28 07 2010

My sweet daughter and I have been at Hershey Medical Center for over two weeks and there is no telling how much longer we will be here.  She will not come home, so I will not leave her.  I know this is where I belong now, but I am homesick.

I am struck by how deeply I miss my house, my yard, my studio – how much I want to go home.  At the same time, I am crushed at the thought of how sad it will be to return without my Jessica. How will that place ever feel like home again?

My house will feel like home because Jessie chose it.  “She wants a fireplace, stairs, and a bubbling tub.”  She has cooked with me in the kitchen; tossed laundry onto Daddy’s head from the landing; painted pictures, rocks, faces, and fingernails at the table; overflowed the Jacuzzi with bath bubbles; run me up those stairs every night until I thought my legs would fall off to respond to her requests for band-aids, water bottle, music, Chuck (her guinea pig), a drink  .  .  .  “Mommy’s coming, Big Girl.” She even inspired my friend Linda Billet to hide a secret butterfly for her in the custom mosaic fireplace surround Jessie “helped” her install earlier this year.

My yard will feel like home because Jessie loves it.  She and I have spent hours swinging on the front porch, surveying the landscape, watching the bugs, waving at the neighbors.  She has helped me shop for plants and heckled me while I worked up a sweat planting them.  The fish in our backyard pond have kissed her fingers and made her giggle.  She even “convinced” me that inflatable yard decorations are essential for Christmas – and Easter, and Thanksgiving, and Halloween.

My studio will feel like home because Jessie will, as she always has, inspire me to create beautiful things.  Her spirit, her joy, her exuberance, her tenacity, and her tenderness will continue to influence everything I do.  I will not lose my Jessica.  She has made me who I am. She is of me and with me forever.

Jessica has loved home.  We have loved her.  I want to go home.




8 responses

28 07 2010
Margie Fultz

My heart is breaking for you, yet you inspire me with your courage, your love, your absolute strength of will. I carry you and Jess is my heart.

28 07 2010
Diane McLauchlan

I love the memories and images you have shared with us. Thank you.

28 07 2010
Linda Hoffer


Reading your posting took me back so many years ago when I too stood by my childs bedside and knew the only way I would bring her home would be in my heart. Almost 38 years later I still feel blessed to have know such a special child. Now I have been blessed to know Jessie and you. Both of you are truly an inspiration to me and are in my heart and thoughts daily.


28 07 2010

You have every right to be angry and bitter but yet you choose to be thoughtful and inspirational. You are truly a beautiful person and that is why Jess is. She comes from good stock!

28 07 2010
Bobbi Bassett

I stand in awe of you and Jess!

28 07 2010

very beautiful writing paula, and i agree with your other friends that you are indeed a rare and beautiful person. surely jessie has had the best possible life with you and ken as her parents. it was wonderful to see you all and i hope to do so again. i’ll try to download the pix i took and get them to you asap. take care of yourself cuz she still needs you to, and you need to carry on on her behalf when she leaves this dimension for another. love to you all.

29 07 2010

My heart aches for you and Ken. I am very sorry that I did not have the pleasure of meeting your Jessie but am grateful for you letting me know her thru’ your writings. You have a gift for writing. And you have such a tender, thoughtful, and appreciative way about you. I love your memories of Jessie in her house and yard. It is obvious she brought you great joy but you inspired her also as she was encouraged to express herself and enjoy her world.
Strength and Peace of Mind to all of you.
Love, Janice

1 08 2010

I haven’t written because I know that nothing I say will help, other than I am thinking of you.

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