Monday, February 18, 2008

Missing You!

Andy and I have been missing Kate bunches lately! It's been a hard weekend in that there have been lots of reminders of Kate...popping up here and there. We always thought it might get harder before it got easier again. The bad hospital/sick kid memories are fading (slowly) and we're left with just a giant hole in our hearts from just missing our baby girl. Sometimes it's just a tiny ripple...sometimes it's like a giant wave that knocks you down and takes your breath away. It's been just a couple days over a month since we lost her...but it feels longer than the months we spent in the hospital. I still find it hard to believe that I have to spend the rest of my life missing her...but I guess that will just make our eternal reunion all the sweeter. I know...time heals all pain...but ughghgh...I'm not liking the pain we're in now!
Comfort always comes through a blog comment, email or something that assures us that Kate's short life was still valuable. We are reminded daily of the impact she made on the world...and to me...that makes me feel better...not completely better...but better!
A couple days ago some friends from Portland shared this speech with us. Katy (an 11 1/2 year old 5th grader) wrote this speech. I've met them only a couple times through Cathy's (Grandma) church...but still...little Kate had an impact! Thanks Katy...for remembering Kate! And although your vocation of choice may change in the next few years...I am so grateful that for now...Kate has influenced you in this way!
Why Me, Why Not…

How would you feel if you have had three open heart surgeries, had one central line in the groin for medicines, one nasal tube on high flow for oxygen, two pacing wires connected to the heart, five heart monitor stickers on your chest, four O2 probes on each hand and foot, five medicine pumps at your bedside, and you were only 18 months old.

Kate Layman, born in June 2006, went through all of this. She was born with a rare heart defect. Her mother wrote of Kate’s journey at the hospitals in their family blog on the internet. Through following Kate’s story and knowing her family, this has inspired me to be a pediatric nurse..

A pediatric nurse involves working with ill children. You could be working with a newborn with breathing problems to watching a teenager with a broken leg. As a nurse I would take physical assessments of my patients. This includes taking blood pressures, temperature, heart rates and monitoring other vital signs.

Being a pediatric nurse also involves working with the patients’ families. You play a key part in helping families come through their crisis as a nurse. I will have to love, care and be able to listen to the families. Being loving, caring and able to listen to others are also important traits that I want to have as an adult.

One of the things I will have to work on is my patience, as in even-tempered care, not a sick person! Elnath Easwaren stated, “Patience can’t be acquired overnight. It is just like building up a muscle. Every day you need to work on it.” Being patient will help me get through frustrating times not just as a pediatric nurse but also as a grown adult.

Unfortunately Kate Layman lost her battle fighting for her heart on January 15th. Even in her last days, her nursing staff provided her comfort along with helping her family through the difficult time. This makes me realize how important a pediatric nurse is beyond just knowing and practicing nursing.

Why me, why not? I want to help our next generation of children, whether they are dealing with heart defects or an ear infection. I hope to be able to provide them and their families with expert care but more importantly provide them with comfort, caring, a listening ear and patience to help them through their journey. As Helen Keller quoted, “All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming.” I hope I can be an adult who can help families in overcoming their suffering.

Being a pediatric nurse will help me be a caring, loving, patience, fair, and thoughtful adult. When I get older I know these will come in handy, especially after hearing my mom talk about everything you have to do as an adult! I hope all these traits, being able to listening, being caring, being patience and fair, will help me as an adult.


Samantha said...

Oh Krista. I am so sorry you do not have your sweet Kate to hold in your arms. You are a truly amazing family...there are no words that I can give that can make you feel "all better". All I can say is how much you all mean to me. Thank your for your honesty and sincerity through all this. I will continue to pray for peace for you all.

Lots of love,

Kathy said...

I'm sorry that you guys had a rough weekend. I can only hope that each day will get a little easier for you and your family. We all find our strength through you and the strength that you've had and continue to show. You will see Kate again... It's not easy carrying on without her here on earth with you...but, she IS watching over you and will meet you in heaven. My entire family has grown to love you and yours. We hope you feel how much you are loved and that we are all here to help you when your days are tough. We too will keep praying that peace finds your family.

Big BEAR hug,

Melissa said...

Krista, I can not imagine the pain you feel on a daily basis. Please know you are thought of and lifted up in prayer daily.

As for the wonderful Katy's story, it sure brings back memories. I do not know if I ever told you when and how I decided to become a nurse. I had a sister who passed away when she was 7 (I was 5). Her nurses were so great to my family, I was even the flower girl in one's wedding after Jenny's death. It was after experiencing all of this that I decided when I grew up I would be a pediatric nurse. I never thought of anything else, and look where I am today. I am sure that young Katy will make a wonderful nurse. Please tell her, we'd love to have her at St. Vincent! Anyone with that attitude will definately touch people's lives!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful testament to the value of Kate's all too short life here with us. I know you will hear many more in the weeks and months ahead. The emotional roller coaster you thought you got off of continues, doesn't it? This may sound like a silly analogy but here is my experience...just when you think you're confident in driving that stick shift car, you stall it in the middle of a busy intersection. Deep emotions feel the same to me...just when you think you're doing ok, you fall apart. Maybe it's just God tapping us on the shoulder to remind us he's not far away.:) May the prayers surrounding you and the love of family and friends continue to give you strength. Donna

The Portas said...

That speech was lovely! Again, I'm teary. What an amazing impact Kate has had on people all over the world. The other night I had lunch with a friend I hadn't seen in a while. She told me how upset she had been about Kate and what an inspiration you and Andy were to her spiritually. I didn't even know she was reading your blog (apparently she linked to it from Elijah's and had been following your journey all along)!! There are more people than you know that were affected by her (and you!) and her life was most definitely worth it.

I'm so sorry for your tough weekend. I suppose those days are bound to happen and I just hope you know that you have a world of support out here when you need it. You are amazing! We continue to pray for peace for you guys. I know that doesn't mean that there won't be hard days, but it does mean that you are very loved!

Your reunion with her in Heaven is going to be the sweetest thing ever.

Take care. HUGS to you both (and Seth!). xoxoxo


The Portas said...

By the way, I thought this was interesting. I was just reading Angel Madeline's blog. She became an angel only two days after Kate did. Her parents wrote (on

"Sometimes it comes in as little blips on the radar and sometimes as huge waves that wash over us and take our breath away. However it comes, we have come to accept it and let it flow. It is our hope that this hole in our hearts will eventually be filled up by the Lord himself."

Basically the same exact thing you just wrote!

Anonymous said...


I can't imagine how much you must be missing Kate. It's almost as if you have taken on Kate's condition - though the "holes in your heart" are emotional, not physical, as were hers. That makes you the perfect mother: able to ease her pain and take it on as your own. I only hope that your pain dulls with time; though as with Kate, the "holes in your heart" probably will never heal. May the "holes" be filled with the love of your friends and family, and most of all, by the grace of God.

Call me if you need to talk.



Anonymous said...

Krista & Andy,
I will tell you from my exprience, the pain of losing little Kate will not fade but will become easier to handle. You will begin to remember only the good times. Sadness will be there but with the sadness will be smiles. You will continue to think of the joy of when you will be with her again. Take comfort in the fact that she was a little girl who made her mark on the world. For that she will always be remembered here on earth.
When the rough times come, and they will, just remember God has little Kate helping him have His good days. Heaven knows he gets upset with us. Kate is making Him smile now.
Hugs & Prayers
Sue M

Anonymous said...

What a well written comment from such a young person.
I missed Kate a lot this weekend too.

LeeAnne said...

((((HUGS)))) to you guys! I pray that God comforts you more and more everyday! We love you! 5th grader! Very smart and very compassionate! That is a great start to being a pediatric nurse!

Anonymous said...

Krista and Andy,
I am so sorry you guys had a rough weekend. We are praying that the horrible pain of not having Kate here with you will ease and that each day will get a little better for you guys. We love you guys and are thinking and praying for you continually. Kate is smiling in Heaven and watching you. She loves you guys so much.

Mina said...

My heart aches for you. Kate really did make an impact during her brief time on earth. I only wish I knew of her before she lost her battle, sounds like that little soul had so much to give. I hope that your world is better for having had her and loved her.

Melanee said...

Thank you Lord that the good memories linger and those hospital and suffering ones fade. Please give Krista & Andy glimpses everyday of heaven so that when they encounter those grief-stricken moments - your kind and loving touch shows them just how beautiful and pain-free heaven will be. Oh, God give us the patience to wait - yet the eagerness to come meet You face to face and be joyously reunited with little Kate and so many others who are already singing, kneeling, and playing in Your presence.