Jun 16, 2008


Lee and Mai

It's a beautiful irony that Jess is fan of the TV series Heroes. If you're not familiar with the show, Heroes, tells the story of seemingly ordinary people living ordinary lives who turn out to possess unusual gifts--they are heroes. The irony is that Jessica herself would have fit right in on that show; you see she is a hero too. And yes, that is an official sneak peak at one of the names on my annual Heroes and Inspirations blog coming up later this summer. And so you'll have to wait until then to find out why Jessica Lee is one of my heroes.

For now, suffice it to say her inspiring courage is just one of the many things I love and will miss about the friend I often referred to simply as "Lee." I will miss her chilled-out, eclectic California cool personality. I will miss her advanced musical taste (I finally sort of like "Float On" by Modest Mouse, mainly cause I'll think of Jess everytime I hear it). I will miss her humble spirit and ready grin. I will miss all those Random blogs about Saipan (okay there weren't that many, but the few she did were so uniquely Lee). I will miss her unassuming yet completely hard-core running style--"Walk slow, run fast" was her motto. I will miss diving and tank swimming with her. I will miss the Heroes and Harry Potter discussions. I will miss having to do at least one "jump" photo every time it's time for a group photo. I will miss her camraderie in the "trenches" of work, commiserating over our challenging ESL students. I will miss the talks we had. In short, I will miss the daily presence of her friendship.

Jess, I admire you so much for how much you gave of yourself this past year. I know it cost you a lot. I know it was hard. But you made it and you made a difference and for that you have my deepest respect. Beyond that, I appreciate you so much for your faithful friendship to me. I hope that friendship will continue to thrive even across the seas and with the passage of time. After all, "some days are better than others," but the days I've known you have definitely been among the better ones.

Godspeed, Lee. You are in our hearts and prayers, always.

Jess and her fellow 4Runners, Mai and Judith, crash at the airport not long before her departure. They'd been awake for more than 24 hours by the time Jess flew out early on the morning of June 10, 2008.

Jess and John Moreno at the airport on the morning of Jess's departure.

Lee with Saipan friends.

Babs, Jess, and Me

Miss ya, Lee! But hey, thank goodness for text messaging, right? :)

Jess jumps into the great unknown. She's not lacking in grit or courage--she'll land on her feet (Photo taken in Palau, May, 2008).

Jessica Lee takes her Long Walk, and in classic Lee style, one final jump.

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