One Year Later...
On August 27th, 2000 a ceremony was held in honor of Jessie's life.
Over 100 people attended to pay tribute to one who is sorely missed.
Jessie's parents wrote a letter to express where on their journey of grief they are. Here is the letter:
A card and a stone were given to the people who attended the ceremony
It has been a year since Jessie died…
A year since we've heard "Uh-hi-ya" or chuckled as we watched her drag her "bum" leg
A year since we've hugged, held, talked to, scolded, eaten with, watched TV with, or shopped with her
It feels like an eternity
Yet it was just yesterday we went back-to-school shopping
It has been a year of hell
We have had to try to piece together our shattered selves - all the while wondering how, and why, we'd survive
We are different people now - and we always will be
Our inability to fix this has been a constant source of overwhelming frustration. We feel so powerless and helpless
But they say that what doesn't break you will make you stronger, and perhaps that will be true because of you who surround us
Brad you are phenomenal. Deep, strong, funny, sweet, honest, caring, and smart. With everything you have ever been and done, you give us reason to live, to go on. Thank you
Doug and Lisa, Ryan and Andrew - you chose to step right in to our circle of pain and haven't stopped being there for us for one second. Thank you
To all of you who have called, stopped by, done favors, prayed for us, tied ribbons, planted trees and visited Jessie - you are wonderful people. We know that it is hard to approach us, to talk to us. But all of you have. Thank you
Jessie took care of making sure that her life had meaning. It is up to us to make sure that her death does.
To help us do that, there are a couple of things you can do:
First - Everyone can be more attentive to their driving - take your time, be buckled, be defensive. Adults -you are the role models that our young drivers pattern themselves after. Please be mindful of that. Teens – remember that driving a car involves new situations every day, every second. Please don’t take risks
Second - Take time each day to let those around you know how much you love them. You will never regret it. We lost Jessie in an instant - Thank God we let her know every day just how much she was loved.
There is an ancient Egyptian belief that a person doesn't truly die until their name is no longer spoken. Please don’t be afraid to speak of Jessie… that will help ensure that she never truly dies.