Jessica was 16 years old when she had an unexpected, terrifying grand mal seizure in April 2006. Soon afterwards, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor (anaplastic astrocytoma). Her mom Heide started a caringbridge site, and I followed it closely. Jessica reminded me instantly of my own students. She took countless pictures of herself in the mirror and wrote in a journal and loved her Myspace page and music and drawing and photography.
Jessica turned 17 on June 6, 2007 while she was home on Hospice care. Three days later, she passed away.
After her death, Heide slowly and carefully started reading some of her journal writings and posted some of them on the caringbridge site. Here is one of my favorites.
don't let them sell your life back to you. squander nothing, make your own private monuments, disengage yourself from any love that's driven by fear or security or comfort. stop running after consolation prizes and talking about how bored you are or how disappointi
act on the world that acts upon you and fight without borders or flags, because there's nothing left to lose control over and everything to gain.