Tuesday, May 31, 2011

California-Part 3 {Celebration of Life Memorial}

No, I didn't skip part 2 of California, that was actually Norah and Josiah's Birthday party, I just did it out of order.  You can go here, if you missed reading it.   Ok onto part 3.

Celebration of Life for Carrisa and Darren

This was one of the main reasons for our trip to California.
My mom wanted a special celebration to put Carrisa and Darrens ashes in the Cemetary.  We wanted to remember them, there life, the joy they brought.  My sister Carrisa was gone instantly 6 months ago from a heart condition and My brother Darren died 14 years ago of an inoperable brain tumor (a story I will write about eventually), they were both cremated,  so it felt fitting that they be buried together.


It is hard to explain what it is like losing a sibling..... let alone two.....There is no one on earth like your brother or sister, there is no bond like that of sibling, especially when we all shared the loss of a father.  Sure, when were younger we may have fought over clothes, toys, attention, etc,  but there was a love, a relationship that no one else could/can ever share, no spouse, no parent, no friend, it is a special sibling bond. 

I wish you could have known my brother Darren. He was a servant, completely unselfish, he forever changed our youth group and those that knew him. He loved and served Jesus until his dying day, even when he could only blink his eyes. To watch someone suffer, a 20 year old, and still have incredible faith in the Lord, there is really no greater testimony. There were many people at this memorial just for him. To have people, 14 years after his passing, still come to celebrate his life just tells you the kind of person he was.
I love that his story still lives on 14 years later
Friends remembering Darren


Carrisa's death is still so fresh, sometimes it even feels like she is still here. She wanted so badly to live a life that emulated her brothers. I wish she could have seen and known that she did. Her love for the Lord and people was so evident. She had a contagious joy despite a difficult life.  She touched so many hearts and lives, more than she will ever know.   We shared such a wonderful bond of both being sisters and mommies.  She loved her daughter Norah more than I have ever known a mother to love her child. 

Remembering mommy Carrisa

Time Celebrating

We did a balloon release with notes attached to each balloon for Carrisa and Darren. It was a sweet moment, filled with life and hope in the midst of sadness.

Maya even wrote a note to uncle Darren and Aunt Carrisa......love her





Probably my favorite photo, Norah saying bye bye to mommy........

A place to remember


You may read this blog thinking I have it altogether. I don't. I have some very difficult, alone moments, wondering why half of my family is not on this earth anymore, why they were taken so soon, so many of them. I have hope though, hope that I will see them again someday, that we will be reunited as one family.
I really miss them though


  1. We have hope in the soon return of Christ to carry us away from this world of sorrow, pain, and fear. I know that God is holding you in the palm of His Hand right now, and I praise Him for that. May He continue to uplift your heart and wipe away your tears.

  2. Oh Jenni. You're posts are so full of emotion! I believe that like your sister, you'll never know the way your story, the way you live your life has touched the lives of others. xo kerry

  3. I am honored to know all of you. I am honored to be part of this love story that God is writing. I am honored to touch a heap of glory on earth.

  4. Your dad was more of a brother and friend to me than just the word Cousin. We were close as kids, even though he was 6 yrs. older. God released me from my job just in time to be available to be a part of the "presence team" of Mom Laurie,and Gene's parents, Uncle Richard and Aunt Ruth; Grandma and Grandpa to you. Each week we would rotate shifts so to never leave him alone in the hospital. He was an amazing example of God's triumph in a willing servant's life. Even when the chemo caused blisters on his lips and in his esophogus, he would still croak out hymns to the Lord from his bed. He was a mighty and valiant warrior to the end. I am proud to say he is a part of the legacy of this family and that he passed that to Darren and then Darren's loving example to the rest of his children; while Mom has continued the path of Truth with her children.
    How hard it was to hear the news of Carrissa's passing. But how joyously I knew that she is returning Home to await our coming; joining Dad, brother, Grandparents and waiting for our time. What a glorius reunion that will be Jenny. We have hope in seeing them soon and very soon.
    Thank you again for posting the pics and always your beautiful thoughts. Love to you and family,
    Your Cousin, Francene


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