All parents have their near-miss stories about their children - the tales of accidents narrowly avoided, of hours spent in the emergency room awaiting stitches, of fevers spiked and calmed, of catastrophes that might have been but weren't. "Can you imagine?," we say to one another, or "It could have been so much worse." "That was a close one," and "we got lucky." We parents get a hushed-voice, illicit thrill in telling these stories because we know that the end of the story is happy before we begin. Part of that thrill, too, is in knowing that the end of such stories isn't happy for everyone and that we're blessed because we came through the experience with only our story to tell, plus maybe a bump, bruise, or scar as a souvenir. "There but for the grace of God go we," and so, implicitly, necessarily, that means that some parents' stories are of tragic accidents rather than near-misses. And we smug, lucky, hushed-voice storytellers usually get to avoid meeting that raw fact head on. But not this time.
01/21/10 - 05/27/10
Last Sunday my niece Kylie sustained an injury from which she was not able to recover, and my brave brother and sister-out-law chose to keep her alive until recipients could be found for her organ donation. She passed away yesterday at 5:20 in the evening after saving the lives of 3 other children and bringing such beautiful, pure joy to all of our lives. We will miss her always, we will love her always, and we will honor her memory always. She has left a Kylie-shaped hole in our hearts that nothing and no one else can fill. In time our hearts will repair themselves and grow a thick carapace around what's missing, but we will always remember her, we will always wonder what could have been, and we will always, always love our sweet girl.