We grew up going to the same church went to Sunday school together and youth group.
She was shy and quiet and I was loud and not shy.
We didn't hang out in school but always said Hi to one another.
We both worked at local business after and during high school. I married Ty July 7, 2001, and she got married July 6, 2002.
We met up again after I was married I would see her working at the store where I grocery shopped.
I wasn't able to attend her wedding since we were going away for our 1 year anniversary. Us and our husbands would get together as we were both newlyweds.
In January of 2003 I called to tell her I was pregnant to only have her tell me right back she was too...
We both laughed and couldn't believe it we were going to be pregnant together. We would always ask how the other one was feeling we were 3 weeks apart. I was due at the end of August and her in September.
In April Ty and I found out we were having a girl and we were going to name her Faith. Jen was so excited for us. Jen was having her ultra sound a month later and she asked me to come with her ans her sister and Mom. I was so excited.
Jen picked me up when it was her day to go see her baby she looked so cute in a maternity clothes. I think her and I would laugh at what we wore when we were pregnant back then.
Now Jen did not want to find out what she was having so we were just going to see that precious baby growing inside her.
Now before I go on I just want to say this isn't my story this is Jens. I asked her for permission to share my side I don't want to display anything of Jen this is just what I experienced with her. She told me I could share.
We went into the ultra sound room all of us walking in there excited to see even though she wasn't finding out. Lights went out and there was this precious baby on screen. Then the whole room stopped it got silent and dark. The ultra sound tech didn't speak she called for the doctor. Jen's eyes swelling with tears, her mom and sister staying by her side. I was speechless. My sweet sweet friend was just told that the baby wasn't going to make it after birth. So then Jen decided she wanted to know what she was having. Jen was having a girl a precious baby girl. A girl who was going to make the biggest impact. We all gathered around Jen and cried out in prayer over her. They then called her into this room for further counsel. She was then asked if she wanted to terminate her pregnancy? I will never forget the look on her face as she said " No No way that isn't what I believe". She then asked me to have Ty bring her husband down not knowing anything. I had to call Ty and tell him but not why just to grab him and get down here. Jen is incredible strong woman. She hugged me after this all went down and said "Thank you for being here" What???? This woman who just found out her baby girl wasn't going to make it after birth gives me a hug and consoles me!!!! I tried to be so strong for her but as I got in the car I lost it. Our baby girls were supposed to grow up together this wasn't fair. This amazing Godly young woman is going to endure some tragic loss and she knows it. Jen endured many visits for the baby at Ucla to understand her prognosis. We were on a walk together and we just would talk about how their baby girl could be healed and our God was bigger. She looked at me and asked if I would care but they wanted to name her Hope. I absolutely did not care and thought it was the most perfect name for her baby girl.
I struggled so much with guilt during this pregnancy because I never wanted to make her feel bad for what she was going through. Even sending her a baby shower invite was so hard. But you know who was there with a amazing smile and love Jen was.
In July Ty and I were at my Moms in Valencia we had been swimming and I did not feel well all day. I started getting a really bad headache I told him to take me to the hospital just to make sure.
So on the way home we went to the hospital and sure enough I was admitted for dehydration.
Now can I just tell you, don't think of anything less of Gods timing because this will blow you away.
As I was able to leave after being re hydrated, I see Jen's dad standing in the hall way. I asked what he was doing there he said, Jen came in she was having Hope. Having Hope? she wasn't due til September. No, she was having her. We waited in the waiting room as he said she would want me to be there. Now remember cell phones were not like they are today so getting a hold of each other isn't like it is. I didn't know what to expect if Jen was going to be able to hold her baby girl if see was going to be alive when she got here. And God is sooo sooo Good. Hope was frail but she was alive. I walked into this hospital room and see my friend with this smile I cant even explain.
A tiny precious baby wrapped in a white blanket being held by her mother who loves her more than she would ever know. Surrounded by all her family. Jen looks at me and I tell you these words
I will never forget what she said to me.. " Michelle I can't wait for you to be a Mom this is the best thing ever" Her knowing I was having a healthy baby and her knowing her daughter had minutes hours to live.
I started crying how Did God put this selfless friend in my life I didn't deserve her friendship. Because I know I could have never said that.
Pause.... Crying uncontrollably...
Ok back... She gave Hope to me who was so tiny and had the blackest hair I have ever seen. She was beautiful. This baby so precious and I couldn't stop thinking how I was able to meet this baby girl I knew so much about and prayed for. Jen let me hold her let me hold her baby girl who wasn't going to be on this earth for long. I gave her back and said our goodbyes and Jen and I could not believe we were at the hospital together. I was so in awe that God intervened and I was able to be there with my friend.
The next day Hope past in her Daddy's arms.
Jen was so strong during this she didn't even get angry. Hopes service was absolutely beautiful. Jen was so warm and inviting and wanted no one to be angry but to thank God for everything. Watching my friend see her precious daughter inside of this tiniest white casket you have ever seen was heart breaking. I watched this Mother sob in tears knowing her daughter was no longer here.
A month later I had Faith and I am saying something I have a hard time with. I purposely didn't call Jen to tell her I had her. I couldn't tell her. I felt it would be too much. But you know who called me Jen she was sad I didn't call her and wanted to come see Faith.
Jen came over and held Faith and told me how sweet she was and she was so happy she was here.
Jen truly doesn't know what a impact she made on me and what True Grace looks like. Jen has a heart of of gold and I am forever grateful she is in my life. We definitely may not always keep in touch but she is one friend that will always be in my heart. She has two beautiful children, Tyller, and Jet. Her daughter Hopes legacy lives on even if she was here for a very short time.
This July Hope would of been 11.
Being that Mothers Day coming up I wanted to share this story of one incredible mother...
Love you Jen girl.
In Jens words...
"He never promises us a easy path, but He is with us every step of the way"