|JENNIFER YOUNG BAYLES, born 13 December 1967, Salt Lake City, Utah, died 18 February 2010, La Crescenta, California.My two boys and I lost our beloved wife and mother, Jennifer Young Bayles, last month, not long after her 42nd birthday and the 7th Anniversary of her first GIST tumor. I am 38 years old and I married Jennifer when I was 22. One of our sons is 11 years old and the other is 9. Nonetheless, I believe all three of us actually feel blessed by our “situation” …
I WAS BLESSED with just over 17 years on the planet with the most amazing woman. I experienced something akin to love at first sight when we met, though I did not tell her that until after we were married because I did not want her to marry me for any wrong reason. In fact, I had to spend several months convincing her I was a good choice to marry! We had an unusual courtship. We laughed, we cried, but mostly we argued. She taught me how to argue. She never lost even though she was always wrong. I had found someone with whom I could speak openly on any topic and we always enjoyed an amazing repartee. During our courtship I thought about going to law school for the first time. (I eventually did, but we should have sent Jen!) Jennifer and I were married just over 11 months after we met, on 18 December 1993, in the Oakland California Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We continued to laugh and cry and argue for the next eight years, until we learned, on Halloween night 2002, that Jennifer had a very large tumor attached to her stomach. The last seven years have been very difficult, but there were many beautiful moments too. We traveled. We went and we did. We did not really “save.” We learned not to care about the unimportant. We have suffered much but we have also known much beauty and joy.
OUR BOYS ARE ALSO BLESSED to have actually known their mother and will always remember her because God gave them 7 more years with her (our younger son was 2 years old when Jennifer had her first tumor removed). They love their mom and miss her exquisitely. They are managing by trying to do well in school and filling their free time with music (piano and trumpet practicing) and athletics (basketball and baseball teams). One has expressed an interest in art lessons.
WE ARE ALL BLESSED that Jennifer left us so many gifts, the best of which are numerous volumes of her Journal. She recorded in her Journal all of her most important life events, thoughts and testimony of God since, from the time she was a little girl, up until 29 January 2010, when she made her last entry in her own hand. She dictated letters to me to each of the boys about that same time and they are special too. Another gift she left us was her artwork. Attached hereto are images of three of her pieces. She never displayed them at home and almost never talked of her art to the boys. She gave up a potential career as a graphic artist to become a wife and mother and perhaps it hurt to think and talk about it. She and I never did. However, as a result of her unselfishness, the boys and I now have the gift and blessing to dress up, frame and display these pieces in our home, reflect on Jennifer’s great talent, and need not view them going forward with the profound sadness that we feel as we view others of her possessions or pictures of her that were on display in our home before she died. In addition, the boys now have an explanation for why each is so talented in art and are inclined towards art and music-they certainly did not inherit such refinements from me.
Thank you for taking the time to read the foregoing and view the attached. I hope YOU WILL FEEL BLESSED therefor. I wish each of you God’s speed and strength as you battle this horrible disease and hope you can find small silver linings in the storm clouds that are each trip to the Dr., and each day that passes as you wait for the results of the next scan. I know a little how all that feels, at least as a caregiver, but like Tommy Trojan, the mascot of the University of Southern California, I know you will “Fight on!”
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