We will always remember Ellie for her love for others, her creativity, sensitivity, and delight in life! Ellie's light has spread far and wide... may it continue to shine in our hearts.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Angels are Singing Tonight!

As of 7:45 p.m. Mountain Time, Ellie has been dancing in Heaven! She stayed asleep until 15 minutes before and then it wasn't exactly peaceful, but true to form, Ellie was fighting to the end. John and I were both with her at the end. I silently begged God to take her, and then said "run to Jesus, Ellie... run!" and it was over. I will have more to write later, but for now, please know that your prayers have been answered - it was unbelievably fast. Thank you all for your love!


At 9:24 PM, Blogger Jessica said...

Sarah, your faith through this time has been such a testimony to the Lord. Thank you for keeping us updated. I have cried many tears and said many prayers for all of you tonight. Ellie is going to be so missed but thank the Lord she is now at peace!

At 9:25 PM, Blogger Kerry said...

As I've prayed for you this evening, this song has been stuck in my head:

No one's in a hurry. There's no schedule to keep.
We're all enjoying Jesus, just sitting at His feet.

If you could see me now, I'm walking streets of gold.
If you could see me now, I'm standing strong and whole.
If you could see me now, you'd know I've seen His face.
If you could see me now, you'd know the pain is erased.

You wouldn't want me to ever leave this place, If you could only see me now.

My light and temporary trials have worked out for my good,
To know it brought Him glory when I misunderstood.
Though we've had our sorrows, they can never compare.
What Jesus has in store for us, no language can share.

You wouldn't want me to ever leave this perfect place

If you could only see me now
If you could see me now
If you could only see me now

At 9:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are grieving and rejoicing with you. Jesus...Grandpa Mankins ... wonder and beauty ... no more pain EVER ... and now she can ask Joseph all about Egypt!

At 9:32 PM, Blogger Becky K. said...

While I never met Ellie in this life, I am looking forward to finding her in eternity and telling her what a great example she was of someone who really LIVED! My children and I have been positively effected by your openness and sharing on this blog.
I so enjoyed seeing the apparent enthusiasm for everything that Ellie participated in. She really knew how to enjoy her short life!

That smile was like the brightest light bulb!!!!

May God sustain you in the time to come. You will remain on my mind and in my prayers.

A bloggy friend,
Becky K.

At 9:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love you guys! How lucky the angels are!
Jim,Jenn & Girls

At 9:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

John 14:1-3 ¶ Jesus said, “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also." Grieving with you, praying for you, and praising God with you, because we know His word is truth. Kristen (FL)

At 10:05 PM, Blogger BreezieGirl said...

Well, she almost went in her sleep the way she wanted...

Blessed angels to welcome her! Blessings that angels and Ellie will dance among you through this time.

At 10:06 PM, Anonymous Jen Johnson said...

Through tears of sorrow and joy.....from across the field, we are with you this night. May you be covered in peace as you make your way through the night and following days.

At 10:10 PM, Blogger oneofhisfriends said...

Watching and praying with you.


At 10:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am truly sorry for your loss but im excited for ellie. no more pain and suffering. she is where only we can dream about being right now....with our Lord and Savior. one day, hopefully soon, we will meet her up there, rejoicing together. i will be praying for you and all your family and friends. may God give you the strength you guys need to get through the next difficult days, months, and even years. she will be missed and forever loved. she was an amazing young lady and a testimony to Gods love. someone we could all learn from. no matter what you go through God is always with you "...He will never leave you.." no matter how sick she was she was always praising God. Amazing!!!! God Bless!!!
Carrie Frazier

At 10:34 PM, Blogger c.g. said...

"run to Jesus, Ellie... run!" and it was over.

"Beyond these chilling winds and gloomy skies,
Beyone death's cloudy portal,
There is a land where beauty never dies-
Where love becomes immortal."

"I shine in the light of God;
His likeness stamps my brow;
through the valley of Death my feet have trod,
And I reign in glory now!"

Sarah, from your loving hands to the Lord's tender care - not for a moment was Ellie alone.

Blessed Assurance.

Our love and prayers continue to be with you.

At 10:40 PM, Blogger Brian Hollar said...

My prayers and tears are with you. May God be praised for bringing Ellie home. May Ellie find joyous love in his wonderful embrace as she journeys home.

At 10:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear sarah, john and family,

thank you for sharing ellie with us.

what a gift....truly.

i have tears tonight, and they are for missing her, but much more importantly, i'm crying in happiness for ellie:)

i wonder if anyone could love heaven more than i imagine ellie doing so right now?

i wonder if she will hear me when i talk to her tonight?

thank you again for being so kind to share her with strangers. i have grown to love and absolutely adore that child!!

missing you like crazy ellie....and enjoying the thought of you running like crazy in the meadows of heaven!

say hi to all the friends and family you have there, and all of your puppies and kitties and goldfish and....

please say hi to God for me? it was so gracious of Him to lend us his wonderful angel, no matter how short the time we had with you.

i miss you already, ellie. i will never, ever forget you, my dear friend.

i love you:)

love always,

At 11:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been checking the blog daily, but somehow missed the last couple posts where Ellie was declining so rapidly...I am in tears and shock to know she's gone! My heart is aching for you and all the ones on earth who will miss her soooo much, but knowing how happy she is right now is something I can't fully comprehend, but it brings comfort. Praying and holding you up to the Father...

At 11:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

John & Sarah, Kristen and I are praying for you, for Ethan, and for each member of your extended family. We thank the Lord that Ellie has no more need of our prayers.

Haste thee on from grace to glory,
Armed by faith and winged by prayer,
Heaven's eternal day's before thee,
God's own hand shall guide thee there.
Soon shall close thy earthly mission,
Swift shall pass thy pilgrim days,
Hope shall change to glad fruition,
Faith to sight, and prayer to praise.

David and Kristen

At 11:12 PM, Anonymous Meredith in Chicago said...

My prayers are with you and Ellie as she dances her way to heaven.

At 11:18 PM, Blogger Robyn said...

I'm so sorry Sarah. I'm rejoicing for Ellie, but my heart breaks for her family and friends. I'm praying for you all.

At 12:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We love you all so much! Our thoughts and prayers are with you tonight. Peace be with you all.
Much Love & God Bless you,
Angela, Derrick and the boys.

At 12:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We were praying for you all at almost the exact time Ellie joined Jesus... My daughter was disappointed that she may not meet Ellie on this earth, but in her little chipper 7 year old voice she said,"...but since I have Jesus in my heart and Ellie does I will get to meet her in heaven someday..." :) What a glorious reunion we will all have some day! Maybe Ellie can meet our little Levi and play with him like his big brother and big sister would like to! Most importantly though ~she has SEEN Jesus face to face! What an amazing thought!!!
You all will continue to be in our prayers!May the Lord carry you all during this bittersweet time. What a friend we have in Jesus ~ all our sins and griefs to bear~ what a privledge to carry everything to God in prayer ~ oh what peace we often forfeit~ oh what needless pain we bare~ all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer~!

With much love and prayers,

At 12:23 AM, Blogger Brenna said...

I have never commented, but my prayers are with your family tonight. Thank you so much for sharing your testimony through your writing. I will be praying especially for little Ethan tonight. There just aren't the right words to say, and I'm only one of hundreds reading and praying and crying with your family, but I wanted to remind you once again that your daughter was loved by people who knew her only through your words. May our eternal God be your shelter. I will pray that you are able rest in His shadow. Praise God for the rest that Ellie has now fully entered into.

At 1:20 AM, Blogger Whatleys' World said...

Hey guys.... I praise the Lord with you for the sweet quickness in which the Lord has taken Ellie. We are so thankful to Him for Ellie and for you. May you continue to rejoice in all that the Lord taught Ellie, and will continue to teach your family. We will be praying for you and the family this evening (here in Indonesia) as you make arrangments, put Ellie's bed and belongings in order, and as you adjust to the amazingly big hole that her little life with you has left. It will be a wonderful reunion when we all get to heaven! May you continue to feel God's peace, love, and joy that only He can give. We love you all, big hugs.

At 2:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We continue to lift you ALL up in prayer. God be with you and may He truly comfort your hearts at this time.

At 3:11 AM, Blogger Kimberly said...

Crying for your loss tonight,
but remembering one of my favorite Gospel songs,
"Look for Me At Jesus Feet"

Don't wait near the gates of pearl,
Don't wait on the streets of gold,
Don't wait by the walls of jasper,
Nor among the many sites untold,
For the precious Holy One to see,
And there I'll be through the countless ages,
Wait for me at Jesus feet.

Ellie is sitting at Jesus feet right now. Her earth bound family is in my prayers. Take comfort in knowing you will join her one day, but your job on earth is not yet complete! Hugs and prayers to Ethan.

At 3:46 AM, Blogger LindaSueBuhl said...

Sarah, John and Ethan - and of course your extended loving family - we are truly sorry for your pain at Ellie's passing but know how you are relieved that she will never again fear or hurt. It will be wonderful to meet her in heaven - and all of your as well! Much love to you from the Buhl's in Texas. As always thank you for sharing your family with us, we love you as if you were our own (and in Christ we are family).

At 4:10 AM, Blogger Pauleen said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful daughter with our family. I am so sorry for your loss. Heaven is so much closer. All through the night last night I was awaken to pray for you guys - now I know why. Little Ellie has been wrapped in the loving arms of her heavenly Father. We are praying for you.

At 5:50 AM, Blogger Mollie said...

How bittersweet - aching for your precious loss and comforted knowing that Ellie is with Jesus, finally. I too, look forward to meeting her (and you guys too!). Thank you for sharing. Praying for peace. mollie

At 5:55 AM, Anonymous macphil said...

One of my heroes has preceded me into heaven. I look forward to seeing her again when I get there. My prayers are with ya'll.
Phil Robertson

At 6:05 AM, Blogger Leni said...

We are crying and praying with you. Rejoicing that her pain is over, grieving for your loss.

Ethan is getting some special prayer time from us...

At 6:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Angels are singing and Elie is healed to the uttermost. My heart aches for you, but rejoics for Ellie. She is having the time of her life as Jesus embraces her in His loving arms. Thank you for posting. Jesus caught her up in his arms as she ran to Him.
MeMa t in SC (Edith)

At 6:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear John, Sarah & Ethan~Your love has shown Ellie the way to live, laugh, love, learn. She is now dancing in heaven with Jesus. Thankfully he took her home quickly & somewhat peacefully. NO MORE PAIN, at least for Ellie. God be with you and your family in learning how move forward. You are always in my thoughts and prayers since I've started checking her blog every day this year. She was a beautiful girl & an inspiration to all.

Another bloggy friend,
Debbie (Lebanon, IL)

At 6:38 AM, Blogger Erin said...

I have been following your blog for quite a while now. Please know that you are in my prayers (and have been for many months).

May God comfort you and bring you peace.


At 6:48 AM, Anonymous Debi Hall said...

Our love and support to you continues. For Ellie, the struggle is complete and here work here on earth is done. John and Sarah and Ethan, you have many more miles to go!

We are with you through the holidays and beyond as you begin to live this new chapter as the parents of 2 children, one who is here with you and one who is safely home with Jesus.

We are so deeply saddened for your loss. And yet are have joy for heaven's magnificent gain. Ellie made this world a brighter place, and I can only imagine that heaven now is too because of your sweet daughter.

"I lift up my eyes to the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of heaven and earth."
Psalm 121

Love and Prayers,
Debi Hall
Charlotte, NC

At 6:57 AM, Blogger Mrs. Rabe said...

Dear Sarah and John,

We are sorry for your loss. You and Ethan are in our prayers.

Tim and Deanna Rabe

At 6:57 AM, Blogger Kathy said...

Although I've never met you I've followed Ellie's story for some time. My thoughts, prayers and tears are with you at this time.
In His Love,

At 6:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

we are so sorry for all you have been through. our hearts our breaking for you all and we are rejoicing for ellie that she is with Jesus and is suffering no more.Praise God for that!!! we pray for comfort and peace through this time and we lift you up to the Father as he is your greatest comfort. we love you. Simons family

At 7:00 AM, Anonymous Rachel said...

Sarah, John, Ethan and all you guys...i am rejoicing as Ellie is completely healed, yet grieve for you all and with you all as I know she will be missed greatly. However, Her and your testimony of faith the Lord has given you all will forever remain and what a comforting blessing that is. What miraculous moments you have had with her in birth, in spiritual birth and then in passing on to the Father. Glory to our Great God and King and may he continually bless you all!
Much love and still praying!
Rachel...aka...Mrs. Mumble ;)

At 7:03 AM, Blogger HopiQ said...

Praying for you.
Rejoicing with you.
Imagining heaven and longing to join Ellie.

At 7:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please feel a tight embrace from me, Sarah. Over the phone this morning I was just relaying to my cousine what a challenge it is to my faith to read what you write. Mourn before your Heavenly Father from the depths of your soul with John and all of those that surround you and He will Comfort YOU! "Matt5:4 Blessed are those who mourn,for they will be comforted." Oh,Sarah I hesitate to even write that because I have no idea the pain and sorrow that you are encountering or will be encountering. But I do know my God and how he has healed my pain as I have gone to him.
I just have to share something quickly. My daughter Alexa prayed 2 nights ago..., "Jesus I pray that you'll have a Merry Christmas and that everyone in heaven will enjoy their Christmas." That is Ellie! She is going to have the most fantastic Christmas ever celebrated in the presence of our Savior Himself!
Sarah, I am sorry. I cry for you as I can hardly even imagine what you must be feeling. May God give you exactly what you need every minute of the day today.
We are praying for each of you in Atlanta today. I just had prayer for you with my co-worker. I will share the news with Alexa later today.
Much love,
Your sister in Christ and your friend across the miles...

At 7:14 AM, Blogger ghaag said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Heaven has gained another BEAUTIFUL angel!

Love, Gwen

At 7:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Skees Family,
We are praising and crying with you.
Praying for you all in this time of pain and change.
B Stone in Sanford

At 7:26 AM, Blogger Deann said...

You will forever have this amazing testimony you can use, Ellie Skees, an amazing fighter, survivor, but most of all a little girl with amazing faith. Not to mention, an amazing family with amazing faith!

My heart goes out to you as do my prayers. May you feel God's presence over the next hours, days, months and years.

At 7:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot express how greatful I am for you and how sorry. The joy and pain of this moment has been long in coming for you and your family. I will keep you in my prayers

At 7:31 AM, Blogger Matt, Laura, Haley and Baby said...

Tears of sadness and joy - we will be praying for you during this next week - I hope you can find some time for just you three together.

At 7:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are praying for yøu dear ones. May His joy be your strength today - and until we meet Ellie again in Heaven.

love you and praying,
Paul and Carol Bramsen

At 7:33 AM, Anonymous Dana said...

Sarah, your family's faith through this difficult journey has been amazing. You are a true testimony to God. We can picture Ellie now dancing the streets in her beautiful white dress. Please accept our most sincere condolences.

At 7:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been in the shoes once only in my life..where the grief of loss was twinged with relief--relief that the suffering is truly over. Although that is a cause for rejoicing, it doesn't diminish the pain of loss. I will be praying for you as your hearts deal with her passing....
May His peace be with you all...

At 7:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara, you are a true testament to what a faithful servant is!! You are an amazing woman. Ellie will have the best Christmas ever, she will be spending it with our Lord, Jesus Christ. There is no better place than Heaven to celebrate his birth!! Your family is in our prayers.

At 7:49 AM, Anonymous chris said...

I will pray for you and your family
to have god ease your pain.But now you have a angel looking down on you and your family all the time.
I'm glad she is at pease.She is dancing and running with the angels/I truly believe it.

At 7:53 AM, Anonymous Kim Schmitz said...

To the Skees Family,
My heart breaks for you and your loss. Though I have never met you all, I feel like I know you well as I have followed this blog for the last year. What a sweet sweet family you are. You always amaze me with your strength. Thank you for sharing this journey with me. It has changed my life and the way that I live. I know that you have touched hundreds of people just like me. As you take this time to plan, remember to take a little time for yourself to sit back and relax. You all have been through so much. I will never forget little Ellie and your family.

By the way, in the event that you turned all of this beautiful writing into a book, I would snap it up in a second. You are an amazing writer, Sarah.

At 7:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was praying for you even this morning, before I got up - and I see that God has answered my prayer with taking Ellie home with Him - what a Homegoing that must have been for her! :) Thank God for the HOPE we have in Him! I'll continue to pray as God leads. Tabitha

At 8:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Skees family,
We have never felt so close, so touched, so sad, and so happy for people we've never met. We're shedding tears with you now. Ellie and you are an amazing testimony to God's greatness. As others have said, Ellie doesn't need our prayers anymore because she's healed and filled with a depth of love and security we can't comprehend, as she walks with Jesus in person. We'll continue to pray for you -- for love, comfort, support, peace and joy. We look forward to meeting Ellie and all of you some day. God bless you,
The Clinton family of Pittsburgh

At 8:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crying for your loss of Ellie on this earth and rejoicing with the angels for Ellie's homecoming. Praying for God to hold you tightly and bathe you in his peace and love as he is holding Ellie in his loving arms and welcoming her to what we all dream of. Love and prayers, Sheri

At 8:10 AM, Blogger According to God's Plan! said...

I woke up this morning w/ Ellie & your family in my thoughts & sat on the edge of my bed to pray, I felt God say that she was okay, He has her in His loving arms & the pain is all gone. I don't know you in person but my heart aches as though I've known you for so long, I will be praying for your family, please give your son hugs as I know how much one misses their brothers or sisters when they go Home......

At 8:21 AM, Anonymous The Davis Family said...

We are praying for your family. We have prayed ever since Uncle Chad told our church about Ellie and her blog. What a journey to be with you all in prayer. Bless you all with the pece you have in your hearts knowing Ellie is dancing with Angels. It's clear you have trust and faith in God and His plans for us all. We'll keep praying. We know you'll miss her.
Love and Blessings,
The Davis Family
serving in Guatemala

At 8:23 AM, Blogger Brian and Jocelyn said...

We've been praying for your family and watching your blog-- rejoicing with you that Ellie is with Jesus, and free from pain and everything wrong in this world, and lifting you up to our God who heals and comforts
(2 Corinthians 1:3-5)
Much love and continual prayers,
A student down at NTM MTC,

At 8:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We wish you peace. We wish you happy memories. Ellie has impacted my life and the lives of my little girls. I stumbled upon this site about a year ago and have been following your struggles almost daily. My heart aches and I cannot put into words what you must be feeling. If it wasn't for the love of our Lord Jesus Christ where would we be? Praise God for taking Ellie so quickly and taking away all sorrow and pain. We now pray for your entire family for strength and peace.

We love all of you!

Peter and family from Canada

At 8:31 AM, Blogger Phil and Edna said...

We have never posted before but be assured we have followed your story from beginning to end. May the Lord be your constant comforter and strength. No one can know what you have been through except they walked in your shoes--except the Lord. We "sorrow not as others who have no hope" and we know you are rejoicing that Ellie is with her Saviour. What a day that will be when He comes to take us all to be with Himself and you reunite with Ellie!

Say hello to Mike and Reni for us.
Phil and Edna Guikema

At 8:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I turned on my computer and was playing music. Just as "Ave Maria" was playing, I clicked on your blog and received the news that Ellie is with Jesus. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to meet Ellie and I fell in love with her immediately. Sara, John, and Ethan my prayers are with you. I am a fortunate person for having had the opportunity to get to know you and I will carry with me always the beautiful memories.
Much love,

At 8:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the angels sing our hearts are heavy for you and the emptiness you now have. Know our prayers will not cease even now we continue to lift you John and Ethan in prayer. Well done John and Sarah well done.

At 9:01 AM, Anonymous Angie said...

I'll Fly Away, oh glory, I'll fly away. . .
God bless you all!

At 9:05 AM, Anonymous Shelby said...

Dear Skees Family,

Although I know your hearts, like mine, are broken, I can promise you that she will be well cared for in Heaven, not only by G-d, but by my best friend KT as well.

I can assure you they will be playing, coloring, and exploring together in Heaven.

Sarah & John, I have never in my life met people with such strength and devotion. Thank you for sharing Ellie with me, thank you for allowing her to be my daily inspiration, and thank you for bringing such a light into this world.


At 9:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yet You heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help. Love the lord all his saints. The Lord preservers the faithful...Be strong and take heart all you hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:22-4

Praying for your family, that God will sustain you through this.

At 9:15 AM, Blogger Kate said...

The Lord put all of you, especially Ethan, on my heart last night... all night. I wondered if something was happening that you for some reason needed extra prayer. I found the answer to that this morning.
May our loving Father put His arms around you all today and in the coming days, weeks, and months.
Our prayers are with you, as I imagine Ellie dancing with her grandpa.
Kathy (a friend of Chad's from TX SIL) and Lars

At 9:20 AM, Blogger Angela said...

John and Sarah,

We've never met but I went to the yard sale your family had for you guys in August. I bought for my 7 year old daughter, the three bears that belonged to Ellie for a short time. That was when I first heard about Ellie and your family. I told my daughter, Alyssa, about Ellie and we've prayed for her. Alyssa has treasured those bears ever since because of Ellie. This morning after hearing that Ellie is with Jesus, I told my kids. Alyssa said that she'll keep those bears forever now because they are even more special. Please know that our prayers are with you.

Words can do little to touch grief and pain that go so deep. But Jesus is there in those deepest places of our hearts and He can touch us where no one else can. He feels the pain, the loss, the sadness with us. He is the only one who can carry it and He carries it for you now. He holds you in His arms. He gets you through.

At 9:21 AM, Blogger UPgirl said...

Your family has blessed the lives of countless readers the world over. We have never commented on your blog but we have prayed and praised God because of the glory HE has received through your trials. Ellie is free and experiencing what we are all desiring. If not for His great sacrifice on our behalf we would have no hope. Thank you for pointing Ellie and your readers to His all sufficient grace. Our prayers continue with you in the days ahead as you adjust and live a "new normal." The last chapter of Revelation says " And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely...Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." Jan & Cheryl

At 9:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are crying as we read your post - knowing that indeed the Angels are singing - and confident that God is your strength. We also know that because of your intense love for Ellie - your hearts are indeed breaking. Your faith and peace in the course of your trial but particularly the last several months has been amazing. God has truly been your source of comfort as you've shared your heart with us on this blog. As a mother myself, I've watched you and known beyond a doubt that you have been doing exactly what was BEST for Ellie and for your family during this time. And now, as much as you will miss her, she is safely in the arms of Jesus where she can no longer feel the pains of this earth. Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will be faithful to complete it. He is a good God full of grace and glory. May the days be short between now and the time we can all rejoice together in Heaven with your precious Angel Ellie!
Praying with you in Michigan!

At 9:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

She is not gone She's just gone ahead!!!

At 9:22 AM, Blogger oneofhisfriends said...

Hi John, Sarah, Ethan and all,

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
I and my Father are one.
John 10: 27-30


At 9:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sad for your loss BUT rejoice in the knowledge that Ellie is painfree and happy and will wait for you there.

I have been reading your blog for some time and have been so encouraged countless times by your family and your great faith and trust in an AWESOME GOD! You will never know the lives that you and Ellie have touched through this blog. You have been a ministry to many and will one day soon see your sweet little girl. I can hardly wait to meet her in heaven. You are an amazing family and I will continue to pray for you all as you go through this tough transition in your lives. You have been so selfless and loving in sharing your lives with us all. God will bless you countless times over.

Conni in Miami

At 9:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Sarah, John and Ethan,

Our hearts break for you but at the same time praise the Lord that Ellie is no longer suffering but is rather in the arms of Jesus. I know that just as He has been faithful to this point, our great and awesome God will continue to carry you through the days ahead as you grieve your precious daughter and sister. Your family will continue to be in our prayers.

Beth Anne

At 9:46 AM, Anonymous russ dale said...

Peace be with you Ellie.

At 9:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our youth group has been praying for you guys and will continue. We will always remember her courage and love for God in the face of despair. We rejoice to know she is in her saviors arms and at peace!

At 9:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

May God bless you as you walk this path. As a mom of all boys, we are especially praying for Ethan now.

At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praying for you guys intensely now. Praise Him for his faithfulness with David Mankins and praise him for his faithfulness with Ellie Skees.
Because He lives,
Brad Butler (friend of Chad's)

At 9:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad it was fast. I will continue to keep you in my prayers in the months to come. WOW! She's spending Christmas with JESUS!!!!! She's in a great place. I know you will miss her.

Laura T. :)

At 10:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Christ, there are no goodbyes. And in Christ, there is no end.

I'm praying for you and your family this day, and I'm also rejoicing for Ellie.

Know that her life has brought hope to many, and that she was a true testament to Christ's light and love.

At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Judy, Jon and Karina said...

Sarah, You, JOhn, Ethan, Chad, Grandma Nancy and all your family are in our prayers. We pray for your compfort, peace and strength. I was praying for you right about the time you asked Ellie to run to Jesus. What a comfort to know she is with our wonderful Lord Jesus! And now she sees and is with Grandpa Dave.

Dear Ones, we will continue to pray for you...You ran the race with Ellie, bravely, fully, and completely. May you truly feel God's comfort and peace and arms of love in this difficult time of adjusting to life without Ellie to see and hold and fight for.

Sweet ones, you have been such a testimony to the Lord...

Judy, Jon and Karina

At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah and family, I don't really know what to say. I just wanted you to know that we are all praying for you. I told Cameron this morning, and she was so sad but glad that Ellie is no longer in pain. I don't know if Ellie knew what she gave to a lot of us. I can't begin to tell you what we have learned from your family. God Bless you! Love, Drew, Beth, Jacob, Cameron and Ethan Horn

At 10:21 AM, Blogger Hannah said...

Indeed, the angels are rejoicing at Ellie's arrival.

Thank you for sharing your faith with us. I have no doubt that many lives have been touched through your precious daughter and her journey.

You are an amzing example of the peace faith can bring and you are always so gracious to those who leave comments.

One of my first thoughts upon reading this entry was this: Ellie will be home for Christmas!

At 10:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We've been praying for you throughout the day... praying that God will continue to give you grace, peace, strength.

At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We will miss Ellie, but she has been the biggest testimony to us all! The strength she showed through the entire journey, and especially right at the end, it was amazing. And now the pain is gone and Ellie is with Jesus. Much love and prayer to you all. May the Lord surround you with his peace.

At 11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What strength you have. You are an encouragement! My heart is breaking for you. I will be praying!

At 11:58 AM, Blogger tricia said...

Your last words to Ellie were so beautiful, I start sobbing every time I think of them. I rejoice that she is with her saviour, but mourn for the loss of our "Jelly Bean." I love you, Trica

*coffee....strong coffee."

At 12:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah, John and family,

We are aching with you in your separation from your little girl, just separation, because we know that you will be with her again someday!

We will be praying for you and grieving with you.

Thank you for keeping us updated and being willing to share your lives with us! We love you guys!

Love, Andrea Singleton (and family)

At 12:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh dear sweet Skees family, we have read your blog since September of 2006 and never left a comment before. Ellie has been like a little bit of heaven to us, so cute, so sweet, and her lovely ballet was so touching. Ethan has been in our hearts, too, with his humorous comments and bubbly little personality. We loved the video clip of your reunion after your time in New York. Ethan came running along with a balloon for Ellie, a new muscle shirt, and crocks. He wanted his Dad to buy the same shirt and be his twin. Ellie was sitting on a suitcase and he skipped over to her and took her face in his hands and she put her arms around him in the sweetest hug. We are heartbroken that your family has lost Ellie. Somehow we still held on while she was alive, even after your post to let her go back in November. We are in disbelief that she passed so quickly. Oh Ellie, we will miss you so very much. I remember how she fought so hard when she was intubated in PICU and how you had written, "Do not poke the sleeping bear". I adored her fiesty spirit refusing to settle even with all of that sedation! It showed a tremendous love of life and of you, her family. She will always be such a beautiful little sprite. No more pain for our Ellie. Now, our pain begins. May God keep you in this Holy Season. People you don't even know have been loving you from afar. We loved your daughter, too...

The Whitakers from Canada.

At 12:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

praying for your family.
leslie cork

At 1:05 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

Dear Sarah, John and Ethan,
Thank-you for allowing us to take this journey with you. I will continue to pray for your extended family as I have come to love you like family. Ellie reminds me of my daughter Jossie, and she, in turn, will remind me to keep praying for you.

At 1:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

John and Sarah,

You don't know us but we have been at headquarters for several months and have been praying for Ellie and for you guys through this time. We will continue praying for you. Thanks for your faith through this time. So glad Ellie is free from cancer and with Jesus

Tim and Teresa Holmgren and family

At 2:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear John and Sarah,
My heart aches for you. I can't imagine all the emotions that are running through you right now. I will continue to pray for you and the rest of the family as you grieve the loss of your sweet little Ellie. It is bittersweet. Bitter because of the loss of Ellie being here with you on earth, but oh so sweet knowing that she is no longer in pain, rejoicing and praising her savior Jesus in Heaven.

Love and prayers,
The Gustafson Family
Dan, Theresa, Noah and Gloria

At 2:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise God it was fast.


At 2:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is strange is that i KNEW before i even checked this today that she was gone. God bless your family. We know the angels truly are singing...she is with the LORD!!! Peace, love and prayers are with you in the days ahead.

Melissa from Indiana

At 2:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

John and Sarah,
Oh how our hearts ache for you! Our assembly was praying for Ellie and your family last night just before she went home. We can only imagine the depth of sorrow you carry. But we are encouraged to know that you both did right by your little girl. You led her to Jesus and soon one day she will meet you in heaven and present her loving and sacrificial parents to her Saviour. May He be your portion as you wait for that day!
Billy and Christina Skelton

At 2:31 PM, Anonymous Kathy Tobin said...

Sarah, John and Ethan,

We hope you have the peace and comfort you need to guide you through this difficult time. Ellie was an amazing child and her memory will continue to be an inspiration to our Family. Ellie is now pain free, an angel in the hands of the Lord. I know another special young angel, Jack Lynch, and I am sure he & Ellie will be good pals!

Thank you for sharing Ellie's story and please give Ethan a big hug from the Maletich Family.

The Maletich Family
Sanford, Florida

At 2:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

John & Sarah,

Praying for you. I wish I could give you a hug, Sarah. Just yesterday, I was thinking of when we all went to the Monster Truck Rally and Ellie was impressed with the lady driver. I was trying to remember her name. It made me smile. That is a fun memory. I really enjoyed my time with all of you (Nick & Celena were there, too). I remember Ellie playing at school with her friends. Though, I did not have her as one of my students in class, she was a joy to have at school as part of the student body. Now, I'm in Australia, and so far away. I wish I was closer to give you some comfort. Just to sit quietly with you. I'll never forget all that you did to my apartment...such a surprise. Thank you! Please keep in touch. Love, Deborah

At 3:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the Skees family:

You don't know me, but I have been praying for you and Ellie for almost a year now. I am a friend of a friend.

I am very sorry for your loss. Yet I am thankful that Ellie is now free of pain and in the arms of her Heavenly Father. I will continue to pray for your family during this difficult time and just wanted to let you know what an encouragement your faith has been to me.

May God Bless You.

At 3:41 PM, Blogger Day by Day said...

Still praying for you, and crying as I read the comments. We don't get through a day without thinking about you all. I hope Jesus can "Play back" some of the prayers that have been offered up by the kids in Ellie's Sunday school class so she can hear from her friends again. We love you guys and miss you.

John and Lisa

At 3:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I don't even have words for you right now except to tell you how much I love you and your family and we will be praying for you all...

hugs and kisses,
nick and heather

At 3:58 PM, Blogger Tammi said...

Oh Dear Sarah and family,
I usually check every day to see how Ellie is doing. I had no idea her time was so short. Reading your posts today was such a shock.
My heart grieves for all of you.

~ Oh, Sweet Jesus, Please surround this family with your love and peace. Hold them especially tight. Fill them with the comfort of your grace. Let them rejoice in Ellie's final healing. Give them unending comfort. Ease their suffering. Let them feel your presence. I ask this in your holy name.~

At 4:13 PM, Anonymous Caley family said...

WE are all praying for you, Joy in Cambodia, Faye and family in UK, Andrew and us here. Sweet Ellie safe in the arms of Jesus- we weep with you too. So hard. You have blessed so many people with your blogs.
LOVE in our Savior

At 4:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Though I've never met any of you, I have been praying and reading your blog all along. Your testimony is awesome! I can't wait till I can meet Ellie myself someday! Always praying for you.

At 4:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My deepest sympathy for all of the Skees Family. Ellie had a way of leaving her "footprint" everywhere she went. Her sense of energy, sweetness, strength, smile, humor and kindness will never be forgoten.
My love and prayers
Maria, American Girl Place, NYC

At 4:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah, I have been praying for you continually since I read your entry last night. I stumbled upon your blog about 8 months ago and I have faithfully kept up on it ever since. You have such an honest and open spirit that I feel as though I know you. Well this morning I told my daughters that Ellie had passed away and that we needed to pray for you and your family. So we did and then my 7 year old said to me "That is so great for Ellie that she get's to live with Jesus now. I am so happy for her." Then my 4 year old says, "why did God pick Ellie to live with him and not me." I told her it must have just been Ellie's time and not your's yet. Then she says to me I bet Jesus said eeney meeny miny mo, and Ellie you are it. There is something so precious about a child's faith in God. I am continuing to lift your whole family up in prayer and I pray that the Lord will help you through the day's to come. Love Allison from Iowa.

At 4:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are so glad Ellie is pain free and with her Father in Heaven. We are so sad for your loss and will continue to pray for you and your family. Thank you for sharing so candidly. It has been awesome to see the power of God in your lives.

Melissa Pflug and Family

At 4:52 PM, Anonymous Debi said...


Our family is going to make a special Christmas ornament in celebration of Ellie's life. This will be a reminder every December to pray for your family during the whole month. I encourage any and all other friends (especially those with children who have prayed for Ellie) to do this too!

We'll consider it one of many "trophies" she has MORE than earned in her marathon battle!

At 5:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Precious Skees Family,

Thank you for sharing your dearest Ellie with all of us!! We have all been changed by her and your family's constant reliance on our Lord!! We will continue to keep your family in our prayers... Sarah, I can not imagine what you are feeling but know that so many people are praying for you and love you so much!! I will look forward to sharing a meal in Heaven with the Skees family one day.

In His Strength,
The Haviland's

At 5:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are rejoicing that Ellie is with Jesus today...though we know you (her family) have a terrible ache. May Jesus fill you with comfort, love, and peace...just as he promised. He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater. Expecting much grace for you all in the next minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years.

At 5:34 PM, Blogger Lou said...

Sarah, John, family and loved ones. Sometimes God strengthens our will for a greater lesson to be learned in life. The reasons be unknown to us, although for a vibrant young girl to to taken he must have a glorious task at hand for only she can be called on. In times od sorrow we stand fast to our faith and know that this is not the end, it is just the beginning of a glorious life in the kingdom of heaven with the lord our father. A poem comes to mind that was passed onto me in my time of loss from someone I cherish more than life itself, it is entitled God's Garden. When the time comes and you find it, I hope it lightens your sorrow. You are all in my thoughts, prayers and God Bless!

At 6:07 PM, Blogger lorilotz said...

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from [the will of] the father.” The Greek does not have the [ ] part. The addition changes the meaning. In the one case, God wills the death of the sparrow. In the other, death does not take place without God being present. In other words, death comes according to natural laws, but God lets nothing in His creation die without being the comfort and strength and hope and support of that which dies. At issue is the presence of God, not His will. - from Reaching for the Invisible God, Philip Yancey. May God continue to comfort you as only He can.

At 6:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like others, I don't know you but my friend, Jenny has told me so much about you and your family. I can't imagine your pain in losing your baby. The peace you know she has now has to be of some comfort.

I'm so very sorry for your family's loss. Please know you'll be in our family's prayers.

The Pancoast family

At 6:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard about Ellie about a year ago from a friend and have been following your story through this blog regularly.
I was saddened to read the latest entry. It surpised me to read how fast things had progressed but at the same time am grateful for all of you that it did.
The entry you made called "Letting Go" about a month ago was so touching, moving and inspirational to me. I have never met you but you have impacted my life greatly with the grace you have shown on this journey.
Your family has been and will continue to be in my prayers.
May God wrap his loving arms around you and give you comfort!
Julie in Orlando,FL

At 6:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

praying for your family. I'm so sorry for your loss.

At 7:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Dancing With The Angels"
by Monk and Neagle

Memories surround me
But sadness has found me
I'd do anything for more time
Never before has someone meant more
And I can't get you out of my mind
There is so much that I don't understand
But I know

You're dancing with the angels
Walking in new life
You're dancing with the angels
Heaven fills your eyes
Now that you're dancing with the angels

You had love for your family
Love for all people
Love for the Father, and Son
Your heart will be heard
In your unspoken words
Through generations to come
There is so much that I don't understand
But I know


We're only here for such a short time
So I'm gonna stand up
Shout out
And sing Hallelujah
One day I'll see you again

Praying for you all and grieving with you, even as I rejoice that Ellie is no longer in pain!
Love, Dana C (ntm)

At 7:32 PM, Anonymous dee said...

John and Sarah, There is so much I'd like to say and can't find the words. I am praying, along with so many others for the strength and comfort only our loving Father can give. Thank you for Ellie. What an honor that God would use your daughter to reach so many.
With Love In Him,

At 7:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog for many months and praying for Ellie and your family for just as long. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss, but at the same time relieved that she will no longer have any pain and suffering.... She can dance and sing pain free for eternity! Jesus will forever be dancing with her now! Your family will continue to be in my prayers; now more than ever.

At 7:59 PM, Anonymous chris said...

Praying that God's comfort will envelope you, John and Ethan and all of your extended "family." Thank you for your faithfulness in posting. You have been a great witness for the Lord and have strengthened many people through your messages. I am certain that it was often hard for you to post these messages and share your heart with us and I appreciate that you thought of us all who prayed and cried with you along the way and wondered everyday how Ellie was doing.

Heaven will now be a little more heavenly with Ellie skipping down the streets of gold!

At 8:00 PM, Blogger Sheila said...

I'm stunned. Our sweet little Ellie is with Jesus. I knew it would be soon, and I am so glad she is free of all pain now. I am praying for you. Praying very hard! Hold Jesus' hand, and know that Ellie is holding the other one.

In the precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

At 8:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praying that God's comfort will envelope you, John and Ethan and all of your extended "family." Thank you for your faithfulness in posting. You have been a great witness for the Lord and have strengthened many people through your messages. I am certain that it was often hard for you to post these messages and share your heart with us and I appreciate that you thought of us all who prayed and cried with you along the way and wondered everyday how Ellie was doing.

Heaven will now be a little more heavenly with Ellie skipping down the streets of gold!

At 8:11 PM, Anonymous Katie said...

Our Dear Heavenly Father,

We come before you to thank you for who you are and for all that, you do for us. I ask right now that your would wrap your loving hands around John, Sarah, and Ethan Skees, Nancy, Chad and his family, and all other extended family members. Lord, we thank you that your grace is sufficient and that you will comfort them always. We ask that you might grant them peace, rest, and strength throughout their time left here on earth. Thank you Lord for sweet Ellie and all of the lives she has blessed with her story, we thank you that she is in your arms free of pain and enjoying the beauty of your presence. We LOVE you Jesus and all look forward to the day we all meet with you.

In Jesus name we pray,


Katie Monath (Brasier) and Family

At 8:35 PM, Blogger Erin said...

My love is with you my sister in Christ.

Our God is good.

My prayers go out with your family as you embark on the next part of your life. I praise Jesus for sharing Ellie with you for the time you had, and the faith that tonight she is with her Savior

At 9:24 PM, Blogger Michael said...

We are so sorry to hear the news and yet we are so glad that Ellie is home with her Saviour. All of you, especially Ellie, were in the prayers of the believers at our Chapel at about 8pm EST Wednesday evening. We have been following from the beginning and have been praying all the way. We will continue to pray for you all, and we will continue to grieve and rejoice with you.

Michael & Jessica Renth
Boulevard Bible Chapel
South Florida

At 10:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are praying for you as you grieve the loss of your precious daughter. We are grieving with you.
Brent and Hollie Dodd

At 10:40 PM, Anonymous Donna said...

Dear Skees Family,
It is amazing to read how many people have been praying along for you and Ellie because a friend told them about you. HopiQ is my friend who introduced me to you. My daughter Grace and I read about Ellie when she was home sick from school.

My mom slipped away in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. I never had the assurance that she was going to heaven, but am hoping to see her there. These words are a little sad for me, but can be such an assurance to you.

And with your final heartbeat
Kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory's side, and
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live!

Chris Rice, Untitled Hymn

At 11:58 PM, Anonymous Patricia in VA said...

Dear Sarah,
My thoughts and prayers are with you and the family. Ellie is now in a far better place and truly at peace.
I've been reading Ellie's blog for a year now and wow, what a journey it has been. May God Bless You all at this time of your loss.

Please give little Ethan a hug for me, he's gonna need alot of love and attention in the next few weeks. He's so young to endure this loss, but God will pull him through.

Ellie's sweet memories will always be with me. She was a sweetheart and now a precious angel. God Love her always. I so enjoyed the video of Ellie doing the ballet dancing. I will never forget her.

At 2:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

its been raining here in australia way heaveier then it has been for years the last 2 days i think heaven is happy that elle is free from pain but is crying with everyone who loved her i think thats why its been raining so hard raining tears that everybody feels i have visted ellies site for over a year and she was a beautiful little girl im so sorry

At 4:57 AM, Anonymous sugarbeelorton said...

Marie said.....
I am so sorry to hear about your lost of your sweet girl Ellie. Now she doesn't have to suffer anymore because she is in the hands of the Lord.One day you will be with her again in heaven. My prayers are with you and yours.

At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't imagine anything better than celebrating Christ's birth with Christ himself!

Your kids have been blessed with wonderful parents.

At 4:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing your hearts and experiences. It has helped us understand what our friend went through earlier this year with her roommate. She was unable to express her feelings so openly, and you have given us new insight into her loss. Praying for you that God will continue to pour out his grace on you...and I know he will.

A sister in Christ

At 9:58 PM, Blogger Brad said...

my name is Brad Baird... John and I were friends in grade school... I have visited your blog from time to time only as an observer... I cannot imagine the grief!! When I heard yesterday I was overwhelmed with emotion because I am a father of 5... I know and can read that both you and John have had some tremendous support... I cannot add anything.. no verse no quote or anything inspiring other than I am sorry and that my heart is heavy thinking about you and John

At 10:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ellie's precious story just came to me today, turning my thoughts to this lovely poem--author unknown--and to you.

I am having my first Christmas in heaven
A glorious, wonderful day!
I am standing with saints of all ages,
Who found Christ, the truth and the way!

I am singing with the heavenly choir;
I, who so ove to sing!
And, oh wat celestial music,
We bring to our Savior and King!

I am singing the glad song of redemption,
How Jesus to Bethlehem came,
And why they called His Name Jesus,
That all may be saved through His Name!

I am singing now with the angels
The song of that first Christmas morn,
When shepherds first heard the glad story,
That Jesus the Savior was born!

Oh, loved one, I wish you could be here!
No Christmas on earth can compare
With all of the rapture in glory
I witness in Heaven so fair!

You know how I always loved Christmas,
It seemed such a wonderful day,
with all of my loved ones around me,
We were so happy and gay.

Yes, now I can see why I loved it,
And, oh what a joy it will be,
When all of my loved ones are with me
To share all the glories I see!

So, dear ones on earth, I send greetings:
Look up! Until dawning appears
And, oh what a Christmas awaits us,
Beyond all our partings and tears!

At 3:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow...imagine how awesome it would be to join Jesus for Christmas...think how incredible it would be to celebrate Jesus's coming when you're sitting at his feet...
I hope you find comfort in Jesus' arms this Christmas. I send my love, until we meet in heaven. Come, Lord Jesus!!

At 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praying God gives you Peace until you are all reunited.

A sad reader,

At 8:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so sorry Sarah, John and Ethan. I feel so lucky to have experienced the light of Ellie's presence for just a few short hours. She warmed this earth with her fiercely loving spirit. May God hold you tightly in his arms through this difficult time. My thoughts will be with you always.

With Love and Sorrow,
Dave from the Airplane

At 3:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry about Ellie. I have been praying the whole time.

At 6:30 PM, Blogger MrsMelody said...

Praying for your family.

At 5:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Johnny and Sarah and family
I do not think my first message got through to you...but I want you all to know my heart goes out to you. Ellie will be missed so much, but thank God, you know where she is and she couldn't be in Better Hands than with our Lord.
In Christian Sympathy
Mary Ruth McClain and family
DeLand, Florida

At 4:07 PM, Blogger Grafted Branch @ Restoring the Years said...

Could not slink away without telling you that your story has caused me to praise Jesus through tears shed for your hurt. I'm. so. sorry for your loss.


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