Obituaries » Jennifer Rose Rutkowski-Graziano
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May 15, 1987 - April 30, 2019
Jennifer Rose Rutkowski-Graziano, age 31 and a lifelong Scranton resident, passed away Tuesday evening at Geisinger Community Medical Center after navigating fearlessly through her battle with Cancer.
Born on May 15, 1987, Jennifer was the loving daughter of Debora Krause Smith of Scranton and Anthony Graziano of Carbondale. A graduate of Scranton High School, Class of 2006, she worked in hotel management before having the first of three children. With a strong faith in her Lord and Savior, she was a member of Green Ridge Assembly of God where she helped to seek out those most needing of Jesus in their lives and guide them in His direction.
Despite her life’s brevity, Jennifer certainly leaves both countless memories and a lasting legacy behind with her loved ones. Selfless, kind, humble, spirited, creative, fun-loving, funny and caring are only a few of the adjectives to describe her. Her thoughtfulness was always on full display when she’d give meaningful and creative gifts and greeting cards to those she loved.
She was in-tune with nature, had an innate ability to connect with children and absolutely adored her family, above all. Despite her struggles and limitations, she took every one of life’s challenges in stride while never allowing herself to be bitter; Instead it only served as a motivating tool to make her a stronger person. Her impact on others will last forever.
She is also survived by her three children, Jordan, Kamillah and Cy; her companion, William Bey of Scranton; her siblings, Christopher Rutkowski and wife Dawn, Mark Rutkowski, and Natalie Graziano-Romano and husband Dom, all of Scranton, Melissa Graziano of Old Forge, Matthew Smith, Daniel Smith and Elizabeth Smith, all of Scranton; and many nieces and nephews.
Her family will be forever grateful to all of Jennifer’s family and friends for their unconditional love and support during such a difficult time.
A funeral service is scheduled for Monday at 10:00AM at Green Ridge Assembly of God, 825 Green Ridge Street in Scranton, to be celebrated by Rev. David Twiss, Pastor. Burial will follow at Dunmore Cemetery. Those attending the funeral are asked to go directly to church.
Relatives and friends may pay their respects on Sunday between 4-7:00PM at the Kevin K. Kearney Funeral Home, Inc., 125 North Main Avenue, Scranton.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contibutions may be made in her name to the The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Donor Services c/o P.O. Box 98018
Washington DC 20090-8018.
“My personal Thank You Letter to my cancer that is now in remission! January 3rd 2019
Thank you, Cancer, for changing my life for the better. Ha ha! Bet you thought you couldn’t do that. But you did.
Oh yes, you made me suffer. But you know what, Cancer? I learned a lot about compassion and caring and humanity because of that. I learned to recognize when other people were hurting and needing help.
That changed me for the better for sure, because I care about others so much more than before you came along trying to frighten me. You terrified me, in fact. But because of that, I learned I am stronger than I thought I was. I learned I’m stronger than you, Cancer.
Thank you, Cancer, for giving me patience and fortitude, and gratitude. Thank you for teaching me how to be humble and brave at the same time, for teaching me how to cry out loud and not be ashamed.
Thank you for helping me to understand that it is OK to ask for what I need, and not to feel like a burden to others, especially if they have said, “If there is anything I can do…” I understand it’s OK to lean on others when I needed to, and I can offer kindness in return, too, whenever they need it. And, hopefully, understanding.
Thank you for teaching me how to let go of beliefs, pettiness, and small-minded thinking, and for giving me the opportunity to disconnect myself from things unworthy of my attention. Thank you for teaching me what is important and not to “sweat the small stuff.”
You taught me to research, to get serious about educating myself in every aspect of my diagnosis, of the condition of my health… It was hard to learn all that awful stuff you do, but I learned too, how the body works, how science is always making improvements. I’ve learned there really is hope even in the face of darkness.
Thank you Cancer for teaching me to respect my body, to listen to it, to take the best care of it as possible. I certainly wasn’t doing a good job of that until you came along…
Thank you, Cancer, for teaching me how to face my fear of death, my fear of mutilation, my fear of loss of self-identity…
Thank you for teaching me to not get caught up in frivolities, teaching me that an immaculately clean house is not the most important thing…
Thanks for teaching me that my hair doesn’t have to be “just so,” that I don’t have to be embarrassed about the imperfections of my body or the condition of my skin…
Thank you, Cancer, for showing me that sometimes it is necessary to stop what I’m doing and take inventory of my life to get my priorities in order. Did you know that, Cancer? You taught me how to simplify my life, to not take on more than I could handle, to not allow myself to be so overwhelmed trying to do too much.
Go ahead, Cancer. I know you are going to do your thing. But I’m not cringing. I’m not wishing I could run away. I’m not giving up! I’m going to live my life as fully as possible, whether you are in it or not.
Because there’s one thing I learned on my own, Cancer. There’s one thing I learned how to do by myself. And that is to face you down and take up the challenge, and fight the good fight and keep on going and do the best I can to cherish each moment, whether dark or light.
Because they are MY moments and no one, not even you, Cancer, can take that away from me!
Finally I give ultimate thanks to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ an My Heavenly Father The Most High God. God bless everyone always seek the Love, Light an Grace of God because
It’s only thru God’s Grace I’m alive writing this letter today.”