Who's the cutest girl around?

I am a mom of a cutie pie (very biased). And I wanted to share my experiences with others (including my cuties grandparents, great-grandparents, numerous uncles and other relatives). I love being a mom and can't imagine doing anything else.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

February 27th


One year ago today Alivia left our house for the last time. She was in a great mood and not afraid at all of what was to come (because she didn't understand). The same can not be said for the rest of us. I was terrified and so sad to leave our house that morning. I didn't know what lay ahead but knew it was going to be extremely hard. I had no idea how hard. I can't believe its been a whole year since Livi was in our house. Our big empty house. I've been missing her terribly. I watched hours of videos of her the other night. Most days I still feel shocked that I will never get to hold her again. Shocked that she isn't here. That feeling hasn't gone away. Maybe it never will.

55 Comments:

Blogger Mrs Manz said...

Emily,
Anniversaries are SO hard...
I just passed the one-year anniversary of finding out I was expecting my baby girl. And now she's been gone over 4 months...
I'd be lost without Jesus... and that is crazy to think about because sometimes (even knowing that) I FEEL lost anyway. Who do you turn to when you don't have Him?
Praying for you...
kendall

7:21 PM  
Blogger Mrs Manz said...

I meant to say "who would you turn to if you didn't have him"? (not saying you don't have him... chuckle)
k.

7:22 PM  
Blogger Nyah's Mommy said...

she couldn't have had a better mommy. I'm sure you will ALWAYS miss your sweet angel. How sweet will that day be though when you are reunited with her! You will see her face again and it will be sweeter than ever. Miss you guys and hope we can come visit again sometime soon :)

8:05 PM  
OpenID dlbmrb said...

Emily
You do not know me personally. I am a freind of Brianna's. I have left messages before on here. I am so sorry and I do understand the feeling of shock. I can say that the shock does wear off...There are still days I am shocked that my 17 year old son will never walk through my door. Not every day BUT some days. It has been 5 years and I can say it gets more gentle. Not easier or better BUT more gentle. The harshness of it all does lessen and God in His wonderful mercy and grace gives us seasons of happiness again. I am praying for you and am here if you need anything.
Donna Bishop

8:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

emily, i remember all too well the terror of leaving your house. i had trusted that god would not lead us to that day....yet, he did. i remember the whole day in the transplant clinic, and i remember livi walking down the hall to her room...i broke down crying at least 3 times. you were so strong...being the best mother in the world for livi. no one else could have done for her what you did!it has been a whole year? it seems like yesterday and ten years ago at the same time....the whole experience is unreal and too sad... i will never stop missing her for you, for us........... mom

8:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I won't pretend to understand what today must feel like for you. Thank you for having the strength to share your grief with us. You are in my heart and my prayers, always.

~neysa~

9:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Emily and James, I probably had to write todays date at the top of my notes at least 20 times. Each time it caused me to pause as I fought back tears. I think I lost the battle five times. I still remember her laughing on the way to the hospital. We had so much fun with her. I also continue to marvel at the little new home that you created for Livi and us in the hospital. There was no lack of love, no lack of creativity and I know she never felt alone. I would go back in a flash. Love, Pa

10:49 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I was weeping with you as I remembered (through your blog posts at the time) how joyful Livi was when you were on your way to the hospital. What a precious girl--and what a huge loss you live with daily. More than I can comprehend. Emily, you were such an amazing mother to Livi. I learned so much from you during those long difficult days in the hospital as you shared your heart with us via this blog. Praying for you--I know there is only ONE who can cushion your pain--praying for you.

with love,
Amy

8:45 AM  
Blogger Kara Stoltzfus said...

we continue to think of you and pray for you and your family. we can anxiously await our sweet reunion with our precious children and i pray until that day you can find peace, hope, healing and joy.

there are no words. we grieve with you.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that face is so precious.

i continue to pray for you.

cori bitterman

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Cindy said...

Not a day goes by that I don't check your blog. You don't know me, probably never will, but I think of you, James and Livi everyday. I look forward to seeing what new post you've written. She will always be with you in your heart.

11:48 AM  
OpenID bethyoung said...

Emily,

I just don't know what to say. I don't know your pain at all, but I have children and I love them more than life itself and I can't imagining for even a millisecond losing them. You are always in my thoughts and also in my prayers. We love hearing from you...

Beth

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a sweet picture.....it was so hard to read that.....knowing how much pain you feel everyday makes me want to cry.....i can't imagine how hard it was for you to get through yesterday, but know that the Lord was and is with you.....you are and were such a strong mommy for livi and i can't think of anyone better for the job than you....which is why God choose you emily....he choose you to go through all this and even though it is so hard at times, just remember that you were choosen for livi....i pray that soon your days may become a little easier even though we all know you will never forget that little girl....and neither will anyone whose life she touched. Remember that day will come when you will see your sweet livi again and never again have to leave her side. I am praying for you everyday.

love,
moriah

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forgive me ahead of time b/c this will be long..I found your blog sometime in September- months after your loss and I remember the first entries I read I didn't understand what was going on and as I read more, I thought, 'please no, don't let this sweet girl have passed away'. Since then I've read all your entries, many times and think about you guys alot.

Yesterday in fact, you came to my mind. I had to take my girl (6 mos younger than Alivia) to a specialist for an opinion. Nothing serious but she had to give blood and was quite scared and cried and cried. I almost did too and Alivia and you sprang to my mind. Just a thought of, I don't know how they did it day after day. I thought of your entries when you used to say how she didn't complaint and kept her usual bright spirits despite the constant poking and prodding. What a brave girl she was! I say this not to make you sad but so you know, you are thought of often, prayed for often at strange times by strangers. And your little Alivia made and continues to make quite an impact on this stranger's life.

Sheila

p.s. I went back to your entry on 2/27/07 and the one before it when your dad mentioned the "hits" on this site - it was 14,586 at that time. Now its 273,872. I think you've made a difference in many more than lives than just mine:)

3:52 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

james and emily,

i am praying for you. i cannot imagine the grief in your hearts.

Is. 41:13

"For I, the Lord your God,
hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, “Fear not,
I am the one who helps you.”

emily b.

4:31 PM  
Blogger Vicki said...

Oh Emily, my heart breaks to hear your pain in your words. I still check the blog everyday and you and James are in our prayers every night. I always wonder how you are and while I know you were destroyed with the loss of your precious girl, I often hope that the pain is softening. Clearly it's not and I'm so sad for you. My words all sound wrong to me for I have no words to ease your pain but please know that you are thought of so often and I pray for God's love and peace for you and James. Alivia will never be forgotten by my family!!!
Vicki Moore

4:52 PM  
Blogger Rachel Marini said...

Emily,
I heard about your blog awhile ago from a nurse at the hospital and read as Alivia fought her courageous battle... cried as it became apparent the inevitable... you allowed and continue to allow us all into your life... thank you for sharing Alivia with us. I cannot help but grieve so deeply for you and your husband and your precious little girl. I know how difficult each and every day must be and we all just applaud you for even being able to get up and do what you've got to do, i don't know if I could do it. I am so sorry... Although this little note does very little to make you feel better or change the circumstances I pray you'd know ther are many people out there praying and loving.

Love,
Rachel

8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Livi knew immense love and she gave immense life. She lives in many of us in so many ways - though that may not ease your pain. Thank you for sharing with us, Em - you are incredible.

Anne

9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...no words...only heartfelt emotions and prayers.

Still praying for you!

Mary Ann K.

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Grande Aunt Lisa said...

Livi did leave your home, but she will always be home in our hearts. It is still so incomprehensible. I'm sorry for your pain and that there is nothing I can do to ease it. Emily and James, you are so strong and I believe that the effects of your shock will lessen and as you go thru the motions of life you will find things again that will help make sense. I don't know what to say, I just love ya'll.

lisa

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Emily, I am crying with you today, and praying that God will help you.
amanda kim

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I keep looking at your blog. Checking. Thinking, but have no comforting or wise words to post. Will keep praying. -Sue F.

2:38 PM  
Blogger Parmer Clan said...

What an adorable picture. I think of you everyday...and Livi. The other day I was at the pediatrician's office and a mother was there, a bit shaken. I asked if she was OK. Her little girl needed some blood work, and apparently she screamed bloody murder. She told me she didn't know how parents of sick children do it...I said, "God would give you the grace if it were your child." I wouldn't have been able to honestly say this before knowing what you went through with Livi...and how amazing you were and still are...sharing your pain and despair...partly for you to keep her alive, but along the way helping so many others as they grieve and read along with you. I know you feel weak, but you are stronger than you know. Thank you for being so real with us.
Continuing to pray for you. My kids still pray for "Baby Livi" every meal time. I still choke back tears everytime.

3:13 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

This is my prayer for you:
"Dear Father, please help James and Emily. Please Holy Spirit come and comfort them. Give them hope and joy. Set their eyes on You, their Savior, and their Home. Give them peace, strength, and perseverance through your Holy Spirit. Dear Father, please bless them for Your glory."

~Sarah Sensenig

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't imagine your loneliness, we continue to pray for you both. Though you won't be able to hold her again in this life, I am so happy that you will be able to spend all of eternity with her!
Amber Miller

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't know why I waited till the end of the day this particular day to check your blog but here I am again not wanting to deal with our reality. Maybe because today being the last day of Feb. I am dreading the thought of a birthday which we would be so looking forward to in March for our precious litle lambikins. Emily dear, wish there were words to help ease the pain, but, sadly, I can find none. Only love can help a bit, Faithfully, you loving Marmie. At least I hope that is so.

11:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found your blog many months ago and had to walk away many time because I knew what was happening.... I think of you often and know my loved friend and Livi are taking care of one another.

10:40 AM  
Anonymous Heather said...

Emily,
What an adorable picture of Livi. She does look so happy and I think it is because she had the best Mommy out there. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of you and how you are doing. I am on this site everyday and looking for an updated blog to see how you are coping. I hope that someday your pain will be at ease, but right now I wish for as much comfort and support to you and James to get through these hard days. I love you and I hope to see you both soon. Take care!

Love, Heather

1:14 PM  
Anonymous becca said...

I can't imagine the heartache that you continue to face for you sweet
darling girl! what a happy moment that will be when you are reunited with her once more! I've been praying for you! oh and I was learning to play this song on the piano and thought of you:

If You Could See Me Now
(Kim Noblitt)

Our prayers have all been answered. I finally arrived.
The healing that had been delayed has now been realized.
No one's in a hurry. There's no schedule to keep.
We're all enjoying Jesus, just sitting at His feet.

Cho: If you could see me now, I'm walking streets of gold.
If you could see me now, I'm standing strong and whole.
If you could see me now, you'd know I've seen His face.
If you could see me now, you'd know the pain is erased.
You wouldn't want me to ever leave this place,
If you could only see me now.

My light and temporary trials have worked out for my good,
To know it brought Him glory when I misunderstood.
Though we've had our sorrows, they can never compare.
What Jesus has in store for us, no language can share. (Chorus twice)

You wouldn't want me to ever leave this perfect place
If you could only see me now
If you could see me now
If you could only see me now

6:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too still check often, always hoping the pain eases and some days get easier.
I can't help but think how incredibly strong, creative and the amazing ideas you came up with to daily help ease the pain for Livi and make her life as normal as possible. She was so blessed. and yet I know what an amazing blessing she was. (and soooo darn cute!!)
I loved the song in the previous post and love picturing Livi pain free and enjoying the best part of what is to come for those who trust. I pray each day you are surrounded by new mercies and hope for seasons of joy. I am so sad for you all.
Praying
Diana B.

8:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Emily,
I am praying for Jesus' sweet healing and restoration for you and your family. I cannot imagine how difficult losing Livi continues to be. Love in Jesus, Janet S. from Indiana PA

9:18 AM  
Blogger beth said...

Emily,
I have no words. Just as I took my child's cold from her (and feel quite yucky right now) I wish I could take away your pain for awhile. Or at least lessen it somehow. I pray that God's constant and unfailing love is made known to you today in a way you've never experienced before.
Beth

9:42 AM  
Blogger Ang Stoltzfus said...

this picture is so sweet! i miss her much.

9:57 AM  
Blogger monicac2 said...

Please know that you are still in the thoughts and prayers of so many people. Little Alivia made such a deep impression on so many lives - what an amazing feat in such a short time. She was an angel on Earth, as she is in Heaven. God bless you.

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I terribly miss little Livi too (even though I never actually met her except for here on the blog). I miss all the things you would write about her the funny things she said and did. the way she always made every one smile...seeing pictures of her cute little face. I can't imagine how much pain and hurt you feel! It is so sad. But remember you sweet girl is in heaven feeling no more pain and sadness and she is laughing, dancing and have a blast with Jesus. I will be praying for you and for the days to get a little easier although I know you pain will never totally go away. love,

-Melissa

3:32 PM  
Blogger Bre said...

I don't know what to say except that I am still praying for you and James. I think of you all often and I check your blog nearly everyday - your little Livi and the way you and your family love her leave a lasting impression.

10:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Livi...not only are you the cutest girl in this world (and the next), but you also are the bravest girl in the world. Your mommy, who is probably the best mommy i have ever know, helped you to be so brave.........she always showed you love, comfort, bravery, and hope. You two are the best girls i have ever known. gigi

8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear, dear Emily. Your heartache is palpable. This grief is your reality and you can't escape. (you could try but it wouldn't work) How strong and brave and tough you are to just survive now. You are my inspriation and my deepest heartache these days. It doesn't get easier for such a long long time that it might as well never by the time it does. And yet, here you are, walking forward one step after another. So weary I know. Grief strips us, leaves us raw and chaffing at every day life. Dear Emily. You and James are precious to me.
Aunt Marcy

1:19 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

James and Emily,

I continue to pray for you all and please know Livi's bravery and joy during her short time here have been an example to me.

Sara

7:56 PM  
Blogger Steph B. said...

Emily, I continue to keep you and James in my prayer!

I read a poem the other day, I am sure someone has shared it with you already.

Her Journey's Just Begun

Don't think of her as gone away-
her journey has just begun
life holds many facets
the Earth is only one

Just think of her as resting
from the sorrows and the tears
in a place of warmth and comfort
where there are no days and years

Think how she must be wishing
that we could know today
how nothing but our sadness
can really pass away

And think of her as living
In the hearts of those she touched
For nothing loved is ever lost-
And she was loved so much.

- Ellen Brenneman

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am still praying for you guys. I have been one of your faithful blog readers for well over a year now. When you have time, can post inforamtion about cord blood donation and/or banking, along with links to reputable websites? I am pregnant and I want to help others like Livi and her friends from Hershey, but don't know where to start. Thank you!

12:25 AM  
Blogger momofcolin_chloe said...

Information on cord blood donation: http://www.marrow.org/HELP/Donate_Cord_Blood_Share_Life/index.html and http://cordblooddonor.com/ and here are answers to frequently asked questions about cord blood donation: http://www.marrow.org/HELP/Donate_Cord_Blood_Share_Life/Cord_Blood_Donation_FAQs/index.html

9:46 AM  
Blogger momofcolin_chloe said...

Emily and James,

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of you and Livi. I don't have anything profound to say...just that I'm thinking of you and her still.

Christi

9:48 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Just thought I would drop by and let you know you are still in my thoughts and prayers. It must be so hard. Just today I sent in my paperwork for cord blood donation. When I am in labor and when the cord blood is being sent, I will be thinking of you and Livi all the while. I am doing it for her. My daughter is about Livi's age when she went to be with Jesus, and I cannot imagine losing her. I was giving her a bath last night and thought about Livi and I said a prayer for you.

Lots of love to you and James

Lisa R.

3:14 PM  
Blogger Jude & Kate's Mom said...

Emily,

I will never forget James' words to me at Livi's viewing. He told me to never let Jude forget her. I just wanted you to know that this morning when he sat down at the breakfast table he was asking for a picture off of the refrigerator. I thought he was saying "Nic" so I kept handing him pictures of my nephew. He was getting more and more irritated with me with each wrong photo I was choosing. Finally he pointed and clearly said, "This" (duh...not Nic) and I realized he wanted Alivia's picture. I handed it to him and clear as anything he said, "Alivia!" and got a big smile. He held her picture through breakfast. With all that's been happening in our own lives it's been awhile since he's heard us talk about her...but he has not forgotten! He knows who she is. I'm amazed. King Jude will never forget his Princess Livi. :) How could he?

Please tell James...he hasn't forgotten her. Neither have we. Praying for you as her birthday approaches.

Love to you!
Julie

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will be thinking of you and James on Livi's birthday. We will be celebrating our middle child's birthday (a few weeks late) over Spring Break and my heart will hurt that Livi is blowing out the candles in heaven instead of with you and James this week. We can rejoice in knowing, though, that whether we are given 100 years or 2 years on this earth that time here is short and we will be together in heaven with Livi one day.

I was just talking about all of you today on the phone with my Grandma Ruth who will be coming through town to visit on her way back to Chicago in the next few days. Grandma Ruth is Billy, Read, and Barbara's first double cousin. I was telling her about the picture of you and James that I keep in my china cabinet.

Thinking of you all so often in so many different ways. There is a little boy here in town that needs a bone marrow donor (Bryson Merriweather). He is African American so finding a match will be extra challenging. Please keep Bryson and his family in your prayers.

Love,

Caroline

1:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i come here every day....i just have to see her....when we were there with her. mom

5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Emily,

When Livi first became ill, my niece, Bre, asked that I put her on a prayer list. Because I work for a religious organization, we always open our weekly staff meetings with prayer and prayer requests,and I put forth Livi. The entire staff then put Livi on the prayer requests for their individual churches, and contacted friends to do the same. I just wanted to let you know that so many people from Myrtle Beach down to Georgetown, SC (and beyond) have prayed for Livi and continue to pray for healing for the entire family. I also want to thank you for sharing this beautiful child with everyone. I read your blog with tears pouring down my face, and I'm awed and inspired by your courage and faith. God bless you and James and your families. Just as I know that I will one day be reunited with my son, I know that a sweet reunion awaits you, James and Livi.
Kathy M.

12:46 PM  
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6:52 PM  
Blogger Vicki said...

I still check the blog everyday. All of you remain in my thoughts and prayers. And my heart aches as Livi's birthday approaches. I still remember the celebration last year.
Emily, as a mom, I think of you so often and wonder how you're doing. I never got the opportunity to meet you, yet you have a place in my heart and I worry about you. Is that silly? I hope not, because I can't help it. Please know that I will continue to think about you and pray for all of you. I can't forget about that precious baby girl.
Warmest thoughts, Vicki Moore

8:08 AM  
Blogger Jed Smith said...

Emily,
missing all of you and Jackson's family. It is lonely up here on the floor sometimes. Thinking of you often.
Jed's mommy

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praying for you especially as the next few days will be rough. -Sue F.

9:02 AM  
Blogger momofcolin_chloe said...

Praying for you all. You all have been weighing heavily on my heart and I think of you and her often.

12:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Emily,

I know Alivia's birthday is this week:-( It must be an extra sad week. I just wanted you to know that I will be thinking of you on her birthday and praying for you guys. love, Leslie M.

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Emily, thinking of you on Livi's birthday... also my mom's birthday. She is not forgotten. Praying for you all.
Beth C.

12:07 AM  

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