Sunday, March 9, 2008

Honoring Kate...the right way.

We have been humbled at the overwhelming generosity of so many who have contributed to Kate's memorial fund. Our church has been very considerate in "holding" the money for us until we determine the specifics of what we want to do to honor our little girl.

Our original idea (and dream) was to set up a book cart (Kate's Cart) at the children's hospital where she spent so much time. The cart would be filled with books and hospitalized children of all ages would be able to pick a book off the cart to keep. (They had something like this in Michigan and we thought it was a really really cool idea...plus who doesn't love new books to read when you're sitting in the hospital) Anyway...the Indy hospital already has a cart that is named...BUMMER! We could still donate money for books...but nothing with her name.

It is really our hope to do something that could honor Kate for many years...and hopefully set up some sort of ongoing foundation. I did talk with my lawyer friend...and I had no idea that all of this "non-profit"--foundation--trust stuff was as complicated as it really is...(and expensive to set up with the IRS on a personal basis). Her recommendation was to get into some existing foundation and have a donor requested fund. UGHGH...it's just so foreign to me!

So...we're stuck as we aren't sure what to do at this point. We still need to check with our local hospital to see if they have a book cart. Kate just loved books...and we would love to somehow honor her by somehow utilizing books and getting them out to other sick kids...specifically heart kids. Another thought was to somehow go through some existing congenital heart organizations and see where that takes us.

So...if anyone reading this out there in "blog-world" has any great ideas of how we can honor Kate...or can help us in anyway in setting something up in Kate's name...we would be so grateful. Feel free to leave a comment...or an email (aklayman4@verizon.net). I just know there is the perfect "idea" out there...we just need to find it. Thanks...for ANY help/advice you can shed our way.

Speaking of Kate...it's been a really hard weekend for me! Golly...I miss her so much. It's been a couple weeks since I've really cried...but last night the tears flowed. Then, this morning at church we sang Blessed Be Your Name...and more tears just flowed through the whole song! Yes...He does give and take away...and He did give me a beautiful little girl..and took her away way too early...and Yes...I do Bless His Name still...but Yes, there is still that hurt...so much hurt...so much pain in the midst of all of this. Today I was at the mall for a bit and I think every family with an 18 month old little girl was there buying Easter dresses! I want to buy Easter dresses!

Honestly...at first there was a feeling of relief....relief that all of the pain, suffering and hospital life (for all of us, especially Kate) was over. But now...as we approach 8 weeks since she passed so many more feelings are overriding the relief. I find myself saying: "I just want her back". I guess I am going through the normal cycles of grieving and right now...I'm angry...not overwhelmingly angry...not can't function angry...not she's gonna punch out a wall angry...but I find myself wondering why her heart couldn't get fixed...why hers...and then I just get mad...and sad. Why couldn't they fix her?

But...it's gets better and it will continue to get better. I keep forgetting that it is only 8 weeks....in the whole scheme of life and grieving death that really isn't that long. But on weekends like this...I am so grateful to have a husband who will hold my hand while I cry and a little 3 year old who makes me smile (and for whom I get to buy an Easter sweater!). Yes Lord...Blessed Be YOUR Name.

Thanks for listening...and thanks for any advice on her memorial ideas!

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Krista,
You are a precious child of God! Thank you for sharing your life. I feel so sad when I think of you in pain and wish I could help to make it all go away RIGHT NOW! I know that's not what's best for you - you need the process, but I don't have to like it :). I'll be praying that you'll find the right way to honor Kate that makes your heart feel joy!
Love, Sharyn

Melissa said...

Krista, my heart breaks for you this morning as I can not imagine the pain you are feeling. I can totally understand wondering why we couldn't fix her heart. I often find myself looking at families in the PICU and wondering why we can fix some children and others are just not able to be healed. It's not fair, especially for the families that lose their children way before they should.

As for a donation for Kate, I don't have any ideas off of the top of my head, but will think about it. I didn't know St. V's has a book cart for kids. I have never seen it. Is it in the "adult world" or just for the children's hospital? I think that was a wonderful idea! So many of our parents read to their children, even when they are on a vent and sedated. I am such a firm believer of talking to children whether they can hear us or not. Only God knows that.

Joshua's school is having a jump for heart fundraiser this week to raise money for the American Heart Foundation. Such a topic close to my heart since a majority of my patients are affected by this and I have become such friends with many others. I think it is great that they involve kids. Joshua has been exposed to many "heart kids" and asks often about them. He has asked why God lets these kids be born with 'broken hearts.' How do you answer that except to say, He uses these kids to touch the lives of so many!

Take care!

Valerie said...

Krista,
I am so amazed by you. You are living proof of God's grace and are demonstrating to others what true joy is. I can't imagine how you feel singing Bleesed Be Your Name, because I can barely sing it, and I just have the fear that God will take my son away. You have had to endure that pain and you can still praise His name. I know you'd rather have your precious girl back, but if it helps at all, you are an inspiration to many of us and a testimony of God's love.
With love,
Andrea (Drew's mommy)

The Portas said...

I can't begin to understand the hurt you are feeling. You are such a strong woman and through you, God's grace definitely shines! Someday, somehow, things will be more clear and the pain won't be quite as intense. I'm so glad to know you have a wonderful hubby holding your hand and an awesome little boy to give you smiles.

I think you should find the local heart group and ask them for suggestions. If they are a big enough group, they should be able to give you plenty of ideas. And they could probably help you accomplish what you'd like to, as well.

Maybe you could do care packages for heart kids after surgery? Include some books and also something to help the moms and dads out?

Samantha said...

You are an amazing woman. Grieving is a lifetime process that you should not be having to go through. I am so sorry for your loss. I know that there is truly nothing I can say that will make things better, but I just want you to know how much I care about you all.

I will keep my eyes open for your cause. I think that the book cart is a beautiful idea...she would be so very proud of that.

Lots of love,
Samantha

Kathy said...

Krista...
I hate that you had such a sad day...
When you are up that late....pick up the phone and call me!!!
I LOVE the book cart idea...but, I have another one for you. Her passions were books and wagons...so, you could see if any of the hospitals need snazzy wagons to pull the kids in. You could put signs on them or license plates that read "Kate's car", "Kate's Kart", "Kate's (or another k word)". She was also MISS popsicle...so, you could see if they'd let you buy and keep stocked a fun ice cream stand (not sure about the legal implications of giving away food)...but, wouldn't that be cute...the sick kids being wheeled over to the ice cream cart to get a snack...or the cart being wheeled to them!
Oh..girl...I have a million ideas!
You just keep thinking these happy thoughts of remembering Kate...
(I know...easier said than done..)
When you're feeling sad...try to focus that energy on this fun project you are thinking about. YOU CAN DO IT!!
I'll ask around to the heart mama's here to see if they have any ideas how to get something started.
You are so brave Krista...you have every thought and feeling that you should have. You are wonderful for not blaming anyone...but, appreciative for the time that you had with Kate. You will receive so many blessings for taking care of Kate while she was here and for your desire to help other sick children. You're lucky to have such a sweet husband and son...but, remember...they are lucky to have you too!
We love you Krista,
Kathy

Samantha said...

Kathy has some wonderful ideas...I love the wagon idea and the ice cream stand...I think both of those are fantastic ways to remember that sweet princess.

Anonymous said...

Since I am a soon-to-be teacher, I think the idea of books is a great one! Every child should have the opportunity to have books. Good luck deciding!

Mina said...

Krista,
It's wonderful that you want to somehow give back in Kate's honor. Just a thought..... I'm sure the hospital must have a designated playroom, but how about 'KATE'S CORNER', maybe a designated area in the playroom decorated in a special way to honor her memory, possibly with children's furniture or certain toys that Kate may have loved. Perhaps there could even be a wall fixture or bookcase filled with children's books, to be kept only in the playroom?

Hoping and praying that the days get easier for you. I'm sure the ups and downs must be very rough. It must be a blessing that you have delightful Seth, so lively to keep you busy, but I'm sure at times it must drive home the reality of losing Kate too. I don't think you ever 'get over' the loss of a loved one (eight years later I still ache from the death of my mother who was 54 and had just been diagnosed with colon cancer), but time sure does help soften the blow. Some form of memorial in Kate's honor would hopefully be very therapeutic too. I admire you for your efforts.

Karmen said...

((HUGS)) and prayers headed your way. Your strength is amazing and you show God's love in such an awesome way.

Your ideas for Kate's Kart sound soooooooooo good. I wish I were closer to Fort Wayne and able to actually help out with the Kart. I'll sure be able to send some books though! Keep the ideas flowing! It'll all come together!

I'm praying for you right this very moment!