Archive for January, 2009

Sisters

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

I struggle to find the words to tell you how amazing Isabelle’s sister Elorah is to us. I could easily start a seperate blog dedicated to the cute things she says, the neat things she does and how strong she’s been through all this.

Sunday was a special day. We were getting ready to go to church and Elorah knew we were heading somewhere. As she was helping me with my shoes she said “Are we going to Isabelle’s house?”. I said “sortof”, then she said “Isabelle likes when I play the drums” and “Isabelle can play caterpillar while I play the drums”. It was enough to bring tears to your eyes. (Caterpillar is a game we play with one of those long play tubes.) That evening I decided to do some more organizing of photos and videos. I decided to show Elorah some videos. I sat her down on my knee and right in front of the computer monitor. I played the first video (one of Isabelle making cookies and singing a song). Elorah was the most excited I’ve ever seen her since August. She screamed with excitement and giggled. She tried talking to Isabelle and she started waving her hands saying “Isabelle, I’m right here!” She was trying to get Isabelle’s attention. It was a very teary moment but I wanted her to see more videos. We watched several videos over and over and Elorah just LOVED seeing her sister again. It was obvious how much Elorah missed Isabelle and how much she wanted to play with her again.

We’ve struggled with the loss of Isabelle for over a month now but now and the pain is still there. A huge part of it is knowing that we’ll not get to see Isabelle again for a long time and watching the videos reminds you how much you miss her. We want to watch them because we enjoy them so much, but it’s definitely not easy because it reminds you that you won’t get to make any new videos (so to speak). Seeing Elorah’s excitement over the video was so wonderful and seeing her want so badly to be with Isabelle is proof of the bond these sisters have. They’ll be friends forever.

Thanks for your continued support.

With love, Chris, Amanda, ^Isabelle^ and Elorah.

P.S. If you don’t own a video camera, I strongly suggest you get one. :)

Dealing with more loss

Monday, January 19th, 2009

Today we did some decorating of Isabelle’s gravesite. We bought a small hanging banner, some beautiful copper butterflies (like you’d see in a garden), a small wind chime and a copper butterfly. I “gave” Isabelle some Nerds (which she loved). Isabelle called Nerds “sprinkles” and she’d eat a whole box if you let her. She had such a sweet tooth. When you are so sweet, you need to eat even more sweets. Just kidding.

This week has been tough for our family. Amanda’s Uncle Jim passed away suddenly in his sleep on January 16th. The obituary can be seen here: http://mantecabulletin.com/news/article/793/. The only comfort we have is that he is now with Isabelle. At the gravesite I told Isabelle to take care of her Uncle Jim and “keep him busy”. We hope to get some answers about Uncle Jim soon, but for now, we’re heart-broken and sad to lose him.

We hope everyone’s new year is showing promise and we look forward to the beauty of Spring.

Sincerely, Chris & Amanda

Powerful words

Friday, January 16th, 2009

I wanted to share with you some special words that we’ve recently read that say exactly what we’ve been feeling:

“If one loses a parent, he loses some of his past.
If one loses a spouse, he loses some of his present.
Buf if one loses a child, he loses some of his future.”

-John D. Canine

“Isabelle has given the world, what the world could not give to her: a heart, a very special heart, filled with unconditional love, the love of God.”
-Tangela Welch

These words mean a lot to us, we hope they bring meaning and understanding to you.

Bracelet Power!

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

I have something really neat to share with you. As you may know, we had two special people who helped sparked the idea to make reminder bracelets for Isabelle. They (Liz and Tangela) created bracelets, recruited a small army of people to help distribute them and really helped raise awareness about Isabelle’s story. I am honored to say that the KU Football Team got involved through various channels and some of the players wore bracelets during the 2008 Insight Bowl Game (KU vs Minnesota) on December 31st. Specifically, we know that Kerry Meier (#10) wore one of the Heart of a Princess bracelets during the game. We’re working to find out who else wore a bracelet, but we are absolutely heart-warmed by the total support that Kerry and his teammates showed us. After seeing the photos, I just sat in my chair and said “wow”. No, actually, I jumped up and ran around and started telling everyone I know. It’s truely wonderful and we are overcome with emotion and joy. It just goes to show you how many lives Isabelle touched and we know she is still very influential in many lives today. We hope to keep that “light” shining for many years, too.

If you would like to see the photos, you can go to the following photo gallery: http://kuathletics.cstv.com/view.gal?id=40355
(Look for photo number: 20, 21 and 36). If we get permission, we’ll post the photos on the heartofaprincess.net website so that the whole world can easily enjoy them.

We want to send a huge “Thank You” to Kerry and the other players who wore bracelets. It shows how much you care. We also send a huge hug and “Thank You” to all those who helped distribute the bracelets. Liz and Mackenzie and the KU Crew as well as Tangela, her kids and friends as well as the folks at Basehor-Linwood Schools. Your support is amazing and it’s deeply touched our lives.

Warmest regards, Chris & Amanda

One month

Monday, January 12th, 2009

It’s been one month since Isabelle left us to go be in Heaven. It’s been a rough and difficult journey for us and we know it’s been hard for you, too. We try hard to forget those last five days (Dec 6-11). Instead we dream about Isabelle’s good years. We think about the dancing lessons that she was taking and how absolutely thrilled she was to go to them. She was so mature about it. She was destined to be a true ballet artist. She also was planning to take more swimming lessons. She absolutely loved swimming. She would get her hair wet and say “I have Mermaid (Ariel) hair”. We think about how much she loved celebrating Elorah’s birthday (early in August) and helping her open presents. We had a Princess castle pinata and she loved sorting through the candy that came out of it.

The hardest part is going through the photos and videos. I want to share some of the best photos and videos with you via her website, but going through all that right now is definitely painful. I am so glad that I took so many pictures and video though. If you don’t have a mini-DVD video camera, get one!

We’re narrowing down our plans for Isabelle’s Memorial. We’ve considered quite a few things. We really don’t want to “overlap” with what another charity is doing so we are trying to find something that Isabelle would love while not duplicating efforts. We’re pretty excited about this and we can’t wait to share our ideas and get some real excitement generated.

We also are going to make some changes to her website. We are changing the “sponsors” page into “Isabelle’s Angels”, where we’ll highlight the different groups, businesses, agencies and some individuals that have helped us with our efforts. To respect privacy we won’t post everyone’s name, but we may ask you if you want to be recognized for your efforts. It’s the least we could do for some of the wonderful things you’ve done for us.

In the news: CNN has a great story today about bone marrow donation. If you get a moment, please read it: http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/01/12/hm.bone.marrow/index.html

We still view “donation” to be a core idea behind Isabelle’s Memorial Fund. “Giving the Gift of Life” will likely be a core slogan, too. Blood, Marrow, Plasma and Organs can all be donated to help save lives. Isabelle received numerous blood and plasma products. When she got a product I remember thinking “there goes somebody’s Gift”. I’ll never know who it was, but I was very thankful for their Gift.

It’s been a month. Somedays it feels like forever, somedays it feels like just yesterday. No matter what, we are thankful for your support, your kind words, your comments on the guestbook, your emails, and your love.

Thank you and may God bless you with much happiness. Sincerely, Chris & Amanda

I am standing upon the seashore…

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

I am standing upon the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white
sails to the morning breeze and starts
for the blue ocean.

She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until at length
she hangs like a speck of white cloud
just where the sea and sky come
to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says;
“There, she is gone!”

“Gone where?”
Gone from my sight. That is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull
and spar as she was when she left my side
and she is just as able to bear her
load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

And just at the moment when someone
at my side says, “There, she is gone!”
There are other eyes watching her coming,
and other voices ready to take up the glad shout;
“Here she comes!”
And that is dying.

By Henry Van Dyke

We were given that little quote by a family member of ours: Ernie Roever. It’s very fitting and we really like it. I enjoy sailing and I had hoped to take Isabelle on a boat someday. Now I can take her anywhere because she is always with me and watching over me. We have a lot of nice things that people have said to us (that we plan to share eventually).

With hugs, Amanda, Chris, ^Isabelle^ and Elorah

More things to share

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

Hello everyone, I wanted you to know that the following things are now available on the website: Eulogy (click on the link in the Funeral paragraph on the Celebration of Life page), more videos (see the Photos page), and the Funeral pictures (see the Photos or Celebration of Life pages).

Please feel free to leave comments here or on the guestbook. If you have something to share with us, please us the Contact page.

Thanks! God bless, Chris & Amanda

Saying hello and thank you

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

We just wanted to say “hi” to all our friends, family and extended support group. It’s been one month since Isabelle had the major heart attack that was a big turn for the worse. It’s been an extremely difficult road, but your support has helped us get through this. Our greatest blessing and our complete focus is on Elorah. She is keeping us very busy and she’s turning into quite the little person. She has had to make a transition, too. She is getting used to the idea of not having her sister around, but we can see how frustrated and confused she is sometimes. She definitely misses her big sister a lot. Elorah will find a toy, dress-up item or doll and say “this is Isabelle’s”. She frequently sees Isabelle’s picture around the house and she’ll say “there’s my Isabelle”. Elorah doesn’t have a buddy to dress her up as a Princess now so she’s been trying to do it alone and she’s doing a good job. She’s also on full-time duty of taking care of Mommy and Daddy. Life would be a million times more difficult without Elorah right now.

Last night Elorah was running to the living room to see her Mommy and she hit her arm on the way. She hurt it pretty bad and she was in some pain. Her Mommy picked her up to see how bad it was and all Elorah could do was cry and point to Isabelle’s picture on the fireplace mantle. She couldn’t speak so she just pointed to the picture over and over. We think she was trying to say “take me to see Isabelle” or “I need to go to the hospital like Isabelle”. It was hard to respond to that kind of request. We soothed her and worked to comfort her. Luckily, it was just a bump.

There have been a lot of little moments like that over the past 3 weeks. You have to have your eyes open, or you’ll miss things like that.

Our Pastor sent us a copy of the Eulogy which I’ll be posting the Celebration page today. It was a great Eulogy and we are grateful that we had so many people there to witness the event.

In other news, some of you may have read on the heartofaprincess.net guestbook, but apparently some of the KU football players wore Isabelle’s bracelets to the KU game on January 1st. Pretty neat!

Many of you have expressed interest in getting another bracelet so we wanted to let you know that we are planning to offer them on an ongoing basis through the heartofaprincess.net website. I’ll post the details once we have it ready for offer.

We are sending out “thank you” notes, but we don’t want to miss anyone so if you don’t get a note from us, please, please contact us via the contact page on the heartofaprincess.net website. We cannot say “thank you” enough and know that our hearts are overwhelmingly warmed by the show of love and support you’ve given us. The show of support speaks volumes to how much love you all have to share and about how compassionate and nice you all are.

May God bless you with much happiness in this new year.

Sincerely, Chris, Amanda, ^Isabelle^ and Elorah

Celebration of Isabelle’s Life

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

Today I did some major work on the website and I am almost done with the Celebration of Life page. You can visit the page by clicking “Celebration of Life” in the menu bar. I wanted to capture the details of the services and share them with those who may not or could not attend. I plan to put up some pictures I took of the services up there, too (give me a couple more days). I’ll keep you posted via the blog as I continue to make changes and additions.