Monday, December 19, 2011

Sorry...

Our little angel Anna Joy slipped from the arms of Matt and Alissa into the loving arms of Jesus this evening at about 6:45 pm.

We had a beautiful, albeit short time with our baby. We know she is in a much better place, and she was greeted by two siblings and her paternal grandpa, to name a few.

Thank you again for all of your love and support. We likely will post a couple more follow up posts, seeing as we won't forget Anna Joy any time soon.

131 comments:

  1. Anna Joy won't be forgotten. Thank you for sharing us with her. I'm extremely sorry for your loss. I know the next few days, and weeks and months might be overwhelming at times, but know that so many are sending you love and light.

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  2. I am just now following Anna's story but I am so sorry for your lose. You never know how strong you are until strong is the only option you have!! I pray you find that strength and I love you and your family! I always remember Anna

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  3. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to share in your lives and be apart of praying for Anna Joy. Anna's story has touch so many lives and has brought so my hearts back to Jesus. What a blessing. May the peace of God fill your hearts.

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  4. Thank you for posting....grieving for you.

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  5. What a loved sweet baby girl. You will continue to be on my heart and mind and will continue praying without ceasing for God to continue to make himself known in your lives. Love you guys.

    -Carrie Hays

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  6. Our hearts ache for you! Thank you for sharing your journey with so many. Your precious baby girl has touched so many lives. We will continue to pray for you.

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  7. I am truly sorry for your loss! Rest in peace sweet baby.

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  8. I don't even know you all...but am holding back tears as ive read your blog, stories and struggles. How amazing to hear God's voice through everything you've written. I am so sorry for your loss..and grieve for you..Anna Joy touched more lives in her short life than most grown adults will ever. And blessed she was to have such amazing God-inspired parents. Praying that God contine to provide peace, comfort, hope and most of all joy. God bless you all...

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  9. Lifting your entire family to the Father in prayer. I am so sorry for your loss - sweet Anna Joy touched many. Thank you for sharing your story - we are all touched, and forever changed. Praying for peace for all of you.

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  10. Oh, Matt and Alissa...my heart hurts for you all. Words can't express the sorrow. You have been in our thoughts constantly and will continue to be. We hope you find strength in your faith and those who love you. Hugs.

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  11. Our hearts and prayers are with you!
    Lil Anna Joy got her heavenly wings to early but she is now resting in the arms of Jesus! Much love and many prayers!

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  12. Proverbs 19:21
    Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.

    Tonight I will pray for your healing. I'm sorry.

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  13. I just don't know what to say. I cannot even imagine. I am so very sorry. My heart aches for you...

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  14. Baby Anna you touched our hearts with love!

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  15. I was praying that I would come home tonight to read good news of a Christmas miracle. I pray that you find comfort knowing that your baby girl is in the arms of our Father. I don't even know what to say but I am so very sorry. Please know that you family is loved all over the world and I am sure that many people will cont. to pray for you. Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us. Much love, Andrea

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  16. Our hearts break for you, Matt & Alissa. We've been following and praying for you all in this journey. So glad that you have the assurance of Anna's new life in heaven. We will continue to pray for God's peace, hope and joy for you. Love and hugs,
    Kevin & Camrynne

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  17. Matt and Alissa,
    I do not know you but I have been following your story and have been praying every day for you both and your baby girl. So sorry to see the post tonight that you had to say goodbye to your baby girl. My heart breaks and aches for you tonight. I have posted our story a couple days ago...but I know how you ache tonight. I too lost my baby boy in my arms and the pain is totally imaginable. This is not a club that a parent or a couple ever want to be in. And until you are, you can never truly know the hurt and pain. I know you had so many more hopes and dreams for your child. Although we had our son for 4 months and you had a much shorter time, it is still so difficult. Please know that my husband Drew and I are thinking of you tonight and we will continue to pray for you to make it through each day together. Hold onto each other, Issac and your families. Big hugs, Erin (Nielson) Ebright, Nampa, Idaho

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  18. Praying for you guys. I'm so sad and hurt for your loss. Sending you lots of prayers and love.

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  19. I am so sorry!! My heart is broken for you and your family! I have cried so many tears for you all through this journey. You are so loved!! Joye hampton

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  20. Praying that the God of all comfort will wrap His loving arms around each of you. May you sense Him so very close not only tonight but in the days and weeks ahead. Anna Joy is a miracle and your lives have been a testimony to many. You as well as many others have been forever changed by a little baby that entered the world as innocent as she left it, being held by our Precious Lord and Saviour. ...'but as for me I choose Hope'. Praying you'll know how to walk day by day into this next chapter in your lives.

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  21. I am truly sorry for your loss and we are praying for you and your family. I pray that God will bring you the peace that your beloved Anna Joy is with her Heavenly Father now and Her heart is perfect now!!! Sending my love, a sister in Christ.

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  22. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    She was so very, very special
    And was so from the start
    You held her in your arms
    But mainly in your heart
    And like a single drop of rain
    That on still waters fall,
    Her life did ripples make
    And touched the lives of all.
    She's gone to play with angels
    In heaven up above
    So keep your special memories
    And treasure. them with love
    Although your darling daughter
    Was with you just a while
    She'll live on in your heart
    With a sweet remembered smile

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  23. I don't even know your family but haven't been able to get your family off of my mind ever since I heard of your story. This is not the post I ever wanted to see and I have been praying that Anna would be able to stay here on earth with your family. My heart is aching heavily for you tonight. I can't even imagine. I pray that God shows you His peace and love NOW more than ever before to make it through your loss. Anna is now a BEAUTIFUL angel.

    All of my love to your family,
    Erin

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  24. I am so sorry. We will never stop praying for you. I know one day you will find ultimate comfort with her in the arms of Jesus. Hold onto each other. Thank you for sharing your Anna with us.

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  25. Dear Matt and Alissa. Our God is One who can hold Anna Joy in one arm, and hold you in the other. In praying for you, that is what I pictured. It brought comfort to know that in Him, you are still close to your girl.

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  26. I have been praying and will continue praying for your family during this difficult time.

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  27. My heart is crying, I am in pain with you, have been where you are and know it is almost unbearable! My prayers and love will be with you and your precious family~~~~~I pray you will feel our love!

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  28. You sweet little one is now an angel to watch over you and your family. I know you will always be her parents and that families are eternal. You will have the chance to one day raise her. May the Lord bless you with peace and comfort at this time.

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  29. Praying, praying, praying. I lost my first daughter shortly after birth as well and I'm praying the Lord provides the peace and comfort He gave us when we had to say "see you later" to our sweet Natalie. Anna Joy will NOT be forgotten.

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  30. My heart is aching for you. Maybe Anna Joy was like the brightest, most beautiful star in the sky. The brighter the star burns, the shorter their lives. This precious soul is now resting peacefully waiting for you. Love you.

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  31. My heart is broken for you both. I am so very sorry that she had to become an angel so soon. I pray that you find peace and comfort.

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  32. Anna Joy, we will miss you. Enjoy your Creator - He loves you dearly.

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  33. Thank you for allowing us to make this journey with you. Somewhere along the line, Anna Joy became "our" baby, too. We're all so proud of you for how you loved and protected and prayed for Anna Joy the entire time. Thank you for letting so many of us help you pray. Thank you for never giving up. God is proud of you. He knew He could trust you with Anna Joy, even if you would only have her for a short time. In that short time, you gave her a lifetime of love. I don't know anyone who could have done it better. God grant you peace and comfort. We love you, and we hurt with you.

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  34. Words escape me. Feelings engulf me. Thank you for sharing your daughter and this experience in such a beautiful way. To me it is her Legacy, she has touched me deeply and although I do not know you I will never forget AnnaJoy. Sending you peace.

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  35. My love and prayers go out to you and your family. Thank you for sharing your sweet Anna with us! She has touched so many people in the short time she was here. And how awesome is that picture of Jesus holding you both while He holds your Anna. You will still be in my prayers, especially over the coming minutes, hours, days....Many tears have already been shed for you and many prayers continue to cover you! With love, Lisa Boschma from Idaho.

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  36. We've never met, but I have been praying for your family. May you feel God's peace and presence especially during this difficult time. Not sure if you've heard of or had contact with Hannah's Prayer or not, but thought I'd share a link to their site. They offer "Christian support for fertility challenges, including infertility or the death of a baby at any time from conception through early infancy." They are on the web at www.hannah.org

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  37. The Lord has been glorified by Anna Joy's life and your response to Him. May God comfort you, heal you and bless you. You are in our prayers.

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  38. Rest in peace now sweet baby Anna Joy. You have made such a difference and touched many lives in the short time you were here. We take comfort knowing you are safe and pain free held tightly in Jesus' arms. Prayers of comfort, love, and peace to your family.
    With love,
    Linnea Roy
    Puyallup, WA

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  39. Anna Joy: because of you, countless numbers of people have bowed their head and their knee before their Lord. I pray my life will have such an impact!

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  40. Hang on dear ones. The sorrow is so deep, the pain is so intense, but you are held by the One who conquered death. Perhaps sweet Anna will introduce you to Jesus one day. Her life will continue to touch many. Praying for comfort as only He can give tonight. It hurts so much, I know.

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  41. Thank you for posting in this time of grief. I want you to know that we are still praying for you and your family. Please stay strong in your faith and I pray that your hearts will be lifted in praise for the time you have had with AnnaJoy. The Lord has taken her to a wonderful place of peace and praise. Hold you head and heart high and know that thousands stand with you in prayer to the Lord. Our prayers... and questions... and heartache will all be answered in due time. Please dont stop writing this blog. I know why this was started and I understand why you would stop. But, we would really like to continue to pray for you.

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  42. We are feeling numb & our hearts are aching after reading this news. We are so very sorry. Anna Joy touched so many of our lives in such an amazingly positive way, I'm not even sure how to put it into words. We love you & are always here if you need anything. We are of course continuing our prayers for you, Matt & Alissa, and your family. We are thanking the Lord for the days Anna was here on earth and for what she and the two of you have taught us about faith & family. Thank you for sharing with all of us. We will always love and miss you, Anna Joy. --The Rowswell's

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  43. Anna Joy received her miracle of healing! Yes, I know it is not the one we would have chosen, not do we understand why but our heavenly Father does know what is best. God grant you peace and calm in the coming days.

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  44. My heart is breaking for you. You will continue to be in my prayers. I pray peace for you both and that you will feel Gods presence. God be with you both.

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  45. Peppley Family - I am crying with you, and praying for your family to find PEACE, and to KNOW God's love during this time. I am so sorry.

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  46. Words cannot express the sorrow I feel for all of you. Your beautiful angel will always be with you in your heart. God bless you Alissa & Matt and your family.

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  47. There are no words ... The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord lift His countenance upon you and give you peace. The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you, the Lord be gracious unto you.

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  48. Matt and Alissa, my mother's heart is grieving for you and with you, but rejoicing that sweet Anna is with Jesus and one day you will be reunited. Thank you for sharing her with us. She touched countless lives and softened many hardened hearts. We will continue to lift you up in prayer!

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  49. Lord may you turn their mourning into dancing! Their sadness into laughter! Their sorrow into Joy! Hallelujah is your song!

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  50. I'm crying with you and praying for you

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  51. My little sister Becca and I were praying for all four of you tonight (as we have been since hearing and now following your story) before she went to bed. We prayed for healing and peace and comfort as we have countless times before; just now read where precious Anna Joy is now feeling no pain wrapped in peace in our Father's loving, comforting, and healing arms.... we will continue to pray for healing and peace and comfort for you Matt and Alissa and Isaac too. God is with you, with love, Jennifer (Marion) Ditges and the Marion family who has also been praying and praying for all of you

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  52. I am so sorry... Your faith through this has been incredible and an amazing witness to others. Our Lord whom you have lifted her up to in prayer has her now... she is safe and you will see her one day. I know desperately missing her is what is so difficult but God is so faithful and He loves you, His children, very much. Please know you are lifted up in prayer; you are loved.

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  53. Alissa and Matt~I am so sorry for your loss. I do not know you personally but heard about your story on facebook and have been following you since. I am also a NICU/PICU RN and have been for 11yrs. I have taken care of many very sick infants/children and I have seen parents loose their angels too many times. We never understand at the time why it has to happen and many times will never be able to understand why it happens. The only way I am able to do my job is to live and belive that God has a plan for everyone and we are not in control! His plan sometimes seems so mean but for some reason thats how it is meant to be. I know that you guys are strong believers and know that she is somewhere we only hope to be but I also know that does not hold much comfort right now in this time of extreme unrelenting pain. Give eachother strength when one is weak the other will be strong and take turns being weak...you need to express the pain. Also I want to share with you that Anna was born on my birthday! There is another angel up in heaven who also shares Annas birthday and she was taken from her family at the age of 10 just this last summer. Her name is Allie...Anna and Allie will always be in my heart and I will always think of them on my birthday as two perfect angels. I will pray for peace and comfort for you and your family during this time.
    Ami

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  54. I'm heartbroken reading this post. Just know that your sweet baby girl is in the loving arms of Jesus. You have been in my prayers and will continue to be in my prayers. Anna has touched so many lives in the short amount of time she was here on Earth. God bless you Alissa and Matt.

    Love,
    The Hart Family

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  55. My Mama's heart just aches... cannot even begin to imagine. Continuing to cry out for His Presence to fill in the gaps & holes right now, and that an unexplainable peace would wash over you & your family. Asking the Father to extend sweet Anna's namesake to you... That JOY would arise, even now, as you walk through this next part of the woods (as Matt put it so well earlier).

    Love you much... and then some.
    -Mindy

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  56. I am so very sorry; there truly aren't words. And yet, I am also so very very thankful to have been given the gift of a glimpse of Anna Joy's beautiful life and the impact that she (and her entire family) had on one hundreds - if not thousands - of lives.
    Now we experience waves of grief. Questions with no answers this side of Heaven. And yet, we also still have hope; hope in the One who IS hope.
    Thank you, Anna Joy. Thank you for all you've done with your life. I will pray for your Mom and Dad, your big brother, Isaac, your grandparents, and all of your family. We love them so much, Anna; and we love you.

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  57. Dearest Peppleys and Freebys,

    Anita and I are deeply saddened. We never got to meet Anna. but we fell in love with her through you.

    As she is now with the Lord, my heart turns towards you; may God grant you strength and peace.

    Scott

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  58. I am so sorry for your loss and I will continue to keep all of you in my thoughts.

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  59. I am not sure yet what the meaning of this journey has been for me -- but it HAS had meaning, big meaning. And if that was Anna's role and message, then so be it. But I am heartbroken -- of course not nearly as heart-shattered as you two. I join so many others in my tears and in a search for a reason, something to give us all comfort. I am not there yet, but I am confident I will get there, if for no other reason than your faith. Anna's and your strength has been an incredible inspiration for all of us. Peace dear ones. Peace.

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  60. My heart breaks for your family...I cannot begin to understand the depth of your pain and sorrow. But as I was driving home tonight, I heard a song that made me think of Anna Joy..."Christmas in Heaven." Anna Joy will be spending her first Christmas in Heaven with her loving Father. May that bring you some small measure of comfort. Will be praying for you and your family.

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  61. I have been following your story and my heart is breaking for you and your family right now. I will continue to pray for you as you enter this journey.

    I have so much sympathy and pain for you and your family as I lost a niece to a very similar condition in 2010 and than 7 months later my first born son to stillbirth. No one can explain your pain as you go through this unimaginable loss. I will continue to pray for you daily and think of your family often. Your family is so strong and Anna was such a beautiful precious gift.I am so sorry she had to leave you so soon.

    Take care & much love to your family,

    Kaelene Kellis

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  62. To my Dear Peppley's,
    It was my honor to meet you and pray for your family. I weep with you, Anna Joy's days were all miracles, we will meet again. My heart will be with your family always. Matt Facebook!! Then we can all be in touch, Anna Joy touched the world! Come see us again at NSCN. Peace be with you. God has a plan.

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  63. I am heartsick hearing about the loss of your precious baby girl. Many, many tears shed for you today... I wanted to tell you about a song that ministered to me when I lost my baby girl (Madelyn Jo) last year. It's called "Homesick Angel" by Cadillac Sky. You can find it on YouTube. Somehow, I felt comforted with the thought that she was longing to be back in His presence, and that longing is fulfilled. How incredible to have a child awaiting you on the other side of eternity that has never known sin, but fulfilled her destiny so perfectly and beautifully. It doesn't help the ache in our hearts and arms, but He is able to heal that too in time. Please know that I am carrying you in my thoughts and prayers, especially in this holiday season. I will put an ornament on my tree next to my little Maddie bird ornament, and remember Anna Joy always. May His peace surround you and give you rest and comfort tonight.

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  64. I am so very sorry. May Jesus hold you in His embrace right now. Continuing prayers for you all! Love.

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  65. Many shared this journey with you, and our grief and sadness is but a small portion of your heartache. I hope that you know that you are loved by many, that you and Anna have touched many lives.

    While there are no words to express such great sorrow...thank you for sharing your lives and your precious Anna Joy with us.

    Cherie, Hope, Jesse and GMa

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  66. I certainly am not as eloquent as many of the previous posters above have been, but I too just wanted to say how much Anna's story has touched me. I do not know you all personally either, but I found myself "checking in" on your family each night to read about Anna's (and your) day. I have no words to express my sympathy, nor can I even try to imagine how you must feel right now, but as a fellow parent, I know how much you loved that little angel of yours - it was evident in every word you all wrote and in every beautiful picture you posted. Thank you so much for sharing the story of Anna's journey with me. I pray for God's peace to surround you and comfort you after this heartbreaking loss and will continue to pray for your family.

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  67. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am so moved by the way you have faithfully waited on the Lord. I desperately wanted Anna to live and have a full life...so many of us pleaded with you...and it wasn't to be. I'm so glad to know that this isn't the end...the story goes on. Both for her in the arms of Jesus, and for us, who have been touched by her precious short life. Lord, open up the heavens and rain down! Pour out your blessings on Matt and Alissa. Let it flow out to them and through them and may your Glory be evident to all! Amen

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  68. I am so very sorry. I have been following for a while. God be with you and give you peace.

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  69. I have been following your blog since I saw your story on the news. I was so touched by your faith. I was at the beginning stage of discovering God and Anna Joy has brought me closer to Him. Thank you for sharing Anna's journey with us. You are in my prayers.

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  70. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your journey and to be partners in prayer. Anna Joy has brought many prayer warriors to their knees, and many people around the world into a new & deeper relationship with Christ. Abba, Father bring comfort, peace and hope to Matt, Alissa, Isaac and their families.

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  71. Hello. I am in tears as I read and write, even without knowing you personally. My daughter has HRHS and has been through 2/3 of the surgeries. You have been through so much. I have been on the brink of what you are now experiencing so many times. I know this heart ache can only be understood by ones that have been touched with such a sorrow. God is and has and will make you stronger. Thank you for your faith and sharing it. I hope you feel in arms holding you through this time. I really do remember those moments at the bed of my baby girl. Times when all the doctors were at her side pumping life back into her. She is here with us today and I only have the Lord to thank for that. I pray for peace in your hearts. I pray your marriage grows stronger and you can use your experiences someday to help others, but for now, lean on those close to you and know God LOVES you and only is growing you because he has more plans for you. Your Itty Bitty has no more pain, although I feel she didn't go through too much while briefly here on earth. I have this feeling that God protects them. Those moments when they are staring off, I always think they are talking with Jesus. Now she is face to face with Him. Thank you Lord for the hope we have in You.
    God bless you all. Again, I will be praying for you. God bless you. Lani-lee

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  72. I am so sorry Alissa and Matt. I've watched with baited breath at each update and hoped and prayed for healing and life. My thoughts and prayers and all for you guys right now. Lots of love and hope of peace and comfort in the days to come.

    -Tyra

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  73. Dear Matt and Alissa.
    No words, just aching for your!! Know that we will continue to pray for you as you travel this journey. Praying that God will carry you and wraps His arms of love around you!
    Sweet Anna Joy is such a beautiful little girl.
    Prayers from Zambia

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  74. I just read this whole blog in the last few hours and have sat here praying for your family, in tears for Anna,and having moments of God speaking to me about my own life. I want to thank you for sharing this amazing story of Gods peace, grace and love. Your precious angel has touched my life in these last few hours. I will pray for you both and your family as the Lord wraps you in his arms and gives you rest and peace.

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  75. I am sad that you had to say goodbye to your little Anna tonight. Oh to be able to fast forward for a moment to the day when you will see her again. I pray the Lord will keep that ever in your mind- that you will see her sitting on Jesus' lap in heaven. I don't believe anyone will ever forget Anna Joy. What a powerful spirit she has, though her body was weak. Dear Ones, if only there was some way to lessen your pain. You know that many people are embracing you with their prayers right now, knowing that only the Lord Jesus Christ can give your hearts peace and carry you through this loss and we are all praying that you will feel His presence. I know it will be some time before any updating is possible, but when you are able to drop us a note it will help us to know how to pray for you. I just want to thank you for inviting us to walk with you. You can't know how your vulnerability has touched our hearts. I truly can only speak for myself, but I have been moved in a miraculous way by this journey. You are both incredibly courageous and your faith is contagious. With what I have read in the comments, Heaven must be soaked in tears right now. I am one of many who will continue praying for you and lifting you to the throne of God when you are unable to pray for yourselves. May the Comforter envelop you with peace which passes all understanding. Kathy K

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  76. May God carry you through this agonizing time and give you the strength and the acceptance to cope with His grand plan for Baby Anna. Our stories are strangely similar going back to the time you both met, married, and even moved away for a new start then moved back again. We too married in 2004 about a year from when we met then moved out of state in 2005. Then came back to Washington to start a family. Now here we all are at Children's. I wish our paths had crossed under different circumstances as I feel we have a lot in common. I hope our paths cross again in better times. My thoughts and prayers are with you continuously throughout the day. If you haven't read it already, I highly suggest reading "Heaven is for Real." The story and messages were things I clung to to carry me through the toughest and most faith-shaking times. I believe Jesus is holding sweet Anna Joy and she is happy. Believe you will see her again someday.

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  77. Thank you for allowing virtual strangers the honor and privilege of praying for you all and for letting us into some of the most intensely personal moments of your lives.
    My heart hurts for you...oh how it hurts for you.

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  78. May your baby rest in peace and enjoy in heaven with Jesus this Christmas. I hope in heaven their will be good celebration for the children.
    Orlando taxi

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  79. I am so sorry to find this news. We know your pain as we lost our Gideon 21 months ago, and even though it is hard to understand why...just know that God continues to be all over this whole situation. May you find comfort in His arms during these days and find peace in knowing that your sweet little girl is now healthy and whole. Life on earth is so short compared to eternity, though right now it will seem so very long. But be assured that you will be together forever. Prayers will continue for you. Thank you for sharing Anna with us, and your extraordinary faith.

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  80. i am so sorry for your loss of your beautiful daughter. just know that she is with god now and that you now have a perfect angel watching over your family

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  81. A friend of mine linked to your blog last week, and I have been following and praying for you since then. I am so sorry for your loss, and I will continue to pray that God holds up your family and covers you all with His infinite love.

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  82. I am so sorry that you had to walk this path. It is so hard to understand....But I KNOW that in the short time she was with you Anna Joy touched more people than most do in a long life. Thank you for sharing your faith, hope and joy with all of us and know that we share with you in your grief. I love you guys and please know that I am praying for you. May the God of Love, Peace, and Comfort be with you, as He holds your sweet angel. At least you know she has family with her as she waits for you to come and be with her again.
    So much Love and Prayers,
    Lynetta

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  83. May the Lord bless you and your family at this time. My friend posted your blog on Facebook in the hopes of prayers being lifted and lifted I know they were. No one can explain God's decisions, but the fact that each of them, that HE has planned has a meaning for our lives. May the Lord keep his arms around you and comfort you and may you cherish each special memory you have of Anna Joy.

    Love in Christ
    Lori & Jeff Bicknell, USAF Robins GA

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  84. Matt and Alissa,
    I have been avoiding writing on this blog, but I can do so no longer. I want to start by thanking you for allowing me to be a part of this journey with you.

    I awoke at 3:00 AM this morning with some very powerful and vivid memories from my time with you guys, the family and Anna Joy. Thank you for allowing me to be there and give her a kiss on that beautiful face of hers and to quietly say goodbye to her.

    Since I could not go back to sleep, I did what I have been doing a lot lately, which is to pray. Now however my prayers have shifted from Anna Joy to you two and the rest of the family. Fortunately, I have learned from some wiser Pastors and teachers over the years, and have learned to not not wrestle with God over some of these issues, questions and struggles, but to wrestle with my prayers and that is what I have been doing.

    One night as I was in the half awake half asleep state that you (Matt) described on this blog at one point, I was wrestling and praying over the Isaiah 55:8-9. "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts." Thankfully God hasn't asked me to figure out why He does the things he does, because I can't. I am not capable. But I can wrestle in my prayers and so I have done that.

    As a result of being a part of the journey, I have witnessed the results of those prayers and the prayers of thousands of other warriors come to fruition. The miracles I have watched play out and the sense of peace that was present was beyond human comprehension. It doesn't seem reasonable that I was receiving peace and strength from you two, and yet I was. That is truly amazing!

    For all of you blog readers and prayer warriors, I implore you to continue in your prayers with the same tenacity and fervency that you prayed for Anna Joy, but now please pray for Matt, Alissa and the rest of the family. From reading the blog, I am confident that you will.

    Thanks again Matt and Alissa, I love you guys! May God continue to pour out his peace on you.

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  85. I am just a Jesus loving mama saying a prayer for your family. So very sorry.
    MindyE

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  86. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  87. My heart pours for you and your family, Matt. I have kept and will continue to keep you guys in my prayers everyday. Every moment.
    Here's to embracing the moments you all shared with baby Anna and to a long life of remembering and cherishing the lessons she's left for us.

    Monica.

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  88. Learned of your story this morning through a mutual friend. Our family will begin praying for yours as you put one foot in front of the other. Praying that God will engulf you in the peace and comfort that only He can provide.

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  89. As I drove home last night knowing what was ahead of you both the fingerprint of our God was all around me. My heart is heavy for you. It is OK that I do not understand because I have faith in The One who surpasses my need to and I realize that we will all, in utter joy, understand when we meet Him face to face. Thank You for sharing your beautiful baby girl with me. She is home.

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  90. I am so sorry for your whole family. My heart breaks for you. Anna Joy touched so many people and has brought faith, love, and hope to the world. She will never be forgotten. Rest in peace sweet girl.

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  91. If I could like a post on this blog it would be Uncle Doug's. Beautiful.

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  92. I am so very sorry for the loss of your sweet baby. I know this will be one of the hardest things you will ever have to face. I am very grateful that you are strong Christians and have the knowledge and faith that you don't have to go through this alone.

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  93. I continue to lift you up in prayer. I am so sorry for your loss.
    Recently in a Beth Moore Bible study it was talking about heaven, and how time does not exist there; while we anxiously await the day we'll be reunited with those who have gone to Jesus before us, they are not waiting around there, and will not ask us what took us so long to arrive when we do. :) Looking forward to that glorious day with you, when all will be as it should be, and all of this pain will be past. In the meanwhile, standing with you in prayer as you walk this hardest of roads, bringing glory to God in all of it.

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  94. I do not personally know you, but my family has been following, and walking right beside you on your journey since before Anna Joy entered this world. Every time I read your updates, I would put it in terms my 4 year old could understand, as he was praying for Anna Joy as well. I admire your strength and faith through this journey, as I know if put in a position like yours, I would not be as patient, loving, and at peace as you guys have been. Your story has truly touched us, along with a lot of others. Last night before I went to bed, I snuck in my childrens' rooms to give them a big hug, and spend a moment with God, thanking him that they are with me. To your family- Thank you. For showing thousands what faith and hope can do. Anna Joy could have not asked for a better set of parents for her short time here on earth, and I do not have to assure you, that she is frolicking in the arms of angels up in heaven now. No more pain, suffering, or intervention. She is a perfect little angel. God bless you and all of your family.

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  95. Last Sunday, I was at a different church from usual, and I felt led to light a candle for Anna Joy. The words "Burn brightly, little light" popped into my mind, and I thanked God for His goodness even in the midst of circumstances we can hardly bear. Your daughter's light is now burning even more brightly, even if she is no longer with you. I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I cannot fathom what you are going through, but the Lord promises to be with us always, throughout the darkest valleys, and His Spirit intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. We continue to pray for you, to cry for your loss, and to encourage you to cling to the everlasting hope that we have in Jesus.

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  96. What a sweet reunion it will be in Heaven someday when your whole family is together again. So sorry for your loss. I appreciate you sharing your journey with all of us, as difficult as it must have been. Your faith and courage has been so inspirational and I know that sweet little Anna's life has inspired so many. May you find peace and comfort in each other and in knowing she'll be waiting for you in Heaven.

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  97. Thank you for sharing. Your faith and strength is an example to us all. Sorry for your loss. I am praying for comfort for your family.

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  98. I am so sorry to read this. She was loved by hundrfes of people all over the US! I prayed for her and I will pray for you still. She was so beautiful and precious. She was put on this earth for a reason, I believe, even for her short time here. Love to your family!

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  99. Our hearts achs for you. Our prayers are for you and your family. All of our Love and Blessings go out to you. A big hug from Linda & Dennis

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  100. My heart breaks for you all. Your sweet Anna Joy touched so many lives.Praying for the peace and comfort only He can provide. You will be reunited one day!

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  101. I'm so sorry for the loss of your baby girl! Among many ways that Anna Joy's life story has touched me, it is a profound reminder
    to me to never take my 3 gifts from Heaven for granted. Thank you for your continued ministry, even through your darkest moments. May God's loving arms cradle each of you.
    In Christ,
    Cheryl Murchison
    Houston, TX

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  102. So sorry for your incredible loss. Your precious family will continue to be in my prayers.

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  103. I woke up this morning praying for you as you awake to this day also. Love and prayers are flowing for you still.

    the Knight's

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  104. Praying for you as you go through this horrible loss. May the peace of God cover you, and may His strength fill you up.

    Isaiah 27:5
    Or else let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; yea, let him make peace with me.

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  105. We all fell in love with your very precious darling sweet angel through your blog and pictures. We ache and weep with you, and will keep praying for all of you.
    Love
    Gary and Eleanor

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  106. Continuing to pray for your family. Jesus be so present to them.

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  107. You don't know me personally, but after reading your story on King 5, I hopped on your blog and continued to follow your story. I feel as though your baby girl touched so many lives, she opened up many eyes to the possibility that there are other human beings that may just care about a strangers life.

    Your story is a tragic one, but also one that has been with me for the past couple of weeks. I am not very religious. I don't consider myself to be "one with god" or a regular person who pray's, but, I promise you that I had several conversations with god. I prayed for your Anna Joy, just as I had prayed for my baby girl when she was sick. Each time I cried and each time I have felt heard. Maybe there are bigger plans for your precious baby, I don't know, but what I do know is there are so many people who have loved her so much so that compassion has entered their lives where maybe it was gone.

    I wish and pray that this had a much happier ending. I hope Anna Joy is resting in beautiful peace and that the smile that will great you from your little boy will forever warm your hearts again. I am so sorry for your loss.
    Angie, Seattle

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  108. Your family will continue to be in my prayers. My heart is heavy after I read the latest post. I pray that God will continue to lift you up and that you feel His warmth and love during this difficult time. <3

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  109. Sweet Anna Joy though out of your hands, into her Heavenly Father's lap...though out of your presence, forever in your hearts...Talia and I talked a long time last night about Heaven...she wants to go there and so do I...she was sad as are we that Anna Joy wasn't healed...we don't understand...but we aren't going to lean on our own understanding and are going to trust in the Lord with all our hearts...that's all we can do...I love you with all my heart...we are so sorry for your loss...we were privileged to stand with you in hope of healing and now in your grief...wish we could wrap our arms around you even now....I was reminded that Love always hopes...I thought I would share that...thank you for your authenticity, candor, and willingness to share your journey with so many...again reminded that Jesus wept and asked for the cup to be taken from him...for whatever reason...yours wasn't taken from you...but rest in that her life touched many...and yours and your families...bringing people together...in hope and now grief...so, so, so, sorry for your loss...LOVE YOU!

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  110. So very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing Anna Joy's life story. Prayers for comfort and strength as you go forward.

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  111. I am so sorry for your loss. Your faith has been amazing and there are so many that are grieving along with you and praying for you. Continue to lean on Him and He will give you the strength to make it possible to lean on each other.

    E

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  112. My dear Matt and Alissa, I am so sorry for your loss. My heart breaks for your family as I try to find the words to write to bring you comfort and hope. You do not know me and probably never will, but I have been inspired by you and your faith in this time of difficulty. I have spent a lot of time in prayer for your family and it is through this prayer that I have heard God's voice ask me to tell you of my beliefs at this time of sorrow. I hope they will bring you comfort. I am a firm believer in God and Jesus. I know that we are loved by them amd that God holds us in his arms each day and even tighter when we struggle and feel pain. I come from a different religious background than you. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Chrst of Latterday Saints. It is my belief that families are eternal. I believe that although God has aked that you be parted from Anna for now, he will allow you to be her parents in the life to come. You have not lost her. She will always be your daughter and she will be watching over you and your family and waiting for the time when she can return to your arms in love. I hope these words will bring you comfort from a complete stranger and I will continue to pray for you.
    Yours in love,
    Kammi

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  113. I am so very sorry. Your pain will make me hold my babies harder today. You are amazing people to have been so strong to let her go so willingly.

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  114. I'm not sure this is appropriate to do, but I would like to recommend you go to www.ttb.org & Download a booklet called "Death of a Little Child".

    It is written by the Late Dr. J. Veron McGee who lost his firstborn child.

    I think it might speak to you both about what you are going through.

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  115. I am so sad to hear this. Anna Joy and your family have touched the hearts of so many in a short time. I will continue to keep your family in our prayers.

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  116. Matt & Alissa, Please find this poem as a comfort..This was given to me short after my son Samuel's passing.


    Heaven's Very Special Child

    A meeting was held quite far from earth,
    "It's time again for another birth."
    Said the Angels to the Lord above,
    "This special child will need much love."
    His progress may seem very slow,
    Accomplishments he may not show;
    And he'll require extra care
    From the folks he meets down there.
    He may not run or laugh or play.
    His thoughts may seem quite far away.
    In many ways he won't adapt,
    And he'll be known as handicapped.
    So let's be careful where he's sent;
    We want his life to be content.
    Please, Lord, find the Parents who
    Will do a special job for You.
    They will not realize it right away
    The leading role they're asked to play.
    But with this child sent from above
    Comes stronger faith and richer love.
    And soon they'll know the privilege given
    In caring for this gift from heaven.
    Their precious charge, so meek and mild
    Is Heaven's Very Special Child.

    Author: Unknown

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  117. My heart goes out to you and your family. May many Prayers, Family and Friends hold you up at this time. I am so sorry... may God Bless you!!

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  118. Alissa and Matt, Our hearts go out for your loss, your family will forever be in our Prayers. We heard of Baby Anna thru our daughter In-Law who's sister knows you.

    Neil and Paula Solomon

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  119. I feel so grieved for you guys. My husband and I have checked your blog many times over the last few days. We are incredibly sorry that you have lost Anna Joy and hope that you would strongly sense the presence of Jesus and his church around you.

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  120. Matt and Alissa and family. I don't have very good words to say, but just wanted you to know that I have been praying (and crying) with you through this journey. We are so sorry for your loss, but know sweet Anna is in heaven with a new heart, lungs and body that is perfect. I love that we will get to meet her one day. Bless you as you have shared your story. As I sit here typing with my one year old on my lap, I feel so blessed and really don't think I could have done what you have. You two are amazing, Anna should be very proud of her parents:) I love you guys and wish the very best for you in 2012. Continuing to pray for you through the holidays and your future after this.
    Jayci Field

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  121. I am so sorry to hear this. I just checked back in this afternoon. We know she is with God now and that, I hope, is comforting to you and your family. I will keep praying for you throughout this difficult time.
    Sincerely,
    Jen Isotalo (friend of Nick Spunich)

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  122. momandmepouch.com samuel's page I think you two will find friends there!

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  123. Please know that as a heart mommy your family will always be in my prayers. Your sweet baby is safe in the arms of our loving Lord and Savior. May he provide you peace and rest.

    Jackie Ross
    Mother to Xavier HLHS

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  124. I am so sorry for your loss. I am so proud of the grace and faith that you carry in spite of the pain. We have never met but I have been touched by your story and your precious daughter. JR Caines is a friend of mine and that is how I knew. Tears and prayers going your way this moment.

    Kevin Williamson

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  125. Matt and Alissa, im saddened by your news. I have been following your story and just came to catch up. I have to tell you since the start Psalm 23 kept repeating itself in my mind. I also read the book Chosing To SEE by Mary Beth Chapman. Your story has effected so many lives through your blogs. Im praying for you and know that sweet little Anna Joy is safe in the arms of her Heavenly Father. May peace be upon you now and akways.

    Janis

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  126. Chosing to SEE was a beautiful book. I wept through the whole thing. Beautiful story about a loved daughter. I would recommend.

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  127. I have no words except thank you for sharing your sweet girl with us. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about your family and hug my dear babies that much closer because I have been reminded of not taking life on this earth for granted. I don't know why you and not us (we live in Rochester and lived in Tumwater for years before that which makes this much closer to "home" for us; not that geography matters). Hoping you had a Christmas filled with love, although I'm sure there was much pain not to be avoided. God Bless you all.
    The Aden's

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