We hike this year in memory and honor of you. We will breathe in the beauty of God’s creation, bask in the warmth of the sun, stop and take in all the life this journey will offer us, and we will make a beautiful bouquet with all the colors we possibly can. We will not take this opportunity for granted; we will absorb the comradery of our team and the beauty that we will behold the same way you would. In honor of you, sweet girl. In honor of you.
God entrusted you – His Daughter – and your sweet Scarlett to our care for a portion of your life journey and we are so thankful for this honor and privilege. We witnessed transformation from the inside out in your life and a JOY well up inside of you that spilled out on all who knew you and loved you. You saw everything in three-dimensional, vibrant color. You saw life in death; joy in sorrow; forgiveness in hate; victory in defeat; hope in despair; glory in shame. You taught fear a lesson and overcame mountains of difficulty that the enemy of your soul had convinced you that you would never overcome.
Jessica, so much love and good was in you. You were a bouquet of flowers and everything sunshine and rainbows. You made a rich deposit in our lives and you will always hold such a special place in our hearts. We are so thankful for the gift of YOU!
Oh, and the tree in the backyard of Beauty for Ashes will always be YOUR tree. It has a beautiful bench built around it in your memory and it’s one of our favorite places to sit and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation…just like it was yours. We love you and miss you so, but we will see you again, sweet girl!
In Memory of Jessica Grosvalet
9/5/1991 – 9/10/2020
Gleaned from Branden Grosvalet’s beautiful eulogy
Jessica Jolie Grosvalet was born in Mineola, NY on 9/5/1991. She grew up in Waldorf, MD and last resided in and around Lynchburg, VA. Jessica’s immediate family include her children - Tony, Scarlett, Emma, and Jackson. Jessica had two brothers - Branden and Alfred, and three sisters - Julie, Claire, and Mary Beth. Her mother was Cindy Horn. Her father was Bryon Grosvalet, and her stepfather was Alfred Horn. Her family were near and dear to Jessica and played a central familial role in her life.
One of Jessica’s favorite things to do was to wake up early before the kids, make a cup of coffee, sit outside, and listen to the birds sing. She said it gave her soul so much peace and happiness. The most important relationships in her life were with her children; they had a special bond and she was happiest in life when she played with them.
Jessica was the sole person in the family with natural artistic talent. She drew amazing lifelike portraits. Jessica loved animals and was known for bringing “stray” dogs from the neighborhood home only to find out that they had owners.
When Jessica moved to Virginia, she discovered a love for hiking. When she reached the summit of mountain peaks like Sharp Top and others in the Blue Ridge Mountains, she’d go out on the edge of a great boulder, lift her arms upward, survey the majestic view, and embrace the mountain breezes from on high.
My personal favorite memory of Jessica’s happiness will always be the moment after she was baptized during the re-dedication of her life to Jesus at the conclusion of her stay at Beauty for Ashes. I remember Jessica standing on the lakeshore, her clothes dripping wet, with tears in her eyes and emotion in her voice as she declared, “I’m just so happy.” This moment is so poignant in my mind because it was so genuine.
Jessica had such a strong bond with her savior, Jesus Christ, in whom she trusted with every ounce of her soul. All throughout her life the Spirit of the Lord called her patiently, lovingly, earnestly, sticking beside her and protecting her throughout all her many trials, comforting her in her many sorrows, and rejoicing with her during times of jubilation.
Jessica would want to be remembered by her resiliency and Christian faith. She was dealt a lot of struggles in life but was able to be an overcomer in the end. At the end of her life, Jessica had been reaching out to God more than ever. She loved God’s word and was not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. On her Facebook page, Jessica’s biography included the title, “Daughter of the King,” and many of her final posts were about scriptures, including her favorite scripture, Psalm 121.
Jessica would want to be remembered by her patience. She had the divine gift of patience. She never raised her voice at her kids and would play with them for hours. When Tony would ask Jessica to play, she would drop everything to play with him. Jessica would also respond to Emma’s cries and Scarlett’s moments of mischief with great placidity. Her voice was always calm and had an almost ‘singsong’ intonation when she would speak to her children. You could never gather that she was ever truly angry at her children because she would respond so calmly to them.
Jessica would also want to be remembered as a peacemaker and as a person who extended forgiveness unconditionally. There were persons who had mistreated Jessica in life, but Jessica never held grudges against them. Jessica always wanted to extend the olive branch and make peace. Even though she was hurt, she forgave those who wronged her.
All these virtues: her patience, her resiliency in her faith, and her desire to have peace with everyone are virtues which are fruits of the Spirit as described in Scripture. We should all strive to emulate these virtues of Jessica’s as we live out the remaining course of our lives.
Jessica, you were loved by so many. You gave us so much joy as a friend, sister, daughter, granddaughter, niece, and mother. We love you now and forever, and we cannot wait to be reunited with you in Heaven one day.
Say hello to Jackson, Nanna, Uncle Gary, Aunt Lauri, and all the other dear loved ones who have gone before. We will see you soon.