A Labor of Love

On June 8th our sweet girl went home to be with Jesus, on June 14th we celebrated her home.  We wanted to write this post to share the labor of love that went into our preparations for Stella’s service.  If you came to her service you may have seen Stella’s box (as it came to be called).  The outside is beautiful and the inside is as well.  We didn’t have an open box situation so we wanted to be able to share the beautiful inside.  Below are some pictures of Stella’s box that Jesse and I designed and looooooots of people helped bring it to completion.  The main side with Stella’s name is something I drew up, it’s really special because it’s my handwriting and my design.  If you don’t know, Moana was Stella’s favorite movie, so the waves were done in a Moana style.  The other side is a sweet bible verse that we chose.   The squirrels are there because that was a nickname we had for Stella.  Our dear friend Aaron has access to a CNC machine that engraved the two sides.  Jesse’s brother Reuben made the beautiful cross on top which is just perfect.  We love the way this all came together and that we could make it so personal for our sweet girl.

The inside of the box was my responsibility which I also had lots of help completing.  The fabric I chose is a beautiful collection of fabrics that has the colors I love and mermaids 🙂  I used this same fabric to make Stella a quilt just before she was born.  A sweet lady named Kathleen helped me piece together different fabrics from the collection to make the mattress part and two sides of the lining.  I embroidered angel wings and a halo on the corner of the little pillow to make it just perfect.

The last touch which made my heart happy was a giant sticker of Moana which fit perfectly on the inside of the lid.  The beautiful flowers on top of her box came from Mrs. Emily Blanton of Cana Farms and the lovely Karen Ferrell arranged the flowers.  It all came together just so perfectly.

The last thing I want to mention about Stella’s service was the balloon release we did at the grave side.  Everyone grabbed a green balloon on their way out of the church.  When the ministers had finished their part everyone was told to let go of their balloon and we all stood in silence as we watched this group of green balloons drift up to the sky and eventually out of our sight.  It was a very sweet moment that was a time for saying see ya later to our sweet girl.  Because it is see ya later.  We will be with our baby girl again someday and until then we are going to do our best to make Stella proud to have been our daughter.

 

Letting go…it’s hard

Friday morning around 8:15 in the morning we held our sweet baby Stella as she took her last breaths.  Our little squirrel is whole again, free of the awful disease that took away her away from us.  No matter how much you try to prepare yourself for the moment it can not compare to actually going through it.  Stella had a difficult couple of days and her little body was letting us know it was time for her to go home to be with Jesus.  Some amazing people at Baptist, the enhanced care team, told us as they coached us through this process that we would know when the time was right to let her go.  That time came and we did our best to make sure she was comfortable as she made her way home.  Our families were right there with us and Stella the whole time.  We have been beyond blessed to have such amazing families, friends, co-workers, and communities that have supported us through this journey that started 6 months ago.  We were lucky to have Stella as long as we did, the good Lord could have called her home December 31st 2017, but instead he blessed us with time.  Time to spend with Stella, time to tell her how much we love her, time for those that loved her to come visit and play with her.  Time for us to see more of her beautiful smiles, look into her beautiful eyes with those looooong eyelashes (that everyone just loved) and hear her sweet voice and her laughter.  More time to take care of her, as we gave her baths, watched Moana and Trolls with her, danced around with her, and took naps with her.  In hindsight God was giving us the gift of time.  We had a very special situation because we knew our time was limited with Stella so we had the chance to not take not a single moment for granted.  If that’s one thing we can pass on to other parents it would be to not take a single moment for granted.  As much of a cliche as it is.  It’s so true.  Even when your kid is throwing a tantrum in the grocery store, be thankful you have them.   We are thankful for everyone that has reached out to us since the passing of our sweet Stella.  We appreciate every bit of it.  Arrangements for Stella are in the works.  We will post that info when we have it.