16 Sep

Laura and me going to Glamorama 2005

Yesterday a dear old friend of mine would have turned 30. I met Laura the summer after freshman year of college at a Children’s Cancer Research Fund event. She had osteosarcoma like I did, but hers would soon become metastatic and she would die in her early 20s.

In the short time we knew each other, Laura taught me more about living gracefully than anyone I have met. The last time I saw her, as her osteo was spreading throughout her lungs, everyone around her was awkward and wanting to apologize for what cancer had done to her future. But Laura was smiling ear-to-ear. Her smile was not a denial of her prognosis, but instead an expression of a real sense of gratitude for the people who surrounded her and the laughter they shared. Laura today continues to inspire me to be poised in hardship and grateful for the life I’ve lived so far.

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8 Responses to “Grace”

  1. T vacanti September 16, 2014 at 9:54 pm #

    Once again Jenna, your words, your grace and your appreciation for all those who have touched your life is humbling. Saying prayers for Laura and for you. Know we think of you and Jimmy daily.

  2. Lizeth Garcia-Jennings September 17, 2014 at 12:21 am #

    You are truly an inspiration. I think about you daily! You make me realize that everyday is an opportunity to do something good or to make someone’s day! Let me know if you need some time away and want some ice cream or Starbucks! Episodes of Friends are always an option! By the way, it’s their 20th anniversary and they made a small popup replica of Central Perk in New York!!! It looks like the coolest thing ever! I wish I could be there!

  3. Nanci September 17, 2014 at 7:01 am #

    Thinking of you and your family often Jenna. Wish we had not all spread out so far and lost touch. I miss our fun days on Sequoia Rd., but everyone moves forward … sending prayers and positive thoughts. Love and hugs.

  4. Linda Hornick September 17, 2014 at 7:09 am #

    Jenna, you continue to be an inspiration to others. Your positive attitude is a blessing to all. Continuing prayers for you, Jimmy & your whole family 🙂

  5. Linda Mertz September 17, 2014 at 9:25 am #

    Jenna you are truly an inspiration to me! When I think of you, the words courage, strength, and love come to mind. Your passion for life and gratitude for what you have is inspiring. It has made me treasure each day and try to live it to the fullest. You are always in my prayers!

  6. Ann September 17, 2014 at 10:28 am #

    Jenna, what a lovely tribute. Grace is one of my favorite words! I remember how excited you were to go to Glamorama. Thinking of you lots.

  7. elly September 17, 2014 at 4:28 pm #

    You are amazing Jenna. Think of you lots. Hope we get to see you soon.

  8. Julaine Balbach September 17, 2014 at 8:59 pm #

    Jenna, I have known you to be nothing other than poised during hardship and always grateful for the life you have led thus far!! You are a very, very special gift to all the people that surround you!! Praying for you always!!!

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