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I have been praying so hard to know what to say in my talk today. Yesterday morning and asked God to let Jessica tell me what she would want everyone to know and help me know what to say so let me tell you about my daughter Jessica Laren Harris. <br />Jessica was perfectly honest with herself. She knew her weaknesses and her strengths. She didn’t hide who she was even when she was not making the correct choices. She didn’t care about what others thought and if you did accept her, she didn’t have much use for you. She always looked for the one the needed attention or was the underdog. She never judged others and always gave people the benefit of the doubt. What a spiritual gift that was. She accepted everyone whether they were black or white or smoke or drank, etc, she was not a respecter of a particular person, she loved you no matter what, well, unless you crossed her but that is another story :-)<br />Jessica watched others closely, especially her mom and dad. She was able to read the hearts of others and know when someone was not being true to themselves.<br />Jessica was a beautiful soul, in a beautiful body who was blessed with great intellect, an amazing sense of humor, a heart of gold for the unfortunate or meek and humble, a sixth sense with a connection to animals and children, and a beautiful smile that lit up the room.<br />Jessica looked like the epitome of perfection from the outside, but inside was a tormented soul who suffered from depression and struggled with the choices that she continuously made from a very young age. There was some kind of misfiring in her brain from trauma at birth that made it very difficult for her to see cause and effect and choice and consequences. Her brain function only comprehended present, “that moment”, and couldn’t see past it. She knew right from wrong but somewhere along the line something wouldn’t click and the messages would get scrambled and she would find herself in some bad situations that ended her up in places that she didn’t belong and didn’t want to be. Her coping skills were completely different from that of a normal child/teenager. From age 12-15 she had struggle after struggle until an miracle happened in one of the facilities she was in and something clicked and she decided from that time she would make something of her life and be who Heavenly Father wanted her to be and make her life what she wanted it to be. She asked for a special blessing from a dear friend of mine Mike Weingarten who gave her the most wonderful blessing of comfort and peace and promised her that if she turned to her Savior, she would find comfort and peace. He promised her that the Atonement would take care of her past and that she would be clean and whole through the Saviors sacrifice.<br />She picked herself up, enrolled in East Shore High School, did 20 packets in 2 months, got a job, started extensive therapy, started going back to church and being the person she wanted to be. The last five months has been a time of maturing for Jessica. She was going to MATC to get her Certified Nursing Assistant Degree and was working at Bel Aire Assisted Living where she absolutely loved her job and loved the residents there. She would come home every time she worked and would be beaming from the time that she spent with those wonderful people. We would laugh so hard together about the funny things they did and said. She would teach them songs and teach them jokes and sayings that were hilarious. <br />Jessica met an amazing man named Joel Hovey. I was very concerned because he was 5 years older than she was. However, I felt a peace that he was in her life for a reason and was helping her become who she wanted to be for a long time through his influence. He taught her that there were men out there that would respect her and love her for who she was and not use her. This was the greatest gift and something she had never experienced before. They had long talks about the gospel and about her testimony in her Savior Jesus Christ. She started going back to church and we had long talks about the spirit and how she was feeling it in her life again.<br />Jessica wanted to be an adult and do her own thing and be independent so badly. She had been confined to rules and punishment for consequences that she felt she didn’t have control and longed for that control of her own life so badly. Jessica’s dad bought her a car and I think she felt that finally she would get that freedom she so desired and get a chance to finally have responsibility and was on her way to independence and adulthood. Unfortunately 2 months after she got her car, she got in a car accident and totaled her car. We only had liability insurance so we couldn’t buy her a new one and she was forced to drive the family van and save for a new car.<br />I personally think this was the time that started to go downhill for Jessica. She was so discouraged and felt that she would never save enough money for a car. I started seeing the depression coming back full force and there were some days that she only got out of bed to go to work or see Joel. Somehow those happy moments sustained her but did not fill her emptiness. Something was brewing inside of her and as her mother who was close to her, I knew something was not right and had trouble sleeping and feeling very uneasy but didn’t know what it was. She started to draw away from me and I couldn’t get through. Her job required her to get her CNA certificate by February 28 or she would be terminated. Because of various circumstances of CPR certification not coming in the mail and her clinical skills classes not being available to attend when she needed to, this did not happen in time and she lost her job. This was devastating for her. Her job and was one of the things that she lived for and when that was gone, this was a huge blow to Jessica’s personal moral. There were some other circumstance that I will not go into that caused her to lose hope. There was too much pain and heartache for one person to bare that had the pain and memories and dysfunction that she had. She couldn’t handle another negative thing happening to her and she gave up hope.<br />As her mother, I have always been able to save her. Every time she has been in trouble or tried to leave this life before, which was several times, the spirit has always told me when she was in danger, always. There has never been a time where I haven’t known when she was in danger. This was puzzling to me because when I was at the Little Miss Lindon Pageant, there was no prompting, there was no urgency to get home, there was no warning, there was nothing. I beat myself up for 2 days doing the woulda, coulda, shoulda’s, and finally the spirit and my loved ones said, “Lisa, you weren’t supposed to save her this time, God was”.<br />Everything transpired in God’s perfect timeframe. I was too late to save her life, but I was early enough to keep her here so that her family and friends could see her one last time and say their final goodbyes.<br />The doctor told us that if I hadn’t been there when I was they would have not been able to revive her. The 24 hours that we had with her are and were hours that each of us will cherish for the rest of our lives.<br />During this time of grief, we have experienced so much healing. We have been able to renew lost friendships, strengthen family ties, and heal struggles that have persisted over many years. During this time of mourning, she has been the angel that has brought us all here today. When we had to make the decision to let her go there was so much pain and heartache, that was instantly replaced with peace that filled our hearts. We knew that it was our Father-in-Heavens will.<br />There was no doubt in our minds that she needed to be with her Heavenly Father and that her mission here was done. She needed to be rid of her pain and suffering from this life and be with her grandma (who she adored) and her Savior who knew exactly what she went through. She will be judged by the one who felt her pain and took upon Him all of her sins. I know His tender mercies will be upon her and she is happy and free. <br />My sister and I and Carolyn Hyde and my hair dresser Kevy had the privilege to dress her, curl her hair, and prepare her for this day. She looked so beautiful and so peaceful. There were tears and much laughter as we tried to dress her. I had someone mention to me that I should buy her a white dress and put her in it. I thought, are you kidding! Jessica hates dresses and would come down to haunt me if I put her in that! So, we decided to put her in her favorite outfit. Those of you who know Jessica, she loves her skin tight jeans. She had one pair that was a little lose that she wouldn’t wear so I decided to pick those instead of her designer jeans. When we tried to pull them up we couldn’t get the past her legs and it was a site! I was pulling on the gurney and Val and Carolyn had a hold of her pants and we just about pulled her off the gurney! Oh we laughed until we cried thinking about what Jessica must have thought watching us struggle with her jeans!! What a sweet peaceful feeling it was to experience her spirit.<br />Jessica and I were very close. We would always have talks and lay on my bed laugh and cry together. There were times when she was so down and she wanted me to sing a song called the Real Me. She would cry as I sang it. It is on her tribute video that her friend made however, I would like to read the words to you now.<br />Foolish heart looks like we're here againSame old game of plastic smileDon't let anybody inHiding my heartache Will this glass house break?How much will they take Before I'm emptyDo I let it show? Does anybody know?But You see the real meHiding in my skinBroken from withinUnveil me completelyI'm loosening my graspThere's no need to mask my frailtyOh, Cause You see the real mePainted on Life is behind a maskSelf-inflicted circus clown<br />I'm tired of the song and danceLiving a charadeAlways on paradeWhat a mess I've made of my existenceBut You love me even nowAnd still I see somehowBut You see the real meHiding in my skin, Broken from withinUnveil me completelyI'm loosening my graspThere's no need to mask my frailtyOh, Cause You see the real meBridge:Wonderful, beautiful Is what You seeWhen You look at meYou're turning the tattered fabric of my life intoA perfect tapestryOh, Cause You see the real meAnd You love me Just as I amWonderful, beautiful Is what You seeWhen You look at me<br />In closing I would like to quote a scripture found in Alma 40:11-12.<br />