Tuesday, March 10, 2009
In the Blink of an Eye
I haven't been sure how to write about this, words just don't seem good enough. Nothing seems to sound right when I think it through in my head. Yet, I have to talk about this and share about this little soul, gone now- far too soon.
On Thursday, March 5th, God took one of our angels on Earth back to Heaven. Just a 17 days shy of her second birthday, Rhiannon Elizabeth Nisly passed away due to a sudden illness. This beautiful little girl, with her golden blond hair and big bright eyes is gone and my heart breaks for her and her family.
Shortly after Rhiannon was born and her parents discovered she had Down syndrome, I received a call from the hospital's lactation consultant. She wanted advice and ideas to help support Rhiannon's mother. I gave her advice, I emailed her links and other supportive information, I gave the okay to pass along my personal contact information for the family to reach me when they were ready. We met for the first time when Rhiannon was just a couple months old. She was so cute, tiny, pink and sleeping in her mother's arms. I listened to them talk of their fears, concerns and hopes. I prayed they'd have the peace and happiness that we had, sooner than later. We saw each other I think one other time when Rhiannon was still an infant, then not again until last September.
Rhiannon had grown so much! What a healthy, vibrant toddler! She was obviously the delight of her family and had two older brothers wrapped around her pinky. I enjoyed watching her play and explore. Her family was expecting again, another girl. Rhiannon was to be a big sister. Her mother and I discussed our pregnancies after our child with Ds. The interventions of being high risk and "older." She wondered how Sean was adjusting to being a big brother, if he was interested in his baby sister and gentle. Again, I listened to their fears, concerns and hopes. I prayed for their peace and happiness and healthy arrival of the new baby.
Rhiannon's baby sister Serena was born in December and I heard through friends that the baby was doing well, but the delivery had been hard on Momma. I thought of them as she was recovering and hoped to see them again when she was well. They had planned to attend the local Down syndrome support group meeting at the end of February but big brother's birthday fell on the same night. Instead they went out to celebrate as a family. I figured we'd catch up at the next month's meeting.
Thursday morning, I got a call from our mutual friend that Rhiannon was sick and headed to the hospital, prayers requested. I kept her in my thoughts all day and hoped for a quick recovery, never thinking that it wouldn't come. Never realizing that she would be gone in just the blink of an eye.
Words can not express how sorry I am for them, for her mother and father and siblings. For their extended family. For the therapists that grew to love her while watching her grow. For her church and community that delighted in her prescence. For her brothers and sisters in the Down syndrome family. Such a sweet little soul, gone too soon.
I will continue to pray for them, for their peace and happiness. That they can heal and grow stronger. That Rhiannon's memory will always shine.