LONGVIEW, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – Jennifer Williams dedicates her life to children. She’s a wife, mother, foster mom and occupational therapist who helps children with sensory processing issues.
She’s a small business owner, running her own practice, Little Light Pediatric Therapy, in Longview, Texas..
“Jenny came into our life at the perfect time. She was a godsend,” said Michelle Painter, whose son Caleb is a client at Little Light Pediatric Therapy. “We were really hopeless about how to deal with Caleb’s processing disorder and he really lacked a lot of confidence. She improved his life so much and gave him hope and a purpose.”
Jenny is also a photographer for ‘Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.’
“‘Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep’ is a volunteer organization that provides the gift of remembrance photography,” Jenny explained. “We sometimes go into the NICU or labor and delivery. When an infant passes, we are there to step in and take those photos. I’m giving them a gift that they will treasure for the rest of their lives. It’s such a blessing to me.”
“We’re trained labor and delivery nurses so we can handle that aspect, but when it comes to someone losing a child, we don’t always know what to say,” shared Rebecca Maroney, NICU nurse at CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview, Texas.
Jenny helps with that, too. She founded the East Texas chapter of Hope Mommies, which is a Christian organization, providing care boxes for women who experience miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss. The boxes contain a variety of items, including a Bible, books, journal, pampering items, and information on support groups.
Jenny is paying it forward because Hope Mommies was there when she needed comfort nearly eight years ago.
“Ella was our first child, our daughter. I lost her at 36 weeks. It was devastating. You feel so alone at that point. You have an empty car seat. Your arms are empty,” Jenny shared. “A few days after being home from having her, a box showed up on my doorstep and it honestly changed my life.”
Jennifer’s work with grieving mothers not only honors the daughter she lost, but also the older brother she never met.
“It was actually 39 years ago today that we lost our son, our first son. His name was Jacob. We lost him at 32 weeks,” explained Julie Hunt, Jenny’s mother.
Julie had also experienced infant loss. So, when it happened to her daughter, she understood the depth of her sorrow.
“You’re not only grieving for your grandchild but you’re also grieving for your child because you know how hard it’s going to be,” Julie said.
Mother and daughter have traveled parts of their healing journeys together. Julie works alongside Jenny in the Little Light office. They both minister through HOPE Mommies where Julie finds solace in community and literature she didn’t have access to almost four decades ago.
“In 1983 there were no resources. So, I didn’t know a soul who had lost a child at that point,” said Julie. “One of the things I read was you’re never the same. You just learn how to carry on in a different way.”
“You feel less fragile as time goes on,” Jenny said. “But I would never want it to be fully over because her life has shaped mine in ways that I can’t even explain. She changed the trajectory of my life and what I do. Ella’s life was purposed. It may have been a very short life, but it had a purpose.
The purpose of that one small life was to help her mother touch the lives of thousands.