I have had ALL the feels today.
I didn't know there were so many damn feels.
I woke up at 5 a.m. and just lay there thinking back over all the details of the day my Courtney was born. Twenty-three years ago today at 8:21 a.m. in Brunswick, ME a miracle occurred. It was quick, five hours of total labor. It was intense and painful but after two pushes I was holding her in my arms.
My daughter. My sweet Courtney Elizabeth. No drama. Just joy.
I had a little girl. A little sister to a big brother. Those blue eyes and little bald head just made me melt. Oh the love that flowed so freely that day between us.
That love continued for the next twenty-two and a half years. I held her in my arms and she trusted me to care for her every need. That's a very precious trust between a Mama and her child. I reveled in it and I did my best every single day to make sure she knew she was loved.
And then it all changed. Her beloved called her home to Him and my arms were empty. My job as her Mama was done. Courtney's job was done. At least her job here on earth. I have no doubt she continues to work on behalf of her God to praise His name and spread His message of love and life.
I wasn't ready, but then when God asks you to follow Him no matter what, it doesn't matter that you aren't ready. It just matters that you say "yes" and keep moving forward.
My Mom joined me for morning Mass and then we headed over to the cemetery and planted some flowers for my girl. We chatted and told Courtney stories. No tears, just love.
Then I got home and opened my email. Y'all are just too good to us. The emails, facebook messages and texts of love overwhelmed me. There may have been an ugly cry or three today as I read your beautiful words. I may have cried when my sweet friend with the voice of an angel sang Happy Birthday to Court over the phone. I may have cried when our sweet physician friend who signed Courtney's death certificate left a message of such kindness and love on my phone. He just wanted us to know how loved we were.
The day has been difficult. I won't lie. My husband weeping and filled with sorrow, missing his favorite girl. My son, with watery eyes trying to keep it together because his parents are hurting, visiting his sisters grave then bringing home cake and ice cream for dinner.
My heart is overflowing with love for these two men.
None of us knew what to do today. It was confusing and hard. the pain more prevalent than it has been in months. This first birthday without her here. Sad and quiet and filled with tears because to be without her is still foreign in some ways.
Thank you for your words of love and kindness. Thank you for raising another $300 to go toward paying off Courtney's medical debt. We are getting so close to paying off that first credit card. All because you cared to share our story. Keep sharing it y'all.
Thank you for listening to me drone on and on about my girl. Thank you for tolerating my overgramming and tweeting and facebooking photos of my daughter to keep her face alive for us.
Thank you for lighting a candle for her today. Thank you for praying for us today. Thank you for asking for Courtney's intercession, allowing her legacy of love to continue.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart...for being you.
Our current fundraising goal is $3,209.00 which will eliminate the balance on credit card used for Courtney's PT, OT and Feeding therapies and supplies used over the last five years. We have raised $1420 of it so far. Only $1789.00 to go to pay this one off. If we can raise the full amount, we can pay it off and be that much closer to our larger goal. One thing at a time. Thank you so much for your help.
help pay off medical debt from caring for our beautiful Courtney
The entire medical debt is extensive, now approx. $66,900. It's a lot and will take years to whittle down. Anything helps. Anything. So, I will keep it at the bottom of my posts for awhile. You all have already given so much to our family. Our prayers are with you and we are so very grateful. We can never repay that kindness. So thank you...just thank you. If you would like our mailing address, please just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send it.
Labels: Courtney's World, grieving, loss of a child, special need parenting