Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Angel Gracie

I am writing this with a very heavy sad heart this day. Sweet Gracie Gledhill has returned home to live with our dear Father in Heaven. She has left an amazing legacy behind in her short 11 months here with her family on earth. She has touched so many people by her miraculous story and her sweet spirit. I know my family personally has been touched by her story and by her family's faith and strength.

I began following Gracie's blog last March right after her first surgery. I had linked to it from Kaidence's blog (we met Kaidence and her wondferful parents in the PICU Dec 08 when Mason had his first surgery and when she received her new heart). There was a post that had asked for prayers for baby Gracie. I instantly became attached to Gracie's blog and her story. Not only because she had HLHS just like Mason, but because she was a also a miracle beating all the odds.

I've since had the opportunity to meet sweet Gracie and her special parents. We actually met in the PICU last April when Mason was Life Flighted for tachycardia. Ironically enough, they live here in Highland only a few miles from us and in a neighborhood we almost built in 4 years ago. Over the Months I have become friends with Michelle, Gracie's Mom, and we have called each other to talk diaper rashes, heart meds, and and just about the crazy but special life of a heart mom. I truly admire Michele and how dedicated she has been to Gracie and her other children. I have loved reading her blog and learning from her positive outlook on life.

I know Gracie has fought all her body could fight. She is in a much happier place now, but even knowing this does not make it much easier today. This has just hit too close to home, with how many times Mason has almost slipped away in front of us! I have cried many tears over Gracie, and she is not even mine! This being said, it is hard for me to fathom Michelle and Tom's heartache yesterday to say, "goodbye for now" to their beautiful Baby. I am grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ who has taught us that "Families can be Together Forever".....so that we will see our loved ones,who pass on before us. again some day.

Even my sweet Kaitlin has been so upset since I told her yesterday that Gracie was ready to return home to our Heavenly Father. Quoting her, "But Mom we have prayed so much for Gracie. Everyone has prayed so much for her! Why can't the doctors just fix her heart one more time?" We cried together as I explained to her 'that our prayers were answered. Just not the way we imagined. She is no longer in pain and she is much more comfortable now in a very happy place. Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us and we do not always know exactly what that is. And now some other child's life will be spared and their family's prayers answered because Gracie's parents have donated her healthy organs.

A note to Gracie's Family:

Dear Gledhills,
We will continue to pray that you may feel comfort and peace until you meet up with your Angel Gracie again some day. Thank you for your example of hope, love, strength, and faith. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for allowing your sweet Gracie to change our lives.

Sincerely with Love, The Strickland Family


Mandee said...

My heart goes out to them. We'll remember the Gledhill's in our prayers.

Holly Cooper said...

Beautifully written Summer. These precious little children who fight with all of their might to hang on to life have enriched our own lives in ways we could never imagine. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us. Thank you to the Gledhills who shared their triumphs, their heartaches and their faith with countless others.

Holly said...

I'm sure they will really appreciate your note. :)

Carlla said...

Hi, I came across your link on someones blog. I am also a heart mom. My son Aiden is 13 mos, he has Shones/HLHS.
Mason looks great! You have a beautiful family!