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A Somber Day

Yesterday was an interesting day. . . I had been looking forward to it because Sterling and I had planned my first outside-of-the-arena ride since my accident. We’d been watching the weather forecast, and the day was supposed to be beautiful—temps in the sixties. Then it was supposed to get overcast and rainy starting today. We knew the window of opportunity was narrow, and yesterday was the day.

So we planned it and I was looking forward to it.

Then we got a call yesterday morning that my sweet niece Jayci  passed away.

While the news about Jayci didn’t change our riding plans, it certainly made the mood a little more somber, and I was hesitant to blog about the ride because Jayci’s life and death is certainly much more important.

After thinking about it, I decided both are worth mentioning.

The ride was a milestone for me, and one I want to remember. And since this blog really is my personal history, I want it recorded. I got in and out of the saddle all by myself, we rode around (even trotted a bit), and I absolutely enjoyed being back on Kadie. I was, understandably, a little nervous but not scared. And Sterling kept everything safe and conservative; I even told him that we could go faster, but he said no. I’m sure we’ll step up the speed a little in the future. . .

It was a gorgeous day, and I reflected throughout the day on how important it is to enjoy each moment, to spend time with our loved ones, and to live our lives with as few regrets as possible. Jayci touched so many people in her short life, and I’m grateful for the lessons I learned from her.

Sterling and I, and several of the girls and their families, will be going to southern Utah this weekend for the funeral. We were actually planning on going down anyway for some much-anticipated family time, and this will be an opportunity to spend time with our extended family as well. I’m sure I’ll blog about that too.

In the meantime, thank you for your sweet thoughts about Jayci and your continued prayers for her family.



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Reader Comments (12)


What a brave young woman Jayci was! I caught up on some of your posts yesterday and read about her in your blog and then checked out the Caring Bridge link and gasped when I realized that she had passed yesterday.

Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this difficult time. May the memories of time spent together and love shared strengthen you during this time. She is no longer in pain and is with our Lord and Savior!

God Bless!
February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCindy Lou
I am so sorry for your loss, Shelli. Please extend my sympathies to your family. Thank you for sharing about your ride... you are so right, we need to cherish each and every moment and every person. Sending hugs!
February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPatty Bennett
I'm so sorry for your family's loss.
February 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterWendie Waldman
I am sorry to hear of the loss of Jacyi, since your first post about her, I had been following all the amazing things she has done, for herself and others, she was one amazing girl in her short time. My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time.
On your day with Kadie that is a great accomplishment for all you have been thru and not to be taken lightly. Always start with the baby steps and glad you reached your goal. Take things slowly yet even though you are feeling stronger and confident, you don't want to have a set back.
Hugs and God Bless
February 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTracy
Shelli- I too have been following Jayci's story on FB as well as in your posts here. What an amazing young lady she was. Although I never met her, she has truly touched my heart and been an inspiration to me. She has been in our prayers. Kanab has truly come together because of this sweet girl. Thank you for sharing her story with us.

Congratulations on your steps of recovery. What a journey that has been for you. It was good to hear of your successful day with Kadie, I am sure Jayci was equally pleased. Please give my love to your family.
February 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLaura Bunting
I'm so very sorry for your loss. Jayci sounds like she was a source of inspiration for many; and, I pray you and your family take comfort from her strength. Cyber hugs to you and your family.
I'm very glad to know that you and Kadie were together for a little jaunt again. I'm sure she was as pleased with the ride as you were. Give her a carrot for me! And, kudos to you for braving this milestone.
February 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJill K. Harris
Hugs to you and your family on the loss of your niece. That's a tough one. And thank you for your previous post, updating us on how grandson Liam and his East Coast family are doing. Hearing about your ride is important to all of us as it is a reminder that we have to keep putting once step in front of the other.
February 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterShauna Mikuliak
I am so blessed by the love that you and Sterling have for each other. The care he has taken of you through out all of this... He is an amazing man and I loved his blog stealing.... updates.... Your message in the new Stamping Success really touched my heart. I'm touched that you do share as freely as you do with all of us.....

Bless you and all your family as you travel and visit this weekend. You all are in my thoughts and prayers....

February 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFaith Gaspar
I am so saddened to hear of Jayci's passing. Her memory will not only remain in the hearts of those close to her but also in the hearts of many who had the chance to hear about her life through you. Your entire family is in my thoughts and prayers"............as for you and Kadie sharing a very important ride together.....you go girls! Glad to hear you are making great strides! You are truly an inspiration in so many ways! You are a blessing to have in my life!
March 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnnMarie Lonas
So very sorry for your family's loss, Shelli. Love and prayers.
March 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMary Knabe
Thank you so much for sharing about Liam and Jayci and yourself. In the process of prayers lifted up, it always helps to have information on how things move forward - not that I can question or second guess the process -no. It just gives some solace to think of the hope that Liam, his mom & dad must feel. The comfort your sister must feelthat Jayci is at peace in His loving arms and the abiding love that you must feel in having Sterling's tender support. You certainly don't have to share these things with us. The fact that you do graces our lives. Vaya con Dios.
March 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDona S
I was so saddened to hear of Jayci's passing. My thoughts go out to you and all of her family during this difficult and heartbreaking time. It really does remind us that each day is precious and we should make the most of it, and it certainly makes you hug your loved ones a little tighter.
March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJodene

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