Tuesday, January 03, 2012

A Heavy Heart

What I am going to tell you is hard to hear. It's sobering. It's sad. It is real.
I met Kim last year through my dear neighbor, Angela. She loved my jewelry, I loved her smile and her enthusiasm and the way she looked at her little girl. I gave her a simple pair of earrings and you'd have thought I just handed her the entire moon...she was like that. She was feisty and bold and funny. She was a mother, a wife, a daughter, and a friend...
She was you. She was me. She was any of us.

Kimberly Jacko and her daughter May 2011
On new years day, she was gone. A snowy road on the way home claimed her life.  A car accident that left her little girl without her mother, and a husband and family and friends drowning in grief. It was the first snow here, and after 8 years of life here, I know all to well, that the first snow always claims lives and injures people. But no one ever thinks....


There is a heaviness here, in this little town...almost like everyone has felt their own mortality smack them in the face.
Including mine. My grief is private, and tears spill in the quiet spaces of my evenings when the house is still. When I look at my young son...my tiny grandson...my husband... My head is reeling with constant thoughts of my brief time with Kimberly, what her family must be going through, the grief her husband must feel...the mental list is endless. And dear Angela, my sweet and kind neighbor, she is beside herself with grief...coming to me with sad eyes that I can hardly bear to see from such a joyous soul. They were good friends. And in her grief, Angela is gathering tangible and useful things from family and friends to take to Kim's husband and family to help. Kim was not only a mother to her and her husbands little girl, but step-mom to her husband's older children as well.
Kim and Angela 2010

Kimberly and Tim's Children 2011 (photograph by Angela)
I am asking of you something simple. Look around you. Count your blessings. Take a breath. Thank God for it. Call your friend. Send the unsent letter. Sing in the grocery store (or sing and dance, as I often do.) LOVE your life. Love the questions. Let go. Choose to be happy.
Kim and Tim
Tell your child you that love them. Call them now. Hug your loved ones...your friends. Make amends. Hold you husband. Your wife. Your family, your friends. Really notice the little things.

Live for women like Kim.

I have always believed in a collective good...that togetherness makes us stronger. That we should try to use our gifts for a better world.This is how I want to honor her on this snowy eve,  and use my gifts to do so. It is all that I have to give. Her family needs the help.

I am asking you to please purchase a raffle ticket. All that it will cost you is one dollar. I am raffling off  a gift certificate for FIFTY DOLLARS worth of merchandise in my shop, Sacred Cake on Etsy.
When you win, I will give you a special code to use for your gifts in the shop. You can use it any time on anything you'd like. EACH DOLLAR YOU DONATE EQUALS ONE TICKET. Each ticket you purchase increases your chances to win.
Peridot green necklace by Sacred Cake
ALSO, There will be SIX MORE lucky winners of a pair of simple, pretty peridot (pale green) crystal drop earrings in remembrance of Kimberly.

Kim's last words on Facebook were these~
"HAPPY NEW YEAR! Live well, be healthy and happy and appreciate all of your blessings!"

I am asking you to help me to help her family in their time of need and grief. Receive something special in return. A chance to win something pretty and a chance to make a difference...a chance to be a part of the collective good in the world.
Please spread the word. Click on the "Share this" in green letters under the post between the comments and the post itself. Then you can easily choose to share on facebook, twitter and a multitude of other ways.
Winners will be drawn on January 31st, for a 50.00 gift certificate and six earring winners. Remember that each dollar you donate equals one raffle ticket in the pot.


  1. It's not about winning a gift certificate...it's simply about helping. ((((Jennifer)))) if I was there I would be holding you and hugging you...for your grief, and for your kind heart and generous spirit.

    Your words have touched me deeply this morning...not just about the sadness of Kim's passing, but about what we need to do every day...to be grateful for all that we are blessed with.

    I know this. You blessed Kim's life out of the goodness of your heart when you gave her those earrings. You did something for her in life that probably meant more to her than she was ever able to express. I believe in angels. Kim knows what you are doing for her family in her spirit and she loves you even more than she did before.

    You my friend are an angel here on earth and a blessing to all who know you. ♥

  2. This is heartbreaking. I've shared this on Facebook and Twitter and I hope that you get a huge response to help Kim's family. You are truly an angel. Many blessings to you!

  3. Sharing as well, I am just so sad reading this post, but the words ring so true, enjoy your life, every moment of it. What a blessing this is, what a loving kind way to reach out and get the word out.
    I will think of Kim and her family, when I see something like this, it stays with me...I guess there is indeed a lesson in that.
    I saw this from Sherry's FB post, and as I said I will post as well.
    Now off to donate, xo.

  4. heartbreaking to read this sad news about your friend..
    thank you, thru this sadness, for reminding us to count each day a blessing.
    i'll share on fb and twitter as well.

  5. Heartbreaking indeed. I am so sorry for the loss of your friend, and my thoughts go out to her family.

  6. My thoughts and prayers are with you and her family and friends. The good news (which no one really wants to hear right now, I know.... is that you WILL see each other again! It's only a temporary and apparent separation, not a REAL one!

  7. oh jennifer, i am so sorry. sorry for you and her family. i will share this and then i am off to tell my husband how much i love him. xo

  8. So often the lights in the world are etinguished and no one ever knows!! how awful for this family- how devastating for the world to have lost the brilliant light that Kim created!! I am so very sorry!! Thank you for sharing her story and honoring her life.

  9. How very sad this is to hear. Such a horrible loss for her family and friends. Jennifer I am deeply sorry and will keep Kim's family in my prayers. Something like this does touch each and everyone of us and yes we need to be thankful and let all our love ones know how very much they mean to us. Such a wonderful thing you are doing for her family.....Bless your Heart...

  10. Crystal Albers03 January, 2012

    What a beautiful story. Kim's husband Tim is my cousin and I appreciate your story and what you are doing to try to help his family. I am so saddened to hear of this loss but I am also saddened that I never had the opportunity to meet my cousins wonderful wife. I know she will be dearly missed. She is now an angel looking down on all of the people that touched her heart. You my friend I guarantee are someone who touched her heart.

  11. Angela Marhanka04 January, 2012

    As the Neighbor of Jennifer I am so blessed to have met you. Jennifer, I thank you so much all you are doing for my Husbands Family. Kim was one of my Best Friend. I miss her so much and thanks to your talents Kim's family is going to get some help in this time of need. I hope all who read this can look at their life and see how wonderful they have it. Life is good, and if its not then change it. Thanks so much I love you Jennifer

  12. Such a precious family! My heart is breaking for them! Sending love & hugs.


  13. Thank you for this post. As her newly sister-in-law it is wonderful to know she has such amazing friends. We will miss her greatly, but we will hold on to her memories forever. We will share them with those who knew her and loved her and then she will never truly be gone.

    -Linda Marie Jacko

  14. I am trying to make a donation, but the donation link doesn't seem to be working. Is it me or is it the link?

  15. Nevermind. I'm sorry! I got it to work.

  16. Yuvonne Rogers04 January, 2012

    Is there anyway to stay out of the raffle or better yet please enter my raffle tickets under Kimberly's daughters name.
    Thank you

  17. I am so sorry to hear of your town's awful loss. I have shared this on my facebook page.
    God Bless all of you as you go through this very sad time.
    My prayers go out to you and her family and friends.

  18. I am really sorry about your loss. Being a coworker of Linda's who has lost a close relative as well I can relate to the sad feelings you must have. Again, truly sorry about your friend. Just know she is in good hands with God and she sees how much love she has and will always have.

  19. yes, tragic!

    What is with all of the jewelry bloogers asking for donations of money all of the time? I have seen at least a half dozen or more lately, starting with Andrew Thornton, who went on a huge gem spree not long after paying his medical bills off...to the gal in OZ, and now this.

    Who asks strangers for money? I never would, my grandparents and parents would be appalled if I allowed someone to seek donations.

    This new fad on the jewelry blogs is really off-putting. One fund raiser..ok, two...ok, but this is just TOO MANY!!!

    Please forgive the anonymous but I could not express this honestly otherwise. I have tried but want to avoid the 146 people who don't agree.

  20. Dear anonymous, I am simply trying to help a family in need.
    Why pick on me?? Am I supposed to know how many other bloggers are raising money for people in need? and that they happen to make jewelry?
    Your use of the phrase, "all the time" is childish. I've been blogging for years and I've never done this.
    How rotten of you to use this blog and this situation as your soap box for your prideful rant? And why be anonymous? Show Yourself.
    If you want to avoid people and real life and tragedy, stay inside and stay off of the computer.
    Real life is messy and there are people out there who need help.
    And I am not just asking people for money! There is a raffle involved that I provide "prizes" for. I have to use my own supplies and my own money and my TIME to create for the winners.
    This sweet woman DIED. This is not about an injured person or an artist who just can't make ends meet. She was the sole provider for this Michigan family and left a husband and FOUR CHILDREN behind.
    WHO CAN PREDICT THAT? You must have the perfect life and your ducks all in a row. GOOD FOR YOU, ANONYMOUS!
    This is Michigan with an unemployment rate of over 10%!
    I am so angry.
    And by the way, I know exactly who you are.

  21. I'm sorry for your loss of this beautiful young lady that a had a lot to offer these world

  22. Thank you Jennifer Valentine. Kim is my beautiful neice. She was happy and beautiful and funny. I hope to never forget the sound of her laugh. We buried her her today.... I would have to say, in my 56 years, this has been the most heartbreaking week of my...and my family's life.
    The words from "anonymous" hurt. The judgement shocks me. This country has gotten very cold... and I don't understand why that has become acceptable to so many??
    Jennifer is trying to do a very unselfish thing. She has gone out of her way to help this sweet family....that is now incomplete.. and broken. I applaude you Jennifer... and thank you from the bottom of our family's heart. Thank you for thinking of others.... Such a beautiful quality.

    Kim's Aunt Molly

  23. jennifer
    i donated but dont include me in the raffle, i just wanna pitch in. cuz thats what we do, we who are blessed with so much good stuff. we help each other because we have empathy, we are kind and we suffer for others when they hurt. its retarded to have to explain this or defend your (charitable, selfless) actions against someone who thinks all this death stuff is 'off-putting'. this death and poverty fad!
    ok, deep breaths. (jesus im fuming)
    gonna go add a link in my blog.

  24. Thank you fanciful...ty ;~)

  25. I donated- but i didn't donate to be in the raffle, I donated because I find myself on the other side of the fence. I know you know my situation, sacred - for other readers, I was recently in a car accident myself only last month, the same accident claimed my mother's life. fancifuldevices set up a donation drive for me, and I'm endless grateful for the outpouring of charity from people I don't know. At first I faltered, not feeling right about it, but then I realised that there were all these people who cared about me, and they were on the other side of the world, not able to do anything for me but share what they had. And that's what anybody does for people in trouble, share what we have.

    My very best to the family left behind, and sincere hope that the money will at least help their day to day life while they tackle the immeasurably difficult time ahead. May they find strength in togetherness.

  26. Without empathy, we're all good for nothing humans. Even after 10 raffles, this would always be a good idea. We all need money, that's the reality.
    Glad to see you here, Sparrow ! ;3

  27. Jennifer,

    I made a donation but there is no need to enter me into the raffle. My heart goes out to the family and little girl who lost her mother. Thank you for organizing this raffle for them, for having a genuine compassionate heart and a willingness to help.

  28. Dear Jennifer,
    What a beautiful way for all of us to share and help in some small way. Although, I did not know your friend, she is me, and I am you - so true!
    Also, I prefer not to be made part of the raffle. Giving for the sake of loving one another is what this is all about.
    It is a blessing that we have this platform to share our support.

  29. Hey friend,
    I'm so sorry to hear this. I've been out of the loop and unfocused. I lost a loved one during the holidays and it has left me reeling a bit. Thank you for your kindness to this family. Sending love to you and the friends and family in pain♥

  30. Jennifer,

    You are an amazing person to do this for Kim's family. Thank you.

    J. Ziemba

  31. I red what happening on Fanciful blog. I am sorry for that. I lost my mom when I was a child and I am feeling very sorry for the little girl. It will be a long way for her. I can't donate to much, but I did some.
    No necessity to include me on the raffle.

  32. Cheryl Braathen21 January, 2012

    I am sorry for the late donation, this is not a good time of year for me also..I did not get the pleasure of knowing Kim, but Molly, Kim's aunt is one of my dearest friends and it breaks my heart that this family had to go through such tragedy. There are no words you can say that will ease the pain and loss.
    My prayers are with Molly and the whole family.


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