My Angel Watches Over Me
by Sam Menchyk
My first visit to Jen's grave on what would have been her 37'th birthday
I was a very good friend of Jennifer’s when we were in our early to mid teens. Her Dad lived in the neighborhood I grew up in. I met Jennifer the in the summer of 1989. I was struck from the moment I met her and we hit it off instantly. Aside from being absolutely stunning, I loved her wit, charm, charisma & spunk. She had a way of cutting right to the chase of things. As a 15 year old boy, she was my first real head over heels crush and the first real love of my life. She touched my life in ways that she probably never knew. I will never forget the time we shared or the clumsy, awkward, young love moments we had. It’s hard to believe how deep the depth of a 15 year old boy’s soul can be. Some things and some people can touch the very core of your being without you even realizing it. Jen touched my life in ways not many have.
Doctors found a brain tumor not long before her 19th birthday. She died 8 months later. THE deepest regret in my life is that I never got to say goodbye to her, or to tell her how much I really cared for her and how much our times together meant to me. I miss her unbelievably. I created this site (www.jenniferkovacik.com) to honor, remember and to say the goodbye I never got to say to her in person. In doing so, I am trying to learn more about her life, the people she touched , things she enjoyed, photos and any stories that anyone is willing to share.
As I said, Jennifer was my first real love. At the age of 14/15 that’s a pretty powerful connection! At the time, I was a bit too shy to let her know my much I liked her. So to take matters into her owns hands, she went as far as asking my mother if I was gay, because I wasn’t NOTICING her enough. That’s what I loved about her, if she wanted something she wasn’t afraid to ask.. and ask in a very direct manner. OH YES, you can bet your bippy I noticed her! She was hard not to notice!
Her way of making sure I noticed her and capturing my heart was asking me to teach her how to play a song on the piano. She wanted to learn Billy Joel’s, Just The Way You Are. I, being an oblivious teenage boy, was too dumb/naive/blind to realize what she was up to at first. I just thought she wanted to learn how to play a song. Once I realized what the song was saying and how she would snuggle up against me on the piano bench.. I knew it would be a special moment that I would remember for the the rest of my life… and the rest is history. It was one of the sweetest things I can remember from my childhood.
To this day, when I hear that song, it can still bring tears to my eyes and takes me back to that exact moment… Goofing off, giggling, making fun of each other and just enjoying being close.
Keeping in touch with those that loved her helps you to know that you are not the only one grieving and the sense of not being alone seems to help. It felt really good to talk with people who knew her and could share stories.. GOD I miss her!