My sister-in-law posted this picture on Instagram yesterday. That sweet little girl is my niece, Ellie. She had made a special birthday card for Cora and took it out to the cemetery with her mom and brother. When we went to release our balloons last night the card and a bracelet were carefully arranged by Cora’s memorial stone. Joel and I both fell apart when we saw it. I really wanted to take the card and keep it but I felt guilty because I knew that Ellie would want it there for Cora. I went back today to see if it was still there but the crazy Kansas wind had already blown it away. I was bummed. I emailed my sister-in-law to see if she remembered what the card said…because I wanted to be able to remember. I’m so glad that I asked because I love knowing the story behind this picture. I thought you might like to know the story too.
We hadn’t been to see Cora’s grave since the funeral. I kept thinking it would be sweet for us all to go, but I just couldn’t make myself do it yet. I think it was a perfect time to go yesterday. Ellie seems to show me continually how deep child-like faith is. As we walked back and forth remembering sweet things about Cora, it was almost like talking to an adult. She’s so aware of how happy Cora is in heaven, but how sad it makes us sometimes to not be able to be with her. Ellie asked to have some alone time with Cora, so her brother and I wondered off to look for some treasures. That’s when I took this picture.
She wore her black and white flower dress too. She remembered Cora used to have one when she was little and now it’s considered her special Cora dress. She thought Cora would like to know she had one now too.It’s definitely such a bittersweet picture. It makes me ache to know what could have been…but also so grateful and full of hope to know they are probably going to be the best little cousins in all of heaven someday!
I wish I would have written the card down. She picked the colors because she was certain they were Cora’s favorites. The picture inside was of balloons because we didn’t have any to send up to her in heaven. I think the words were:
We miss you so much. You are the most special-est cousin, and Levi and Griffin too. I was so sad when you died. I hope you are having fun in heaven. I love you.
I am so thankful my sister-in-law shared this with me. Ellie is a little girl who loves fiercly. She loved Cora so much and I hate that I can’t watch them grow up together. But I too am thankful for the child-like faith that Ellie displays. She is not afraid to talk about Cora…or remember…or share her heart. And she looks forward to heaven, holding onto hope even as a five year old.
You are a pretty special cousin too, Ellie. And your faith is challenging even to me.