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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"V" is for Validation!

I was unsure what I would choose to write about in my Alphabe Thursday post! Then I tried to focus on the presidential debate but decided I would watch the live stream video of Jessica Ridgeway's memorial service. Oh My Goodness, her family, on her mom's side, are incredible examples of true Christianity. The whole service validated Jessica's short life. But her family had a peace over them stating they knew she was with the Lord! I was stunned. I could not imagine the hurt, the pain , the anguish over her death! But her family has chosen to shine Jessica's light and keep it brightly shining. As you well know, I am not a fan of the political ring but when our governor John Hickenlooper spoke he brought tears to my eyes! He also has a child, a son, Teddy, who is 10 just like Jessica! He spoke from his heart as a father should. I was taken back by the gifts this child gave to so many and touched the lives of people all over the world in just a few shorts days during her disappearance and her untimely death. Jessica was just an ordinary child. A silly girl. But during the time of her disappearance and now because of her death she has become an extraordinary child  people will not forget.
Purple ribbons often stand for "stop domestic violence" but when Jessica disappeared people starting wearing them and tying them around trees in her neighborhood. They were a simple symbol of  everyone just wanting Jessica to come home quickly and safely.
Jessica's disappearance and horrific end were weighing heavy on the hearts and minds of everyone. It shook us to our very core. I remember watching our great grand Jayden sleeping and thinking, my goodness what horrible images raced through my mind. What inappropriate thoughts I was thinking, had that been my child, my grandson or anyone I cared for!  Would I have the kindness, the ultimate faith, courage and grace that Jessica's family is showing through this tremendous time of loss and grief?

 The bible is clear about revenge. God Himself says "Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written, It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord." Romans 12:19 God is a vengeful God and He will see justice served, in His time and on His terms.
The butterfly is a symbol of new life. It is one Jessica is sharing in the arms of Jesus. She is, as her cousin Nick says, "Giving my dad, her Uncle Freddy, a fit, in heaven!" Her family will honor this beautiful girl and her brief life. They have received many donations, money I am sure they could use, yet they are hard working folks, ordinary, simple souls who will have a foundation and help children that are underprivileged  attend sports and cheer camps. Those of us who have come to know Jessica, particularly in Colorado, know she wanted to go to high school and be a cheerleader! Her mother, a computer geek, was not happy about the choice! Her aunt told the crowd at her service last night, Jessica told her mom, "I will be a cheerleader that likes everyone and will always be kind to everybody."


When I participated in the quilt project with Suzanne and Sue we honored the family of Shannon the four year old from California that lost her battle with cancer. Her parents accepted the quilt as a memory gift and said they were overwhelmed by the kindness so many strangers showed them. They sent us a thank you card with a packet of Forget Me Not's and asked us to plant them in memory of Shannon. I was reminded of that when I heard that Jessica's remains were found. I decided, since purple was her favorite color, that I would plant purple flowers in the Spring of 2013 and honor Jessica and I would plant them next to the flowers for Shannon. It will be a simple garden to remember two lives lost too soon. It will remind me to validate those around me. To carefully respect those I care about and even those I rarely see or some I don't even know. I will make an extra effort to smile or make a kind comment. It is the value we place on those around us that will matter to them. Let's all join together and make an effort to spread kindness everywhere we go. Validate everyone around you with simple comments. You never know who's hearts you might touch.

I hope you stop by Ms. Jenny and visit all the variety of very wonderful, encouraging, silly, helpful and fun V posts very soon.
Rest in peace Jessica, you have touched the hearts  and minds of so many. You are never going to be forgotten. Your vivacious spirit will live forever.

A good character is the best tombstone.  Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered.  Carve your name on hearts, not on marble.  ~Charles H. Spurgeon

 You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Jessica's photo courtesy of ABC and my collection of purple in memory of Jessica are courtesy of  google images. Thank you for sharing and stopping here today.




17 comments:

Denise said...

Good post.

Jen said...

What a wonderful tribute. Yes. There is value in every being and we should never forget that people need to be validated and believed in. Such sweet words to encourage us through even this sad story.

Lola said...

Such a thoughtful post - and great tribute.

Visiting from A-Thursday.

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

I have been following their Facebook page after a FB friend in Colorado posted about her ... so sad ....

JDaniel4's Mom said...

What an amazing tribute!

ArtMuseDog and Carol said...

Powerful and heart warming post ~ ( A Creative Harbor)

thanks for coming by and commenting ^_^

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

I have also been encouraged by this family's grace under difficult circumstances.

Great post...

Sue said...

A touching and meaningful post. Thank you.

=)

VBR said...

Thank you for posting about this sweet child. What is going on in our world that it has now become commonplace to hear about yet another girl being murdered. How do we explain this to our children?

Taylor Kong Boomer said...

thoughtful.

lissa said...

a thoughtful alphabe-thursday. thanks for sharing, it's nice to know people can still touch each other even if they have never met.

have a good day.

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

Thank you for your post. Hearts and prayers to her family and the community. Hopefully, this will be resolved and this predator is caught.

Blessings & Aloha!

Theresa said...

Oh what a sad story! I could say that I would be strong like them but I am afraid I wouldn't be able to! I think that it is horible what happened to this sweet child! Have a blessed day my friend, I will be praying for this family! HUGS!

Cheryl D. said...

That is a parent's worst nightmare. I would certainly NOT handle that situation with grace.

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

What a great post. To be honest, I think I would initially want revenge if I were Jessica's parents. Or at least that would be my first thought, but I think there is already enough anger and hate in the world and I really shouldn't be adding to it. I just don't understand how someone can hurt an innocent child like that, but there are lots of things I don't understand that will hopefully all become clear someday. And then that lady that never showed up at her Starbucks job? My heart goes out to both these families. I love your idea of planting purple flowers in the spring. A well written post.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

This was a beautiful post, Anne. My heart aches for Jessica and her family. I can't imagine what they are going through but it is good to hear that they have faith and that has comforted them in their time of grief.
I love the thought of planting purple flowers for Jessica. I will do the same in Spring!

Jenny said...

Oh Anne.

So much sadness in the world.

It makes me long to be an ostrich again.

Oh, to bury my head and have bad things not to be true.

You have such a compassionate heart.

Bless you, sweetie.

A+