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, September 28, 2009


Ellie would have turned 11. It is so hard to imagine because she has been forever frozen at 9. All around us, Ellie's friends have turned into long-legged pre-teens. They have one foot in the make-believe world of children while the other presses forward into grown-up land. In many ways Ellie already experienced some of that kind of split personality. Just before she died, Ellie told me that she wanted to decorate her bedroom in horses. By the next day she had completely changed her mind and decided on black and white photos with candles on shelves. Simple and elegant. She was dreaming of boyfriends and weddings, but couldn't resist the pull of her Barbies and baby-dolls. So I suppose the image of Ellie at 11 isn't so difficult to conjur... but therein lies the rub. I miss the 11 year old Ellie that I never got to know. Tonight we went through hundreds of old photos of the kids at various stages. We laughed at the funny chipmunk-cheek pictures of Ellie at two, and marveled at what a loving big sister she was at four. There were a few photos that I just wanted to jump right into and live all over again. But mostly I wanted the pictures to keep going so that I could watch Ellie change from 9 to 10... and to 11.

So tomorrow I will wear the bracelet that Ellie made for me when we went together to a bead shop years ago. I will try not to cry on the way to work... at work... and on the way home from work. Maybe working will help somehow. I don't really know. I just know that right now I am so sad. Not because my firstborn is no longer a little girl who is growing up too fast... I'm sad because she never will grow up. I won't get to take her shopping for her first bra or teach her how to apply makeup. Or help her plan her wedding. I'm not sad for Ellie. She got to die so innocent and sweet. I'm just sad for me... for the things that I will miss.

But God is ever loving and tender with me. This weekend I was struck with the realization that I have four precious nieces and some of Ellie's friends who just might need their Auntie Sarah to shop for pretty clothes with them and admire their sparkly shoes. Yesterday as I sat and braided sweet Maddie's hair, I felt a peaceful kind of joy. There are little girls who love me. Who put their arms around me and soothe me with their... girliness.

And I have a son who reminds me that I am still a mom. He delights in the "gushiness" of my tummy as only a six year old can appreciate. He reminds me everyday in so many little ways that I am still needed.

Speaking of small boys... yesterday Ethan experienced a milestone. He lost his first tooth! Ellie would have been proud beyond words. Ethan pulled it out himself. Ellie would have cried for days at the very thought of pulling out her own tooth (in fact, I believe that she did cry for days over it). Ethan simply walked back to the hall and looked in the mirror. We heard him say "I got it. Didn't even hurt!" and out he walked, tooth in hand.





At 8:32 PM, Blogger Jessica said...

Ellie's birthday has been on my mind the past couple of days. Even though she wasn't my little girl, I'll be trying not to cry tomorrow, too.

At 9:18 PM, Blogger Allison said...

Sarah- I had been thinking about Ellie's Birthday coming all week. Her's is 1 week before my daughters and she turn's 9 this year. It is so close to my Lexi's birthday that I have been praying for you. Thank you for posting and I'll say an extra prayer for you tomorrow. God Bless- Allison

At 1:05 AM, Anonymous Aunt Kathy said...

I am crying with you...Love you so much and miss Ellie with all my heart! There are moments when I think of Ellie and feel joy and sorrow at the same time. My heart swells with joy and love for her and I know she is at peace. At the same time my stomach aches for the loss of this precious little girl whose arms I can still feel around my neck. There are so many people who have and will be thinking of your precious daughter with laughter and tears not only on her birthday but always and forever! We are so blessed to have been touched by your angel and to be a part of your journey! Love you always, Aunt Kathy

At 2:10 AM, Blogger Tricia said...

What a brave boy! I love the middle photo, when his silly side appears.
Ditto what Jessica said.

At 4:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praying for you today!

At 6:13 AM, Anonymous Mema in SC said...

Ellie's birthday! A time of memories, reflections, and what ifs. Please know that we are so grateful for the ways in which your daughter and you have touched our lives. Because of her we are forever changed into better people and our faith in God has grown. Happy Birthday Heavenly Ellie. Sarah remember every precious moment AND TAKE TIME TO DANCE!

At 6:14 AM, Anonymous Mema in SC said...

I love the pictures of Ethan's toothless smile. Made me remember when my son lost his first tooth - but he was not so brave!

At 8:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Sarah! You're thoughts and feelings and reflections are an inspiration to me. Really. In your sorrow, your are letting God meet your needs and you appreciate His gifts to you. May His love continually be poured out on you, my sweet sister in Christ.
A hug for you today!

At 8:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ellie is ever on our minds as well. I am praying for you today and always. Know that Aubrey and I need you to help us with all the girly stuff.:) LOVE the photos of Ethan. Julia is dying to lose her first one.
Love you so much, Vickie

At 6:01 PM, Blogger britta said...

I remember when I first found your blog...it was years ago and Ellie was still alive. Then I must have lost the link or something, but I hadn't read it in a long time. One day I came upon it somehow again...but I was totally shocked of what I read. Ellie had passed away....I cried.

Then I took a break again, because for some reason I didn't have the correct link Bookmarked, and so whenever I came here, I came to a post right after Ellie died. Finally, I figured out that you still were blogging...and it really made me happy.

I mourn for your loss...
It is especially tough when it is over events like this.

I'll say a prayer for all of you...

Happy Birthday in Heaven Ellie!

At 2:41 PM, Blogger oneofhisfriends said...

Hi John and Sarah and Ethan,

It's always a healthy thing for me to hear what is going on with you. It enhances and/or restores my sense of normal, as in Kingdom normal.

May God bless,

At 1:43 PM, Blogger Hans' Mom said...

I'm crying now too.
I came to your page from another NB mama's site. My name is Lara and my son Hans is now six, He is battling NB now 3 years. His beautiful sister, Elle (aka Ellie) turned 11 on 9.25.09. My heart breaks for what you are missing.

I am so sorry for your loss of your little lady!

Lara Weberling


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