Poem and tears spur memories
A photo of the acrostic poem, written by Anne Sverchek, sits on the kitchen table of Mary andRobert Brown's house.
Mary Brown sat at the kitchen table recently, looking over old photographs of her daughter Jennifer, who was killed last year while teaching in Qatar.
She stopped at one particular frame, and through tears, read aloud the words written on the framed piece of paper.
Navigator of her own life
Nerved ... showed courage and strength of conviction
Inquisitive ... always wanted to learn
Friend ... loyal, helpful and true
Eager ... to share her talents to help others
Religious ... loved and lived her faith.
In memory of Jennifer Brown, a wonderful and true friend to us.
The poem, formally called an acrostic poem, was written by Anne Sverchek, a friend who knew that Jennifer would appreciate such work.
"That would have been something she would have done with her students as an elementary teacher," Anne said via telephone recently. "That's why I did that for them."
Anne and her husband Mark met Jenn years ago when she was their baby sitter.
As the years went by, and their children grew, the couple's friendship with the Jim Thorpe native blossomed.
"She was a wonderful person," Anne said. "It just seems so surreal that she is not here, that this happened. Everyone misses seeing her."
"She was a lovely person," Mark added. "Her murder was a horrific crime and hit all of us hard. We just hope and pray that her family finds resolution and gets to the bottom of what actually happened."
Lisa Lux, who has known Jenn since 1991 when she was recommended as a baby sitter for Lux's oldest son, also reminisced about her friend.
"I've come to realize things don't always happen for a reason," she said. "In fact, I believe we can make ourselves crazy trying to find a reason when there isn't one. Jenn's death was a terrible, senseless tragedy. But it has helped to remember who she was and what she stood for.
"She was a strong, independent woman who had a curiosity about the world and a love of learning. Her life was dedicated to children and teaching. I think that is probably the best legacy any of us can leave on this earth. And that is what I focus on when I think of Jenn."
As the one-year anniversary of Jenn's murder arrives, her family and friends are still remembering the woman who touched so many lives through her love to help others.
Jennifer Brown may be gone, but she will never be forgotten.