50 things I love about Jenna

(Thanks Sheye, for the inspiration…)



Those kissable little cheeks. They got kissed several times a day.

Her laughter.

How she’d call her brothers “the guys” or sometimes, “my guys”.

The way her hair curled after a bath.

Reading the same book at bedtime, night after night after night, and the way she’d correct me if I got a word wrong or skipped anything.

Watching Jenna and her daddy greet each  other when he came home from work. There’s just something about a little girl enveloped in her daddy’s bear hug…

The way Jenna’s eyes would grow big when her daddy made the shopping cart go fast.

Jenna and Tom.

Jenna’s bossy tone of voice when she put her brothers in their place. It was something to behold!

Watching Jenna and her best friend Joseph chase each other at church. Jenna often seemed to be in front, and would run with her head turned to see where Joseph was. How she managed to avoid bumping into things, I don’t know.  

Jenna dancing.


Hiding under the bedcovers with Jenna until her brothers or her daddy walked into the room, and then shouting ‘boo!’ at them.

We’d try on clothes every now and then. Jenna would admire her dress in front of the mirror, and then proceed downstairs to show off to her brothers. She’d make a slow, stately entrance, and then sit down in front of them and fluff her dress out, waiting to be noticed.

When Jenna would decide to turn on the charm at the grocery store, and greet everyone in sight.

Jenna’s brothers would indulge her desire to play on the wii by handing her a remote that wasn’t plugged in. She’d press buttons happily, thinking she was really participating in the game.

Surfing the internet with a sleeping muffin across my lap.

Drinking in the beauty and sweetness of Jenna snuggling with her oldest brother, fast asleep.

Having Skype conversations with the family overseas. I was always so proud to show Jenna off. 🙂

Playing hide and seek with Jenna. She’d always return to the same spot to hide. 🙂

Watching her line up her plastic animals along the edge of the bath tub, or along the grout lines on the tile floor.

Laying on the trampoline and watching the aeroplane trace ‘lions’ across the blue sky. Hubby says he and Jenna would count the ‘beards’ (Spanish moss) on the trees whenever they were out on the trampoline together.

Jenna and her pink bike. She was fearless on that thing!

That she was everything girlie.


Watching Jenna clean. She was a cutesie-pie cleaner! She loved wiping my mirrors, or wiping dirty spots on the floor with her spray cleaner and her little cloth.

Jenna and I scooting down the stairs on our hineys, one by one, bumpity-bump, taking that last step with a big  jump! I loved the way she’d smile up at me when we did silly things like this together. That special look is one of the things I treasure the most.

Singing the “hop little bunny song”, Jenna was a very enthusiastic and cute little hopper.

Extra-cuddly days when she wasn’t feeling well and just wanted to be held.

When Jenna would take my picture with those toy princess cameras at the Walmart checkout, telling me how beautiful I was.

Shopping for second hand girlie outfits at half-price on Wednesdays. ( She’d go through the racks as enthusiastically as I did.) Scouring Ebay for bargain designer clothes. Building up a stash of girlie clothes for the muffiny to grow into. Pretty pink items in my laundry basket.

Hearing her say: “You’re my best mama”.

Playing dollhouse.

Watching the muffiny paint – in the buff.

Seeing Jenna and Joseph share a ‘hug and kiss’.


Having a little sleepy Jenna-hand trail across my back in the middle of the night to feel if I was still next to her, and then grow limp as she fell back to sleep.

Playing drums on whatever surface we could find – usually it was pots and pans, the floor, and the kitchen cabinets – all at the same time.

Listening to her sing. Here and  here .

Jenna was irresistably drawn to anything she could balance on. The stone edges of  flower beds, parking lots, the wooden beams at the playground. Watching her balance along these was usually fun, yet sometimes exasperating (when I was in a hurry).

When she would cheerfully inform me that she was going to sleep with her brothers, give me a hug and kiss goodnight, and crawl into their bed, right in the middle between them. I’d peek into their room and find three (sometimes four, when they were smaller and still fit into one bed) smiling faces peeping out from underneath the blanket, like little peas in a pod. Jenna had no intention of going to sleep with her brothers, of course. She simply wanted an extra snuggle with them sometimes.

When I was still nursing her, but trying to wean her, we made a rule that she could only nurse after dark. She’d come to me and ask: “Is it dark yet?” We’d go to inspect the sky through our dormer window, and she’d nearly jump out of her skin with excitement when she saw a dark sky. LOL!

How she’d release a contented sigh, and say: “Mom, it’s a beautiful day…” when she wanted to make conversation but didn’t quite know what to say.

Her beauty.  I know I am a biased mommy, but to me Jenna was The Most Gorgeous Little Girl In The Whole Wide World…ever. I could sometimes just stare at her and drink her in.

The times I told her how delicious she was, asking if I can have just a little taste. At first she took me literally and refused. Later, she knew better but still pretended that it horrified her. (But mom, I’m not food!   … with a big smile on her face…) In her last months with us she’d offer her arm for a nibble and ever so gently nibble me back, telling me I was delicious too.

Jenna tugging on my cheek, my nose, my chin, the skin on my neck, and laughing at the funny sounds I made with each little tug. (I didn’t particularly like this game but I indulged her – thankfully it never lasted long. 🙂 )

Seeing that sweet maternal tilt of her head as she snuggled a soft toy, or a live kitten under her chin.


Walking Morsel, the neighbor’s dog. Jenna LOVED everything about it.

Watching Jenna beg my pastor (who is a real softie) for dum dum pops. She made it hard for anyone to say no.

Sniffing candles at Walmart. She thought they all smelled “like jelly beans.”

Her demanding goodbyes (she wanted her snacks, prepared by me, and served just so, followed by a hug and kiss, before I could leave) and her exuberant greetings when hubby and I arrived home from a night out. (Mommeee, Daddeeee, you’re baaaaack!)

Jenna-hugs, Jenna-cuddles, Jenna-smells, Jenna-talk, Jenna-giggles, everything Jenna…

I love that she still lives. That I can smile into her eyes on her pictures and almost feel her smiling back. I love that sense I get sometimes, when I am doing well and know that I have pleased Jesus, that Jenna approves and cheers me on. I often feel like she is my biggest cheer-leader. I know her daddy feels the same way.


45 responses to “50 things I love about Jenna

  1. I loved how she thought Sarah was a the host on a T.V. show she watched. I loved the way Jenna and Joseph would have to share a hug and kiss before they parted. I loved holding them both in my lap (or arms). I miss her every day, and I too rejoice that she still lives.

  2. Sumi, your gift with words, vivid descriptions, and beautiful photos make Jenna just dance off these pages. You and your family are especially in my prayers today.

    May the precious memories in all of your hearts and the grace and love of our heavenly Father bring you comfort, healing, and peace until you are together with Jenna again, in His presence for all eternity.

    Thank you for sharing this special little girl with us.

  3. What a beautiful tribute list, Sumi.

    I’m holding you close in my heart and prayers today. Many many many many HUGS.

  4. ((((((((Love and Hugs)))))))

  5. Sumi,

    Jenna was awesome and beautiful and missed so much. I just know she is up in heaven dancing right now filled with Jesus and looking down at all of you. Happy that elated that she knows one day you will be back together again. And so very proud of you all.


  6. Sumi,
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful Jenna-girl with us.

  7. Sumi, I bet you could’ve thought of thousands of things…

    I so admire you, and envy you a bit–I don’t know how I would be in your situation. God has blessed you so, and I pray he continues. Thanks so much for sharing Jenna with us.

  8. Precious girl….I am not even her mommy but I think she is absolutely beautiful!! I wish I could literally give you a hug today…tomorrow, maybe my little Joel is being manly and showing Jenna around……thinking and praying for ya!! Your a precious mommy, may the Lord grant peace that passes understanding to your heart and mind…..Oh Sumi, I feel it with you……

  9. Sumi,
    I have thought of you so much lately. I wanted you to know I am praying for you especially today. I love seeing the pictures of Jenna as I always think of Brock and her playing in Heaven. Oh the things they will show us when we get there.
    Praying in Christ,

  10. I wish I knew Jenna. What a precious sweetheart! Her photos can make anyone’s heart smile. 🙂

  11. Ah, Sumi. I got up this morning and thought of little Jenna right away. Today is the one year anniversary, yes? My heart is heavy, and yet light. What an amazing little daughter.

    Oh, how I want all of life to be fair, to make sense. I love your honesty, your writing, your soul. Thank you for putting it out there, and also for allowing us to get to know Jenna.

    I am praying for you all day today, especially.

    I want to delete this comment and start over because it doesn’t convey much of what I want to convey, but I am leaving it. Words just don’t do me any good sometimes.

  12. Did I not do this right? I left a comment but don’t see it.

  13. How she’d release a contented sigh, and say: “Mom, it’s a beautiful day…” when she wanted to make conversation but didn’t quite know what to say.

    This just made me cry. Isn’t the innocence so wonderful? They know they are supposed to say something to make a conversation, they just don’t know what. And that contented little sigh… Agh – crying harder now

  14. Thinking of you today Sumi.
    I love this post. Thank you for sharing your sweet little girl with us. ((hugs))

  15. I woke in the middle of the night and prayed for you. I’ve been praying for you today as well. My heart is breaking for you!!!

    Thank you for giving us a glimpse of Jenna. Your descriptions are so vivid and she is absolutely gorgeous!!!

    I know the Lord is holding you, your husband and your sons even closer today!

    Love you!


  16. I’ve been thinking and praying for you and the hubby ever since I woke up today. I’ll call later and try to stop by before class – if it’s convenient for you.

    . . . missing Jenna too.

  17. I think your Jenna may really be the most beautiful little girl I have ever seen!!! And your list does bring life to these photos, making me know her and you a little better!

  18. I dropped by to give you a cyber-hug and find that you’ve written a beautiful portrait of Jenna. (((((((hugs)))))))

  19. Thinking of you… and your beautiful Jenna!

  20. thank you for sharing Jenna with us.

  21. I am so glad you did this! Thank you for sharing sweet Jenna with us.

  22. I found your blog through another friend. My heart just breaks for you. My husband and I lost our son this past August and can say we understand the pain, but not the exact situation. Your Jenna is especially close to my heart and in my prayers for your peace and confort, since I am a Jenna as well. (ironically my baby pictures look a lot like your Jenna). Our pastor shared with us at our son Carter funeral, that for every tear we shed, God gives us a joy. My prayer for your family is that you will see the Joys that God is giving you through each tear you shed. Our pastor lost his first wife, and understands the pain of loss. He wrote a special book that he calls Trust His Heart. The idea is when we can’t trace God’s hand in the midst of our situations we can always Trust God’s heart! Thanks for sharing you heart with so many others.

  23. Did I already ask you to email me? And have you already done so? My head is in a cloud – but I had some thoughts today and just didn’t want to share them here.


  24. What a beautiful tribute to the gift that God gave you —Jenna! I know He is giving you comfort in the knowledge that she is with Him in such a perfect place. Prayers are with you and being lifted up before His throne on your behalf.

  25. I had to check on you and your family on this, your Jenna’s “Heaven Day.” What a lovely term to celebrate the healing of a perfectly beautiful little girl. I, too, send (((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))). This small gesture is backed by my prayers to the One you all love. May you continue to feel the incredible power of God’s love in the midst of your painful loss. God is so pleased that you are an eloquent witness for Him.

    In Christ’s love, Michal Ann (Lake Forest Park, WA)

  26. there’s no words that can follow such a beautiful tribute…

    will hugs and prayers do?

  27. You painted a beautiful picture of her essence. She was so beautiful, she exuded light and passion and sweetness. My Mommy heart grieves with you today. I am sending postive vibes and many, many hugs and prayers.

    You are amazing. Keep writing. 🙂
    Tricia (sa girl)

  28. Sumi,
    You are a beautiful mother. Your words remind me of the scripture that the Lord’s banner over us is love. That He sings over us every morning… Just as you’ve adored your Jenna, know that the Lord adores you as His daughter too. You are His beloved Sumi and I just know that He looks forward to embracing you in His arms just as you long to hold Jenna in yours.

  29. Still praying….

    (((((((((((((HUGE HUGS))))))))))))))

  30. Been thinking of you all day, Sumi. Much love and prayers, Tressa

  31. Praying for you today. What a precious list of love.

  32. I’m so glad you did this Sumi – all the things we’re sure we’ll remember fifty years from now but what if we don’t? For you to have it recorded is so precious, to share it with all of us is such a gift. I loved getting to know Jenna a little more – her light shines extra bright reading this today.

    (I loved the edible Jenna story – it brought tears to my eyes..)

    Much love,
    Sheye xx

  33. Happy Birthday Jenna…. one year in heaven! Congratulations Sumi, you have completed one year of first’s. I remember the first anniversary of my sons death, it was grueling, painful, full of memories and wishing I could go back just 1 year and 1 day. I liken grief to climbing a mountain… the path is difficult, sometimes treacherous, at times difficult to follow, the longer you climb the air gets thinner, you eventually reach the tree line where you are completely unprotected and all you have to follow are the carons (piles of rock to mark the way). Someone told me once that in the event of a fog, one person has to set out looking for the next caron while the first person stays safely by the first. When the second person finds the caron they call out to their partner until they are together again and then they proceed to the next one. I felt that way in grief often…. I wasn’t sure of the next step, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever see the light of day again, but I could hear my Lord’s voice calling out to me to proceed forward and continue to follow his voice. After a year of difficult climbing and gropping around in the fog, I felt it lift, I suddenly was able to see where I had been and how far I had come. The mountain peak is difficult to get to but you would never have seen the Lord so clearly any other way. It’s worth the climb. I have been praying for you all day that you too will experience God’s loving voice and catch a glimpse of Him, face-to-face, on the top of your own mountain. Jenna IS an incredible creation of God, given as a gift to you (even if it was only for a short time) to enlarge your heart and experience love in a way you never thought possible. I hope my son Adam gets the distinct pleasure of enjoying Jenna’s company in heaven. God bless you!
    In Christ Alone,

  34. You have been in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing Jenna with us like you have. I look forward to meeting her and you someday. (((((HUGS)))))

  35. Thinking of and praying for you today. Your photos and memories are so stingingly beautiful.

  36. Thank you for sharing such intimate and special thoughts. My prayers are with you.

  37. She really was a beautiful little girl!!! ANd i don’t think you’re biased! 🙂
    My daughter is very sick, she has cerebral palsy and I’m so afraid I’ll lose her soon. I find comfort in you and other mom’s that have children in heaven and keeping it together, b/c I am so afraid. I try to enjoy her everyday but I cna’t hold her enough; but I know you understnad how I feel. My blog is private now, but you can email me at vv5059@hotmail.com if you want to read it. GOd bless you sweetie, thinking about Jenna.

  38. Sumi,
    I have never commented before but read your blog often. I found you through Sheye’s blog. You are an amazing woman with so much courage. I am so sorry for your loss. Jenna is absolutely gorgeous. I enjoyed reading everything you love about her. It made my heart heavy and happy all at once.

    God bless!

    Much love from NJ,

  39. You have stayed on my mind and in my prayers this week.

    I loved reading about your beautiful girlie girl. Oh how blessed she was to have such a loving mommy.

    Blessings, sweet Sumi.

  40. The prayers haven’t stopped over here!!!

    Love you!

  41. i will be 60 in july. i have seen many, many little girls in my long years. i have often told you this. jenna is the most exquisite, beautiful little girl i’ve ever seen. i am NOT biased 🙂 God Bless you and your family in special ways ALWAYS, love, jan

  42. I just came across your blog and I wanted to send you my condolences. Your daughter was so beautiful and spirited, I am so sorry for your loss. Please know that we are thinking of you all and praying for your family.

    Liz x

  43. Hi Sumi,

    I poking my head in to check on you and let you know you are in my thoughts and prayers.


  44. Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute…
    you are in my prayers.

  45. Wow that was breathtaking 💜

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