An ordinary woman with an extraordinary story


Jayden Jones

March 29, 2011

I want you to meet my son, Jayden Lee Jones.  He was born on May 20, 1993.

As a child, I called him my snugglebunny because he loved to curl up beside me.  Jayden brought so much joy into our home, my how he loved to laugh.

He never knew a stranger, and would talk to anyone, no matter where we were, much to his sister embarrassment. He spoke boldly about the Lord, challenging his friends to accept Christ, even before he made the decision for himself in April 2004.

Although he was very ornery, he was also very tenderhearted.  He was always watching out for people who felt left out or alone.  Many of his classmates described him as always smiling, and always being willing to help.

I hope you will enjoy this testimony from one of his classmates.


“I met Jayden when I was in the 3rd grade and at that point in life I had little knowledge of the impact that he would have in my life. Jayden was my first real friend that I made in elementry school. He invited me to my first birthday party I had ever been to. As time grew on Jayden and his family introduced me to Jesus but I was young and did not focus much on it. We stayed good friends until the 6th grade. I started down a path that was headed the wrong way, but Jayden still always said ‘hey Aaron how are you” every day he saw me.

When I was told the news of the accident I could not believe it. I broke down in tears. I had faded away from one the the best friends I had ever had and now I could not regain that connection. He was gone. A few years later I attended a place called Cookson Hills where I learned more about Jesus and his love. Every day I think about Jayden and how he was the first to show the love of Jesus to me. Even though we had total opposite lives, Jayden still loved and saw me as a friend. I see that alot more now that I’m older and every time, it reminds me of going over to his house and having fun with a true friend.”



I still to this day can’t believe he is gone, I still cry and get sad sometimes when I think about about it. But the short little life he lived meant so much to a lot of people. He was always funny and always happy. His little voice reminded me of “Jr. Asparagus” from Veggie Tales, and his heart did too. Big things comes from little people with little vioces like his.
One of the funniest memories I have is him coming to our house (Nessi too-that’s what our littlest at the time called her when she could talk) during the winter with the youth minister. He brought the “new pastor’s” kids with the majority of our youth group to hang out with everyone and get invovled with all of us. Needless to say everyone had a blast sledding at our house. Sledding with the assistance of a giant old car hood, made me nervous as I didn’t know nor had I quite been aquainted with J and Lora yet. After awhile my husband comes in with Rachel (our oldest at the time she was about 4 or 5) and Jayden; they were the youngest and smallest participants that day. Jayden’s. nice, down fluffed/filled coat had been deflated and torn to shreds on one side and his face by his chin was BLEEDING!!!! I had heart failure as soon as I saw them come in the door. Rachel’s face was red like she’d been crying and she was covered in snow. I quickly began FIRST AIDE and checked his eyes, checked for any other signs of trauma,” OH, NO WHAT HAVE WE DONE TO THE PASTOR’S SON!!! THEY’RE GONNA KILL US!” Then I looked at his coat. It was right after Christmas and I had assumed it was a gift, a nice gift at that. I started trying to frantically fix it and ran it through my sewing machine to no avail-it look like a “Frakenstein” coat now with all it’s ugly stitch marks! I don’t remember who called J and Lora or if they just came out to see how it was going. I heard the car pull up. Me, my husband Tracy and the youth minister were a little nervous. They came in and we blurted out what happened. Jayden the whole time never cried, got upset. He looked a little shocked when he first came in from the accident like, “WOW” and “..that was kind of cool”. Before we could say much about the cut on his face he stepped out in front of us, was sooooooo excited to show his Dad. The first thing out of J’s mouth was “Cool”! Jayen said “I know, do you think it will leave a scar?”- he asked that very excitedly. We were so happy to hear those words! WHEW! And Lora giggled at Jayden’s coat that I tried to fix… she told me that it had been given to him and it wasn’t a big deal. At that moment we had a (strange) little connection that we would always have forever. We would always love them like sisters, brothers, or cousins. You have NO IDEA how proud Jayden was of that scar. It did leave a pretty good one.
I didn’t tell you ‘how’ it happened. Jayden and Rachel were so small and light they took off with the sled and went FLYING into the barbed wire fence! All the youth and the two “responsible” adults who saw it said it looked a truck had hit it chicken when Jayden’s coat caught the fence-his downy fluff went everywhere! All was well, everyone was fine. Rachel was un-injured because when they wrecked the sled he grab Rachel and huddled into her really tight which is most likely why she didn’t have a scratch on her. He’d only met Rachel a few hours earlier. He ALWAYS took care of her and included her no matter where we went like a big brother (which he was not, but I think he secretly wanted to be, lol).That was my VERY FIRST encounter ever meeting Jayden and the rest of the Jones family. It was unforgetable. That was a fun day, even if they nearly broke my dryer trying to dry all of their wet clothes before going home.
Mine doesn’t have a “feel” of how did Jayden minister to me necessarily. I have those memories too. But I like this one, it shows him as a regular little kid, not a “preacher’s kid” and not a “preacher’s family”. They were very tangible people, very loveable, very likeable people and they FELT like family! People you could put in your heart and keep forever in ADDITION to being the ‘Pastor and his family’-I don’t think you will find that often. I know I haven’t before or since I knew the Jones family. I love them all and miss them terribly. But I know they are with Jesus and I can imagine Jayden’s cheers are alomost like squeals of joy as he excitedly cheers the rest of us to the prize that waits those of us who believe in Christ Jesus.

I only knew Jayden when he was little maybe 4 or 5, not much older than my son is now. I got to spend my summer of 1997 with him and his family in Grand Island. The one thing that I remember most about him was when he would pray. He would pray so quiet, barely a whisper then scream out AMEN. I thought that was so cool and I think about it often.

I loved to listen to Jayden sing. The sweet high voice that was just starting to change. He always made me smile. I would bring other kids to church with me and Jayden was always the one to make them feel like they belonged. The hardest thing was explaining to those kids that Jayden was gone. BUT, he is not nor will he ever be forgotton. You know its really hard to type through tears.

I went to school with Jayden in 4th grade, in Mrs. Douglas’s class at Washington Elementary. He and I were always put in the lunch line together because we lined up by alphabetical order. He and I were always getting in trouble for talking too much. I remember one day in particular when we were “river dancing” together and he got me sent to the back of the line. I won’t say that Jayden and I were super close, but I considered him to be one of my friends, and one of the most sincere people I’ve ever met. We used to play four-square together at recess, as well. I always remember admiring him, because not only was he good at it, but he was also fair. Everyone cheated in that game, except Jayden. If he got out and no one noticed, he would own up to it, because it was just the right thing to do. When we went to middle school, we had lockers right next to each other, so I always saw him in between classes. It was rather ridiculous, actually. I was a really tall girl and he was an insanely short boy, but he got the top locker and I got the bottom locker. He couldn’t even hardly reach the top! Again, we had alphabetical order to thank for this. I remember we were both running late for class one day and we got into an argument because we were in each others’ way. We had some classes together throughout 6th grade. I remember the Tech class we had. We sat next to each other for part of it. We talked about God sometimes, and I remember one day in particular, I was bored in class and was drawing the three crosses. He was sitting next to me and told me to draw a purple robe draped over the middle one with a crown of thorns, to set it apart from the others and to signify that Jesus had risen. So I did. I kept that drawing many years later until it essentially disintegrated. I also remember we had to give book reports in one class over our favorite books. I will never forget his. It was I, Houdini. It was about a hamster that was an escape artist. We gave those reports shortly before the accident. Afterwards, I found the book in the library, by chance, and remembered his report. I checked the book out and took it home to read. When I did, I found his bookmark in one of the pages and I won’t lie, it made me start weeping. I attended his memorial, as well. When I saw the pictures of him on the video being displayed, I couldn’t stop the tears. I was grateful to get to see him for one last time, even if only in a photo. I still think about him often. He still inspires me, almost ten years later, to be a better person, to be generous, honest, and kind. I am so grateful that I got to meet him and know him, if only for a brief period of time.

I am not sure how to start this comment… I guess I will start with the fact that I realize that this post was from about 3 years ago, but when I saw this post I couldn’t help but comment my own thoughts about Jayden…

Jayden and I were like best friends when I lived in Grand Island, Nebraska. His parents and mine were very close and their whole family seemed to take the place of ours while we were nearly 400 miles away from the only home we had ever known… I was very young when I knew Jayden, but I distinctly remember about three different memories of him… The first memory that comes to my mind (and I have not the slightest clue why) is when he and I were in his room playing cars on a mat he had that looked like a map of a town. I honestly thought that was like the coolest thing I had ever seen and wanted one really badly! I had a blast just playing cars with him. The second memory is when our families were traveling together and we stopped at a river and Jayden and I walked to the edge of a little waterfall and someone took a picture of us… To this day I still have that picture and it means more to me than I ever would have ever imagined a photo would… The third memory that comes to my mind is when his family and mine were over at his house taking Easter Sunday pictures. We sat there as a family and as kids and took pictures in our Sunday best… I also still have these photos and they are very precious to me…. I will always remember my childhood best friend that could always make me laugh and feel loved and accepted!

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