Jesse’s Celebration of Life Video

About this time last year, I was walking down the sloping hill from the cross on the church property toward the lake, a niece on my hip, my kids just in front of me, my nephews, nieces, parents, aunts, uncles and closest friends surrounding me. We were holding lanterns with handwritten messages on them, intending to set them adrift on the lake. It was a sticky, hot, windless September night, and the lanterns refused to drift out beyond the edge of the water where we reclined or stood or sat with knees pulled into chests. Our friend, Fred, was telling people about Jesus as we watched the flickering lights congregate near our feet. When the music began to float toward us, we walked back up to our seats beneath the cross to thank the Lord for Jesse’s life once more.

About this time, 7 years ago, I was standing in the back of a stand alone ER hearing the words “your husband” and “brain cancer” and “I am so sorry” strung together in a single, life-altering sentence. Jesse’s story was woven together with such intentionality. I still marvel at the timing of it all.  From first breath to final breath, from the day of his diagnosis to the day we gathered together to celebrate his life, all of Jesse’s days were held securely in the outstretched arms of Christ. All of my days~all of yours~are held there, too.

If you have not watched it, this is the video of his service. If you have only a few minutes, I recommend watching the portion Jesse recorded a few years before his death, when he still had the ability to speak. I introduce the video of him around the 36 minute mark. Jesse was a gifted communicator, even when brain cancer and all of the surgeries, treatments, seizures and strokes tried to steal away his ability. Give it a watch, friends. You will walk away full to the brim with hope. Thank you all for continuing to come alongside me and mine for such a length of time. There are no words to adequately describe the impact your continued nearness has had on our lives.

4 thoughts on “Jesse’s Celebration of Life Video

Add yours

  1. We don’t know each other personally but I know who you are and we have mutual friends. Thank you for sharing this service. I will carve out time to watch. I greatly admire your strength and I know where it came from. How blessed your children are to have such faithful parents. Please keep writing! You are an expert at it! I pray God’s provision and continued blessing on you and yours. Come Lord Jesus!!!


  2. God bless you sweet one, you and your precious children. I have prayed for you often and will continue. As much as Jesse was a gifted communicator, you are a gifted writer. I look so forward to your days and years ahead to discover the words our Lord inspires you to write, which will in turn inspire us as He sees fit.


  3. Ashley;
    You and your kiddos are in our thoughts and prayers. We been been following y’all’s journey since the very beginning of Jesse’s diagnosis. You are such a gifted writer! Thank you for including us in your journey. We feel like we know y’all. God Bless you! Hug your kiddos a little tighter today, tell them about their Heavenly Father, earthly Father Jesse and how much you love them! We love y’all too!


  4. Ashley and family;
    You and your family continue to be in our prayers after the passing of Jesse. We are sure this is very difficult. God Bless y’all.
    Rob and Robin Crenshsw


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: