January 15, 2009, my life changed forever. I was informed my beautiful daughter, Jennifer had died.
I feared this day would come and it did. My life changed in an instant, the day Jennifer died.
When I discovered Jennifer was suffering with a disease called Substance Use Disorder/Chronic Addiction, I started contacting doctors, treatment centers, therapists, and faith-based programs. I knew nothing about addiction. I only knew that certain drugs are addictive and that people die from these drugs.
I learned a lot about drugs, addiction, substance treatment and relapse. I learned that people suffering from addiction, often times end up arrested, incarcerated and frequently fail at their attempts to get clean on their own will power. Most need professional help and treatment to recover.
Jennifer was also a single parent to her precious only son, Trey Andrew Reynolds. We became legal guardians for our first grandson, Trey, because his father was not in his life the first 5 1/2 years of his life. Many times, grandparents become legal guardians for their grandchildren, when their parent is suffering with Substance Use Disorder.
Jennifer was more than her disease. She was a beautiful person inside and out. She was a loving mother to her son, she was a loving and caring sister, daughter, granddaughter and friend to many. Her life, her suffering for 13 years with a Substance Use Disorder and her death changed my life.
I prayed many prayers for Jennifer to get the professional help and treatment that she desperately needed. God answers prayers three ways ( Yes, No, Wait). In this case, God answered my prayers with “No”. I did not understand this answer and I still don’t understand it today. I do trust that God is our Creator, The great “I Am” and He is in control of all things, even in the most painful and even in the suffering.
In memory of my daughter, Jennifer, My ministry is to address the very illness that directly resulted in Jennifer’s premature death. The past eight years I have publicly advocated to address: Addiction. Need for Treatment. Improved emergency intervention laws. Drug Prevention. Drug Education.
I have stayed the course for eight years, with The Jennifer Act mission. God has opened doors and lead me to people and places and events that I could have never encountered on my own.
Today, I remember with love, my daughter, Jennifer Marie Reynolds.
Forever and always, my baby she’ll be.
Jennifer Reynolds Mother