Thursday, January 30, 2014


My heart is heavy.  I woke up yesterday and had two messages from friends about another friend, Elle.  "Did you hear about Elle?"  My first thought was 'oh Lord she let someone have it over a New England Patriots comment - she's banned from Facebook'.  Then panic crept in and I knew it had to be bad - someone in her family - something bad.  I hurried to her page and saw post after post and I started to cry.  

On Tuesday, Elle collapsed and passed away.  Forty five years old, a mom, a wife, a doesn't seem possible.  She was just posting about the Grammy's being boring...she can't be gone. 

Elle's blog was one of the first blogs I started to read.  Years ago we became friends.  She made me laugh.  When Andrew was having a hard time and I was falling apart - she would send a kind message or a virtual hug.  Four kids of her own and always had time for others.

Her back and forth with Dawn and Lisa always made me smile.  Her willingness to help anyone at any time was inspiring.  She also had a quick wit and a sharp tongue. 

It's a heartbreaking wake up call.  Yesterday morning, I was more patient with Andrew.  Last night, I sat with him as he sobbed and sobbed because he wasn't learning a foreign language fast enough. He had decided yesterday that he wanted to learn French.  He started with French for an hour and just fell apart.  We then tried Spanish - and for two hours I sat there patiently while he cried and practiced bueno noches and other Spanish phrases.  He cried because he thought he could be fluent in an evening.  Those were his words.  "I want to be fluent."  My nine year old little genius. Because of Elle - I was more patient, I didn't take the iPad away - instead I sat there and enjoyed every moment with him.  

Jim and I were talking yesterday even before the horrible news hit my heart that life is too short.  We decided that we would travel more - and not let the reality of how difficult it is to travel with Andrew deter us.  Life should be lived.  We would be kinder and more patient.  As humans, it is hard to keep up with our commitments and our promises especially to ourselves.  But I promise to do better.

We have started a Facebook page - Friends of Elle to honor our sweet friend. There will be a tribute weekend February 8th and 9th and there has been a fund set up for her family.  Please think about contributing here.   

Elle, I will miss you so.  My prayers and thoughts are with her beautiful family. Please send up a prayer or two for her husband and children.  


Pam said...

That is a beautiful post Jenny. You are right we need to live life to the fullest and take time with our loved ones. In one day I learned so much about life.

Renee Goerger said...

We are all sincerely heartbroken at the loss of our dear friend Elle. She made us laugh and taught us all so much over the years, but no greater lesson that what she taught us all not take any day for granted, to live in each moment, and to be more patient and loving with those in our lives. She will be missed greatly and I will hold her family in my prayers, always.

Stacy Rushton said...

I love this, Jenny. It's hard to take the small inconveniences in life seriously when something like this happens. Puts it all in perspective. Thanks for taking the lead to instigate a tribute weekend for Elle. I know she would have loved EllaAPalooza.

As for Andrew and his language learning, tell him your friend Stacy grew up speaking Spanish as a second language and still hasn't mastered it. In fact, I'm still working on English some days. :) These things take time and practice.

Katrina said...

Great post. I didn't even know her that well and have felt greatly affected by everyone's sentiments about her. My last "banter" with her was about a cute squirrel video a few weeks ago. It's definitely made me think about needing to be more grateful for what I have and love my family while we're all here together.

Katrina said...

And nope, the link here for her PayPal does not work. :( Sorry.

Jenny Hartin said...

Bizarre happenings in paypal links yesterday. I believe this is correct now. I copied it directly from her SIL's post and from the link I used to donate on Tuesday. Let me know.

Jenn said...

Great post and tribute for our dear friend.