finished to give to someone else.

Jennifer’s generosity and love for nature extended from little critters, stray dogs and cats to The God that created her.  Jennifer’s nurturing personality attracted many people.  Babies would be soothed by her just holding them.  She struggled to have her own children, but she was the mother to many.  These friendships spread from every where she ever lived and became life-long enduring relationships of love and trust.

Eventually after years she was able to have a son.  During a special temple ceremony, family and friends gathered to witness a heavenly bond that was created that sealed their son Aidan to Jennifer and Jeff, that extends beyond death and family heritage.  Her faith in God and His plan for her life brought peace and reassurance of His love for her.

As Jennifer continued to enjoy life as a mother, she continued to struggle with health problems.  Her pains from arthritis or sore foot made it a challenge to wear her favorite stylish shoes.  She always wore a scrunchie on her hand to keep pain low.

As she seemingly got better at times, she continued to care for her husband and son and, in a way, that would bring them peace after her death.  Jennifer wrote notes at different times for Aidan encouraging him to be strong physically and mentally and apologizing for being hard on him, but that she wanted him to be spiritually strong too.

Jeff, her husband, found journal entries on typed paper, hidden in random places, mixed among recipes.  These notes caused Jeff great joy and laughter.

The night before her passing Jennifer and Jeff were joking with each other.  Jennifer felt that something might be wrong and asked Jeff, “ Hold me.”  Jennifer passed away in her true love’s arms on Valentine’s Day, to return to her creator.  

In her Patriarchal Blessing Jennifer was counseled and lived by this, the blessing reads:

“So as you go through life look for beauty, look for the good of mankind, those that may be in need of counsel, help them, and show them how to live.  Through your conduct you will be the means of helping many to come to the knowledge of the Savior.”

Jennifer-as you reached for our hands, you touched our hearts.

            In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.