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.

60 thoughts on “Letting go…it’s hard

  1. Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us. Our hearts ache at the loss you are experiencing and we will be praying for you and Jesse and all of your family as you grieve.
    Much love,
    Jeremy and Ange

  2. I am so sorry to hear of sweet Stella’s passing. I cannot imagine what you have been through. Your sweet little girl was so blessed to have you as parents, just as you were blessed to have been chosen by God to be her parents. He knew the plans He had for you, and for her. May He wrap you in His loving arms in the coming days as you adjust to this new chapter in your lives. My thoughts and prayers are with you and all your family.

    • My heart is breaking in your grief. God chose the perfect parents for your precious Stella.
      Even though a child, still your own Special Guardian Angel. Whole and no more suffering for Stella.

  3. Dear Mindy and family.
    You are in our thoughts and prayers and we are so sorry for your loss. ❤️??
    Pat and Michelle Allen

  4. Mindy and Jesse,
    I have no words right now other than we’re so sorry to hear about sweet Stella. She was given the best parents anyone could ask for that did everything in their power to help her in this heart wrenching situation. I can’t imagine “letting go” of a child but you trusted God and she’s now in his care. Sick free. Thoughts and prayers are with you, the grandparents and the rest of our family. ❤️?

    • Bebe,
      Beautiful expressions of love and comfort
      Thank you for these words as they are our sentiments.
      With love,
      David and Jeanne

  5. Oh my I have no words. I am so sorry for your loss. Hold on to the hope of seeing her again in heaven. You and your family are in my prayers for comfort from God and his people during this most difficult time.

  6. Love you guys . Prayers for strength and comfort at this difficult time.

  7. My Sincere Condolences to the Family for Their Loss. ” Blessed are They that Mourn, For They Shall be Comforted. “

  8. Praise be to God for the time He blessed you both with. You have been such a model of strength and what a good mother is truly made of. We are carrying you and your husband in our hearts.

  9. Mindy, so beautifully written! Thank you for sharing your heart! My heart aches for you and Jesse and wish there was something we could do that would help the pain go away .. but I know there isn’t .. so we will just keep praying .. big hugs !! ??? Linda Morrow

  10. I cannot even imagine all that y’all have walked through over the last 6 months. Your faith and knowing that she was in Gods hands from the beginning had to be an incredible source of strength. The Lord bless you and keep you, The Lord make His face to shine upon you as you continue to walk this journey. Y’all have been and will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.

  11. Mindy and Jesse, I wish I could say something so profound to help and support you during this time in your lives. You are a special couple with an amazing faith that I know will help. God will, indeed, hold you in his loving arms. Our prayers will continue for you both and your families. Stella was blessed to have you two for parents. Love and prayers.

  12. Jesse and Mindy,
    The words just don’t seem to come at a time like this, my heart is breaking for you and your family. I can’t even imagine the hurt and pain you must be feeling right now. And yet maybe some relief that your precious Stella is no longer suffering and in pain. I pray God continues to give you the strength you need to get through such a trying time. My love, thoughts and prayers to you and all the Ledbetter family. God bless you both!

  13. Jesse and Mindy… none of our words will be adequate comfort. Know that our prayers are for you… for God to grace you with peace. I know you are surrounded by love…let that love support you in every moment of your lives. Hugs to both of you…and to all who were blessed by Stella’s presence.
    Lisa Obermiller
    (Ben’s aunt)

  14. I am so sorry for your loss of your beautiful, precious Stella. Please know that we are praying for you and your family and for strength and comfort for all.

  15. The love that you shared with her and us all is so inspiring and I totally believe that she’s an instant angel and that we will all meet again in bliss.

  16. Mindy and Jesse you are living every loving parents biggest fear. Outliving your child. There are no words or acts of kindness that we can give you to take away this pain. We love you. You have shared your love and faith openly to more people than you will ever know. We thank you for trusting us to look after Stella for the short time we had her in Sunday School it was our honor. As young parents you have shown more wisdom and faith than we ever have in our lifetime. We give you our love and prayers for strength. We are here for you, always.

  17. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Jesse and your family. Your journey has indeed been hard but oh so special. You are wonderful parents and God entrusted sweet Stella to you to love and care for until He took her home. He knew you had that kind of heart and love to give her. People love you and are praying for you as you go through this difficult time. My prayer is for God’s comfort and He is the God of all comfort.

  18. Mindy and Jesse, you and your sweet Stella have all our love. In those short six months Stella has touched so many lives. Including ours and we have grown a lifelong friendship. Hugs to you all. Your Stella Angel is beautiful. <3

  19. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing your precious Stella with us.
    Love Retha

  20. My heart aches for you guys. I can’t even imagine how difficult this is for your family. Just remember you will see her again & she will be pain free. She was very blessed to have you guys as parents. Never forget that there is an entire community/county that love & support you guys just as we did Baby Stella. I will keep your family in my prayers. We love you guys.

  21. Randy and I are so sorry for you all. I pray you continue to feel God’s loving arms around you in the coming days.

  22. GOD give you strength. Keeping you in our prayers. Remember you will see sweet Stella again someday.

  23. Sweet Mindy…my prayer for you and Jesse is for you both to feel the arms of Jesus wrapped around you. I love you.

  24. I am so very sorry for the loss of your sweet Stella. We will be praying for your family during this difficult time. Just know this community will still be here during this time so lean on us. We admire your strength through all of this. ?

  25. I am so very sorry for the loss of your sweet Stella. We will be praying for your family and for strength and comfort for all

  26. Mindy, I am so sorry for the loss of your precious baby girl. I pray that beautiful memories help heal your pain. Love to you.

  27. Thinking of you and Jesse at this time and praying for comfort and peace for you and your families. The grace with which you have managed this tragedy is beyond remarkable. You did everything and more. God bless you.
    With much love.

  28. Mindy and Jesse,
    Words cannot express how my heart aches for you and your families. Thank you for sharing Stella with so many of us! God blessed her with amazing parents and in her short time here she brought out so much love that so many never see or feel.
    We rest assured knowing she is whole and with Jesus and that you will see her again.
    You are and will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.

  29. Mindy and Jesse, know our hearts ache with you right now but praise be to God in the fact that you know one day you will once again be with sweet Stella never to be separated again. Your love and faith have inspired so many as you have allowed us to walk this journey with you. We love and pray for you and all the family.

  30. Our love and prayers are with your family. Praying for peace and comfort in all the difficult days ahead ?

  31. No words can express how sorry we are for your loss of your sweet Stella. Your strength during this journey has been amazing and inspiring. We are praying for your family.

  32. Jesse and Mindy, I am so sorry for the loss of sweet Stella. I only know you from Jesse having both my children in class but my heart aches for you. Prayers for you all in this time. May God continue to have you all wrapped in his arms to get you through this difficult time.

  33. My heart aches for you Mindy and Jesse. I cannot fathom the pain you are experiencing. Stella was so adorable and to have her for such a short time is so heart wrenching. It’s hard not to question but God has a reason for this that we can’t understand. May God wrap his loving arms around you and your families.

  34. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and your beautiful Stella with us all. You are so right, she is a beautiful gift of God, & as Bebe stated, given to the best parents she could have! You stated a difficult truth in that letting go is so very hard (particular of a child).
    Take care & love yourselves & each other, lean on your faith, your loving families & friends & community as you go through this journey of “letting go”…You are loved! ❤❤❤

  35. So sorry to hear of your loss. Like so many others I have followed your posts and kept you in my prayers.

  36. I am so very sorry that you have lost your sweet Baby Girl but so glad that you had time with her. This is the most difficult thing you will ever go through in your life and there will always be a very tender spot in your heart but eventually there will be light in your life again. I know because I lost my son 12 years ago and I promise a time of laughter and peace is ahead.

  37. Mindy and Jesse, may God bring you peace and comfort during this difficult time. Love and Prayers????

  38. Dearest Mindy & Jesse,
    As I read your blog this morning the tears fell and my heart broke with yours . You and Jesse are such an inspiration and and little Stella, well Stella , a sweet little angel. An angel for so many of us right here on earth but indeed a true angel in heaven as we speak. I can only imagine her laughter now , her little body strong and completely healed, and I can only imagine those beautiful eyes looking into the eyes of Jesus . That is the true blessing in all of this as much as I know you and Jesse would have loved to have your sweet girl here with you . You are so right Mindy , y’alls sweet angel was loved by so many , whether you saw them physically or if they were those who simply reached out in compassion as a parent, friend, co worker or even a stranger . And Stella with her angelic face gave so much love in her short time on earth. God knew exactly what He was doing when He gave this little angel the perfect parents. Stella was truly blessed. The courage, faith in God, and the love you gave to Stella from the time she was conceived until her passing is the greatest gift she could have ever had. Stella was given and gave a lifetime of pure love. Even though I never met Stella personally, Mindy , it felt as if I had thru the pictures and stories you would post on Facebook, and because of the friendship that was created being co workers with you and Sara some years ago. There are some people who step into your life and they truly do make an impact on your life even though you may not have the every day opportunities to be with them. Such is so with you and your family. After Stella was diagnosed I knew she would need her family time as would you all. You are so right Mindy in that we should never take one moment with those we love for granted . And that time , sweet time is indeed a beautiful gift . Stella has always been quite precious to me and she will continue to live in my heart forever. You and Jesse have and still do inspire me. Please know you have so many who have walked this journey with you and will continue to do so. Prayer is such a powerful thing and God has answered in that your sweet girl will never have to suffer with a sickness again and the beauty beyond the pain and heart break right now ,is that we will see her again. You and Jesse will see your little girl again !!! It will be the most beautiful, most perfect reunion and just as there have been those who have rallied around you here on earth , so there will be in heaven!!!!! God never wastes any pain , even while the heart break feels like it will last forever, God will not waste it. Instead He walks every step of the way with us and there will be sunshine again. I promise but more importantly He promises . I love you guys and my heart breaks along with yours as a parent and a friend and I pray for comfort, peace, and the love from friends and family will somehow ease the pain and loss you feel right now . Fly high sweet angel !!! Until we meet again ❤❤❤???

  39. Dear Jesse & Mindy – So sorry to hear about your loss. No words are adequate, but please accept my condolences. My prayers are with you.

  40. Mindy and Jesse, our hearts break for you and your family. We have followed your blog during the journey and know God used precious Stella to move mountains in her short time here – All priase be to God! Since Friday, we have dedicated our prayer to comfort and peace for you and your families. With love, the Hills

  41. Hugs, blessings of peace, and treasured Stella memories to all the family. “Parents not taking for granted having a child” is so true. I so adore Lloyd’s like Stella’s cousin’s, Mercedes and Sam. They are the children that God graces me with if for only an hour on Sundays, having no kids of my own, other than one in heaven. You have made The Stella journey an inspiration. She was loved and will forever be a merciful angel among us. May your tears become salt of the Earth that will forever make positive changes for others. May God bless you in abundance and be the light as this chapter in life becomes a Starshine.

  42. I can only echo what Diane said. I was so touched by Stella,I tried so hard to catch up with Jesse at White Lake,as Stella was going in for a nap.Huge loss for me. Love Barb and Moon

  43. I am so proud of you and Jesse trusting and giviving God the glory for giving you time. I can never imaging what you both have gone through but I know it’s made your bond stronger with one another. Thank you for letting us go on this private painful but also beautiful journey with you! I love you guys so much and you have inspired and touched so many lives. We will forever love and miss our superstar beautiful baby Stella. I say ours because it’s like she became a part of us all. She is now dancing in heaven with Jesus sending you butterfly kisses to her mommy and daddy!

  44. Mindy,
    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I can’t even imagine….you are so brave and an inspiration by the way you have handled that last 6 months. Sweet Stella is home with Jesus and pain-free. I pray that you and your family find comfort in knowing that and I will continue to pray for peace as you face the days ahead.
    Love and prayers,
    Jen DiFiore

  45. Sending you love and prayers today and in the days to come. May God give you strength and peace.

  46. Our love and prayers are with you. Loved having her in the nursery. She was our special angel. Love you! Jerry and Paulette

  47. Dear Parents,
    Words cannot express the sympathy that I feel for each of you and your families. All I can do is pray for each of you and let God comfort you. Heaven gained a precious little angel on Friday morning. Love and prayers, Elaine Watt

  48. Mindy, your words are totally unbelievable at this time. You and Jesse were awesome parents to our precious Stella, she was loved by so many people. God could have never chosen better parents for her.
    I was so sad to hear she had passed, but at the same time knowing she is in God’s arms and running around playing in her heavenly home makes it a bit easier.
    I pray that God will continue to fill you both and the family with loving peace and comfort and loving memories that no one can take away. Like the picture of her with the pigtails and the one of the three of you in her bed.
    God bless you Mindy and Jesse❣️???

  49. Mindy & Jesse
    There are no words that can possibly comfort you at such a difficult time like this. Thank you so much for sharing Your journey with Stella with us. God entrusted you with Stella as her earthly parents for your faith & love in him to guide you thru this journey. Know you will see her again and she is well now with Jesus. May God’s love enfold you and comfort you all. Much love, grace and peace. ❤️Scottie & Tara Brown

  50. I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful Stella. Your words were so beautiful and full of the strength which God gave you and your family. Please accept my sincere condolences. Hugs.

  51. Jesse and Mindy,
    Again we have no words that can comfort you at such a difficult time, just know that our thoughts and prayers are with you. Stella was a blessing to all of us through her short life and it has been a privilege to have known her and kept her in the Church nursery. She is now with Jesus running and playing.
    Love Jenny & Joe Mann

  52. Penny and family of beautiful Stella..
    My heart is broken for you. I cannot imagine the pain you are going through and will continue to go through until you see sweet Stella again.
    My family and I will be in prayer for you and let us know if there is anything we can do for you.
    Again, I am so sorry.
    Joy Lisa Proffit

  53. We are so sorry for your loss of Stella, a precious little bundle of joy. We really admired you both as you’ve worked your way through the past five and a half months, caring for Stella, your precious daughter, on a journey you knew would end. Your faith in God and His plan throughout it all has been a privilege to watch – we can only hope we could be as strong if faced with a tragedy of this magnitude, but we do have your example. Our memories of Miss Stella inevitably turn to the neighborhood Christmas party on 17 December – how delightful she was, sucking on her bottle and going to any of the neighbors who wanted to hold her. We hope your memories are what will comfort you in the time to come along with the knowledge Stella is whole and happy again with God.

  54. God please of you. She was a very beautiful little girl. I am not sure what her disease was but she looks so healthy in her beautiful little picture with her beautiful little face.

  55. It was my privelege to get to know your Stella and your family! What a moving tribute to your families journey with her.

  56. Jessie, I didn’t know about Stella until March when I saw your story on WXII.
    Then saw the passing on WXII this week, I want you and your family to know I am so so sorry to hear this. I read your wife’s post and it seems she was very much loved and so beautiful. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Wilma Shew
    North Wilkes High School

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