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.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Ellie Skees - In Memoriam

Back in October, Ellie discovered this song by Celine Dion. Something about it touched her deeply and she asked me to share it on the blog. I have been saving it for just this moment. When I asked Ellie who she thought the "boy" was in this song, she looked at me kind of shyly (because she didn't really know) and said "Jesus?" I had wanted to know what it meant to her.

A New Day Has Come

I was waiting for so long

For a miracle to come

Everyone told me to be strong

Hold on and don't shed a tear

Through the darkness and good times

I knew I'd make it through

And the world thought I had it all

But I was waiting for you

Hush, now

I see a light in the sky

Oh, it's almost blinding me

I can't believe

I've been touched by an angel with love

Let the rain come down and wash away my tears

Let it fill my soul and drown my fears

Let it shatter the walls for a new sun

A new day has... come

Where it was dark now there's light

Where there was pain now there's joy

Where there was weakness,

I found my strength

All in the eyes of a boy

Hush, now

I see a light in the sky

Oh, it's almost blinding me

I can't believeI've been touched by an angel with love

Let the rain come down and wash away my tears

Let it fill my soul and drown my fears

Let it shatter the walls for a new sun

A new day has... come

OhhhHush, now

I see a light in your eyes

All in the eyes of the boy

I can't believe

I've been touched by an angel with love


At 1:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praying for you today...the new blog looks amazing, very moving... God bless you.

At 2:17 AM, Blogger BreezieGirl said...

Ellie's songs have inspired me. Thank you for sharing.

My memorial... http://picasaweb.google.com/bleach226/InMemoryOfEllieSkees

At 4:54 AM, Blogger Whatleys' World said...

The blog looks so nice!!! What a beautiful blue!! :) I love Ellie's picture, what a nice smiling face to look at us as we listen to a song that meant so much to Ellie. :) Thanks Sarah for sharing your lives, may it be a good reminder of our own difficult days that lie ahead. Praying for a wonderful day today!

At 5:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah -
There are no words...Thank you for sharing this blog with us. We are with you in spirit today. I can't wait to see a healthy happy Ellie in Heaven! Your memorial of her on this blog today is breathtaking. We are blessed.
Lots of love,

At 5:58 AM, Blogger LindaSueBuhl said...

Thank you for sharing your life and the promise of life to come. We continue to pray for you and give thanks for God bringing you all into our lives and hearts.
Linda Sue and Skip Buhl
Weatherford, Texas
"in faith and in tears" see you soon Ellie - we'll see you soon
Verses for those who remain in the Shadowlands -
Psalm 63
A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah.
1 O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.
2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.

3 Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.

4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.

5 My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

6 On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.

7 Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.

8 My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.

At 7:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Beth Anne

At 7:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful.....what a stirring celebration of who Ellie was...praying for you!

At 8:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beloved Sarah and John, this morning just after I read this exquisite new blog, all the coyotes started howling. There is a misty fog all around us and it is snowing. The wail of the coyotes was just perfect - it was as though they were moaning over Ellie's absence from us here, but yet singing for joy that she is in the arms of her Father in heaven, waiting for all of us to join them. I love you both so much and cannot wait for your return. I am praying for you all today. All my love...


At 8:27 AM, Blogger HopiQ said...

The slideshow is just beautiful. Our hearts and thoughts are with you all today.

At 8:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found out about Ellie about 2 months ago. I wish I could have known her personally, but I know I will meet her in Heaven one day. She was a beautiful little girl. My son was born one day before her. I can't imagine living w/out him so know that I will pray for you as often as I can. Ethan is a brave little boy and he will also be in my prayers. Thank you for sharing special moments with us. God Bless you!

Roxanna (Houston, TX)

At 9:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Sarah, John, and Ethan,

Ellie has forever changed our lives. We have walked a similar journey to yours, and yet, watching you has still taught us so much. Someday we look forward with great anticipation to meeting Ellie and you all in Heaven. We will all wear bright colors today in snowy Michigan in honor of your sweet Ellie who is surely dancing with Jesus. Our tears will one day be wiped dry as we are all reunited in Heaven because of our sweet Jesus. May you rest in His peace in the days, months and years ahead until He comes!!

At 10:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your strength and your Ellie have inspired and given me strength. Thank you for sharing.

At 12:48 PM, Blogger Sheila said...

I am wearing my 'Ellie colours', and praying for you. I have made a tribute to Ellie today on my blog in pictures and thoughts.


Watching her pictures, and listening to the music brings tears to my eyes. I really appreciate you sharing her life with us.

At 2:44 PM, Anonymous dee said...

Sorry to blubber all over you guys today...I was there to support YOU and I'm the one who lost it! Go figure.



At 2:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

John and Sarah,
I am truly so sorry for your loss. Your courage and writing is just beautiful.
Ellie's journey has changed so many lives.
Thank you so much for sharing.

Tanner Rd

At 4:40 PM, Anonymous keith and angela duncan said...

John, Sarah, and Ethan,

I have followed your journey over the past year and a half very closely. Keith and I were in Bible School with John and during your dad's time of captivity, you were very close to our hearts. Then when we found out about Ellie, we were in training in MO and have since then made it to the field. (just a brief history for you).

You have inspired us with your honesty of hurt, heartache, and hope over the past year. We have children very close to the same age as Ellie was and that made it a very real hurt and heartache in our lives as we lived every moment with you from afar. I have never posted on the blog because I never had a clue what to say to someone who is dealing with life like you are? All I could ever do was cry with you, rejoice with you, hurt with you, and pray for you. And believe me, I did all that. You were always so candid and so honest and that was such a neat thing to be a part of. So I feel like I can tell you today that it was hard for me to pull up the blog and see that it had changed. It hurt to know that Ellie's fight is over here on earth, that your lives have a huge, gaping hole that will never be filled, but will just diminish over time. And yet, that photo of Ellie is beautiful!!! What a beautiful reminder of special, happy, sunshine filled Ellie. I especially love the snow angel and that is how I will remember Ellie.

I just want you to know that Ellie's life and your lives have inspired and encouraged us and we strive to live each day in light of eternity. We have kept our kids completely involved in Ellie's life and so she has challenged us to live life with meaning as a family. We continue to pray for you and rejoice as you move through your grieving process. I am still crying with you as you share what you and John are feeling and I thank you for making us aware of the many who are walking around wounded though we may never know who they are.

You have been an encouragement and challenge in my Christian life and I pray that God will continue to lift you up on eagle's wings when you cannot run another step. Keep holding on for dear life.

Your sister in Christ,

Angela Duncan

At 5:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dearest Sarah,

THANK YOU for sharing the photos and songs of Ellie's!! Our prayers are with you today as you celebrate the bright light of Christ she IS.... Praise the Lord we will all be reunited again. We will not cease praying for your comfort, peace and strength during the days ahead. Somewhere Over The Rainbow has always been a special song to me, so when I saw it was one of Ellie's favorites and heard the song, I just cried.... For all of us who could not be with you all today, THANKS AND MORE THANKS for allowing us the privilege to be part of your family.

We Love You,
The Haviland's

At 8:30 PM, Blogger Julie said...

Dear Sarah and John, I wanted to waer aqua today for Ellie but that turned out to be a mild wardrobe problem (laundry is not a forte) So I put on black with pink glittery sparkly flowers. I prayed for you today. I hope it wasn't too difficult and am thankful that the Lord is holding your broken hearts in his hands. Love you.

At 9:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never met your family personally, but have been following your story since November, when a dear friend of mine, who's son also was diagnosed with stage IV Neuroblastoma cancer, mentioned your precious daughter. I just want you to know, that you are my hero of the faith, and I admire you so much for your strength and courage. I was so moved by the slideshow of your sweet Ellie.

At 9:18 PM, Anonymous Jen Johnson said...

Sarah, John and Ethan~
I was so excited to wake up this morning and see what delight was waiting for me. It was perfect, just perfect. As I sat in front of the computer, giant snow flakes began falling outside the window. When Cody woke up we let him navigate through todays posts. Tyler went and woke up Bailey so she could see it before school. She sat on our bed for a long time watching the computer screen, soaking in the song and slideshow. After a bit she asked if I would come see what she had made for you. I followed her and found the floor of her room looked like an art studio. She picked up a strand of beads and said that she was making it for you. You see....she has been planning a bead exchange for when you come home. She has all sorts of treasures that she has made for you! Little did you know that the goodies you gave Bailey would come full circle!
Bailey and I were driving home tonight and she looked at me and said, "I was sad today." I asked her why and she said that she really misses Ellie.
Heavy on my heart has been Loretta. I can only imagine how difficult it was for your Montana family to not be in your presence today. Although, I can only guess that all wore blue and watched Night at the Museum.
We had great plans to watch that very movie tonight and the dvd wouldn't play. The kids were even going to stay up late "Ellie Style" to watch it. Bailey was in tears and asked if we could go over to Loretta's to watch it with her. I had to convince her that it was already really late! I promised I would buy a new copy.
You were in our thoughts and prayers all day today as you shared fellowship with family and friends.
It snowed 4 inches on our sidewalk today. I think I saw an angel print in the snow!

All our love,

At 9:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah, John and Ethan,
You were on our minds and in our prayers today.
Kristen did a fantastic job on the new layout! It's beautiful, I love it!
We are looking forward to your return to MT and to "some semblance of a "normal" life" as you eloquently said!
We love you!
Angela, Derrick and boys

At 10:28 PM, Blogger Kristy said...

Praying, praying throughout the day.

You guys come to mind now like family.

The songs and slideshow are beautiful. Ellie looks so happy, quirky, sweet, strong. Thank you for sharing such personal, precious memories.

At 11:22 PM, Blogger Tammi said...

Thank you so much for the beautiful montage. It was a joy to see Ellie through the years. It is easy to see she was a much loved little girl.

I pray the Lord will heal your hearts and continue to hold you in His grace.

At 11:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure you knew how hard it was for those of us who could not be with you in Orlando today and of course you made it special for us as well. The changes to the blog are beautiful!
And it only seems right that the website should be different -- aren't we all changed by what we have been through this last year and a half?! Won't our lives never be the same? Haven't we been touched by an angel!! And what an impression she has made!
From the beginning, this website has done so much more than just keep us up to date with what was happening. You have shared so much and it has been such a journey! You've always been able to take a difficult, heart-wrentching situation and add clarity and beauty to it. And you have done it with a grace and understanding that is inspiring. Your insight and faith have touched me deeply and shown me the power that God has in our lives. I've always known that we can get through the most difficult times with the help of those we love. You've shown me that with faith, we can find peace and joy, where there would only be pain otherwise.
To say thank you just doesn't seem enough. To say how sorry I am for what I know you and John are going through, and how it breaks my heart -- doesn't seem enough. I guess I'll just say I love you both so much and will continue to pray as we all try to find a way to go on without Ellie in our lives.
Love, Mel

At 7:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful and beautiful memorial service. we are so glad we were able to be there and see you and your family in person. you all are such an amazing tetimony.Ellie was beautiful from the inside out.Praying each day gets a liitle easier.We pray God's blessings on you as you continue on and seek Gods direction for your lives. Love Simons family

At 8:29 AM, Anonymous CHARFEE said...





At 11:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah and John
I concur with Mel’s comment. The words have eluded me for so long to fully express how our hearts are breaking. In the depths of your suffering we are here to think of you and hope for the strength you require, in the great celebrations we rejoice with you, and in the times when we were able to be together we cover you in our love. Thank you for allowing us the wonderful opportunity to be a part of your lives as we are so enriched to be your family and your friend.
Yesterday we celebrated Ellie here in Kalispell through our thoughts and all day found things that brought Ellie to mind. I started the day wearing the bright fuzzy scarf Ellie gave me and had it wrapped so that she was close to my heart. It was about 9:30 am when the fog came over Kalispell and then the gorgeous frost that it formed on the trees burnished through the sunshine that followed, I found myself standing next to a tree looking at the wonders of the hoar frost (this is when it looks like powdered sugar has fallen on the trees).
I honor my loved ones that are not with me by making them a part of my energy through thinking of them at times throughout my life. I shall honor Ellie when I hear a child laugh; I will smile and think of Ellie’s smile.
I am delighted that you are able to be with everyone in Florida and feel selfish that I miss you! Know that we are all thinking of you and hoping for a safe journey back “home” to Montana.
Love you all

At 12:34 PM, Blogger Mandy Caley said...

The service yesterday was so amazing. We will pray for you often dear Skees's as you mourn sweet Ellie's loss. Your example and courage and blessing have been a tremendous encouragement to SO many people.
In Christ- we send love.

At 8:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been praying for you this week! Thanks for the beautiful slide show and the songs that Ellie loved! The whole site is just so beautiful! I won't stop praying for your family in the days ahead. I know you will have many firsts this year...and I will be praying for God's comfort and strength for you as you walk this new path!


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