Archive for June, 2009

Six Months

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

Hello friends,

It’s been six months since we lost Isabelle. Emotionally, it feels like 6 years. It’s been far from easy and every day there are many reminders of our loss. We miss Isabelle so much. There are times, although brief, that we forget that we lost Isabelle. For a second or two reality is suspended and we imagine that we’re going to Educare to pick up both girls, or that we’re going into the room to wake up both girls or that Elorah is in the other room watching Noggin with her sister. Then reality sets in and the painful memories of what we went through…of what she went through.

Last year at this time, Amanda was enjoying summer break and taking the girls to the park (every day if Isabelle wanted). They would play outside in the pre-summer weather and enjoy sleeping in (and long naps). By now (a year ago) Isabelle had planted dozens of flowers around the yard and she was enjoying going to the garden every night to pick strawberries. She just loved picking strawberries. She also loved picking flowers and she insisted on having her own pair of scissors and doing the cuts herself. She was so proud of her flowers and garden. We had just finished our May photoshoot with Rebecca and we were loving the pictures in Antioch park. It was a perfect day captured on film for all eternity.

By now we thought we’d be enrolling Isabelle into Educare II. When she was in the ICU we thought we’d have her home by January or February and we’d have her rehabilitated enough to go back to daycare. By now, Isabelle would have been back to swimming lessons and (definitely) some dance lessons at Amanda’s Dance. Isabelle would be sporting around the house that beautiful polka-dotted Princess dress that she so dearly wanted before she went in for surgery. By now she could have been healthy enough to jump on our neighbors trampoline and enjoy playing in their sandbox. By now, we should have had our Princess home…happy, healthy and loving life.

By now this blog would be teaming with great progress reports and thank you’s for all the prayers for continued good health.

It’s been hard and the healing has been slow. There are times when we are reminded how lucky we were to have had Isabelle for even just a short time, then there are times when we just miss her more than anything. She missed her 4th birthday, her daycare graduation ceremoy, spring dance lessons and the strawberry harvest. She never got to grow into her Disney Princess bike and won’t get to see the updates to her favorite parks.

We know Isabelle is in a better place and that she’s watching over us. We hope she’s laughing when she sees her sister do the crazy things that she does, including gymnastics, dressing up and playing jokes on Mommy and Daddy.

We are working hard to keep Hope alive, too. Isabelle’s Memorial Fund has taken root and we are gearing up to start some fund-raising efforts. Bracelet sales, family cookbook, Elorah’s art and possibly a Golf Tournament are some of the ideas we’re kicking around to raise money and awareness. The goal is to continue to build up the Heart of a Princess Eternally (HOPE) Fund so that it may support scholarships, education and partnership with sister organizations. More to come on that.

Right now, I am pleased to announce that an “Events” page has been setup and can be found at: http://www.heartofaprincess.net/events

We have a schedule of our Adopt-A-Park program as well as a listing of events that we’ve participated in (or that we plan to participate in).

If you have a suggestion about fund raising or would like to volunteer, please contact us via the methods listed on the contacts page.

Thank you so much for all the support, love, prayers, gifts, stories and tears. Thank you for praying for Isabelle during her time of need and since her passing. Your support kept us afloat and it still does. You’re the best.

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

AHA Heart Walk 2009 Success

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Hello friends,

I wanted to give you an update regarding the American Heart Association Heart Walk 2009 that took place in Kansas City on 5/30. It was a great event; much, much larger than I expected. We were thinking of a few hundred people, a few tables and a quick walk around the Plaza. We were breathless when we showed up! Thousands of people showed up (10,000+) and the group we partnered with (CHD Families (www.chdfamilies.org)) raised over $44,000 with over 280 participants. The event raised over $750,000 (final number still not published).

The funds raised will go towards research and education about heart disease.

My cousin Tangela showed up to walk as did our friend Matt Crawley. Elorah and Mommy stayed at the event camp and Elorah played on the Moon Walk and relaxed in the shade. On the walk we saw one of Isabelle’s ICU nurses at Children’s Mercy: Margo. It was a great treat to see her there. If you went to the event and we did not see you, please drop us a note or sign the guestbook, we’d love to hear from you.

The weather was really beautiful and the walk went really fast. We decided to take the 4 mile route and it went around the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum and around the Plaza. There were traffic cops and water stations. It was very well coordinated.

We hope to do the event again and we’ll definitely have some t-shirts made with Isabelle’s picture on it.

I like the quote found on the AHA site regarinding the event:

Create Hope
Hope that current and future generations will be healthier because participants have committed to heart health today!

Many participants are heart disease and stroke survivors; others walk in honor or memory of a friend or family member who has or had heart disease or stroke.

Isabelle’s Memorial is titled “HOPE” (Heart of a Princess, Eternally) and so knowing that this walk will create Hope for future generations realy hits home with us and our mission. Our team (Tangela, Matt and Chris [Daddy]) were able to raise almost $1000 for this event. We are so grateful for your generous contributions to this worthwhile event.

When I get the “events” page up on the website, I’ll post the pictures we took.

Thanks again for your support. If you did not get a donation made in time, consider making a contribution to Isabelle’s memorial fund or consider sponsoring us on next year’s walk.

Thank you!

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