Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Posse

When we were told for the third (and last) time that Katie was going to die, after the initial shock wore off, I started to think: maybe Katie could use a posse. I was thinking of the best women I know who have already passed away. I started to call on them in my mind and heart: Please come and be ready to meet my daughter when she passes. I want her to be surrounded with mother-love, and I need your help; I can't go with her. Please be waiting for her, with your love.

These are the women I thought about:

Diane Fuquay, MD, my friend and Katie's & David's pediatrician

Auntie Bernice, Grandma G's sister
Marie Poulsen, a dear friend and mentor of mine (seen here holding Katie)

and Helen Katzung, my mother's best friend (and an "auntie" to me).

I don't know whether or not it worked, but it comforted me to ask the women who have been dear to Katie and me to help us. I also thought alot about Mary, the mother of Jesus, and I prayed for mercy and gentleness, love and no fear. We did receive that.

I believe it was Diane who met Katie as she was passing.

Since Katie's birthday (March 8), it's been driving me crazy that I couldn't find her FIRST birthday photos. When she was in the CICU following her surgery, I decided to do a little scrapbooking, to keep my hands busy, and to give way to my urge to DO SOMETHING, without making a complete nuisance of myself with the nurses. Of course, as the days went on, the nurses taught me how I could help take care of Katie, and that was much better. But during the times when I couldn't help much, I tried working on Katie's baby book. (My closest friends will know right here just how bad things were. I do not like scrapbooking. At all. I love photos, but I do not like the process of putting them in albums. I only do it so we will have photo albums to enjoy. Katie and I both love LOOKING at photos.) I didn't get very far with the scrapbook, but I remember one lovely nurse bringing in paper for me to use to make the backgrounds for the pages. What a sweetheart.

When I was putting Katie's birthday slideshow together for the blog, I couldn't find any photos of her on her first birthday. I felt like a "bad mother" for that. We didn't have digital photos then, either, so I'd have to actually, physically FIND them. If you know what we've been through in the last year and a half, you will know that it's hard to find things around here now. Plus, I separated her baby photos from the others, in order to take them to the hospital to put in the scrapbook. Apparently, they are still in a bag.

However, today, when looking for the photos of the women in Katie's Posse, I found these:
They are of her first birthday cake, which I made using a rocking-horse cake mold. I decorated it, and if you look carefully, you can just make out a 1 on the saddle. I thought I had found the photos of Katie with the cake, too, but I am going to have to look again. I guess I'll find those another time. If I took myself too seriously, I'd worry.
Oh, well.


Colleen said...

I have been reading your blog here as well as at caringbridge. I'm a member of RBPC which is how I found out about your blog. Reading your blogs, I am amazed at the strength you carry with you every day. Your blogs are so real, and I enjoy that you can be so truthful when there are so many emotions and some of them are hard to admit that they are there. I don't know if all of this makes sense, but your blog has given me hope that through so much pain there is still hope and truth at the end of it all. I am not going through cancer in the family but I have my own painful memories and stories and I really appreciate that with all that you've been through, most of your entries are positive and/or hopeful in some way.

Susan said...

I always thought it was fortunate that I had not lost anyone I was close to, ever (I had never even been to a funeral until Nathan's)! Well, once I knew Nathan was headed to heaven I felt less fortunate. I don't know who greeted Nathan but I rest assured he is happy. I am glad to hear about Katie's posse. How comforting that must be.

I,too, have been semi-frantically searching for a picture for the last 24 hours. I can't find Nathan's first grade school picture. It is driving me crazy! I am started to hatch plots of how I can get my hands on a replacement since we didn't even send them out to people due to being out of town with him for three months.

I hope the picture elves return yours and my precious photos soon!

Oh - and I should add one of the greatest gifts to us during all of this was that after Nathan was diagnosed a good friend who scrap books took all my pictures and made several scrapbooks covering several years! What a wonderful gift since I don't really like to scrapbook and she is so good at it.

Smileygirl said...

Beautiful people and beautiful memories.

Heide said...

Good morning, Karen. I love hearing about Katie's Posse. The women in those pictures look like some of the sweetest, kindest women I've seen ... DEFINITELY motherly and definitely warm. All of them with beautiful smiles.

I know you will find Katie's 1st b-day pictures. If you're organized anything like I am, then you'll probably find them in a box with some Christmas decorations, some silverware, and maybe a Kid's Magic set. lol

I'm curious ... why do you believe that it was Diane who met Katie? Perhaps because she was the most recent angel? (Was she?) ... Sorry if that's too personal, but all of this fascinates me, and I LOVE thinking about Jessica having friends and loved ones with her.

Have a nice Sunday, Karen. You remain in my thoughts and prayers.

m/o ^Jessica^; forever 17

KBL 2 ORD 2 SAN said...

Hi Karen,
I found your blog from Laura's Live Happy blog. I've read all about your beautiful Katie's brave struggle, and I've visited the Caring Bridge site. I found myself crying and aching for a young lady I've never known, but one whom we all have met or will all meet one day when tragedy hits our own loved ones.

A beautiful, inspiring belief that a posse awaited Katie, and that hopefully we will all be blessed with such a beautiful ring of love at the end of our day. Amazing.

I am just in love with the picture of you and Katie at her cousin's wedding. My mother and I have been having some trouble lately, and seeing Katie's blissful, in-love glow in that picture, it has made me want to pick up the phone and call Mom. Thank you, Katie. May you rest in heavenly peace for always.

Thank you Karen, for this adoring tribute to your treasured daughter. Your family will always be in our prayers.