Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Phone Call

On Saturday Dec, 11, 2010 I was spending a day at home, crafting, being with family and enjoying a night at the theater watching the movie, Tangled. In fact, I was crafting away with lots of Christmas crafts that I was going to post on my blog.....

I wasn't feeling very good when I went to bed, so I was more restless, I woke up around midnight uncomfortable, I nudged Brett and he mumbled something about missing a phone call. I quickly felt a sense of urgency and asked Brett who called.... As soon as he told me it was a (530) number (northern California, were my family lives) panic set it, my mom doesn't just call at midnight... He began to listen to the message and all I could here was "Carrisa went to heaven.......""


My sister Carrisa was gone.... and it was the last thing in the world I was ever expecting to hear.

I wish I could express that moment, it was one of the worst moments of my life.........
My husband saw me at my rawest, crying and pleading to the Lord "Why God, How God, Why would you do this do our family.......Lord no, how could you....."

I couldn't breathe, I was hyperventilating, my husband was trying to calm me down, but I could not. My husband immediately called my mom and I could here her say was that "Carrisa went to be with Jesus and we don't know why." I didn't know what to do, I had to call someone and it was late, so I called my best friend in California, Sarah. She knew instantly that something was wrong, and she had no words when I told her what happened. I just needed her to listen and I could feel across many miles that she was hurting so deeply for my family and that she loved me.
I was so overwhelmed with emotions, my husband started to get the suitcases while I talked to my brother, Jordan and sister, Danae. All we knew was that Carrisa was just hanging out with her friends, passed out and could not be revived.....

Brett immediately went on the computer and started looking at flights and calling the airlines. Hannah, our roommate got up and immediately started helping, she packed Maya's clothes, food, and went to the store for us. We booked the first flight out of Denver and were in California within 12 hours of Carrisa's passing.... 12 hours too long.
It felt like forever, being at the airport and flying.... I lost control of my emotions so many times, I could not hold back the tears. My sweet Maya was such a wonderful support, she hugged me tight, she told me she loved me and that everything would be ok..... she told me not to be sad. I love her sweet spirit.

Finally home, just to be with my family, all together trying to make sense of it all. Why would God allow a 25 year old to pass away leaving behind a 18 month old daughter? Why would God take another person from our family, it has already been too father, my brother, Brett's mother, my baby......and now Carrisa. What is going on? We tried to piece together what might have happened to her, the Dr. suggested that it might have been something catastrophic like a pulmonary embolism, she may have died before she even hit the floor. And then there was her past history of Kawasaki disease as a young child, which almost took her life when she was 3, but as far as we knew that was resolved (after lots of testing) And then there was the new vitamins she took that night, could that have anything to do with it? And those anxiety attacks she was having, were they really anxiety attacks or something misdiagnosed and more serious? So many questions, yet we won't know for months and we may not know ever... (the autopsy can take up to 8 weeks with all of the lab work)

We used to be a family of 8: Dad, Mom, Darren, Candice, Jenni, Jordan, Carrisa & Danae (birth order). Now it is just us 4 kids, trying to remember what it was like, like to be a whole family, trying not to ever forget them and how they changed our lives.

Despite the questions, I do not question God's love for me or my family, I know he loves us, oh how He loves us..... Why he has chosen our family to endure so much pain and loss is beyond anything I could ever understand. I remember feeling so hurt for my mother and repeating to her over and over on the phone "mom I am so sorry, I am so sorry, I am SO SORRY" and I will never forget what she said, she said "I am so sad and hurt, but I still love God." Not for one second did she waver, she immediately clung to Him for support.

1 Thessalionaians 5:16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

We all slept at my sisters house that night, we just needed to be together


  1. Jenni, your faith, your devotion, your love for God is beautifully amazing. I cry with you. I ask God those questions with you. But I also love God with you. Thank you for sharing your joys and pain with the world. Your heart is seen and impacts many.

    Love you,

  2. I'm so sad for your family. I do not know why God has allowed this either. I miss my friend. :( It is so encouraging and it will be such a testament to others when they see the strong faith of your family, even during the most devastating circumstances. Love you tons. Call or email if you need ANYTHING at all. I miss seeing you and your family already. What a Sweetie Maya is. :) I hope to visit a couple times next year.

  3. Jenni - I am in disbelief that this has happened to your family, and I am so sorry. The way you love God in the midst of sadness and confusion is such a testimony to others. Praying for you and your whole family including your little niece . . love you ..

  4. wow jenni, i am so sorry for your loss! i can't even imagine the pain you are in right now. i am so blessed by your love for the Lord and your mom's love for Him also. praying for you, love you- becca

  5. Jenni, I read this with tears filling my eyes. (This is Brenna J.).. I am so sorry for your loss. I pray you can cling to God despite the lack of understanding. My heart goes out to you...

  6. I have been reading your blog on & off all afternoon. I found you through Embrace the Camera.
    This is so heart-wrenching. But, it is also beautiful to read about your faith & your mother's faith. God is still a good God, even when we CANNOT comprehend.

  7. I am so glad to have found your blog. You really are such an inspiration and really show your strength in your faith. My heart breaks for your family, but I thank God that he used you to show his strength and Grace. Thank you for this.


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