Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Thank you...

My heart is heavy tonight but I wanted to write and say thank you to the many that are holding us up right now and that have held us up over the last two months and more.  There are really not enough words to express how grateful we are for the way you have touched our hearts and supported us.  The hardest part of the journey has begun and as I sit here in tears, not wanting to do the work of grieving, I know that God will hold us up, that He will reach out to show us His love even now.  Selfishly, I want that love to be tangible, to be able to feel it and experience it.  (Really, if I am honest, I just want Piper here to hold on to.  My mind and my heart are yet again in two different places.  I know it will be ok, and that I will get used to this new normal without Piper near but my heart doesn't want to adjust to this new normal.)  His love is tangible, if I can get my head out of the sand to see it.  I will remind myself even now of this love shown through the hands of so many, and I want to thank all that have walked this road with us.  
I am thankful for the wonderful nurses who cared for Piper with more than just their hands, but with their hearts too.  Every nurse we had went above and beyond, and we were reminded yet again of the amazing role a nurse plays - we are thankful for the care that each one provided for Piper, but also for our family.
I am thankful for the doctors who made every decision almost as if they were deciding what to do for their own daughter.  They were so professional, and yet so personal, so caring.  Each one left an imprint on our hearts as they held our hands through such a difficult experience.  
I am thankful for the people who made it possible for Piper to get the best care possible, there must have been so many people pulling strings behind the scenes.  To all these people, thank you.  It was such a gift to be able to sit and love my little girl without having to worry about anything else over the last 8 weeks.
I am thankful for the people who have brought us food, each morsel representing so much more than food.
I am thankful for my parents and my parents-in-law who showed so much love to Piper both in the giving of their time to her and in their support of our family.  I love you all, thank you for loving Piper!
I am thankful for my family, both sides!  Piper's aunties and uncles are amazing and we are indebted to each one of you.  Laura, your artwork is incredible.  James and Nic, the slideshow was a rare gift.
I am thankful for my brave son Peyton who makes me laugh even now, who reminds me of what really matters, who is so courageous and strong, who can cut to the chase and call things as they are, sensing my feelings even if I have tried to disguise them, and who is tender-hearted even while strong.
I am so thankful for my husband.  There are just not enough words to say what I am thankful for about this man, but there is no one else I could walk through this with.  I am glad you are sharing this road with me and helping me along it.
I am thankful for the amazing acts of kindness done by so many, it truly is a privilege to see this side of people's hearts.  I have to list just a few, but please know that if I haven't listed one, it isn't because it meant any less!!!  KidsPhoto at Market Mall - you provided the most amazing pictures of Piper at the perfect moments, and have continued to surprise us with your generosity and heart.  The crew at Riley's printing - your generosity overwhelmed us!  The crew at the funeral home - they tied pink ribbons everywhere they could, going above and beyond.  Bearspaw Christian School - I am so thankful for your prayer support, your support of Peyton, your support of our family, and at the incredible show of love when you all wore Pink for Piper!  The nurses on Unit 3 - we love you all still! - so  many of you visited, and when I heard the Unit was wearing pink on Friday for Piper's memorial I was moved to tears.  You all have left such an imprint on my life.  
I am thankful for the many that have emailed or connected through this blog or through Facebook to let us know they are supporting us!  Thank you!!!  You cannot begin to imagine the value each connection has.
I am thankful for the many that read this and don't know what to say, but that pray.  There really are no words - I would not know what to say to myself either.
I am thankful that I was able to be part of the most beautiful day last Friday.  Thank you to each person that attended Piper's celebration.  I would have liked to be able to thank each of you in person, but please know we were so grateful for each and every one of you that attended.  The day was magical.  It was as close to a wedding celebration as we will get for Piper and that is how it felt many times during the day, as though it was a day to celebrate, to rejoice, to marvel.  There must have been many praying throughout this day for our entire family to feel the presence of God so strongly and to have enjoyed so much peace and joy throughout the day.  Thank you!
I am thankful for the families that made a long distance trip to celebrate Piper with us Friday.  I am thankful for the people who made it possible for these families to come too!!!
I am thankful for all the people who helped make this event one to remember; Bud's thoughtful opening prayer, Kelly's heartfelt words, Marcel and Philip's sweet rendition of The Lord of the Dance, Nicola and James' amazing slide show, Laura's creative programs and magnets, the ladies who brought food and made the day move so smoothly -- each person contributed with their hearts and we appreciated it all.
I am thankful to have been touched by the love of a little girl that will leave me forever changed.  I love you forever Piper.
There are certainly so many more that I would like to thank but please know that even if I have not included you in this list in some way, we are still grateful that you are part of this journey.


  1. Kari, For every person you thanked in this blog there are hundreds more who are thanking you. We are thanking you for being so unselfish and so honest in your blogs. We are thanking you for being an encouragement to all who read your blogs. We are thankful for your showing us your faith in God. And, we are thankful for your sharing your family, especially Piper, and Drew before her, with us. You have a great kid in Peyton. Please make sure he knows that we all love him just as we have loved Drew and Piper. I'm thankful that God surrounded you with such loving people during your most difficult days. But, I believe that they were a reflection of you and Jordan, Kari. Our prayers have not stopped. Take care and remember that you are loved. Love and Prayers, Beth

  2. Kari, you found a way to reach out and make everyone else feel special and recognized which blows me away as you are still so fresh in your grief of losing Piper. I am thankful that you have Peyton and Jordan to give you the love and affection that you need and vise versa. I hope you find peace and reconnection as a family on your upcoming trip. We are praying for you.

  3. I love you Kari, I can remember nursing you and then try to imagine loosing you. Oh my dear child my heart hurts for you... and rejoices too with Piper and Drew dancing with the Lord. I will always share your grief, and your joy, for God has connected us too. I don't know if I could have been as strong but I do know I can wrap my arms around you and your family and will do so every chance I get! Love beyond always, Mom

  4. I was tearing up when I read this post, but completely lost it when I read the comment from your mama, Kari. I love that Marnie.

    We were thinking and praying for you all on Friday. Our hearts continue to ache with you. We love all of you so much.

  5. Dearest Kari, my "heart" friend....I love you, and I am so thankful to have you, Jordan and Peyton in my life.....our lives. We continue to pray for you daily, and thank God He is there and very real to you. I can't imagine the sorrow and longing for your heaven children. I can imagine however, those two little gigglers running and dancing together with Jesus. Oh the mixed blessing of heaven and earth. I also have to say you have touched more lives than you know, and people around the world are covering you in prayer. Give Jordan and Peyton a HUGE hug from us, and sending the tightest, longest hug I can from me to you. Ronni

  6. Amen to what Ronni said. I will link this post in an email to the Rileys crew. Hopefully, you'll meet a few of them at Drew's golf tourney this August.

    I will miss Piper too! Canada Olympic Park hockey arenas will always remind me of the few moments holding her while she was still generally healthy. (And goodness knows we spend a lot of time there)! She will NEVER be forgotten, as Drew, and your family will ALWAYS be loved! Enjoy Maui!

  7. Kari and Jordan...It is amazing to me Kari that you compared that Friday to a wedding celebration, as I was standing there looking at all the people in the hall there, and it seemed to me like a wedding too. And for you to be able to create that as a memory, to see it that way is truely a Kari helper. For all your thanks to so many at a time when your heart is so filled with love and hurt and thankfulness and pain, to give a thank you to so many was a very kind thing for you to do, and something none expected. Feel the prayers Kari, all the prayers for your little family, and your bigger family, your grief won't be prevented but it may be softened a bit. And if not softened at least you will feel loved a bunch through it. And you are so, so right, Jordan is the very person to help you through this. I do pray for you and love you to pieces. Barb

  8. We all wish we could take away your pain. You and Jordan are so very strong and admired for your faith and love. I am glad I was able to be part of Pipers celebration last Friday. Through tears I was able to smile. Piper touched so many people in her time here and will continue to do so. As a mom myself I can understand that you just want Piper here. We all wish you never had to go threw this again. But I want you to know we are all here praying for you and your family.

  9. Lisa SplattstoesserMay 25, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    Kari as I have read your posts these last few weeks I have cried, laughed, prayed and most of all reflected on the many blessings in my life. You have inspired me to truly try to live out the words...Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS! I have shared your blog with so many who have in return told me how much your words have touched their lives. I can not imagine how rough things have been for you these last few weeks but you have continued to rejoice in the Lord through it all. Thank you for being real! Thank you for all of your honesty in every word you typed. I will continue to pray for you all during this extremely difficult time. I will never again wear pink without thinking of Piper. Because of your great example I am trying to focus on loving and living in each moment with my children. Thank you for helping me being a better mom. Although I have never met the rest of your family before I feel as though I've got to know them through your writings and I love you all. If you ever get near the Nebraska Panhandle or if I ever get near you I will hug you and shed some tears with you...both from crying and laughing. Take care my friend and may God richly bless you, Jordan and Peyton.
    Lisa Hinebauch Splattstoesser

  10. Kari,
    I'm echoing the sentiments that have rung throughout the comments to your have lived out so much of God's love and been an amazing example to all of us. That you are thankful isn't a surprise....not after having learned so much of your heart through your words. It's your thankfulness through tears and heartache that I know glorifies God, and I have been constant in prayer for His blessings to continue to cover you all. Continue to know too that love is still being sent through thoughts and prayer, perhaps even more so now if that is possible. I don't fully know how this part of the journey feels, but I'm not misunderstanding that it is here where the difficulty takes on a new form.
    Thanksgiving really goes out to you, Jordan, Peyton and your families in the way you've loved your babies, and gone above and beyond to share part of your journey with us. We too are forever changed in heart.
    Sending out much love to you, and faithful in prayer~

  11. Kari,
    You and your precious family are still very near in our thoughts and mentioned frequently in our prayers. We love you guys