In Appreciation of my Cousin Jen

Today is the one year anniversary of my Cousin Jen’s passing. I know I have written of this lovely woman before and yet, I went searching my archives and didn’t get the hits I expected. Is this because she is so much in my heart and so alive in my memories that I just think I have written of her before?

I received an email from her sister before I could begin this post with a poem that captures a taste of Jen. It is hard to convey another person’s Soul, especially if their impact on you was as huge as Jen’s. She had dark hair and brown eyes and the warmest smile. She had mischievous eyes that invited you to share the joy of life and the laughter in the moment. We were close at different times over the years. Was it coincidence that the day her book was published, her sister (again! that marvelous woman) wrote a few of us to share that Jen’s book had just debuted on Amazon? I no longer had Jen’s email, but out of love and curiosity instantly clicked on the site and yes, there she was. The title of the book was Views from a Celestial Bridge. You can read the reviews yourself and see she comes across the pages she penned with such love and care. It is a physical representation I can hold of my Jen and serves as a clear bellweather for me when I need her sage advice and wisdom. Mind, she’s giving me that magical grin as I write this.

We had two months of daily emails, sometimes four or five a day. And I have them to hold and to visit with my cousin. It was within those emails and the swapping of stories, the catching up on our lives that Cousin Jen urged me to think of beginning a blog and for whom I owe a great debt of gratitude for the ongoing joy this blog brings me. Thank You, God for bringing us back together before she left to join you. Just before posting, I got permission to reprint her sister’s salute in memory of Jen:

Springtime sweetness
Flowers a bloom
Butterflies flitting
Doves cooing
Birds on a wire
Our sights lifted higher
You are gone from our midst
But ever remain in our minds and hearts
O Jenny, Dear
Has it really been a year?
The twinkling eyes and luscious laughter
A smile that so broad and wide
So rich in positive grace
You left us much to aspire to be
With Mom and Dad now
You can all continue to pray for us
We will love you all the way to heaven…

Rest in Joy! May 1, 2012 Jeanette Ann Totoonchie/Romano


20 thoughts on “In Appreciation of my Cousin Jen

  1. Stunning picture, so sad that such a beautiful, talented, inspiring person was taken so young.


  2. Hunt, Your cousin Jen must have been one very special person. Your remembrance of her, and the homage clearly came from your heart and love for her. I know this is late, but my heart still goes out to you. Take care, Bill


    • Never too late, Bill. This site would not have happened if I didn’t believe in my cousin. She got me into more trouble based on my belief in her…! Laughter – always good outcomes though!


  3. Hello,
    I was so sorry to hear of Jen’s passing. I went to school with her from grades one thru twelve. She lived around the corner from me. I asked one of our mutual friends if she new that Jen had passed, and she did not. I am just writing to let you know that I was glad that I came upon your site, because I also lost touch with her when she married Bill and moved. My Sympathy to you, Mary, Peter, Margie and the rest of the family. Would you mind if I asked what Jen passed from? I will let some of her old school friends know.


    • Judy, welcome. I apologize for the delay – I thought I’d responded and then saw you in my to be approved area. Jen had had two brushes with breast cancer. The second was complicated by pneumonia and, if I am recalling correctly, she simply did not have the wherewithal to fight both the cancer and the pneumonia. I hope you got a chance to read her book. It is excellent and so Jenny.


      • Thank you for the reply. My prayers are with her and her family. I did not read her book, but I will make a point to get a copy, and read it. Again I am so sorry to hear of her illness and death. Writing must run in the family because I find your site very interesting, and Mary’s poem for Jen is very good. God Bless All of You, and again Thank you for getting back with me. I will let our other classmates know of her illness and death.


        • Judy, I think you will enjoy Jen’s writing and it is, as was Jen, a feel good book. It was Jen who pushed me to begin a blog. I trust in her so much, I followed thru. 🙂 ❤ It was actually her sister, Margie, who wrote that poem. God bless you.


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