Friday, May 15, 2009

Not much to say except the ache in our hearts is unrelenting and our sorrow the deepest of sorrows. We miss Sarah so much. We miss her between us in our bed, we miss taking care of her, hearing her voice, getting those sweet little kisses and hugs. The sad list goes on.

The past year has been so hard on every one. It is definitely going to take a while to figure out how to live again. So before we start trying to think all of that through we decided to take a trip. We are taking all of the children down to Florida. Hopefully it will go well.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sarah's Eulogy

Here is a copy of Sarah's eulogy that was written by Ben and myself. Ben's sister Dauphne did a very nice job reading it for us.

Sarah Marie Jones
September 26, 2004
May 6, 2009

Sarah’s life was so short and yet it seemed that she lived a lifetime. From the time she was born, Sarah was the apple of every Jones’ eye. As an infant she would go from one set of arms to the next. There always seemed to be a line of sisters and brothers waiting their turn to cuddle her.

It was so nice when Sarah came along because we had learned so much about babies and parenting by rearing the older children. With her it seemed much easier since Sarah had two loving parents and six older siblings who adored her. Watching our big teenage boy tote her around on his shoulders and love on her just melted our hearts.

Sarah was so fair and pretty. Katie and Mommy loved to dress her in little girlie outfits – pretty pink dresses with matching hats. We put dresses on her all the time. She was a wonderful baby always smiling.

Sarah was so smart. We taught her sign language. By the time she was ten months old, she had mastered many signs. She could sign nurse, mama, eat, and drink, along with elephant and a few more.

When she learned to talk, Sarah used to tug on Mommy’s clothes and say "sure", in her little sing song voice, because that is what Mommy used to say to her when she would ask to nurse.

Sarah loved to play with baby dolls. She loved to have tea parties. Just before Sarah got sick last year we had a tea party with the Reif children. Sarah and Shoshawna Reif (who were both 3 at the time) were so funny as they giggled and laughed about spoonful after spoonful of sugar going into their tea.

Then she got sick. Sarah was so tired that she started napping twice a day and our lives changed forever.

We were shattered the day Sarah was diagnosed with leukemia last May. When her pediatrician called that Sunday evening and told us she had leukemia, we didn’t even know what it was. What would happen next? Would we be told our daughter was going to be okay? Would we be told our daughter was going to die?

We learned that Sarah had a low likelihood of survival. All children are brought into this world for purposes known only to God. Although grief stricken, we knew a big part of God’s purpose for Sarah coming into our lives was unfolding. It was then that God began working through precious Sarah to teach us things we could never fully know otherwise.

Sarah inspired us. She never felt sorry for herself, and she never moped. She always insisted on caring for herself whenever possible. Sarah would help clean and remove her bandages and flush her "tubies". She made it easier for the nurses to change her pull-ups by raising her bum for them during hospital stays. She helped open the packaging for her supplies.

We were moved by Sarah’s warmth and her responses to the care that we and others provided. We can still hear her say "Daddy, I love you" and "Mommy, I love you" so clearly. These words were not only reserved for her mommy and daddy, but also spoken to many others who cared for her. Lying on her bed, Sarah would reach out to give a hug and kiss on the cheek whenever it was time to say goodbye.

The treatments Sarah received made her feel very sick. Some of them took a few days before she felt like getting out of bed; some took several weeks. More often than not though, Sarah had fun at the hospitals and in between treatments at home. During hospital stays, she would often ride in a little push-around car with a musical wand playing music while she did a little dance. Other parents at the hospital said it brightened their day when Sarah drove by their child’s room with her little car and musical wand playing.

Her most favorite thing to do was swing. When Sarah was at home, we took her out to swing whenever possible. On one of her last few days in this world, Sarah said she wanted to swing. Her nurse that day, Danielle, helped us drag Sarah’s IV pole through the gravel to the swing-set, and she swung.

Sarah taught us so many things. We learned that we have the capacity to channel God’s limitless love and patience through us. Over the last 12 months, God worked through Sarah teaching us things that we only thought we knew. Things we might not learn in an entire lifetime otherwise. We now know the meaning of grief and joy, despair and hope, fear and courage, pain, patience, love and life. Our understanding was sketchy before, but now we’ve seen a painting.

Sarah’s life was a gift we willingly accepted, Sarah’s life with cancer was a gift too but not one we wanted to accept. We now know that cancer was a part of Sarah’s life as much as it was a part of her death. Many times before Sarah died, we discussed how it was like someone else held her hand alongside ours. We were frightened we would have to let go and Sarah would be taken from us, but at the same time comforted knowing it was Jesus that held her hand. We did not lose Sarah. She waits for us to join her at home.

We will always be grateful to God for all of what Sarah was and is and wait for the day we will walk by her side again.

We love you Sarah