the final hours...

This photo was taken September 2014.
Jessica is on the left wearing the USNA shirt. 

Miss Courtney will be in the arms of Our Lord within the next day. The "death rattle" has been present in her chest for several hours now and her breathing labors more and more. Her lips, fingers and toes all show the signs of death fast approaching. 

My Mom is holding her now and Handel's "Messiah" is quietly playing on the iPod. There are so many of you praying my daughter to heaven that I wanted you to know the journey is almost over. 

Just keep praying for peace. It is coming my friends. It is coming for my girl very soon. 

I also wanted to share this beautiful testimony written by my sweet niece Jessica. She is my brother Joe's eldest daughter and my Courtney has made a permanent place in her heart. 

"For those of you who don't know this already, my cousin is dying. She has been for the past few months. While most people would be pretty upset and sad about this (and trust me, I've had my moments), I'm choosing not to be anymore. 

I look at her life and all I see is a beautiful story of a girl who has fought her whole life and who deserves to have her peace. I see happiness and struggles and through it all, God's love and light shining through constantly. Part of this is because of people I don't even know. People who have seen my aunt's blog and heard their story and who have prayed for us and who have reached out in the most amazing ways to help in any way they can. Because of my cousin's life and her incredible story, God has been able to touch hundreds of lives. 

Not only has He blessed those directly affected by Courtney's life, but He has also blessed those who walk the journey with us thousands of miles away. To these people I want to say thank you. From the bottom of my heart thank you. Most of you will never see this but I hope that you know how much my family appreciates your prayers and your support in all it's forms. God bless you When I take a step back and look at this whole picture, I stand in awe. 

God may not be working the miracle we have all been hoping and praying for for 22 years, that Courtney may be healed and live, but He is definitely working a miracle in other ways. 

I'm so proud of you Court I love you so very much and I know that I will miss you more than you can know and that it will be extremely difficult when you leave, but God is holding you securely in His arms. Him and Grandpa Green are looking down on you and smiling. They give you the strength to keep fighting another hour, another day. I know God has a perfect plan for you and I know we're all worn out on this side of heaven, but we continue to trust Him and His beautiful plan for you. Just know that whenever it is time, we'll be ok. 

You have so many people waiting to welcome you with open arms into heaven and we will love and pray you into them. We'll never forget you Court and the amazing impact you have left on this world will live on forever. We will cry, we will smile, and we will support each other the rest of the way through this journey and beyond, just like we always have. Don't you worry about us Keep carrying out our Father's plan for you and we'll keep on supporting you. Boy heaven doesn't know what it's in for when you get there. They ain't seen nothin yet. 

You will finally be free from all the things that bound you here on earth. I know we will all be celebrating with you from here. I'm so excited for you to experience that Take care of everyone up there for us, all the cousins and my siblings that we never got to meet. I know they'll be happy to have someone to play with I am glad you're not in pain anymore and I just want you to know that I love you You will always be a part of my life, of who I am. 

You taught me so much about faith and love and I wouldn't trade the years I've been able to spend with you for the world." Jessica

These moments we are having now are true miracles, gifts from our daughter to us as she leaves this world to return to her Beloved. 

We are blessed beyond measure and we are humbled to be in the presence of a saint on her final journey home.