Jennifer Rene Grote February 21, 1981 - June 2, 2011The first time I met you was in August of 2004. Your smile caught me right away. It was contagious! I came to night shift pretty soon after coming back to work in Bowling Green. We were on the same weekend. And at night, we were on the same holiday rotation. Pam, you, me, Missy, Linda....then you went to day shift. That was good for you because the Lupus had been diagnosed. It was difficult for you and you struggled with your meds, doctor visits, those white gloves and that scarf.....then you were well enough to risk going off your meds to get Aubrey. That day came and she was born. We were elated! Then you had complications and we were all afraid. Chad was like a rock. He said, God has a plan. We will have to accept whatever that plan is. It will be OK. I admired his faith. I thought, I don't know if I was the one facing that if I could be that strong. Little did I know that very thought would be tested.
But you had more to do. We got to keep you! After you came back to work, you seemed to be doing OK. Then after a while, you were so tired. You had to cut back to 2 days a week. You never complained. Not even once. You could care for the sickest person we had in the unit and that person and their family never knew how you felt. Your co-workers didn't really know. And we held hands a lot when your fingers were so purple. (That was because I was always too hot! because I'm old!) I cherish those memories.
Then we noticed you were a bit short of breath sometimes. We worried.
Then Rick got sick and I saw you less because I was otherwise occupied. But you came to see me and sent me cards which I still have and will cherish forever. As sick as you were, you were thinking of others just the way you always did.......Rick went on home and after a while I came back to work. That Sunday night we were walking to the car. I remember asking you why you were so short of breath. I thought I would have to carry you and we'd both be in trouble haha. But I was so concerned because you could not walk and talk at the same time. I was so afraid you would have PH. I was afraid to say it out loud. I don't know if you were afraid of that too but I had taken care of some beautiful young women with it and I was afraid for you. I said to you when was your next rheumatology appointment. You told me it was Tuesday. I said for you not to leave Vandy without knowing why you couldn't walk and talk and breathe at the same time. I was working when you called me with the news. I was so afraid but didn't want to show it. I called all of us around and told everyone what you had just shared. We held hands and said a prayer for you, one of many I know went up to Heaven on your behalf.
It would be only about a year later when God said enough My child come on home. You can now breathe with the best of them. You now have a perfect body and you are no longer in pain. You can watch over us and meet us at the gate when our time comes to go home. Look for Rick. He is there. Tell him I love him and miss him terribly. I miss your smile and I miss your humor. I just miss you. God's love is perfect and only He knows His plans for us. Today, we do not understand. We know we are not supposed to question. We are human and can't help it.
I know you would not want us to cry. I can't help it though. I love you and I miss you. I am not alone. There are dozens and dozens of folks who feel the same. And as you watch over us, be patient because we are going to cry. Can't help it. Smile at us, blow us a kiss with those perfect fingers. We will smile when we remember you.
I love you my unrelated daughter.........
Please continue to remember Jenn's family in your prayers. She will be laid to rest in Indiana on Monday. I plan to be there.
I love y'all!
To be continued.............