Thursday, July 27, 2017

One Week

That's how long it's been since our amazing girl went to be with Jesus.
It's only been a week, but it feels so much longer.

There's an emptiness within my heart and our lives, a huge, gaping hole left behind.

I see La Petite Belle everywhere.
I see things she would like and hear things she would think are funny or not funny. I remember movies that she wanted me to take her to. I think of the guest list she made for her 17th birthday party and how excited she was once her doctor told her, just a few weeks ago, that she could go back to her home town for a weekend if she felt well. So many memories flood my mind. They don't stop. I don't want them to ever stop. Thinking of them stopping actually brings tears to my eyes. I don't want this to "get easier" because that would mean the memories of her have faded.

I hear her voice. The song she wrote from her hospital bed a couple of years ago, as she went through her bone marrow transplant process, replays over and over again. It literally wakes me in my sleep. I think of the last time I heard her voice. I struggle with remembering everything she said that Sunday before she was intubated for the last time. I know she said she loved me and I try to remember what it sounded like. I've watched countless videos on my phone of her from the past couple of years and we've gone through what seems likes thousands of pictures of her. She truly was a ball of joy wrapped in skin.

I don't know how to do this.
I don't know how to handle grief. I even hate that word - "grief."
"Handling grief" ... these words pressure me to get over this, to move on.
People don't want to be around someone going through this stuff. They don't know what to say. There really are no words and that's okay. Actually, that's better. I'm definitely not good company. My fun self has been replaced with brokenness.

I realize she's in heaven, a better place, no more suffering, no more pain, finally with her Savior. I'm thankful to have this assurance. But, I'm not ready to "rejoice" at this moment as some would say I should be doing. In fact, rejoicing is the last thing I want to do. I know that I'll be able to rejoice again. I'm just not there yet.

I just want to talk to my baby girl again. I want to hold her hand. I want to hear her sweet voice and laugh with her. I want to snuggle with her like she requested we do almost every single day for the past year.

I know that she's okay, but we're the ones who aren't.
This emptiness remains. This hole remains. It will always be there.
God will hold us. I have no doubt about that. He's been faithful to us and He always will be.

There are no answers to why this happened. I will never understand this. I truly thought she would be the one who made it. She was the strong one. She had overcome so much. One doctor told us that she had a "reserve and resilience about her" that made her so unpredictable. She always pulled through the toughest of situations. Her spirit remained strong, but her body couldn't take any more.

And, when the nurse backed off on some of her sedation that last night we were able to really communicate with her, Beau asked her if she was ready to be with Jesus. She opened her eyes and nodded her head "yes," a response we hadn't seen much of due to the amount of sedation she was on. It definitely reassured us that she was ready to go. My girl finally got her healing she so desperately wanted and fought for.

This morning I read a verse I've read a million times before, but it had new meaning to me today.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. -Proverbs 3:5

Although I don't understand, I will continue to trust.
I will trust will my whole heart, even the part that is empty.

I told Beau that I was gong to stop blogging, stop writing.
La Petite Belle has been over 75% of my writings and she's gone. I don't know if there's anything else to say nor write. But, he disagreed with me. This blog was started so that my girls would be able to read about their mom and their lives after I was the one who was gone. It wasn't supposed to happen this way.

I don't know anything. Zilch. Nothing.
I don't know what the future holds. 
I don't know where our path will lead.
I will keep this blog right here for now.
I will not depend on my own understanding.
I will trust with my whole heart.

Thank you all for your prayers and support through the years. We can never repay you, but we know someone who will. We pray God blesses you abundantly for your faithful generosity to us!

Here's one last tribute to our amazing daughter...

You can view her memorial service here. It was truly a wonderful celebration to who she was.


Stephanie said...

I know you don't know me but I have been following your journey...I am speechless and you are right there are no words...I just want you to know I have been praying and I will continue praying!!! Stephanie from Christian Television Network

Anonymous said...

Please continue to blog. Not only for your family but for the moms that are sadly walking the same path as you. You have a way of putting the thoughts racing through my restless mind into words. So much love for you!! I was so moved by her service. What a legacy of love and spunk. I want the Jesus that was alive in her to be alive in me and the next generation that we are raising up!!

Autumn said...

I "met" you and your family from your blog so many years ago. I've been following Katie's journey, and I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing it all with us... the good and the bad. You have a gift for writing, and I hope you continue to share that gift. Praying for your family.

Anonymous said...

My condolences to you and your family you don't know me but ive been following your beautiful girl journey since the beginning your guys faith is so amazing even though going through such difficult times you guys are so inspiring to me and my family my prayers are with you and your family!!please continue to blog you guys are amazing and inspirational to many����

Anonymous said...

My heart was just shattered when I heard Katie had passed. I had been following your journey through Jeri. My prayers will continue for you & your amazing family. Katies song, Still Rising, is beautiful. Although I have never met her, I will remember her forever. ❤
-Vanessa & Chad Meaux

The Hat Chick said...

I've been following along and praying for you all so often. You have shown the true faithfulness God asks from us. You and your sweet family have set the example. I too will never understand why bad things happen to good people, especially those who are His true servants. We grieve with you and for you.

Charlotte said...

You and Richard have been so inspirational to everyone as you write your journey, whether it's positive or negative, the raw emotions show through with your faith and love in God. If you don't continue writing, pull your blog down and create a book that people can flip the pages and read it. Put it in stores, particularly Hospital gift shops so that people can view a Christians experiences. Like my sister said, title it kisses from Katie with the gold kisses on the front

Anonymous said...

My heart truly goes out to you and your family. I've followed Katie's story from the beginning, and her services was truly a celebration of her life, an absolutely beautiful one at that. There are no words and there will never be any words that anyone can say to make you feel better. I lost my uncle, father, cousin, and one of my really good friends just last night, all in a span of three months. I fell to my knees crying out "God, when will it end, when will the rain stop", but I know He is there with me, just as He is with you. A verse that always helps me get through some of my darkest days is Ecclesiastes 9:11, I am always reminded that although life gets tough, if I just stay in the race and continue trusting, believing, and depending on God, He will see me through. I love you my sister in Christ.

Mary E Lettiere said...

Your Katie was such a warrior for Christ. She was a beautiful, and brave soul. Your family is such an example for the entire world. Keep up with your blog, for the rest of our Christian Community, and your family. You are all an inspiration to behold. Colten Collier is our great-nephew...and he will always feel close to Katie Mac. She was an inspiration and a true friend to our little hero. God Bless all of you. You will continue to be in our prayers.

Cristi said...

I lost my baby daughter July 19, 1993. I remember a short poem I wrote in her memory book...I didn't need to write it down, I'll always remember it and feel it.

'I suppose I'll always wish for 'just a minute more'--when I first held my little girl...
oh! If only just a minute more'

I felt so full of sorrow, and same--comforted Jesus was cradling her in His very arms--yet still so numb. And I couldn't pray...for months after...not because I was angry at God, just shocked to the core--and hurt SO HURT! 'why? Why did you bless me with her only to so quickly take her away?' ������❤️...
Why me, why her, why us...soon became 'why anybody?' As my world began to open up to the bigger than me plight of human suffering--all over the world, all throughout history. The weight of that. But I pleaded to God for peace, for healing, for understanding, for joy to return to my heart and soul again. And slowly it did, though true understanding never came, just deciding in my heart that I know Our Father in Heaven loves us big big...with perfect love, and just as we would have taken our children's suffering upon ourselves to spare them, He would for us if he could, and I realized, HE DID!!--in the earthly form of Jesus Christ. I still don't understand why. But I trust He, as my loving father, has a reason and time for every single moment in our lives, the joys and the deepest sorrows.

Letting go. My daughter, and two more children I never knew-- in heaven--have three siblings. The oldest son, almost 22...I also wrenched with having to 'let go' as he grew into the man he now is. He does not need me or want me most of the time. He had to fly away, to grow up. His path cannot be my path. Yet still in earth, I know we will never be as close as we once were again. That season has passed. I am so grateful for it. But mourned for it too, sometimes still do. I am happy though, and I have joy. I'll always wish I could hold on to all of my children--tight tight--for longer than I'll get to. But it makes me really treasure in my heart the times we had, that we still have together. Hold on to those good memories of your sweet daughter. After a season, they will only make you smile and fill you with joy when you think of her. When I see a butterfly, a 'red bird', a dove, a rainbow---see or feel anything beautiful, I think of her and smile, and feel her with me.

'All things Bright and Beautiful
All Creatures Great and Small
All Things Wise and Wonderful
The Lord God made them All...'

...All for their own purpose, for and in their own time, their fleeting beauty blesses us so ❤️����

I don't even think of her every day anymore. My life here is busy and full of what I'm doing now and the joy in those things. But she is full of wisdom and joy where she is, and knows I love her with all of me. She knows, and is at peace. And I know she wanted for me to be at peace too.

I pray for your heart to heal. But there ain't no shame in being sad, mad, thoughtful right long as you need. You have to get up at some point from their graveside and carry on with the life and purpose--all the good things God still has for you. And when it's time you'll want to. And Katie will be always cheering you on to finish your race here with grace and with joy and with purpose and love and dignity.
Much love and hugs to you--from one mama to another ����❤️

Anonymous said...

Still standing with you. Sending lots of love to your hearts.

May Davidson said...

I have only been following you and your journey for about a month now. Please continue to blog and share your thoughts, memories, continued journeys, etc. I am in continual prayer for you and your family.

Betty Archer-Wright said...

Apollonia Hunter is a mutual friend of ours...through her I have been able to follow your story. I have been praying and hoping for your little girl...and I will continue to hope and pray for you and your family as you transition through your loss and sorrow. May you find peace and solace in the upcoming days. May your beautiful girl rest in the Arms of Our Lord for all eternity.

Dianne said...

First let me say that I could not be more heartbroken for you and your family. I have followed and been kept informed by Kathy Jagneaux throughout the incredible journey. Your "new" journey has just begun. We, who have lost children, are sorry to welcome you to the family you never wanted to join, but just want you to know we are here. We are the ones who know that there are no words to pave your is a rocky and arduous one. Please consider joining us in a closed group for "Mothers Who Have Lost A Child". You will find support 24/7 from people who are well traveled and people who are new to the journey. It is a place where you do not have to be can be who you are in the moment. When Katie died, there were 86 women who had lost a child who joined in praying for her and for your and your family. While you are considering this, I pray you ask God to take you by the hand and lead you through the valley and to the calm waters. We continue to pray for you and appreciate your blogging as a way to carry on the legacy of Katie. God Bless You.

Anonymous said...

You are still raw with pain. Don't expect to rejoice yet. You're not there. You're still in shock and disbelief. You've endured the unthinkable, the loss of a child. That's out of sequence. They're not supposed to die before their parents! Yet, she did. Just try to make it an hour at a time. If you can't do an hour, do 15 minutes. You WILL make it. I have walked this path before you. I made it. You will too. But please - don't try to live up to the expectations of others. Only you can walk this grief journey, and you can only walk it in your own way. If you need to cry, scream, cuss, whatever - just do it. Our God is big enough to take it. He will comfort you when you are exhausted from an excess of emotion. You are in my prayers.

Missy Eigenhuis said...

The simplicity of your honesty is beautiful. Our modern faith likes to move thru everything quickly with those pat celebration answers- - sackcloth and ashes had a set time for a reason, Job & David were very real when the gaping hole of emptiness was shoved into their hearts... May God himself give you exactly and only what you need.... breath by breath. Moment by moment will come as will day by day- but now it is one breath at a time.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart.
Do not depend on your own understanding.
In all your ways obey him.
Then he WILL make your paths smooth and straight" NIrV
(Caps - mine; bumpy, hilly, potholed, winding, curvy, sharp unexpected curves - He will MAKE the path smooth AND srraight. He WILL. He will MAKE.

Laura Harris said...

You do not know me. I was connected to your story by a family who also had children with BMTs at TCH. I lost my daughter also after her BMT. I have followed your story and felt so connected to your experiences because I went through it all too. We were in the hospital for 1.5 years. I'm so sorry you are going through this. It's not the way it is supposed to be. Please keep blogging. I did comfort in reading your words because I feel so similarly. I will be thinking of your family at such a difficult time.