Born 23 years ago and named after a whimsical song of love, Jennifer Olson brought magic and humor into the lives of anyone who was fortunate enough to be near her. She was a free-thinking spirit and her impish humor was revealed in her smile.
She grew up in a small, quiet neighborhood of friends in Columbia Falls. Now, 20 years later, the same neighborhood families look out their windows and remember images of Jennifer at play. While her childhood friends built snowmen from new winter snows, Jennifer would be found busily crafting a snow mouse or some other non-traditional sculpture. In the summertime, she would find ways with her friends to brighten a day, whether it was by dressing up like a clown for a bike ride, or climbing a tree and singing “Yellow Submarine” at the top of her lungs.
One time in Honolulu, we had to ride a transit bus to distant terminal for a flight to another island. The bus driver, who barked orders like a drill sergeant, was obviously irritated from the unscheduled overtime due to our late arriving flight. And Jennifer was not feeling well from airsickness of the long flight from Los Angeles. As we sat where the gruff driver directed us, I thought Jennifer was going to get sick as her mouth drew tight and her face tilted down. Then, in a low, rough voice, she mimicked the driver… “Get to the back of the bus! Get to the back of the bus!” She made a proud father smile so many times.
I will never understand why my daughter was taken from me. This is the third time in our lives that Jennifer and I have become separated. And it is the first time that I know that she won’t be coming back. Somewhere in heaven a new angel with twinkling eyes and a little mischief in her smile is once again sitting beside her adoring grandfather.
She and I will be together again sometime. Until then I wonder…