Jordan’s mother Zenobia Shepherd tried to explain the risks of working. But she said that Jordan, who had a disability that caused “cognitive delays”, altered her vision and left her dependent on a service dog, probably did not fully understand the potential dangers of the coronavirus .
And her daughter’s desire to help others, said Shepherd, was overwhelming.
“She said,” Mom, I’m going to work because no one else is going to help the elderly with their shopping, “said Shepherd. “She only stopped going to work when she couldn’t breathe.”
After experiencing the telltale symptoms of coronavirus, Jordan took a test and received positive results in late March. She was admitted to the hospital and placed on a ventilator a few days later, said her mother. She died a few hours after that on Wednesday.
Shepherd held Jordan – whom she called “Butterfly” for the love of his daughter for butterflies – to his death. As she looked at the ECG monitor flat and heard the doctors pronounce Jordan’s brain death, Shepherd whispered words into her daughter’s words. thick, curly braids.
” I love you. Mom loves you. Angel loves you, “said Shepherd, referring to the service dog. ” I will miss you. To be strong. “
Since then, Shepherd has lived with memories: how much Jordan loved going to church. How much Jordan loved to sing. How much Jordan loved his job and helping customers, although Shepherd hates to think of the Giant now.
How much Jordan loved the color purple and her hair – she preferred purple braids – and was pretty. And feel loved.
Shepherd keeps hearing his daughter’s laughter, she said.
But she’s also busy – she’s busy trying to correlate parents, including Jordan’s grandmother and five siblings, and gathering them at the family home in Upper Marlboro for a funeral. Busy trying to find a mortician. Busy trying to persuade a cemetery to accept Jordan’s body.
“My butterfly deserves to come home like a warrior,” said Shepherd, “a warrior woman who fought to do the right thing. “
Since Jordan’s death, Angel has acted oddly, said Shepherd. The bond between Jordan and the black and white Jack Russell Terrier was strong; Jordan has always had close relationships with animals, which she loved to help. Once, Shepherd said, Jordan spent 24 consecutive hours cleaning dirty bowls and blankets for cats and dogs at an animal shelter.
Angel knows something’s wrong. She continues running around Jordan’s room, Shepherd said, and jumping on the bed.
It nestles among Jordan’s blankets, all with butterfly patterns. She refuses to go down.