Though her character, Maddie, on the Fox drama 9-1-1 is spending Christmas away from her family, in real life, Jennifer is surrounded by the ones she loves the most. This year, Jennifer and her husband, actor Brian Hallisay, are celebrating as parents of three children — Autumn, 8, Atticus, 7, and their newborn son, Aidan. While the 42-year-old actress couldn’t feel more grateful, she also can’t help but miss her mom, Patricia Hewitt, just a little more than usual this time of year.
Two weeks before Christmas, on December 11, Jennifer got candid on Instagram about how she was feeling having another holiday season without her. Patricia died in June 2012 at the age of 67 from “complications due to cancer.”
“My mother in law hand made these ornaments for us. They mean so much,” Jennifer wrote. “We are doing the tree today and I’m feeling very blessed. Family is everything. I cried so hard last night missing my mommy. She was all the magic of Christmas.”
She continued: “But it is my greatest joy to try and recreate that for my family. Wishing all of you a very merry holiday season and sending so much love to all of those missing someone. Back to the tree and making memories 🎅🏼🤶🏼❤️🎄.”
After reading her heartfelt words, Jennifer’s fans immediately reached out to her in the comments section to let her know she’s not alone.
“Sending all the love and big hugs ❤️ She’s looking down on you guys and sprinkling her Christmas joy and magic and smiling so big ❤️,” one person wrote. “Happy holidays to you. My heart goes out to you,” another added. “So beautiful, these are ornaments to cherish forever. Your mom is with you remember that,” a different fan said.
“♥️♥️♥️ You spread so much kindness and love and all your followers are very thankful for you. Praying for you and you missing your mommy. Wishing you nothing but the best 💛,” a follower commented.Originally from Waco, Texas, Jennifer showed an early interest in music, and she made her singing debut at the age of 3. Her mom fostered her love for the arts, enrolling Jennifer in jazz, ballet and tap dance classes.
When Jennifer was 10 years old, a talent scout recommended Patricia take her to Los Angeles to fully pursue a career in Hollywood. Today, Jennifer is best known for her roles in Party of Five, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Heartbreakers and The Ghost Whisperer.
Through the years, Jennifer has paid tribute to her mom. Earlier this summer on the anniversary of her death, Jennifer remembered her with an emotional message on Instagram.
“9 years today without my mom, best friend, teacher, idol, and hero,” she wrote. “Today I will celebrate you. I was forever changed because you were in my life and I was forever changed the day you left. I love you deeply ❤️.”