I blogged about Lois dying a couple of weeks ago. So sad and tragic. I think of her parents often... how Lois spent so long fighting against leukemia, only to lose the battle in the end. In that post, I mentioned that when we hear of a child with Down syndrome dying, it feels as if a member of our family has died.
It has happened again. But this time, to a child we know in real life. A child whose mom sat next to me at our last Down syndrome parent group meeting. A child whose mom was in Orlando last summer at NDSC to learn more about how to advocate for and teach her daughter. A child whose mom went to a retreat for moms of kids with special needs at our church last November. A child whose parents adopted her... chose her... love her.
Ten months ago, we heard a critical care doctor utter the words no parent should ever have to hear: "I'm concerned about Micah's ability to survive this." I don't know if Mary Jo heard those words from a doctor or if things went too fast for that conversation to even occur. Elsey, age 11, came home from school on Thursday with what they thought was a GI bug. They took her to the ER that evening. She died at 1:00am.
I've been a mess about this. No parent should have to bury their child. I don't know what Mary Jo and Winston are going through right now. But we came very close to knowing just 10 months ago.
The same week we almost lost Micah, there was a little girl, Carly, in Michigan who died very suddenly. I had visited Joany's blog and read about Carly just a week earlier. Micah was still on the ventilator when Carly died, but he was stable. I felt horrible. Guilty. I don't understand why God spared Micah and not Carly. Joany and I have over 100 mutual friends on Facebook but I haven't had the courage to "friend" her.
I'm so intensely sad for Mary Jo and Winston. Please pray for their family in the midst of their grief. And Elsey... may you rest in peace in the loving arms of Jesus. We'll miss experiencing your smile and joyful heart.
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