Sunday, July 1, 2012

Ten Days of Blogging for Blaise Part 1 -- Dear Blaise

Hello, Coffee Talkers!

I'm back by the popular demand of the 3 or more people who asked about my blog, so welcome back to all of my faithful readers! To re-start things here at Coffee Talk, I'm starting a little project I call "Ten Days of Blogging for Blaise." You'll have to stay with me for all ten days to see this bittersweet, but deeply inspiring, story unfold. Sweet little Blaise died in January, but I feel certain that she is praying for all of us struggling folks down here now from her heavenly home. I mean, if anyone is there, Blaise is. My girls and I never had the pleasure of meeting Blaise in person, but the girls were pen pals for a while, and we attended her funeral Mass. It was truly awe-inspiring, and Blaise's sweet mother and brother have given permission for this letter to be shared:

Dear Little Sister,

Nothing I can ever say will ever truly express everything that is in my heart. I have been so filled with conflicting emotions for the past 72 hours that I can barely comprehend or deal with them. I am so, so proud of you. Proud of you for fighting for over seven years. From before you were even out of the womb, you were so full of spirit and fire that nothing could keep you down. The doctors gave you a 20% chance of survival through delivery because they thought your lungs would collapse from the surrounding fluid when it came time for you to use them. But you come out against the odds, yelling and fighting like the warrior you are. Time and time again, you beat the odds, forcing medical professionals with more education than your entire lifetime to eat their words and reconstruct their predictions. In the face of all the doubt and negativity, you pulled through like a champion every time. I know you are with the angels now not because you stopped fighting, but because you knew that we, your loving family were ready to let you go.

At the same time, I am so overcome with sadness that I can hardly face it at times. I have found comfort in the arms of family and friends, but the hole in my heart that your absence has left is more devastating than anything I have ever experienced. People speak about caring for a disabled child as though it is a burden, but I think that I, mom, dad, and Regan needed you far more than you needed us. I want so badly to hold your puffy hand again, to build Legos with you, to sit at the table and draw, and to let you stand on my feet and walk around with me. My heart is in a billion pieces, and while I know it will heal with time, there will always be a little Blaisey-shaped fragment that is missing as long as I walk this earth.

But I know, even though my own pain is great, that your life was an incredible journey that brought you to many people who needed you, and your spirit was a light that filled so many lives. I have heard it from individuals here and there over seven years, but in the days since you went to be with the angels, I have been so amazed by how many people have come forth to celebrate your life and express how much they cared about you. You were such a clever little girl; while you seemed fragile and delicate to those around you, it was through that guise that you commanded such an incredible power to move people and an influence that was more far-reaching than any of us could have imagined. We all thought we were the ones helping you and that you needed us to take care of you. But in drawing people away from themselves and provoking so many acts of love and selflessness, you were the one teaching us how to live and how to be good people.

I know that you taught me more than I could ever learn in any university or any career, and that you challenged me in ways no other person could. I am a perfectionist, and God sent me a little sister with a one-of-a-kind birth defect that no doctor could fix. I learned to see beauty and opportunities to grow from the imperfections in life. I am a control freak, and God sent me a little sister who presented us with a completely unpredictable new crisis or blessing every day. I learned to let go of things I cannot control and accept the things I cannot change. I am incredibly self-conscious at times, and God sent me a little sister who was very noticeably different from the people around her. I learned that it's not really important what other people say behind your back and to embrace my individuality. I am sometimes arrogant and quick to judge others, and God sent me a little sister with a situation that I'm sure made me act selfish, mean, and inconsiderate to those around me at times. Despite all that, I have been blessed with incredible friends, family, teachers, and neighbors who continually rise to the occasion to support me and remind me of the inherent goodness in all people. God sent me to you, Blaise and I am so incredibly grateful that you are my little sister.

I could go on for days about the ways that you have helped me, loved me, and changed me, Blaisey, but today it's not about me. It's about you, and under all my sadness and pain, there is joy. I am so happy for you, happy that your long, hard journey is over. No more pain, no more discomfort, no more fear. You are with the angels now, with Grandma and Grandpa. You have blossomed into the butterfly you were always meant to be, no longer held down by the earthly body that caused you so much grief. I will miss you every day for the rest of my life, but I find peace in knowing that you will always have my back and that you will be waiting for me with open arms and a giant smile on your face, just like you did every time I came home to visit you. My pain is great, but I am reminded of a line from one of my favorite songs--'I mourn for those who never knew you.' Take care of me Blaisey, I'll see you soon.


As always, thanks for stopping by, and be assured of my prayers.

Peace and all good,

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