Saturday, May 12, 2012

Dancing...

Piper, you are without a doubt the most beautiful spirit I have known.  You have caused me to grow in so many ways and made me aspire to be far greater than I could have without you.  I looked forward to seeing you every morning and cuddling you in the middle of the night as many times as you would call; there was never a time I tired of holding you and spending time with you.  I revelled in opportunities to stop and watch you during the day - Drew taught me how valuable that was but you taught me how much it could delight me!  I love the way you would grab my hand with your gentle hands to pull it over to do something you needed help with, the way your hands lingered on my cheeks, the way they explored every mouth that would open for them, the way you used them to make art out of food, the way they refused to be kept from exploring and moving, and the way they communicated so much -- my heart bears Drew's handprints still but your tender touch transformed my heart and reshaped so many parts of it; your handprints join Drew's in making something more out of my heart than it was before.  Your eyes looked into my soul from the moment they opened -- there were very few things you missed, if any!  It seems you tried to squeeze every drop out of life, compressing the beauty, love and opportunities of a long lifetime into a few heartbeats of time.  When you leaned over to tenderly kiss me of your own accord 8 weeks ago, and then leaned back and looked at me only to lean in again and kiss me again, every fiber in my being understood the depth of love a mother could feel.  I have been forever changed by your love!

Now you are dancing... running with dainty steps across the soft floors of Heaven, enchanted by love so perfect, captivated by beauty, surrounded by comfort, wrapped in peace and yet missed so desperately.  I felt you were leaving last night, that you were nearly ready to go, but it seemed you wanted to live to the fullest for every single minute you would fill this physical body.  The nurses wondered at how you were so determined to be so strong last night, unusually so in comparison to many they have seen.  I cannot describe the feeling it created when I held you for hours before bed last night, trying to meld your body with mine, kissing your head as many times as I could.  We cuddled long and sweet, and you shared your time with both Daddy and me so willingly, thank you.  When we went to bed it was only with reluctance.  I felt it was nearing time to let you go and didn't want to miss a breath!  Even as I lay next to you trying to warm your little feet, sleep would not come.  I had tried to prepare my heart for this moment, but how could I when I have loved being with you so much and this would mean being apart from you for far too long?  I lay there a long time, covering you in prayer and trying to will you to know how much love I felt for you.  If love could have created a cocoon, you would have been in the thickest, softest one imaginable.  I will always treasure the wee hours of the morning today, as you and I lay close enough to feel each other breathing, body to body.  Close enough for you to know my presence even with your eyes closed.  Close enough for me to sleep with my lips near enough to kiss your soft head.  With your little feet were tucked into my legs to keep them warm.  I must have drifted off in contentment sometime after I was sure I had done everything I could to surround you with my love and with comfort.  The nurses came in at 3 a.m. this morning to check on you and we were asleep together, almost as one.  I had asked them last night to help me rotate you sometime in the night and as this seemed like the best time to do so they gently turned you on your other side, checking to make sure you were comfortable before they left.  You were now face to face with me and I tried to bring you into my embrace again.  As I was moving your feet around to tuck them into the blanket and whispering to you, kissing your head, I heard your breathing change.  Strange - you weren't challenging life with each breath any more, you seemed to be breathing life out.  I woke Daddy and just as he leaned over to kiss you, you traded in your tenderly manicured toenail polish for dancing shoes.  In a sigh you were gone.  How do I kiss you now?  Piper, my love, I have loved you more deeply than I thought possible and my heart feels broken in this moment.  I know time will heal and God will reshape the wounds to make something beautiful out of them, but I don't want to think about that yet.  I am just sad I cannot hold you again, sad I cannot feel your gentle touch, sad I cannot watch your vibrant blue eyes light up.  I know you are ok, but selfishly today, I just want you here.  How can I expect that I would not feel a gaping hole when I have held you so close for hours every day over the last 6 weeks -- my body is in withdrawal of the most severe kind.  I can feel your weight burning a spot in my being, creating a Piper-shaped space that will never be filled.  I feel Drew's still, and I know that whatever life brings, these spaces will always be there, almost tangible in nature.  Thank you for leaving your mark on me Piper.  You will forever be one of the best parts of my life!!!

I would be remiss to close this post without saying thank you to everyone who has contributed to allowing me to enjoy Piper to the fullest at every stage.  I hope you all know who you are!  I will try to say thank you better in a later post, but right now, please just know that our hearts are full, overflowing with gratitude at all those that made the time with Piper during her illness one full of treasured moments.

To those wondering what to pray about, thank you for your prayers and please continue to pray.  Pray for Peyton especially as we work to help him make sense of things.  I have tried to write about his experience a few times now but am unable to get through a post yet.  There are so many pictures of them together and memories of their relationship that I couldn't settle on the best ones to share.  I pray God will soothe his heart even more than my own.  Thank you.

We will post more information here about a celebration of Piper's life in the days to come.  Thank you for following our story!

(One note -- for any who may desire to send flowers perhaps you would consider donating "In Memory Of Piper Clark" to the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation.  Thank you!)



40 comments:

  1. Oh Kari. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this difficult time. Thank you for sharing your heart and tender moments with us. So much love surrounded Piper from the day she was born to the moment she put on her dancing shoes, and to hear your stories and sweet moments with your beautiful little girl just makes me smile and my heart swell. You are a beautiful woman, Kari, and the love you have for your family is so precious.
    Sending you love,
    Kerrie
    (and the rest of the Martins)

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  2. Oh I have no words. Please know we are (and will continue to) pray for you and your family. What a blessing for Piper to be surrounded by such love, warmth and courage in her short life. We are sending our love to all of you.

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  3. Anguish.
    Praise.
    Faithful prayer for you.

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  4. Crying and praying! All our love - Wes & Roberta

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  5. Oh Kari. Such a beautifully written letter. I have not stopped thinking of all of you and sending up prayers since I heard that Piper put on her dancing shoes. <3

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  6. So very sorry your loss. I have been praying for you all, for your son especially.

    One of the anonymous blanket ladies

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  7. I am so sorry Kari. I am sure Piper is holding hands with her big brother Drew and they are "sledding on the clouds" as my son Thayne says he would love to do with Jesus one day. May your family shower love on you now during this time. I wish I could give you a hug. Praying for you all.
    Melinda

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  8. Tears welling up and no words...but we are overflowing with your words of faith in our God and His care, and your words of deep abiding love for your sweet little Piper, an angel who visited you.
    This is a very powerful blog. God bless your family. We are so very sorry for your loss.

    Gamble and Woods families - Winnipeg

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  9. Kari - I've had you and your sweet family on my mind for weeks. My heart literally hurts for you right now. Your girl is incredible. I'm so so very sorry. Sending so many prayers your way.
    Gillian

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  10. Weeping for you! I only recently came across your blog and I am amazed by your grace and strength and ability to put your thoughts and feelings into words. I am encouraged by your faith and want you to know I am praying for God to blanket you with overwhelming comfort - for you and your husband and Peyton. ~ a Gramma

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  11. How can a heart break and rejoice at the same time? That is what mine is doing. Precious tribute to your blue-eyed beauty. We weep with you and rejoice with you. Hugs sent and prayers continuing.
    Dorinda

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  12. We love you all so dearly. And, I echo Dorinda- how can heart break and rejoicing be so intertwined? Praying fervently for the days ahead and, especially, for Peyton who will always have a special place in our hearts.

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  13. I haven't met you but I am a cousin of James Mooney and I want to express my deepest sympathy to all of you. You are all in my prayers for much love, strength and comfort through such heartache. This blog is beautifully written, some of the most beautiful words I have ever read in my life. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing...I don't know if you have any idea the kind of impact this blog has had on others. You could write a book. You are so inspiring, the perspective you have is incredible...I am sending you and your family the biggest of hugs you can imagine. Every time I wear pink I will think of Piper and Drew and their amazing family...the family that those little angels needed the most. ....Amy

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  14. Kari, Jordan and Peyton, There are no words that are adequate. I am so sorry for your pain. I pray you will have the peace that you have had throughout Piper's illness--God's peace that passes understanding. I wish we could do more. Please know that you are loved and prayed for by so many.

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  15. Jordan and Kari..You know that your dad is always saying to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. Somehow I am doing that all at once. Through the tears as I read your post to Jim, I felt so grateful knowing where she is now, smiling up at Drew and Jesus with those beautiful eyes of hers. I have wanted so much to find a way to help you, but you are the one who is helping me. I love you to pieces. Barb

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  16. It's hard to find the words...such a testimony is your faithfulness in Him in all you trials and sorrows and all of the joy little piper has brought to us all! Thankful for the hope we have of eternal life with Him and the chance we all have to see her again. Thank you for all your words during your journey...you have made me look at life a lot differently. Piper has touched so many in her time here on earth and will continue to live with many of us each day. We love you all! Praying. Kaylee (and the Loftises)

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  17. Kari and Jordan and Peyton,
    We are so very sorry and truly are weeping with you, I'll be honest, I am having a hard time rejoicing right now. I know she is in a better place, actually I told Josie that Grandma Edie would be a perfect person to love on Piper until we all are united again in Heaven. I am so very sorry for your loss, I can't even begin to imagine the pain and I am so incredibly sad and sorry. I will continue to pray, we will. Josie and Carly prayed the other night "Be with Piper, Help her to have a Good Life", It hit me. Indeed she did. and He was. Sending hugs upon hugs.

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  18. There is so much I want to say to you right now and yet I seem at a loss for words. As I read your beautiful words, you describe so perfectly and wonderfully your experience that resounds in many ways like my own. Takes me back to those last months and weeks in ways that I never knew just how to describe until you put them to words. Thank you Kari for sharing Pipers' life and your experience in such a beautiful way. My heart aches for you, Jordan and Peyton. Our angels dance together. Many hugs and prayers are sent your way.

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  19. Kari and Jordan and Payton,I am so heavy hearted , but because of your brave post I do see your so loved little sweetheart dancing in a beautiful safe field of beautiful flowers.I am sending you all all my love and along warm hug. Love Penny

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  20. Kari, Jordan and Peyton,
    Our hearts go out to you all. I have been praying for you all since hearing about your sweet Piper, and will continue to pray for you all now. Your family has been so inspiring to us and has made me live in the moment and enjoy and cherish so much more. You are all so amazing and the faith you have is inspiring to so many. Prayers are with you all.
    Tina and Troy Clarke

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  21. Cora-Anne and CalebMay 12, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    We are sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing this journey with us. I feel so lucky to have met your family, and Piper. She has made me smile a lot at all those hockey practices and games :)
    Cora-Anne and Caleb Lawrence

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  22. Jordan, Kari & Peyton,
    I can't imagine what you guys are going through tonight but I pray that you will be comforted in the assurance that Piper is in a better place. My prayers will continue for your whole family.
    Barb Lusty (Hattrick's & Holmgren's Abbotsford family)

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  23. Words can not express the deep sorrow I feel for your loss. Kari you have a beautiful way with words. You have shown such deep faith , love , courage. I never met your little angel but she has left her mark on my heart. Pink will always be worn with a thought of Piper . May you find peace in the tears

    God bless you and Jordan and Peyton

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  24. I met you 3 years ago in a dance course, then bumped into you at the Keg 2 years ago, where you told me about Drew. For some reason, last week, your name popped into my head. I just read your blog and am so sorry for your loss. You amaze me with your strength. Sending prayers to you and your family.
    Sylvia

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  25. God knew what he was doing by putting precious Piper in your arms. You have shared your story, and allowed complete strangers to be touched by Pipers life. Your incredible faith has renewed my own, and I am truly blessed to witness such love. Imagine such a little tiny soul touching so many lives, truly a miracle sent from Heaven for such a short time but her handprints will linger a lifetime!

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  26. Kari, Jordan and Peyton,
    My prayers are with you as you continue to travel along this difficult journey. I remember Piper's birth which she also did her own way. The happy tears we shed on that wonderful day are clouded by the tears of sadness falling today. I will never forget Piper's beginning. Through your blog, I will never forget her wonderful life and the joy she brought to so many. Thank you for sharing Piper with all of us, she will be treasured in the hearts of so many!
    Love and prayers to all of you,
    Mary (forever your midwife - "with you")

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  27. Kari, my heart and prayers go out to you and your family. I learned of Piper's story through Beth Hinebaugh in Montana. Please know that people in Tennessee are sharing you grief and joy in this difficult time. God is working in your story to help many others. Sandra Welty

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  28. We are so sad with you today, and yet glad Piper can dance now. We will continue to remember you all and especially Peyton in the days to come. I wish our love could help more... Your precious little girl will always be in our hearts. Love, Rich and Andrea O'Connell

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  29. Thank you for giving sharing with all of us a piece of your soul. What a beautiful way to share a Piper. You and your family are in my prayers - Christine Batteiger-Godbolt

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  30. We love you guys.
    David, Alison, Gideon, Jemma

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  31. Kari, Jordan, Peyton,

    I'm so sorry for your loss. It seems so unfair you have had to endure this again, I wish it wasn't so. Thank you for sharing so openly in your posts... As tearful as they were at times I really enjoyed the happy moments you had as well. I just read the second part of her story and was grateful for the day you had on the island together... It sounded like she had a wonderful time takin in so many new sights and sounds, I was happy to hear she got to experience that! I wish she could have experienced more and my heart aches for you loss... I pray for your own comfort now as you grieve her. Lots of love, Greg.

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  32. Sometimes there just aren't words to say.... Please know how much we love you, and continue to dwell in prayer for you. I am thankful to God for his sustinance through all of this. Hold to Him and to each other, I know He will bring the three of you to healing, alhtough this next leg of your journey is bound to overwhelm at times. The "sunshine" is in full force here, I'm sure Drew and Piper are running and laughing together in God's presence.

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  33. Our prayers continue to go out to you. We weep with you and we rejoice for Piper with you.
    Love,
    Justin and Jen Mooney

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  34. Jordon, Hari and Peyton, our thought and prayers are with you. Thank you both for sharing your precious "Piper" with us during this most difficult time.
    You have touched and blessed each and every one of our lives with your unconditional LOVE and STRENGH. "When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure."
    Love and Prayers to all of you,

    Mark Bornyk & Brigitte Almadi

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  35. Kari, Jordan and Peyton.

    Our thoughts are with you all during this very difficult time. Thank-you for sharing your moments of the past few weeks through your posts. Your honesty and strength continue to inspire me and help me through my journey with Evan.
    I am very fortunate that I had the opportunity to meet your beautiful little Piper. She is amazing and has left a lasting impression on me from our brief encounter.
    Sarah and Blaine Penny.

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  36. My goodness, I think her blue eyed image has been ingrained in our brains for life.
    Our thoughts have been with your family throughout the last couple of months since we heard of this, your writing has been so touching. We will continue to keep your family in our thoughts as you remember that sweet little Piper. Our best wishes for your entire family.

    Margo and Travis Weber

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  37. You are all still in my heart, thoughts, and prayers and will continue to be as will dear Piper and Drew. May you find peace and strength in your faith and each other.
    Many, many hugs,
    Aimee B

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  38. My heart breaks for your family. There are no words, just tears. I'll be praying for Peyton. Have been, actually. I can't imagine how one so young can suffer such intimate losses.

    As I think of Piper with her dancing shoes on, I see her and Drew squealing and running with glee into each other's arms, dancing and playing together before our Lord. Neither one of them is suffering or in any pain now.

    Only us.

    Continuing to pray. Give Peyton our love and hugs when he's ready for them.

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  39. Kari, Jordan, and Peyton,
    Our tears of joy and sorrow are with you. God strengthen you for the times ahead. We continue to pray for you and rejoice for Piper.
    with love,
    Heidi and family

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  40. I don't know what to say...just sitting here weeping, weeping, weeping...for you and your family...for this valley you're walking...for the beauty of your words......for such eloquent expression of love for your girl...and because of your deep trust in God. So sorry for your loss of Piper. Many prayers for you, Clark family.

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