Katie Grace Graduation

I am so sorry it has taken me this long to get back into the blogging game.  I have another post I am working on but I thought it would be better if I first posted pictures from Katie Grace graduation.

Not gonna lie it was a little intimidating putting together a memorial service or graduation as we call it.  There is so much you have to think about and plan.  It’s pretty surreal.  Suggestion for anybody out there facing a terminal illness and you are going to do a memorial service….plan plan plan ahead.  Decisions were hard to make in the middle of it all…and many times we just had to limit the decisions we made on a day-to-day basis.   In my humble opinion a simple plan is always easy to adjust and change but creating a whole plan can be a lot more work.

Despite our lack of planning I think the graduation ceremony was fantastic.  Once again our community just swooped us up in love.  My friend/boss Amy was our pastor she was someone who was there from the very beginning…a safe place I processed what my life was about to be that first month when Katie Grace was born and the same safe place I learned how to do life with Katie Grace.  She was the perfect person to walk us all through saying goodbye!  We had worship. My friend Michaelann read The Conversation, a post I wrote about what Katie Grace’s coming into the world was really about.  Charles and I said a few words. We had a few people share. We prayed.  And then we released 13 dozen balloons.  Our final congratulations and goodbye to an stunning and powerful little girl.

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To everybody who was able to make it….Thank you!

To those of you who have kept us in your prayers as we have ran this journey…. Thank you!

To Katie Grace I celebrate your race daughter.  You came into this world with a destiny and you fought every step of the way. I am honored to be called your Momma and I am humbled to be the one who was entrusted with your tenacious loving soul. I celebrate that we have an eternity together and our time apart while I am here on earth will seem as nothing once our feet are upon the same ground. You daughter changed my life in the most painful and glorious ways ever. I am better then I ever thought I could be….Thank you!

“You don’t love…

“You don’t love someone because they’re perfect, you love them in spite of the fact that they’re not.”
― Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper

 

It was busy in the ER that night.  There was a long wait in the waiting room, people were walking around with masks covering their face to protect others around them from their coughs. Katie Grace laid lethargically in Charles arms as we waited for our turn to go back.  I knew we were looking at a flight down to Sacramento so I was silently prepping myself as I heard our name called.  Weight check, height check, oxygen stats check, medicine check and her long story later, we find ourselves in the curtain created make shift room….waiting. Waiting for nurses to take blood work, for techs to takes x-rays…just waiting.

“Oh, it’s you guys,” was the first thing I heard as Pascale walked into our pretend room.  Pascale is an amazing nurse and to boot a great person. She is one of those people you wish you met outside of places like the ER but you are also SO glad she works at the ER.

“Hi Pascale.” I smiled back, happy to see her amidst what was going on.  

Then as if almost out of nowhere, I hear Pascale say “You guys made it.  Good for you.!”

It took me a minute to register what she was talking about but then I remembered.  I remembered a year ago when Katie Grace had her first round of pneumonia, Pascale and I had a conversation.  Where she told me, the saddest thing for her was to see families torn apart by unexpected tragedy.  To see and treat precious babies such as our Katie Grace and then see their parents just fall apart under the weight of what they have to do and the pain of what has happened.    And I remembered her encouragement to hang in there and to not get lost. And to remember that she (Katie Grace) needs us together and not apart.

Today, I am proud to say that Katie Grace has pulled us closer together.  It has stirred up stuff…..our differences….our bruises from life. And we have stuck it out. We have looked at each other and just fought the fight and we are closer today then we have ever been.

I don’t know that I would want to have children with anybody else.  Or do life with anybody else.  And it’s not because he is perfect or he always handles me perfect.  Charles loves freedom, he doesn’t need a plan or particularly want a plan for anything.  Me, I need a plan…like plants need water, I need a plan. It can be general but there has to be a plan.  And you bet we butt heads about that.  My plans can stifle him and his lack of plans can be chaos for me. And we work at that…at finding the medium. The middle ground. 

I don’t handle Charles perfectly or love him perfectly.  There are days when my demand on him is greater then could ever be acomplished.  Days when the hurts of the past build up into this big ball of expectation, and I throw it at him expecting him to know exactly how to handle it and to do it perfectly. He is learning how to duck and say, that hurts babe.  And I am learning to how to break down the big ball before I throw. 

We don’t love each other because we are perfect, we love each other because we are not.  And amazingly it has been our daughter so called imperfection that has drawn us even closer. It has been her physical brokenness that has pulled him and I deeper.

So don’t search for the ones that are perfect….search instead for the ones who will be there with you, in the darkest of times.  Ones who can stand in the pain and say it does not scare me, it hurts but it does not scare me.  Those are the ones to hold onto. Those are the ones who love.

 

 

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