Monday, March 2, 2009

Remembering Our Niece Haley

It's been 14 years since our sweet niece Haley died of a brain tumor. She was almost four years old when she died. She would have been 18 on March the 19th this year.
Haley was a sweet child. She obeyed her mommy and daddy. The one thing that stood out with Haley is she really loved Jesus. She was a happy little girl who loved bubble gum too.
She all of a sudden got very sleepy and had many headaches. This is her first night in the hospital with her mommy and daddy, Kelli and Ralph, and her big sister Whitney. They had just found the tumor and Kelli and Ralph were toldthat it was a cancerous tumor. She lived six months after this photo was taken, and died in her daddy's arms on March 3, 1995.
Ralph was honored to have this photo chosen, many months after Haley had died. Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland chose this picture to be displayed on a billboard for several months of Ralph and Haley in down town Porland. At the time I took this picture. I lived near Portland and drove past it several times. Each time I was moved to tears.
We don't understand the death of a child. They are supposed to out-live us. Sometimes there are no concrete answers. I choose to believe God. There are so many comforting verses about life after death with the Lord. The believer is escorted to Heaven by angels. They are taken directly to the Lord. "Absent from the body; present with the Lord." This life is a vapor. We don't even truly belong here. We are strangers in a foreign land. Our real home is in Heaven. I know with all my heart that we will see Haley again and she is happy with Jesus right now.
Haley Ann, March 19, 1991-March 3, 1995 "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints" Psalm 116: 15

23 comments:

luvmy4sons said...

Oh. What a precious and lovely tribute. It is most difficult to think eternally when losing a child...it is a comfort yet we want BOTH a long life HERE as well as life eternal too. So hard to understand why. Having just had a new newphew born this past weekend...the idea of life is so precious to me right now. I am so sorry for your loss. She was beautiful...

Judy said...

Reading your post I think of someone going through something similar right now. If you remember the post I had about my husbands cousin's son who is 21 and has a brain tumor...well he's not doing well and it looks like some brain damage has occurred. The family is taking it one day at a time and I know it will be hard for them when he's gone. We don't know why some are here for only a short time, but God has a plan for all of us and each plan is different. It's just hard for those left behind to understand things.

This is a beautiful post Kathi. Thanks so much for sharing it with us, your niece Haley was beautiful and it looks like she touched all your lives in a special way.

Heather said...

What a sweet little girl. Beautiful post Kathi.

A Romantic Porch said...

What a beautiful heartbreaking and touching post. For this we have a Saviour and an eternal hope...it's just so hard to understand. You will see her again! That is the joy. xo rachel

Connie said...

what a lovely tribute to your niece. That picture of her kissing the cat is priceless. I'm sure it's on display in your home. It just always makes me wonder why God allows these things to happen to such innocent children. One day we will have our answers, and in the meantime we walk by Faith.

Michelle said...

What a precious tribute to your sweet niece...it made me cry! Thanks for sharing with us.

Love,
Michelle

Pearl said...

Hi Kathi... This is such a gentle and heartwarming tribute to your beautiful niece, Haley... How very blessed your entire family was to have known and loved this sweet child of God... Surely it was a heavy cross for everyone to bear in so many different ways... What a comfort it is, though, to know that she now has a perfect body and lives forever in the Kingdom of our Father! Just imagine the sights 'n sounds of Heaven with precious children skipping along the roads paved in gold, their sweet laughter filling the air... Indeed, our lives on earth are nothing but a mere vapor when compared to what is ahead for all who love and believe in God...

I'm glad you shared the photo of the billboard with your Brother-in-Law and Haley, promoting Ronald McDonald Houses... That is one of the organizations we support... There've been many, many times when we have stayed at Ronald McDonald Houses while our son has been hospitalized away from our home... Truly it's a wonderful service to families who are going through extremely difficult times with their children... The compassion and understanding of that organization is amazing, and I'm so glad that their houses exist across the country... We have even been in hospitals that have Ronald McDonald rooms when there isn't a "house" in the community... again, a true blessing...

I'll be sending along my prayers for comfort as your family fondly remembers time spent with Haley... May God continue to hold you all close to His heart and allow you to feel at peace, knowing that Haley is once again in His hands...

God bless...

~hugs, love ♥ & prayers~

Pearl

shamrock fields said...

Dear Kathi,
Thank you for sharing the story of sweet Haley and the beautiful billboard picture. You will all be reunited in Heaven. Your family is amazing. God bless you-
Molly

Sweet Nothings said...

Aunt Kathi,

I wish I had the chance to meet her! It sounds like she touched many lives in her less than 4 short years here. She was such a beautiful girl! Sometimes God does things we don't understand. Ralph, Kelli and the kids are so strong. I'll be praying for their continued strength today as they remember Haley.

Love you!

Cottage Contessa said...

Kathi sweetie, I'm so very sorry for your family's loss. Haley was such a beautiful child....a child of God, and I too believe that she was delivered right back into his loving arms. The photo of the billboard really did me in and the tears are just streaming. Lifting your family up in prayer today as they remember this darling angel.....
Amanda (aka Cottage Contessa)

Mrs.Ruiz said...

She is a beautiful child of God:) The death of a child is so unfair but God knows what he is doing:)

Julieann said...

Ohh--Everytime you and your sister post about Hailey--I just tear up----So beautiful!

(((Great big hugs to and yours))))

XO

Julieann

Stephanie said...

Kathi,
She sure was a beautiful little girl! Be comforted she loved Jesus and is walking with him everyday. She is blessed to be with him and pain free. How hard for us on earth to comprehend this task.
Im so sorry for your family but am so blessed to have shared this story with you.
Love & hugs,
Stephanie

Whitney said...

we finally got the internet! the first thing we did was to look up your's and Sharon's blogs. we were very touched by your posts about Haley. thank you so much for remembering her. even though we do know she is with Jesus, it is still difficult. your loving support and thoughtfulness means so much. i know Haley touched your lives in ways that i'll never know, and though i don't really remember her, she has impacted my life so much. we love you all! Whitney

Whitney said...

we finally got the internet! the first thing we did was to look up your's and Sharon's blogs. we were very touched by your posts about Haley. thank you so much for remembering her. even though we do know she is with Jesus, it is still difficult. your loving support and thoughtfulness means so much. i know Haley touched your lives in ways that i'll never know, and though i don't really remember her, she has impacted my life so much. we love you all! Whitney

whitney said...

we finally got the internet! the first thing we did was to look up your's and Sharon's blogs. we were very touched by your posts about Haley. thank you so much for remembering her. even though we do know she is with Jesus, it is still difficult. your loving support and thoughtfulness means so much. i know Haley touched your lives in ways that i'll never know, and though i don't really remember her, she has impacted my life so much. we love you all! Whitney

linda said...

Haley was just beautiful Kathi!

It's so hard not to ask "why" when something so senseless like this happens but we are to trust God, knowing we'll have all of the answers one day. I bet your sister and BIL can't wait for that day!

Lori said...

Kathi;
Thank you for sharing about your niece. Family is a pillar of strength that not everyone has. Your family is so blessed to have each other. I am so thankful to mine as well.

Elena said...

Tears ran down my cheeks as I read this post. It made me think how much I love my baby girl. My folks lost my little brother when he was 1 day old. Great was their sorrow but the Lord comforted their hearts and like you said about sweet little Haley, these little ones are precious in the sight of God and are with Him.

Beautiful Pear Tree Lane said...

Kathi,
I am so touched by this!!! and What a beautiful child, There are a lot of things in this life we don't understand,But like you I choose to believe and trust God,And am so thankful that one day there will be no saying good bye!!! I know that your family's faith is what has carried you all.
Thank you for sharing.
Blessings,
Sue

Beautiful Pear Tree Lane said...

Kathi,
I am so touched by this!!! and What a beautiful child, There are a lot of things in this life we don't understand,But like you I choose to believe and trust God,And am so thankful that one day there will be no saying good bye!!! I know that your family's faith is what has carried you all.
Thank you for sharing.
Blessings,
Sue

char72 said...

This is so sad. Things like this are hard to understand. The pictures are darling. The scripture is so true. Life surely is like a vapor even when you live to be old. I should know. I can't believe how fast it is speeding by. What wonderful assurance that there will be no more death or crying or sadness. I'm looking forward to that day.
Charlotte

Kelly said...

Miss you so much Kath!
Everytime I read about her my heart just breaks, but your words about the scriptures are always so comforting. We will see sweet Haley again!

((hugs))
kelly~

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