Last week we could hear whispers, could literally feel the prayers of relatives and friends, colleagues and strangers who were thinking of her, of us.  They came like falling stars, tiny bits of light splintering the great blackness of grief, a celestial shower of love and peace.  Thank you.

Cumulatively, comments on Facebook and chime-ins on the blog and e-mails and texts lined up like so many luminous soldiers on the screen; your words created a resplendent wall against the dark that could have otherwise swallowed us whole.  Thank you.

We hesitate to begin work on official thank yous, mostly due to fear that we'll forget someone.  It felt like the entire contents of our excel address file dressed up and were exported into pews in non-alphabetical order on Thursday.  Family flew in and friends drove over, former fifth grade students and blog readers and hometown friends and healthcare professionals showed up.  And from those who were only able to be with us in spirit, stories of kindness poured in -- folks called old friends, read extra books with their children, helped strangers stuck in the snow, paid for the car behind them at the drive-thru.  Kids went to school with treats for classmates, came home from school with notes from teachers praising friendliness, students shared lunches with peers and wrote poems.  Donations were made to support research to cure Batten Disease and to help other families faced with pediatric hospice needs.  Our refrigerator is full of lovingly prepared meals, flowers brighten every room of the house, Andy's vacation day bank is quite a bit bigger, our front walk was cleared of snow, the mail slot continues to overflow.  We've appreciated invitations for lunch dates and coffee breaks and after dinner drinks, and we've enjoyed photographs of Celia we'd never seen before. 

Life, and death, teach the doctrine of reciprocity, that goodness must be returned or passed along.  We have a LOT to do.  Someday we will repay the world for your acts of kindness to our family.  It will take years and years for us to pay back, but we'll give it our best shot and we'll hope that it may serve as recompense for our appreciation, that our efforts to be good toward others will mean more than our words right now. 

We are immensely grateful for all of you who live with an inner glow so powerful that its warmth extends and enters our lives.  Hers did, and so does yours.  Thank you.
Celia at Broad Street Presbyterian Church, Tucker's baptism, fall 2009 
photo by H. Bruce Wilson
Jenni & Andy


Tiffany said...

Thank YOU for letting us in.

Anonymous said...

It was more than a pleasure but a GIFT to know her, love her and have you all in our lives! I think of her red curls and beautiful spirit daily! ~ Juliet Carey

McKenna said...

I'm so glad that you have been surrounded by such love and kindness and although I am new to your blog I think that what you have shared here, your love of life and the spirit of your amazing daughter, is more than repayment for the kindness you have received. Your family is an inspiration and I can only hope to carry myself with such grace to honor my daughter's life as you do Celia's.

Ninja Cate said...

What a gorgeous picture of your darling Celia. I'm so happy that you have these little "gifts" that continue to give even now. Prayers and love,

Cate, Zoey and Junior