I did not know Jessica Ghawi personally, but having read her family’s stories about her, I know I would have liked her. Her memorial service is Saturday, at a church not far from my home. I can’t take her family’s hurt away. I can’t undo what’s been done. But I can honor one of their requests: to share her story and shine a light on the way she lived, not how she died.

As I peeked at Jessica’s Twitter account, her humor made me laugh. Her pictures offered glimpses into her life, and I loved the ones labeled “why I can’t have nice things”. A self described clutz (boy, can I relate!), she still found humor in awkward situations.

She packed a lot of experiences and insight into her life.

I think Jessica said it best on her own blog just last month:”I say all the time that every moment we have to live our life is a blessing. So often I have found myself taking it for granted. Every hug from a family member. Every laugh we share with friends. Even the times of solitude are all blessings. Every second of every day is a gift. After Saturday evening, I know I truly understand how blessed I am for each second I am given.”

In Jessica’s memory, let’s vow to make the most of each moment. To cherish the little things. To laugh and smile more. To celebrate each day, because life truly is a gift.

Please join me in honoring Jessica’s family’s request to shine a light on the stories of the incredible individuals we lost. Share their stories on your blogs and Facebook pages. Let the world know their names and faces; they are the “good guys”, the ones who should be in the spotlight, instead of that other man.

If you would like to help more, one fund you can assist is:
Official Jessica Redfield Sports Journalism Scholarship Fund

If you know of any other funds or ways to help the victims and their families, please leave a comment.

As corny as it is, I repeat this rhyme to myself everyday:
Yesterday is history,
Tomorrow’s a mystery,
Today is a gift
That’s why it’s called the present.

Make the most of your gift.

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