We are all born into this world as a singularly unique light, and that light comes into this plane of existence with hope, aspirations and dreams. Some lights burn more brightly than others, but for all their brilliance they do not last.
Even so, their luminosity extends across regions and chases darkness wherever it shines.
Jessica was just such a light: dazzling, warm, enlightening. And so it is when such a light goes suddenly out that we gasp at the stultifying darkness. We feel sightless and lost as we struggle to adjust to the pall and gloom created by its disappearance. But that darkness is like the death spoken of by Donne in his poem: temporary and futile. For when we close our eyes the light reappears, reborn as the memory of that life that lit up our world.
I thought at first that I would recite the litany of Jessica’s accomplishments but I’ve chosen not to do. For she was so much more than a collection of medals, times run or records set. She was Jessica Sarah Lightheart and she always will be so.
Tonight there is a brilliant light racing along the course of Heaven’s trails blazing the way for all of us who will one day hearken thence. Death be not proud. You have not claimed Jessica, for she lives on. Her eternal light shines within those of us privileged to have bathed in her radiance. Jessica, we will miss you here among us in your lovely earthly form, but your eternal flame will be passed on from one to the other of us for the rest of our days.
You have become immortal.