Monday, April 26, 2010

Gracie Lou finished her earthly battle . . .

Mommy and Daddy spoke gentle words of blessing to her as her time came closer and closer.

The LORD bless you and keep you.
The LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you.
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you His peace. ["Peace," echoes Gracie's older sister, Natalia, whenever this prayer is said.]
--Numbers 6:24-26 (a special prayer in our family)

Shortly before 11, Mommy and Daddy decided it was time for her to make that final journey.

"Can we just keep her comfortable?"

"She is comfortable," the nurse assured us. "But we will keep watch, just in case."

She was taken off the oxygen oscillator at 10:58. Her oxygen levels actually went up for 10 or 15 minutes afterwards. But then they began to subside, as did her heart rate. She had been fighting so hard. Heart rate right around 180. . . . But then it slowly came down. . . . 133. . . . 121. . . . Oxygen bouncing from 18 up to 65 then down again. . . . Heart rate 99. . . . 93. . . . Sometime when it was down in the 60s, the nurse asked if we would want to remove the monitor so we wouldn't be distracted by watching the numbers.

"Yes, thank you."

Gracie Lou  rested comfortably against her Mommy's chest throughout--except for a few minutes while Daddy held her against his. Then back to Mommy for the end.

Sometime between 11:30 and 11:45, she left us. Jonelle, Dave and I prayed together during that time. Many tears. But joy, too, that her struggles are over.

Two exhausted, bereft parents are heading home to be with their older daughter right now. I do not know of plans for memorializing Gracie Lou nor for disposing of her body.

Thank you, all, for "being there" with us through this difficult time.

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