“The top ten greatest things about Jill”

Top four words: “That guy’s SO hot!
Never having to worry about filling those awkward pauses in a conversation.
Never having to listen to more than 18 seconds of any song before she changed it.
She thought her little brother was AWESOME.
Secretly knows the words to every Spice Girl’s song.
Had the ability to use the word “LIKE” as a noun, verb and adjective.
Believed that “No Talking in class”( the movies or the library), was a suggestion, rather than a rule.
Receiving a personal thank you note from Verizon Wireless for never having unused minutes.
Always had money for a new purse – but never money to put gas in her car.
When Jill said, “I LOVE YOU,” she meant it.

 Jill’s Dad: David

“Jill’s capacity for love and joy amazed me and inspired me. She loved her teachers, she loved her friends. She loved her brother and all her family. She wanted to marry a man like her father, and she wanted most of all to be a mother someday. She believed in God’s goodness and love because she learned about the nature of God from her father … a child’s first sense of what God might be like develops as a result of the love and care she receives from her parents … If Jill had been in charge, her brother Jonathan would not have died from cancer, her boyfriend Jonathan would not have died beside her, nor would any person have to know the kind of heartbreak we now must live with. If things are as they should be, God chooses his people by merely looking into their hearts. It is my belief, that when God looked upon Jill’s heart, He saw a sweet, small reflection of himself.”

Jill’s Mom: Donna

“Jill was an amazing person. She was always happy, and always looked at the positive side of things. She could make me laugh and could always make my day brighter. She was so cheerful and full of joy … My last words to her were “I love you and I’ll see you later.” Unfortunately, I didn’t see her again. But I’m glad I said I love you because it’s true, and I know everybody else loved her. Jill …we all love you, and you will not be forgotten, I promise.”

Jill’s Brother, Jason, age 13.

“Through all my experiences with Jill, I am always reminded of how fun life is. I always gave her a hard time about her adorable little feet, but now they remind me of what Eleanor Roosevelt once said, ‘Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints on your heart.”

Friend: Joanna

“I remember the day we first met. You were sitting at the top of the slide and the second I spotted you, I claimed you as mine … I’ll never give up the good times with Jill. Jill is everywhere, like the colors of the wind.”

Friend: Alejandra

“I hope Jill knows that she was really the one who guided me through life with her friendship and love. And I will always love her … No matter where my life takes me, my memory and love for Jill will stay strong. I love you Gillian Marie Sabet.”

Friend: Shelley

“Jill could have met you once, but treated you as if she’d know you since kindergarten. She loved everyone and they all loved her. She had a huge heart and there was always room for one more. She had an amazing way of looking at life, and never let anyone hold her back. I learned a lot from Jill and how every moment is precious … And that is how I want to live my life, modeled after Jill, because she had found the secret to happiness.”

Friend: Mallori

“I remember during recess the boys and girls would sit in a circle and play ‘Truth or Dare’ and we would dare each other to tell who we each liked. Every boy yelled out that they had a crush on Jill … and every girl in the classroom wished deeply to be her best friend. Though every girl wanted to be her best friend, Jill didn’t want a single best friend, she wished to be friends with every girl. At high school orientation day, we saw each other again and she brought big smiles to me and everyone she came across. She affected everyone around her in a positive way, and I could understand why God wanted Jill in Heaven, because she truly was an angel on Earth.”

Friend: Andres

“The last time I saw Jill was around two weeks ago. I’ll never forget because she pulled up next to me at a stoplight, and she gave me one of those looks, that only Jill could do, started laughing, then she waved and pulled away in the opposite direction. That image I will keep with me for the rest of my life. Although some of Jill’s teenage life was common, she was not a common person. As a matter of fact, she was one of a kind. She was what this world needed more of and … she will always remain the light in a dark world.”

Friend: Buddy

“Gillian, you will always be “mi Pequeña Princesa” and my inspiration to keep doing a good job as a teacher and a mentor. I know you are an angel now … give us the strength to survive with just your memories … they will always burn bright in our hearts. I love you Gillian … Te quiero “Princesita” … I am your teacher forever.”

Teacher: Señora Esther Borges

“It’s hard to be thankful or grateful at a time when our pain is so great, but I believe that being thankful is the only way to endure the pain. So I am thankful to Jill for brightening my life, for showing me things I would have otherwise not seen, for giving me things to remember, and giving me things to look forward to. Knowing someone like Jill, having her in our lives, is the greatest joy, the greatest gift we can ever receive. Perhaps, then, our greatest responsibility is to emulate her, to try to be like her for others in our lives. So, I make this thank you pledge to Jill, and to this wonderful family that nurtured her and enabled her to flower and become the person she was. That I will smile more – maybe not right away, but as soon as I can. I will laugh more often. I will be freer with my hugs. I will be more inclusive and accepting of everyone. I will see more possibilities for myself and for others. I’ll spend more time coloring outside my lines. Thank you, Jill. You’ve created a place in each of our hearts and you will live there forever.”

Uncle: Jeff

“The key element in Gothic architecture, which some call sacred geometry, is light. Jill had something of the beauty, wonder and mystery of this sacred geometry. She was a little piece of heaven on earth. She had the same qualities of the Gothic cathedral; she was filled with light. She was filled with a light that shone through her beautiful eyes, like stain glass windows, her lovely smile, her engaging personality, her positive attitude. Everyone who knew her, who came near her, who looked inside her, experienced this light. Death did not extinguish the light of Jill. Death consumed her body, but did not consume her soul, her light. The fruit of her life will continue to be lived out in us … her life was short, but her effects will live long in the hearts of many … The next time I visit a Gothic cathedral, I will think of Jill …. May her light shine in each one of us; may our eyes become transparent like hers and our smile luminescent like hers. Jill we love you, thank you for being who you are.”

Priest & teacher: Fr. Vincent

“Jill proved you don't have to be perfect to be a leader. You must only be true to yourself, and your convictions, unafraid of what others may think of you. You must be willing to reach out ... to always look for the best in others and generously offer friendship and acceptance. You go further by offering kindness, rather than advice. Jill looked people in the eye, adults and peers alike, and let everyone she met know that they mattered. Miraculously, she did it without even thinking or knowing that she did. The light inside her burned very brightly, and she was never selfish with it. She simply let it shine. The world is a sadder place for her loss, but if she could be here herself, she would challenge all of us to laugh more, love more, give more, and become more, and think more about our own responsibilities ... for her sake, for the sake of all young people and for the good of the world we are passing on to the next generation.”

Assemblywoman: Mimi Walters, in a memorial dedicated on the Senate floor