Monday, 7 July 2014

One Final Word

412.  It was within days of Hope's death that Shawn informed me she had lived for 412 days.  I smiled to myself as I had calculated it as well.  I soon discovered my mom had done the same.  For some reason, we all needed to know how many days we'd been able to hold her in our arms.  Today is our 412th day without Hope.  I have now lived as many days without her, as I was blessed to live with her.

For 412 days I would sit alone in the living room in the middle of the night and write my updates.  When sleep wouldn't come and my heart was heavy, I wrote.  Now 412 days later, sleep feels far away tonight and it only seemed right to begin writing my final entry.

Right now in the city of Calgary, a family is longing to know that their 5 year old son is safe.  I find the entire story and situation very disturbing.  It has caused me to lose sleep and over-think a lot of my own life.  Tonight as I tried to fall asleep I thought of them again and the absolute torture they currently feel. Sadie came and gently touched my arm after a bad dream.  I lifted her into the bed and curled in behind her.  I held my little girl and prayed for her safety, for wisdom, as her mom, and for the evil of this world to stay far away from her.  I also realized in that moment that for 412 days, I have never worried about Hope's safety.  Never wondered if she was in pain, feared that she was unhappy or questioned how to care for her.  She is my one child that will always be safe.  She is the only one I won't pray protection over late into the night as the years go on.  She is safe forever.

Losing a child still feels wrong, unfair and difficult to understand.  That is unlikely to ever change.  I am able to feel the comfort of knowing she's in heaven and safe in the arms of Jesus.  That feels right, more than fair and yet still so difficult to understand.

Many people have questioned my desire to stop writing.  To be completely honest, I don't feel right writing about Sadie and Stella as they grow up.  It was different with Hope, we were calling an army of people to pray for her and there was a great reward for writing.  If I told people what was happening, they could pray.  I believe we needed that support and that Hope benefited from the knees that were bent around the world.  As for Sadie and Stella, I don't want to make that choice for them.  I don't want every birthday, Christmas and special event in their lives to be available to anyone that desires to take a look.  I find Facebook to be public enough with those we choose to accept and want to limit their exposure.  I do feel badly that many people have come to deeply care for our family and will feel like we've "dropped" them and for that I apologize.  We so appreciated you joining us on our journey with Hope and we valued your commitment to pray.  Please know how deeply grateful we feel that you cared.

As for our little family of 4…
We will always feel one person short.  Every time I use the words, family photo, a part of me cringes.  I find it difficult to think about the fact that Sadie will more than likely forget most of her time with Hope.  I'm sure she'll remember the stories we repeat and recognize the photos she sees often, but memories she made at 2 years of age will slowly fade.  I'm sad to know that Stella has a sister she's never met.  I wonder if she'll ever feel left out.  I often wonder how it will feel when I replace a photo of Hope in our home with someone or something else.  She will always remain, but may not dominate the walls forever.  412 days later, I can see so many of the beautiful things that God created through the ashes.  It doesn't make it all less painful, but it certainly makes it easier to accept.  I can truly say that I still believe God is good, loves me deeply and longs for the day that we can all be forever safe in his arms.  On that day, our family will no longer be one person short, our hearts will no longer be broken and our minds will finally understand.

Each person that came on this journey with us, played a part in helping me see purpose for our pain.  Hope's reach was great, her impact profound and I am able to know that from the responses her story has received.  Thank you for caring, thank you for loving us and thank you most of all for choosing to love a little girl that we all knew could one day be taken from us and leave us brokenhearted.

412 days without Hope have passed, I'm not sure how many more will, but each day that passes makes me a little bit older and a little bit closer to Heaven.  A place always sweet, but made sweeter to me by her presence.  I can only hope that each person who followed her story came to understand their own need for Jesus and will be there with me one day.  I remember sitting at the Ronald McDonald House one night and writing, that if one person came to Christ through Hope's life and death, it would have purpose.  I still feel that way and pray that anyone who hasn't accepted Christ, but desires to, would make that decision today and give purpose to her pain.

16 comments:

  1. Karin Baumgardner7 July 2014 at 13:39

    May God richly bless you and your family Amy, as you continue in your journey. Your blog has blessed countless individuals - myself included. I'm sure you will meet some in heaven someday that will only be there because of Hope's far-reaching impact in the world! It is good to hear how God is working to bring continued healing, peace and renewed life into your family. The close of your blog is a healthy sign of moving forward in faith with Him, into a new future. Rest assured that as God brings you to mind, each one of us who were touched by your words will lift you up to the Throne, always! Those who are close in heart will be forever near... with much love in Christ.

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  2. My lovely friend Deb invited me along to share in your journey through prayer and tears. So I guess I'm one of the ones being "dropped" - but there is nothing negative in that at all and you needn't apologize! I completely understand and respect your reasons for transitioning to a more private online presence. God bless you and your dear family as you continue to face whatever each day may bring.

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  3. my heart just receives your every word with such emotion. i understand your choice to stop writing, it doesn't mean you are forgetting or ending a journey. One day i look forward to meeting your little family in heaven. Thank you for sharing His love through all your words and tears, your little Hope is who i think of now when I feel i am reaching for just that. Pauline (friend of Naomis)

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  4. Best wishes to you and your family. I will miss your blog entries but understand your reasons for ending this blog.

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  5. What a beautifully written "last" chapter. It is appropriate that you write it after 412 days have passed, and I believe you have made a wise decision to make your lives a little more intimate. I've said it before Amy and it bears repeating. I and thousands of others around the world will remember Hope when we see any child in a hospital bed, and when we see hearts or one heart. We'll remember when we see a picture of Sadie and now Sadie and Stella. And whenever God puts you and Shawn and your sweet girls in front of us, we'll breathe a prayer of thanks for who you are and who Shawn is and who all three of your little girls are. Love you sweetie!

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  6. Good bye Amy. Thank you for sharing Hopes journey.

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  7. I've never commented before but have followed from the start, I knew of you though a good friend from nursing school in Saskatoon. You and your family have taught me so much, more than I could ever write down. I have become a far better nurse now knowing how it feels to be on the "other side", my spiritual life is clearer, and ultimately I hold my children tighter. Hope and your journery will be cemented in mind for ever.
    I wish you an your family every happiness, and healing.

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  8. Amy - Through the ups and downs of life Jesus is holding our hand and asking us to trust and obey. As we learn to do that while letting go of control - others can see that Jesus truly makes a difference in ones life. His light is shining brightly in your life dear Amy. As you trust and obey on your journey with Him may each moment bring peace and heal your sorrow.

    Now to us who believe and our praying for the family who have lost their little boy along with his grandparents here in Calgary we do what we do best - pray as we trust and obey and share the Love of Jesus. Why? Because when Love is missing no one is listening we are all just talking yelling mouthing off thinking only of 'me me me' being self centered then things get out of control in that moment of escalating emotions. I think we human reactors are more dangerous than nuclear reactors. May our prayers help that family through their grief.

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  9. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. I assure you your angel daughter is dancing among the stars along with my angel daughter. Reading your journey has helped me through some tough nights. Thanks for being so passionate and honest in your writings. Warm wishes and blessings to you and your entire family!

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  10. Dianne Ducheno21 July 2014 at 16:23

    Thank you Amy for such a beautiful final entry and sharing Hope's journey with us. Through your blog not only did we find love in God but love for a family we had never met. Each day was a new day , a new entry and at times a lot of tears. If even one person met God through the journal would be amazing , I belief there are more. In closing Amy I want to wish Yourself , Shawn, Sadie and Stella years of wonderful memories together. May God Bless you all & rejoin your love with Hope in his loving home of Paradise in Heaven. For now Hope is with your Nana watching over all her loving family. To all who have been following Hope's story let's keep our prayers for so many in need and spread the need for organ/tissue donors. <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

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  11. Cheryl from Montreal22 July 2014 at 06:44

    Dear Amy & Shawn, Though I haven't visited and read your blogs lately your family has been on my mind and part of my pray routine for you and for families in distress like you were. I'm now a grandma, soon to be the 5th time and each time I pray that the little ones are healthy and their parents mirror Christ like you and Shawn did for your family and all of us. We forget in our day to day living to be grateful and know that without HIM not much is possible. God bless you ALL as you continue this journey and when you do have a moment pray for our intentions. Your final blog is also so touching it prompted me to write and say "Adios my friends in Christ".

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  12. Remembering Hope and what following this blog meant to me. Thank you Sweetheart for building my faith in God again. You brought me many smiles , memories and lots of tears. You were such a strong girl and had such a loving family with Mommy, Daddy & Sadie. I know you are with your Great Nana now watching over all your loved ones and your new little sister Stella. R.I.P. Angel you'll always be remembered. Hugs <3 <3 <3

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  13. Remembering an Angel many prayed for .. 13 months or as Mom (Amy) says 412 days you were a big part of our world. Every heart I see my first thought is of Hope and her family. May God forever be with the Koslowski family through the years as Hope looks down upon them . Always loved and missed by so many.

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