Thursday, January 23, 2014

BRAVE

 There is a popular song out now by Sara Bareileus that each time I hear it and see the singer, I think of my daughter, Jennifer.  She was the bravest person that I have ever  known.  Today would have been her 52nd birthday.  However, she passed ten years ago this coming May.  Hard to believe.

It's not the words in this song particularly, it's the way that Sara delivers them.  Something about her reminds me very much of Jennifer.  It's her spunkiness and sensitivity among other things.

You would never know that, looking at the above photo taken just before her little brother was born.  This photo was taken in December 1963.  The bassinet in the background was for John.  Little did we know that some day he would be the person to give LIFE to her through a bone marrow transplant.  That transplant along with the doctors at MD Anderson along with Jennifer's determination and braveness extended her life for 5 1/2 years.
 She was brave, but she was also the most gentle person that I have ever known.  I remember her kindergarten teacher, Ms. Richards remarking that Jennifer had an "aura" about her.  I always felt it as well.
Well, most of the time at least, as mothers and daughters do have their conflicts from time to time.  Those pale in comparison though to the wonderful times such as this photo above that I took of Jen.

Jen became a butterfly gardener after she recovered from her leukemia.  She and Christopher, her little son, would watch the metamorphosis of the butterfly coming out of the cocoon and then eventually flying away.
With her gentleness, often, the butterflies would land on her before taking off.  I SO love this photo.  It says a lot.  This was taken in 2002.
Twice Jen was able to fly to Cozumel.  Once with Christopher.  She loved it so much and she swam with the dolphins.  The doctors at MD Anderson freaked out each time that she did this as her cell counts both times were fluctuating dangerously low.  However, each time she swam with the dolphins, her cell counts zoomed back up.  There actually, last I heard, was a scientific research project ongoing at MDA on this phenomena.

Christopher is now 15.  He's a fine young man who reminds me very much of his mother in his gentleness and that great smile that she had with her "apple cheeks" as we called them.  He was much loved by her.

So today, as her mother, I honor her with all good positive energy and thoughts as I'm sure her sister and brother are doing as well.  She was a unique woman who inspired many, many people including the doctors at MD Anderson.

Happy Birthday Jennifer.  You are still much loved and are always in our thoughts.

29 comments:

Nancy said...

What a lovely post and remembrance. She seems like a beautiful person - and that her son is, too. xoxo

Babs said...

Thanks Nancy. she indeed was a beautiful person, inside and out!

redshoesarebetterthanbacon said...

What a wonderful way to honor Jennifer's memory!

redshoesarebetterthanbacon said...
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Ia Manning said...

This was so moving for me.

It makes me want to reach out to my mother as our relationship has been so distant this last year.

What a beautiful tribute---just lovely.

Babs said...

Thanks Jennifer. She was a unique person and quite special, besides the fact that she was my daughter!

Babs said...

la Manning - In my heart I say "Do it" I've even learned this, late in life, that it doesn't matter who was right or wrong. Saying I'm sorry and I love you means a lot to each and every human being.

Dean Wylo said...

Even through the ethers of the internet JOY radiates from the photo of Jennifer and the butterfly.

Thank you for sharing a piece of her heart and yours in this post. Beautiful young woman. Beautiful tribute.

Barbara

Babs said...

What a beautiful observation. Barbara. Thanks so much....indeed she loved raising butterflies and saving feral cats not to mention her time raising Christopher with so much love.

gringosuelto said...

Awww...What a beautiful post. I wish I could have met her.

Hugs,

Kim G
Boston, MA

Babs said...

Kim, you and Jennifer have very similar personalities. She was such a gentle soul with a will of steel when necessary! A joy to know.....

Rick said...

Here is a tribute to Sara Bareilles and her song "Brave"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4k9ODlsNYI

Sharon said...

Happy Birthday to your angel, who I am sure, has a beautiful butterfly garden somewhere.

Babs said...

Thanks Rick. I really enjoy seeing and hearing Sara.

Sharon, I KNOW she does. And, when the monarchs come through next month and all stop in my gardens, it is a homage to Jennifer, for me

La Tejedora said...

Barbara, how lovely! Your touching tribute inspires me and, I think, others to live more gently and lovingly.

Shannon said...

That was a beautiful tribute for a beautiful person Barbara, and it sounds like that beauty lives on in her son.

Babs said...

La Tejedora, I strive to be as gentle and kind as my daughter was on a daily basis.

Shannon - Indeed, Christopher will be a magnificent man and father some day. He was raised with nothing but love for the first 5 1/2 years of his life.

Ron B. said...
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Ron B. said...

Are you familiar with "The Dash" poem? If not, here's a link to it.

http://www.linda-ellis.com/the-dash-the-dash-poem-by-linda-ellis-.html

Based on your loving tribute, it seems your daughter lived her dash to the fullest; we should all be so lucky.

Babs said...

Thanks Ron B - I'll check it out. Thanks for sharing!

Babs said...

Ron B - Beautifully said and oh so true......Thanks.

Lynne (WinnieViews) said...

What a wonderful and moving tribute to your beautiful daughter. Jennifer must certainly be sending you a few monarchs every year to continue sharing her spirit with you!

Babs said...

Lynne, thanks for commenting! Love your posts and enjoy so much seeing Winnie!
The monarchs will be coming through here in March when the jacarandas bloom. It is quite an incredible time to be in San Miguel. My garden is set up for their stops to have water and lots of nectar from various plants and trees. I await their arrival each year with great anticipation, just as Jennifer awaited their coming out of the cocoon.

Babs said...

Lynne, oops, I meant Millie!

lee woo said...
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Babs said...

Lee, thank you so much for posting. I so agree with you. Thank you for posting.

andrea chiu said...
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Cindy Dy said...
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lee woo said...
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