To my dear sweet Eisley.

 (the letter I read to aloud at Eisley’s memorial)
Dear Eisley,
My heart aches as I write you this letter because the fact that am writing this means you aren’t here with us. I can’t see your little face anymore yet it’s still so hard to imagine our life without you.

Right now we are broken because we hoped you would be in our arms. We hoped your first party would be one where you were passed from person to person as they admired your beauty and life. But even though we don‘t have you (physically) here with us, we are celebrating you today. Our friends and family are standing with us to admire and honour your beauty, your life and the legacy you’ve left behind. You are so loved!

We all prayed for your healing. We prayed for life to your bones and for nourishment …and He did what we’ve asked of Him. You are whole and perfect. You are healed and have more life in you than we could imagine here on earth. You are being nourished by His presence.

It may not be the way we thought or what we had hoped for and it is hard to understand why you couldn’t stay with us, but I know someday we will see you again.

Until then, I will remember the time I had with you and hold it very dear to my heart.

I will remember with joy, the day that I found out we were pregnant with you, our little surprise baby. I will always remember rejoicing on August 8th at our ‘Pink or Blue party’ where we found out you we were our little girl and we began calling you by name, our little Eisley Antalya.

I will remember feeling your little kicks and the rhythmic thump, thump, thump of your hiccups deep inside.

I will remember the very first time I felt you kick from the outside, at the very same time your daddy felt too. I will remember the ultrasounds where we watched you suck her thumb and stick your tongue out. I will remember the daily heart monitoring and hearing your swift heart beat, beat, beat to let me know you were okay.

I will remember the night before you went to be with Jesus, when you reacted to her daddy’s voice as he talked to you. I will remember your final kicks to me the morning you passed away, as if you were telling me goodbye.

I will remember the day we finally gave birth to you, September 17th- the first time we held you in our arms and the peace that washed over us we held you. I will remember how in awe we were of your perfect little Chase-like nose, your beautifully shaped lips and your tiny little hands and feet.…I will remember just how perfectly and wonderfully you were made.

We love you, our Eisley-girl and you will forever be apart of our lives and in our hearts. You will be apart of the steps we take as we walk throughout life. I know my life and the lives of many others will always be inspired by the legacy you’ve left behind.

I wrote you many letters when you were in my womb and this letter was by far the hardest because I feel like it’s another step to letting you go, but when I remember where you are and Who you are with it helps my heart ache a little less. I remember you are healed and that you aren’t suffering and that is what I want for you above all else.

I know you’re loving being with Jesus, as He’s showing you the universe.

Rest peacefully between His shoulders, my sweet Eisley-girl.

The Beautiful Party for Eisley.

On Saturday we celebrated Eisley’s life with dear friends and family.

We were so touched by how many people came and recognized our daughter’s life and felt the loss of her , even though they had never personally met her.

We had our friend Darren do a medley of  ‘You Are My Sunshine’ and a piece of a song by Manchester Orchestra. I will post the lyrics, the meaning to us and the song itself soon. (They actually recorded it for us so we can have it forever)

(We had this photo stretched onto canvas and will put it up in whatever place we call home)

Ted shared the meaning of the songs in the medley. I read a letter I wrote to Eisley. Our friend Katherine read a short story we asked our friend Nate to write, about the life and storyof Eisley. And then we ended with ‘Hallelujah’ and ‘How Great is Our God’ as we released pink balloons her honour. Everything combined was as we hoped it would be. It was difficult and tearful and painful, but beautiful.

 One of the most memorable, beautiful things was the balloon release.

  Eisley, you are so loved.

  I can’t explain with words just how much it meant to us to have everyone celebrating her life with us and those of you who celebrated her life from around the world (pictures of balloons release from around the world soon.)

Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.

It was an especially emotional day. We felt everything from grieving the loss of dreams we had for her as we watched the balloons float high above us to the next second feeling inexplicable peace and joy when we remembered Who she was with. We celebrated her life and mourned her loss at all once. It was beautiful and painful. I can’t even find the words to express exactly how is was for us, but it was everything we hoped.


(I almost didn’t add this, but to be honest, I really feel I should be raw. We need prayer. When everyone left the party for Eisley and we went home, the weight of everything began to hit us again. I told a friend that I didn’t want the memorial service to end because I was afraid people would forget her life and legacy. We’re also afraid to feel alone in this. We have no idea “how to handle” loss other than feeling what we need to feel, but even then?…I think I will write a bit more about this later, but please pray for Ted and I.)

A “party for Eisley”!

I was looking through my photos to find a “picture that says a thousand words” and this fit perfectly. ( I took this on one of our Thailand outreaches)

Saying this past week has been hard is putting it lightly. I’ve avoided getting things all in order and ready for the memorial service for Eisley. I know it needs to get done, but it feels so hard to plan this memorial because I feel like it’s another step to letting her go and saying goodbye. I feel like we are becomming more and more aware, that this is our reality; She is gone. I really, really hate those three words.

When a friend saw that I am having a hard time planning this memorial service and that I’ve even been avoiding it, she wrote me with a challenge she felt God gave her to give me. She wrote about how this “wasn’t the Jami she knew”, the one enjoyed planning events and especially those for the ones I love and my kids. I realized how right she was. I put so much effort and work into the ‘Pink or Blue’ party for Eisley and had a blast planning it. And I want to put as much effort into our daughter’s memorial, the celebration of her life. When I initially sent out the invites to the memorial, even then I wrote “a celebration of her life” and I meant that with everything in me. Over time, I guess I let that vision sink away while the sorrow has settled inside of me.

My friend wrote about making it more of a “party for Eisley” and I love that idea. That is what we want.

I told Ted last night about the challenge to look at this as her party even though she cannot attend physically. We both got teary because it is hard that we’re planning this kind of party without her here with us, but we really want to honour and celebrate our little Eisley’s life.

So, let’s celebrate sweet Eisley! I hope you can attend the party for Eisley this Saturday and if you can’t attend in person, stand with us in prayer and in your thoughts that day. And if you want to, we will be releasing pink balloons during the service and I want to ask that you TOO will release a pink balloon whereever you are and snap a photo of it and send it to my email address; I will put it in her scrapbook!

Eisley will be watching us celebrate her life as she rests between His shoulders. I do believe that, with all of my heart. :)

(I took this photo when I was first pregnant with Eisley. These photos of our spring walk that day will forevermore cause me to think of her when I see them.)

Eisley-girl, we’re going to throw you the best party ever, in honour of your life and your legacy. You are loved, so very loved.