As life moved on, I graduated from high school and Kelley was only beginning. While she was studying American History and Geometry, I was married and having babies. Although we didn't see near as much of one another, our friendship was still strong....
...It's been several years since I have actually seen Kelley, but thanks to today's technology, Kelley and I have been able to stay in touch with email, facebook and blogs.
Three years ago I stumbled upon Kelley's blog...and immediately became an avid follower. Like a fairytale, Kelley's blog chronicled her marriage to Richard (her Prince Charming) and their life in the big city of New York. Posts about various eateries, organic juice stands and seeing somebody famous....
...until one day Kelley's blog took on a whole new subject...BABY! Kelley and Richard were expecting their first child and now each post was a beautiful entry of doctor's appointments, heartbeats, first kicks inside her belly and finally, the birth of their beloved and beautiful Isabelle Anelies!
I couldn't wait for each new post...Isabelle coming home from the hospital, Isabelle's first stroller ride in New York City, Isabelle's first word, her first steps...her first move to a foreign country!
Kelley and Richard moved to Doha for Richards job. Kelley's fascinating life continued and the photos she posted were breathtaking...but the real joy in reading Kelley's posts came from the heartfelt and tender words she would write to her daughter...
...Kelley was an unbelievably, amazing mother. The sort of woman that others look at and think, "if only I could be half of the mother that she is..." Kelley's deep and unconditional love for her baby girl was very clear in her expression and her photos that she posted each day....
When Kelley and Richard welcomed their baby boy, Sebastian into the world, their family was like that in a Norman Rockwell painting....perfect in every way. Soon the family moved from Doha to Holland, where the four of them reside in pure happiness and joy!
Sadly, this past Friday, May 20th, sweet baby Isabelle Anelies, at the age of 2 1/2 years old, went to be with our Lord. Kelley and her two children had traveled earlier in the week to the United States to visit family and on Tuesday evening, Isabelle, stopped breathing during her nap. Isabelle was put on life support until Richard could come to the US, as he had stayed behind for work. Friday morning, Kelley, Richard, and baby Sebastian said their goodbyes to precious Isabelle.
...the past 48 hours (the time since I've know of Kelley's loss) my mind has been reeling...I decided to record my thoughts here, hoping that Kelley will one day read my words and know that I've prayed without ceasing...
...these are my words for my dear, dear friend Kelley:
I won't pretend to know the answers...quite frankly, I struggle in my walk with Christ to understand why these things happen. What I do know is this...sometimes God allows trials and tribulations to come our way to test our faith in Him. If everything was always perfect in our lives, we might begin to wonder why there is a need for God. When my brother passed away last year, I drew closer to Christ, clinging to His love and His Word. My faith and my relationship with Christ grew deeper and stronger...I pray that the same will be true for you and Richard.
No words from me or anyone else can alleviate or lessen the real pain and anguish that you and Richard are feeling. I pray for you right now in the sure knowledge that God loves you despite what you are feeling at the moment, don't ever give up on Him....afterall, Christ felt abandoned on the Cross, but He never gave up.
God has a plan...it's difficult to understand at times, but He always has a plan. I read in your note to family and friends that sweet Isabelle's heart will now beat within a child who may not have had a life...your precious baby girl gave life to another child of God...Isabelle's life continues in her heart that will beat within another child, her life will continue in yours and Richard's heart and in the hearts of those that love her.
Know that you are being prayed for...know that your Isabelle has wings and will love you from above...and know that God is wrapping His loving arms around you, and you will once again know peace.
Much love and blessings,
Photo of Isabelle and her baby brother
(photo from Kelley's photo album on facebook)