Read personal stories from our founder and Jennifer's mommy, Libby, along with other Warrior Moms and news from our Unravel team.

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Rake to the Face

February 10, 2023

Can you imagine that? A rake to the face. Just walking along and you take a step and smack .. before you even know what happened you get hit with a rake to the face.

We’ve been busy lately.. homeschooling, sports, theatre, Unravel and just normal life. So I haven’t taken the time to hurt.

And guilt.

Because these 4 little loves I am lucky enough to share all my hours with. They notice so much .. and they pay attention. Much of their younger years they heard and felt my pain.. But that’s what they knew and thats how they also lived. Crying was part of their own daily communication.. now they are older. Now they hurt for me. Now they worry for me and about me. So I try harder to not give them the burden of my sorrow.

in the sunset .. near the water..

but i remember you.. please know you are never forgotten

This fine line.. this tightrope I balance on.. Them. My 4 living loves and the one who isn’t here.. It’s hard because she is still my little girl.. and I can’t help it. I worry for her too.. I worry for how she feels.. I know. Of course I know. .. I shared before the depths that I know, she is ok.. ..(Read this. Know what I know with me)

but she is still my little girl..

And I am terrified she feels forgotten. I failed her then. I worry if I am failing her now.

I know it doesn’t make sense. But I share. Because if someone else reads this and understands I hope it helps to know they aren’t alone.

So I make the choice to not feel it.. until I can’t. Until.. a rake to the face. A text .. telling me Bridgey got on the team she wanted for little league. I was so excited to tell her ..


I was brought back to the same moment. A message from a friend telling me Jennifer was on her team. The team we hoped for.

I stopped midstep.. Rake to the face. .. crying before my mind even caught up. I grabbed a shirt and held it to my mouth. . to try to stifle the sound coming out of me. Suddenly I was back .. I remembered the video we took to send to Daddy to tell him she got on the team she was hoping for. I remembered the bedroom..I was back. Just for a moment. One text hurtled me back.

But it was a happy moment.

I can’t even explain why I cried. .. it just hurt. I ached physically at the memory and the missing. A visceral yearn.

I haven’t been the same since. I’ve felt fragile. I’ve felt .. thin. Memories fighting to break through. .. of her the real her.

But I remember . she was so tiny.. so impossibly thin.. I remember the feel of her body against mine. .. Every bone visible . .. bangs that needed to be cut..

i miss you. i miss you. i miss you.

As these babies grow.. When i remember her like I did as my little leauger.. She seems so young. My oldest. Their big sister. Maybe that’s why it breaks me apart. Because if I allow her to be 6. For my younger 4 to all have outgrown her.. Well then I have to admit she is gone.

I cant.

How the fuck cant i?

So I am stuck. Im in a loop. In the memories of her suffering.. Dying. So grown. My Jennifer Lynn matured years beyond me through her illness.. This is the girl I talk to now.. that I ask for help. .. For support.

My beyond 6-year-old.. My ethereal baby girl..

She suffered so damn much. I hate thinking about her like that.. but I do it anyways.. The first anniversary I wrote about it. .. And nothing is changed… except perhaps I know why now.

Because if I remember her like I did finding out about her team. As my little healthy girl.. Then I have to remember too she is gone. It is impossible for me to accept it still.. maybe perhaps ever. So I am choosing this loop of her final days.. those 3 1/2 months of cancer as the girl I remember because she grew .. she changed so much over those days and nights. .. Matured in ways I honestly didnt even know were possible. .. But still my baby. Still my little girl. More than I lifetime lived in 107 days..

your lifetime

my precious girl

im so so sorry

…until there is a cure..

  1. Debbie Price says:

    She is not forgotten. I remember her everyday as I look at the little star stick residing on my nightstand I saved from a long ago Gala. She lives on in the work Unravel continues to do and one day, because of Jennifer and you, a cure WILL be found. Lastly, as you are kind to those traveling similar roads as you and Jennifer, remember to be kind to yourself.

  2. Zuzana says:

    Your Jennifer is not forgotten. You shared your deepest feelings on the journey of her illness and the years after, and created such an awareness of the lack of cure and research for DIPG that noone else ever did. Jennifer is a big part of that and is remembered by all who knew her and also the ones who didn’t, like me. You have a beautiful family and are a good mom to all your 5 children. She knows that too.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Your beautiful girl. I have read everything everything and walk away from it it all with compassion for my own family. No into yes. Time together. Little things that don’t matter. Jennifer has made such a difference because you shared her with the world.

    I pray in your hours of need you find comfort in your knowing of her now – pain free ins place we all long to go to. Your Jennifer didn’t deserve this – but her life had real true meaning and she has left a legacy that most people will never ever have.

    Take care Libby. Years ago just after she died – you used to say you’d worry people would forget. I didn’t. I never will and I’m active and hope to be more active with donations in the future.

    Because of you and your sweet Jennifer.

    Take such good care

    Bless you and your beautiful family.

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