Jennifer Susanne Stanley
September 17, 1980 - June 8, 1999
In Loving Memory of My Sister Jennifer)
Can you spare a smile?
Mine had suddenly washed away.
I can’t seem to find it anywhere,
Though I’ve looked for it night and day.
I think my sister took it with her
To her magnificent new home in the sky.
And I caught a glimpse of her grin
As I was sadly passing by.
I know it must upset her
That she accidentally took mine on her trip.
But wait, I see something falling
From the sky with a bounce and a flip.
It has floated straight into my hands
As I nervously open them wide,
And a smile comes over my face
With care, comfort and pride.
My sister must have dropped it
As she skipped the clouds one by one.
I know she must be happy
Because a rainbow just emerged from the sun.
So you can keep you smile
But remind others to share theirs with love,
If you happen to lose it one day,
Jenny will send you one from above.
Written by Laura Stanley
My Mom is a survivor,
Or so I’ve heard it said.
But I hear her crying at night
When all others are in bed.
I watch her lay awake at night
And go to hold her hand.
She doesn’t know I’m with her
To help her understand.
But like the sands on the beach
That never wash away…
I watch over my surviving mom,
Who thinks of me each day.
She wears a smile for others…
A smile of disguise.
But through Heaven’s door I see
Tears flowing from her eyes.
My mom tries to cope with death
To keep my memory alive.
But anyone who knows her
Knows it is her way to survive.
As I watch over my surviving mom…
Through Heaven’s open door,
I try to tell her that
Angels protect me forever more.
But I know that doesn’t help her
Or ease the burden she bears,
So if you get a chance, go visit her…
And show her that you care.
For no matter what she says…
No matter what she feels,
My surviving mom has a broken heart
That time won’t ever heal.
Written by Kaye
My dad is a survivor, too…
Which is no surprise to me.
He’s always been like a lighthouse
That helps you cross a stormy sea.
But, I walk with my dad each day
To lift him when he’s down.
I wipe the tears he hides from others.
He cries when no one’s around.
I watch him sit up late at night,
With my picture in his hand.
He cries as he tries to grieve alone,
And wishes he could understand.
My dad is like a tower of strength,
He’s the greatest of them all.
But there’s times when he needs to cry
Please be there when he falls.
Hold his hand or pat his shoulder…
And tell him it’s okay.
Be his strength when he’s sad,
Help him mourn in his own way.
Now, as I watch over my precious dad
From the Heaven’s up above…
I’m so proud that he’s a survivor…
And, I can still feel his love.
Written by Kaye
Fly, fly little wing
Fly beyond imagining
The softest cloud, the whitest dove
Upon the wind of heaven’s love
Past the planets and the stars
Leave this lonely world of ours
Escape the sorrow and the pain
And fly again
Fly, fly precious one
Your endless journey has begun
Take your gentle happiness
Far too beautiful for this
Cross over to the other shore
There is peace forever more
But hold this mem’ry bittersweet
Until we meet
Fly, fly do not fear
Don’t waste a breath, don’t shed a tear
Your heart is pure, your soul is free
Be on your way, don’t wait for me
Above the universe you’ll climb
On beyond the hands of time
The moon will rise, the sun will set
But I won’t forget
Fly, fly little wing
Fly where only angels sing
Fly away, the time is right
Go now, find the light
By Jean-Jaquues &
Preformed by Celine
SKY FITS HEAVEN
That day was so cold.
Everyone was black.
I asked myself,
“Why did this happen to me?”
GOD answered me,
“It didn’t happen to you;
it happened to her.”
But she was not grieving, I was.
I was the one left behind.
GOD asked me why I was not inside and I answered,
“Because she is not in there.
There is only black in there.”
HE asked me why I was outside,
And I replied, “I feel closer to her out here.
I can feel her warmth.”
I returned to the blackness one last time.
I saw what she had been trapped in for eighteen years,
but I did not see her.
I knew she was not there.
I escaped from the blackness once again.
I looked to the sky and said, “Here is my sister.
In the warmth of the sun, in the freedom of the clouds,
in the song of the wind, and she is here, in me.”
Here she is and here she’ll stay.
From the moment I first knew I was pregnant with my first child,
I knew she was a girl. It was a healthy pregnancy and on
September 17, 1980, Jennifer Susanne Stanley was born at 12:58 am
in El Paso, Texas. She weighed in at 6 pounds and 10 ounces and
was 19 inches long. She was healthy. She had beautiful blue eyes
and would stare at me with what seemed like deep knowledge. As if
she were wise beyond her years – days or months actually! She
was a happy baby and for almost three months we had no reason to
think otherwise. At the end of November, Jen received her first
vaccinations. She cried for over twelve hours nonstop. Nothing
seemed to comfort her. She wouldn’t eat. I felt so helpless. It
wasn’t until December 15, 1980 that we saw the first seizure. We
took Jennifer to the emergency room and she was admitted for lab
tests, lumbar tap, CAT scan and EEG. There were no seizures at
the hospital but we were told by the neurologist that the CAT
scan and EEG were “the most abnormal she had ever seen”. She
could not give us any idea as to the cause or what the prognosis
would be. I was devastated - I thought my world had ended. How
could they say such terrible things about my beautiful baby girl!
We brought Jen home and the next seizure occurred two days after
Christmas. It was a terrible grand mal seizure, which caused violent
jerking and body and facial distortions. These would be the main
types of seizures that continued throughout Jennifer’s life.
We took Jennifer to a large medical center in Virginia for a second
opinion and for treatment. There, we were told her EEG was normal!
As were the CAT scan and ultrasound of her head!! We were so happy.
But, the seizures continued and Jen regressed, losing head control
and upper body strength. She had metabolic tests, chromosome studies,
and biopsies. Everything was normal. But the seizures continued,
even on multiple anticonvulsant medications. Jennifer received two
more DTP vaccines before the pediatrician realized babies with seizures
shouldn’t have Pertussis vaccine. By then the damage was done. We
are confident Jennifer was the victim of a rare neurologic complication
due to Pertussis vaccine.
Jennifer developed cerebral palsy, severe speech and language impairment
and was mentally retarded. Her seizures progressed to status epilepticus
almost every time she had a seizure. She also had asthma and frequent
respiratory ailments, which would worsen the seizures. She had many
trips to the hospital during her short lifetime. She did eventually try
to crawl at 19 months and walked at four years old with a walker.
Because of her multiple disabilities, she required full time care. She
did go to Special Education classes in the public school system and
truly loved being with people. Jennifer’s receptive language skills
were excellent. Even though she had great difficulty expressing herself
with spoken words, she understood almost everything she heard. Due to
her CP, signing was difficult for her and she became frustrated trying
to sign. She was trapped inside a body over which she had little control.
Jennifer Susanne, my eighteen-year-old daughter, took flight with the Angels
on Tuesday morning, June 8, 1999. Her death was sudden and unexpected at that
time. She had been challenged since infancy with a seizure disorder and
cerebral palsy. There were many times in her life when we thought we would
surely lose her. However, in the months preceding her death, she had not
been sick and we had no idea that her life on Earth was nearing the end.
She died in her sleep, very quietly and all alone. The guilt I feel for not
being with her when she left cannot be adequately described with words. Her
dad went to check on her at 1:00am, took her to the bathroom, tucked her back
into bed and kissed her. There was no sign that it was to be the last time.
When I went in to get her up for school, she was gone.
Jennifer taught me so many things in her short lifetime that I would have never
otherwise learned. Communication does not have to be verbal to be effective.
She was the kindest, most caring person I have ever known. She had the sweetest
smile God ever gave anyone! She had no prejudices, she loved everyone she met
and she never met a stranger. She always had a hug and a smile to share and she
would listen with a kind heart. Jennifer was much wiser than most gave her credit
for and I am so grateful for everything I learned from her and for every second
of life I was allowed to spend with her. GOD TRULY BLESSED ME BY ALLOWING ME TO
BE JENNIFER’S MOM.
Jennifer was an angel sent by God to touch the lives of those she met and to make
a difference in their lives. She did her job well!
Jennifer never deserved to be trapped inside the broken body she had and I am really
glad that her spirit, which has always been whole and happy, is now free. But, I am
selfish enough to want so very much for her to still be with me here on Earth. I look
forward to the day when we shall be reunited on the other shore.
You’re special loveliness
Comes from within.
Your kindness is displayed
In your friendly grin.
You’re a positive person
Whose outlook is bright.
You’re charming and lovable
A true delight!
You will always be blessed
With sweetness and grace.
And your true inner beauty
Shall not be erased.