Patty Craig: A Slice of Time
Boating accidents, much like car wrecks, can be life changing. Recently, our family lost my niece, Jennifer, in a boating accident. She was one of the good ones: loving, kind, generous, forgiving, a part of the glue that held our family together. Jennifer left behind her husband, son and daughter, father and mother, grandmother, siblings and in-laws, nieces and nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins, as well as a host of beloved friends. She is missed.
Jennifer lived 36 years (30 days until she would have been 37), and I have listed thirty-seven things that I will remember about her:
Jennifer’s husband and children were her first priorities.
She loved her extended family and friends and made time for them.
She was proud of and happy with the house she and her husband built.
She believed helping with church activities and the church youth group were important.
Jennifer liked her job and the people with whom she worked.
She enjoyed family time and looked forward to family outings and trips.
Listening to her children was important to her.
She loved flowers – like her mom, especially lilies.
She loved “cousin time” and Saturday mornings at Grandmother’s.
Jennifer checked on her people (phone, text, or visit).
She loved an organized, clean house with the laundry caught up and groceries in the cabinet.
She took pride in watching her children grow, learn and play.
She enjoyed gifting others (flowers, jewelry, etc.).
She enjoyed laughing with coworkers.
Jennifer appreciated a dependable vehicle.
She valued/appreciated honesty, integrity and kindness in her people.
Jennifer loved her dad’s vegetable soup and his hugs.
She enjoyed working with the church youth to prepare food baskets for struggling families.
Jennifer was present for others (moving to a new home, organizing closets and cabinets; picking up groceries or medicine; being present with grief in death, divorce and life’s trials; celebrating births, graduations, weddings, and holidays with family and friends; etc.).
Jennifer noticed and appreciated yards and porches or decks “looking good.”
She put effort into learning how to deal with life’s problems and how to improve herself through biblical truths and godly teaching.
Trips and vacations were anticipated and then looked back on with pleasure.
Jennifer was affectionate.
Jennifer was a cheerleader and a warrior for her loved ones.
She liked comfortable AND pretty clothes – with accessories.
She liked chili in the fall.
She enjoyed books and music that spoke to her.
Jennifer laughed and smiled, and she was beautiful.
She made health a priority and was aware of her personal appearance.
She cared about what happened to her people and within her community.
Jennifer cleaned up messes; she did not make them (literally or figuratively).
She held high standards for herself, but loved with a forgiving heart.
She was respectful of others’ opinions, but did not back down from hard conversations.
She did not create or enjoy “drama”; she preferred peace.
She held herself to a higher standard.
She was honest with herself and with others, doing her best to stand by her word.
Jennifer stepped into the arms of Jesus on July 15, 2021, and life here is not the same.
Accidents often have shocking results. Jennifer would never have chosen to leave her children, husband, family and friends: she loved her life. Our beloved Jennifer will be greatly missed. Rest in peace, Jennifer Nicole Grace Browning (August 14, 1984 – July 15, 2021), for you are loved.
Psalm 116:15 (KJV): “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.”
Proverbs 31:30 (KJV): “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
From an Irish headstone: “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.”