Remembering Jen

September 4, 2013

 

I am fortunate enough to be part of an amazing group of women optometrists. We formed a private e-mail group, and we come from around the world. A few are located not far from me, several are in Canada, and we even have a few in Australia. Our conversations range from clinical to political to knitting and recipes. Most of us have met a handful of others, but all of us have not been in the same place at the same time. Even so, we consider ourselves close friends.

Sadly, one of our group recently left this world.

BaileyAlthough I met Dr. Jennifer Galbraith only once in person, I have known her for about 10 years. Jen’s caring and compassion were the biggest thing about her, and they were hard to miss. Her chosen profession was all about helping people, although she’d be quick to tell you that it wasn’t the main reason she chose optometry. She and her husband adopted a teenage boy who had spent much of his life in foster care, in an attempt to provide him with a better life. Her house was filled with a menagerie of animals: several cats, a few dogs (including one big goofball puppy named Wookie), a snake, two guinea pigs, and more. (I’ll always remember the rabbit named Stu. Yes, really.) She volunteered at animal rescues and donated her time to perform eye exams for those who were in need.

Jen also had some very interesting hobbies. I was hoping to feature her in one of our “After 5” segments within the pages of Optometry Times because she did such cool stuff.  She was an avid skydiver and skydiving instructor. Her favorite place to be was in the sky. She also turned out to be quite the craftsman, too. She created handmade pens and beer pulls from wood, acrylic, and other upcycled materials. I have two of her pens, one of which was made with 112 pieces of wood.

She loved a good dark beer, an off-color joke, and gathering with friends.

I prefer to remember Jen with a big grin on her face as she soared down to earth. Blue skies, Jen, blue skies.ODT