Friday, February 27, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Pictured are Rebecca Gatlin of Fairfax Community Hospital and Phyllis Schimming.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Notice anything? She has on her nightgown and put on jammie pants, her snow boots, and her "big snow coat" and was ready to head outside to play. Obviously I didn't let her go out like that, but had to get her to pose for a picture before she changed.
This was taken February 25, 2007...two years ago today. I still have a hard time with the fact that my little girl is gone, much less the fact that it has been almost two years. It literally still seems like she was hear just yesterday. I still have vivid dreams about Abby doing something and when I wake up, it takes a few moments before I realize it was just a dream and she is still gone. I long to have all three girls together, three sisters able to play, laugh, run, and dance together. That was the way it was supposed to be.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
The Cruise will begin at NWMSU, travel up Icon Rd to Hwy 71 then on to CC and Hwy 148 to Pickering. The Cruisers will take a morning break there and then will continue on Hwy 148 to NN. From NN they will travel to E and to Hwy 246 into Sheridan. Lunch will be served there and then they will head on to Hwy 46, into Parnell and on into Ravenwood where the afternoon break will be. From there it is on to Hwy 136 and back to NWMSU Outdoor Pavilion where supper will be served. Supper is open to the public and is a free will donation barbeque. (It was super yummy last year!) There is also a raffle for a Farmall M pedal tractor and gravity feed wagon since this year's featured tractor is the Farmall-International. More info or registration forms can be found at their website www.heartofamericatractorclub.com I just LOVE their slogan of "Kids need Angels like you!"
Monday, February 23, 2009
Teddy Roosevelt - Nick
Lady Bird Johnson - Haley
John F. Kennedy - Jackson
Jacqueline Kennedy - Jacqueline
Dwight Eisenhower - Kelly
Franklin D. Roosevelt - Michael
Martha Washington - Brea
Martha Jefferson - Hanah
Thomas Jefferson - Emily
George W. Bush - Joseph
Michelle Obama - Josie
Barack Obama - Shelby
Abraham Lincoln - Corby Walker
Caroline Harrison - Riley Spire
William H. Taft - Mollie
Abigail Adams - Abby
Thanks again kids and Mrs. Halley!
Friday, February 20, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
NBC Action News was covering the story and asked for an interview. I am not sure when it aired, but here is the link to the article on their webstie and to the video. http://www.nbcactionnews.com/news/local/story/Childrens-Hospital-Celebrates-Organ-Donors/mG_zHuBk6U6ELKcHu3UYhw.cspx The interview was tough since I was fighting the emotions of the day to begin with and then to talk about Abby just made holding back tears impossible, as you can tell in my voice. I love that they link the website and use our butterfly along with Abby's pictures.
While at the ceremony, we were able to visit with staff from CMH and from MTN, some who we have not seen since that day. It was nice to see them, but since there are not any happy memories attached, it's hard to see them too. They are all wonderful and caring people that have helped us along this journey and we appreciate them for that. We did get to visit with some of the families too and share our stories. It is just like an immediate connection is made and you don't have to explain much, which is nice. A CMH staff member came up to me and said she had lost her son 3 months ago and wanted to know if it gets any easier. I just shook my head no and started crying. She replied by saying that she really hoped it would. I didn't have a response. Maybe I should have said yes, but I just couldn't. It's been almost two years and I still cry when I talk about it and miss my little girl every day. I don't know that it ever gets easier. Some say that it gets different, but the only difference I have found is that the feelings of disbelief and auto pilot are gone and I'm forced to try to conform with society's belief that things should be better by now.
I was not sure what Mady would think of the day, but she did good. She looked at the quilts with me and rubbed my back as I cried. She acts so much more mature than 8 at these things. She walked up front with me to receive everything and was such help the whole day. She visited with the news reporters and the ladies from MTN. She told one of them that she hoped she could put the figurine in her room on her shelf beside the pictures of her and Abby, the ones in the frame with the poem about sisters. I thought this was so sweet when the story was relayed to me. I guess I am going to have to buy her one too.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
The inscription on the vial reads,"In memory of Abrielle Neff- Children's Mercy Hospital honors the family of Abrielle Neff for their decision to donate life"
The card states,"This pin represents the families who are touched by organ and tissue donation. The large rose with the heart in its center symbolizes the donor and donor families who generously give the gift of life. The two smaller roses symbolize the recipient family and the families of those who are waiting. The green circle connects these families in donation and together they make up the Family Circle."
The poem "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupery was read since it was one of the meanings behind the float.
In one of the stars
I shall be living
I shall be laughing
And so it will be
As if all the stars
When you look
At the sky at night
Both the families from my Friday post were at the ceremony and spoke. Merle talked about his story of receiving his heart, his experience at the parade, and the work he is doing to help promote donation. We then got to see up close pictures of the float and learn more about it. The symbolism was explained and we were able to see families placing the rose dedicated in honor of their loved one. The donor family that had the florograph on the float then spoke, with the young man's younger brother talking. He talked about losing his brother in a car accident and helping with the float. This young man did such a wonderful job speaking in front of everyone. I was very impressed because he was probably 12-14 years old. Afterwards, Mady said she thought it was neat he talked about his brother and she wished she could have talked about Abby. (Maybe someday) We were also given a Willow Creek figurine called Angels Embrace - Hold close that which we hold dear.We also had a responsive reading that always makes me cry (not like I wasn't crying any other time). It is called "We Remember Them"
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
January 21, 2007 ~ Lots of snow to play in, so here we are building snowmen.
The girls topped the snowmen off with their own hats, dug rocks out from underneath the snow for their faces, and used dead seedum flowers for their arms.
There was so much snow that we built snow forts and had a snowball fight. It was a fun afternoon in the snow.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
We don't want to forget the cutters and face drawers either.
The critters were then lovingly stitched closed. And awaited bows. In all, we completed 79 bears/bunnies/kitties and have 13 more to sew and stuff. Can you believe that....92 critters were made and filled with love in a day of sewing! Thank you Pam and Donna for doing this for the Foundation. And thank you to everyone that helped out in some way. What a wonderful way to give back!
Each one of these will be bagged with a special card stating that they were hand sewn with love at Sew For Fun.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Check in tomorrow for the results of the sew.
Friday, February 6, 2009
To all the staff at Childrens Mercy Hospital~
Organ donation has always been something I felt strongly about. From the time I was 16, I made sure the back of my driver’s license was signed and told my parents that I wanted to donate if something should happen. After Marc and I were married, I let him know my wishes and we agreed that donation was something we would do for each other. We never could have imagined that it would be our little girl’s organs we would donate instead of one of ours.
Our story of donation is one of sudden tragedy. On March 29, 2007, while taking our girls to school, I was hit nearly head on by a driver impaired by alcohol. Abrielle, almost 4, was critically injured and was taken ahead of us to the hospital by ambulance. A second ambulance transported my older daughter Madyson, almost 7, and myself, 32 weeks pregnant, to the hospital as well. Upon arrival, I was told that Abby was responding well to all the tests for head trauma patients and was going to be transferred to Children’s Mercy Hospital. Marc, his Mom, and a friend, followed Abby. I had to stay behind to be treated for my injuries, to evaluate our unborn Elly, and to stay with Mady. It wasn’t long when I heard from Marc that Abby would be going in for surgery for a depressed skull and that she was very critical. It was at that moment my health no longer mattered to me - I had to get to my Abby. I signed out AMA (against medical advice) and my sister, my mom, and I raced to Children’s Mercy. Before I arrived, Marc had been given the news that the surgeons were not able to stop the bleeding; the damage to her brain was too severe. Upon my arrival, I was told our little girl was not going to survive her injuries. After a few moments of shock and disbelief, I asked, “Can she help someone else?” “Yes, she could,” was the response and that was all there was to the decision for us. We wanted our little girl’s death to bring life to another child, sparing their family our heartache. We knew Abrielle’s zest for life and her feisty spirit would carry through to the recipients, bringing them the strength needed. We were right. Abby’s liver was given to a little three year old boy, saving his life. He is no longer confined to a hospital bed, instead he is finally able to run and play like a normal little boy should. Abby’s kidneys were given to a young lady, saving her from the dialysis machine at last.
After the mind-numbing shock of losing our daughter wore off, the giving the gift of life brought not only tears to our eyes, but also smiles to our faces. Somehow, knowing a part of our Abby lives on, improving the life of someone else, brings a certain feeling of comfort. It is a comfort that brings about a sense of purpose from our tragedy; a comfort that someday we may meet these lives saved by our little girl.
Children’s Mercy was wonderful in facilitating our decision. Dane and Janie were there for comfort and support as we struggled to let our Abby go. There was never any pressure to give. It was our choice and the easiest one of the day; it was sending our Abrielle to Heaven that was hard. I tell people, for us, it was never a decision of if we would donate; it was just a matter of coming to terms with our loss before we could.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
I was also told the most wonderful news...the girls are going to state!! How exciting is that! I am so happy for the girls because they did such a wonderful job on their speech and the community service project. Good luck in March girls!
Also, be listening on the radio for Tricia Deen. She will be competing for Miss Missouri and has chosen for her platform to incorporate MADD and the Foundation. She is going to be becoming very active in the Foundation to learn all she can, so you might see her with me at various functions and speaking events. She will be taking the name of the Foundation to places where only her crown and sash will allow her to go, places we can't. How great!
It is overwhelming sometimes the amount of people our little girl has touched. How our story and the story of the Foundation have become inspiration to some. How people are taking things to the next level for us. The attention both the Miss Missouri pageant and the State FCCLA Contest will generate will be amazing for the Foundation. What an honor they have chosen us, out of all the options of topics out there, to talk about.
(Look at the places you're going Abbers!)
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
My girls really do have hats. Not sure why they aren't on, but then again, Abby would never leave hers on. Let's just say it must have been warm that day so I don't look like a bad Mom.
Snow Angels! The girls always loved to make snow angels.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Monday, February 2, 2009
Bring your sewing machine and basic sewing supplies. We also need people to cut fabric, stuff, and do hand embroidery. ~Lunch will be provided~