I had absolutely no idea that she was going through this because I hadn’t seen her in 6-and-a-half years prior to her passing. I found out the news on January 21, 2015 while sitting in my English class. Jessica was my babysitter in the summer of 2008, and I formed a strong bond with her; she was like the big sister I never had. She was so much fun to be around – there was a light about her that followed her wherever she went. Jess had the biggest heart and a contagious personality. You couldn’t help but smile around her.
One thing that I will never forget is that she helped me conquer my fear of the diving board (sort of). She reassured me that nothing was going to happen to me, and that I was safe with her. I can vividly remember jumping off and Jess catching me in the water. I will always remember how proud she was of me. To this day, I haven’t jumped off the diving board because Jessica was the only one I trusted in that water.
Jessica was a 5th grade teacher in Chicago, and that’s how I ended up getting in touch with her in Februrary of 2013. That was the last time we ever emailed. I’ve always wanted to be a teacher, so after I found this out, it made me even more motivated to follow my dream of inspiring children the way that she did. I’m officially starting my journey into college and earning my teaching degree, and I feel Jessica everywhere I go. I know how proud of me she is, and I’m confident in the fact that she will be there with me every step I take into my exciting path of education.
I was so blessed to have Jess as a part of my life; she was my hero and the big sister I never had. Now that she is in heaven, she is my guardian angel, too. I miss her every single day, but I know that I will see her in heaven one day. I want to raise as much awareness for colon cancer as possible in her memory, because I know that is what she would want.
We all miss and love you so much, Jess. Fly high my angel.
In Loving Memory story told by Kristin Pollastrini.