Stella's Story: Part 1

Here is the beginning of Stella's Story: Stella's Story: Part 1
The rest is coming soon!

Gratitude

I am TERRIBLE at sending thank you notes.  I know, I know...and I'm so sorry to the wonderful friends and family members who have showered our family with blessings over the past nine months.  The generosity of those who have given to us (whether in word, deed, or gift) has helped carry me through the hard days-the days when I have lost track of the date, the day of the week, and sometimes even the month. 

Friends, the effects of your thoughtfulness have not been fleeting.  I know that I must not seem grateful, but I really am.  I often feel that thank you notes just don't "cut it." They seem so trite and just not enough to express the real intensity of gratitude I feel. But, I also feel TERRIBLE for not sending some of you the thank you notes you so rightfully deserve.   So, here I am wanting to write a HUGE THANK YOU note to everyone I can possibly think of.  I'm sorry this thank you is not conventional, but it IS HEARTFELT.

I still think of every meal that was lovingly prepared and brought to our home before and after Stella's birth.  Thank you, thank you, thank you (!!!) to Tiffany, Robin Haas, Stephanie, Pam, Angela, Kellie, Diana, Mandy, Barbara Smith, Nikki Corn, Kim Krakowski, North Cobb High School, and anyone else I forgot for all the yummy food!

I remember every special act of service provided by our caring friends at NWCC, by family, and by friends. (In no particular order)

  • Meredith and Christian, thank you for the times you came over with chicken tenders and french fries and gave us fellowship and help.  Meredith, thank you for letting me be me and accepting me in whatever state I happened to be in.  I have enjoyed our DAC kids dates immensely!
  • Pam and Scott, thank you for spending your day off making sure our house didn't look like a HUD home and cleaning our bathroom.  You know your friends really love you when they clean your bathroom for you.
  • Tasha, thank you for checking on me all the time, for the multiple trips to Egleston, and for the mac n' cheese!  You're a truly wonderful, loyal friend.  Love you!
  • To Diana, thank you for all the prayers, encouragement, and tears.  Thank you for making the trip to meet our little Stella.  We love you, you Puerto Rican firecracker, you!
  • Megan Wright, thank you for making a difference in our lives from such a long distance away.  It was so sweet of you to pay for my house to be cleaned after we haven't seen each other in years! 
  • Megan Strader - you are such an incredible friend!  There are just no words to describe how much it meant to me that you came to GA to be with me in my grief.  You've been there for all three of my children's births, and you have such a calming, delightful presence that few others have.  It's a rare gift, Meg.  Thank you for your (and Todd's) generous donation for the wheelchairs, for paying for groceries, and pretty much just being the wonderful best friend you always are.  I love you!
  • To Shenifa, God sent me you, and your friendship has helped carry me through this valley like no other friendship.  I love you, my dear friend.
  • Allyson, thank you for being such a good listener and never making me feel like anything I was thinking was stupid.  I miss our lunch dates!
  • To Maggie, thank you so much for hanging out with me when I couldn't leave the house and for calling me to check on how I was doing! 
  • To Kim Miller, thank you for taking the time to paint Stella's room!  You're so talented, girl!
  • Tiffany and Kellie, thank you for coming to see me at Kennestone on one of the worst days of my life when I was separated from both Mike and Stella.
  • Mom and Dad, thank you for making the decision to change your schedule and be there for us through the joy and the sorrow, during the hardest week of our lives.  It was so comforting to have my parents there for Mike and I and for the boys.
  • Danielle, thank you for making your family a priority and ditching all your weekend plans to be there with us on the last day of Stella's life.  I will always be grateful that you met her in person.  Love you tons!
  • Dad and Eva, thank you for making the trip down to GA to be here for Stella's funeral and for the financial assistance.  Thank you for spending time with the boys and loving on them during the week after Stella passed away.  Love you guys!
  • Aunt Rosie and Aunt Patty, thank you for coming through for us like you always do.  It is so wonderful to always be about to count on you both.  We truly, truly appreciate the spoiling: the many meals, gift cards, financial assistances, specials treats that arrive in the mail, help with taking care of the boys' needs.  You have both made us feel so special and loved during this difficult season in our lives.  I know I don't always write all the thank you notes that I should, but we don't take one single thing you do for granted.  I think of you both EVERY DAY and how much we feel your love and love you!
  • Mom and Dad, you get a second one.  There really is nothing I can say or do to thank you enough for our new kitchen.  My heart swells when I think about the sacrifices you both have made to raise us and how you continue to represent the heavenly Father by giving us above and beyond what we could ask or imagine.  I love you both so much, and I miss you every day that I'm separated from you. 
  • To all of the people at Stella's memorial service, to Barb and Bruce Reeser, and to mom's college friends, thank you for playing such a key role in our healing by giving to our wheelchair fund.  Giving six new wheelchairs to the CICU at Egleston in Stella's memory was so wonderful on so many levels.
  • To Kari and Jeff, thank you for your sacrificial gift to ease some of our financial burden.  When I think of what you did for us, my heart softens, and I know the depth of your love for us.
  • To my flower fairy (Kim), thank you for the random bouquets of flowers you sent when I was feeling particularly low.  I especially loved the white roses.  Love you!
  • To Tina, thank you for my Heaven bracelet!  I have not taken it off since you sent it to me.  It has helped me more than you know to be reminded that Stella is in a place loftier than my most incredible dreams, and I will be there one day with her.  You have a special gift of understanding and compassion that God has given you, and your genuine concern has been such a blessing!
  • To Jennifer, thank you for living and feeling deeply the pain that I have gone through.  So many people have dismissed the extremity of the pain that I've experienced, but you never have.  I love it that you truly care.  Thank you for being faithful to call me regularly and encourage me in my faith.  Oh, and thank you for the precious foot picture and the one of Mike and I with Stella. Love you, girl!
  •  To Stacey, thank you for the many, many times you watched Milo during my perinatologist appointments.  I really appreciate you giving generously of your time to help us over and over again.  You never complained about watching the boy(s).  Thank you as well for putting flowers on Stella's grave when I couldn't bear to go, for hanging out with me, and listening as long as I've need you to!  I'm so thankful to have such a great friend who lives a few houses away.
  • To Connie, thank you for watching our boys several times during doctors' appointments!
  • To Susan, thank you for keeping up with every single thing I wrote and for always making sure I was "hanging in there."  I am so thankful I've had you to cry with during this past year.
  • To Jeanette, thank you for your thoughtfulness in sending me a "me gift" and hand-written notes now and then.  Hand-written notes are so rare and appreciated!
  • Michelle Knebel, you understood aspects of our challenges with Stella that no one else could.  I'm thankful for our friendship.
  • To Stephanie Weaver, thank you for the many notes you sent me and the prayers you lifted up on our behalf.  It has been a wonderful blessing to get to know you over the past year!
  • To Beth and John Edwards, thank you for being there for us in our time of need, for taking us out to dinner, and for your generous financial gift.  We miss you guys!
  • To Sandy, I know I've told you a bunch of times, but I'm still thankful you showed up on Saturday and took many of my most cherished photos of Stella.
  • To Bobby, Ron, and Todd, thank you for making the trip to Egleston, for being so touched by the tragedy of our situation, and for your many prayers.  Bobby, thank your genuine concern, tears, and for dedicating the wheelchairs with us!
  • To my Facebook friends who took the time to read my blogs and updates, sent encouraging notes, and prayed for us, thank you!!!  Your thoughtfulness is still much appreciated!  We have literally felt the power of prayer over these past months; it's a remarkable, indescribable gift!
  • To friends,coworker, and David at MMA, thank you for sending flowers, gifts, and for being patient and flexible with me while I healed. 
  • To Jenny Vaughan, every though we didn't get to use them, thank you for the baby clothes!
  • To the teachers and staff at Hope Preschool, thank you for thinking of us and sending snacks home for the boys!  They were thorougly enjoyed.
I'm sure I have forgotten something or someone, and if you are one, I am really sorry.  I am trying to recall as much as possible.  I will add more when I think of them.

It amazes me even now to look at this vast list of those who love us and poured out their love upon us in our time of need.  God is GOOD, and there is good in every circumstance if you choose to see it.

2 comments:

Sandy said...

I am so glad I could do that for you and that I got to meet Stella.

Nicole said...

<3 <3 <3

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About This Blog

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This is the story of our daughter, Stella Rose, who went to be with Jesus after five days here on this earth. Stella was born with multiple birth defects due to a severe case of Wolf Hirschhorn Syndrome. Although Stella is no longer with us in person, she has changed us forever. Stella's legacy is my journey on a new road without my daughter, and how God is working in our hearts.

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