Where do we begin? Kristin had a smile that lit up her face and eyes that expressed the depth of her emotions. She loved to dance, sing, ride upside-down roller coasters, and write poetry that was often an expression of how she was affected by the death of her father, John, when she was just five years old.
From pre-kindergarten through first grade, she attended Carden Christian Academy and developed a close relationship with her beloved teacher. This positive experience fostered in Kristin a great thirst for knowledge, and she placed academics high on her priority list. Because of this, she was a dedicated straight “A” student. It wasn’t often that Kristin didn’t have her nose in a book, whether it be while riding in the car, walking through the grocery store, or wherever.
Kristin was not one to sit back and be bored. She kept busy with many activities, including dance lessons and competitions, competing in the Cinderella Scholarship Program on a local, state and international level, performing, teaching and choreographing with Kids Unlimited, and her involvement with church youth groups. She enjoyed going to camp in the summer, attending TIP Drum Camp and several church camps. She was looking forward to attending Northern Grace Youth Camp and returning to Grace Youth Camp during the summer of 2001.
Kristin was a vibrant young woman who greatly enjoyed the performing arts. In her 14 years, she participated in dance, theater, and musical performance, studied voice under Carol Sottosanti, Director of Kids Unlimited, learned to play many percussion instruments, her favorite being the marimba, and took immense joy and pride in teaching her skills to others.
Many only-children desire a sibling, and Kristin was no exception. She and her mother, Taryn, decided to become a foster family and they opened up their home to Amber, Tamara and Cheyenne, resulting in the subsequent adoption of her sisters Amber and Cheyenne (Tamara has remained in close contact with the family). The girls have fond memories of Kristin home-schooling them during summer vacations, teaching them how to sing and dance, swim, and ride a bike. By the time she was seven, Kristin decided that she wanted to grow up to be a teacher. In many ways, by the time she was fourteen, she already was.
Tragically, while on the way to a family vacation to Disneyland, a car accident took her life in December of 2000. Her passing has left a void in many hearts.
Our family, like any close family, was devastated by the loss. We built this site to share the joy that Kristin brought to us, to provide a forum where others can share their memories, thoughts and feelings, and hopefully to help others who have suffered a loss like this to know they are not alone.
Inevitably, when we tell of our experience to others, especially those who have children or grandchildren of their own, we hear statements like “I don’t know how you can survive such a tragedy. How do you do it? Where do you find the strength to go on?”
Our personal relationships with Jesus Christ offer us the comfort and strength to go on. We are further blessed to know with certainty that Kristin, based on her personal decision to invite Jesus into her heart, now resides in Heaven with both her Heavenly Father and her earthly father. With Christ, and with the knowledge of where Kristin is now, we have the hope and can look forward to the promise of a joyous family reunion. God is our rock, even on days when it feels like the storm of life will sweep us away.
This doesn’t mean there aren’t days when going to sleep at night or getting out of bed in the morning seems impossible, food just doesn’t matter, guilt and ‘what ifs’ engulf us or when the grief seems just as overwhelming as the day Kristin died.
If you are dealing with similar feelings, or are wondering how you can feel God’s presence, guidance and comfort in your life, let us recommend this resource:
Or if you like, we’d be happy to talk at more length about our relationships with God. Just post a comment to this page and the webmaster will read it. It can remain confidential.
Inspired by God, a family friend wrote this poem for Kristin’s funeral. It is a continual reminder to us of what we look forward to.
She danced with the joy and peace of youth, With beauty and with grace Until one moment the songs of earth Were given a heavenly face She felt the music and began to hear The words the angels sang "Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, The Lamb who was slain." Her Lord, Her God, Her Master Was sitting on His throne His arms were open wide to her, And He spoke to her alone. "Before I formed you in the womb I knew your length of days Your life has been an offering Of song and dance and praise And now I give you a heavenly stage And eternal songs to sing My glory now is yours to share I Am your Holy King Take your place around the throne Your mansions are prepared Your dance will be on My streets of gold No pain or sorrow to bear! The former things are passed away and Life begins anew Well done my child, my faithful one This is my gift to you." She took her place around the throne And joined the angels' song Her joy was full, her heart complete How precious to belong! As she knelt she heard a voice So familiar in its tune This voice had sung her lullabies Of sun and stars and moon The instant their eyes met It was a reunion of the heart Father and daughter embraced again Never again to part Now they dance for a Holy King Their songs are raised on high He gave them life, an eternal gift Their King, their Adonai.
In His Name
December 30, 2000
Sadly, Jennie passed away on March 14, 2013