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Angel Face, A Life Cut Short

Katy, my daughter, my Angel Face, my hero

The things I could say about my beautiful daughter, Katy could fill a small book, same as, I'm sure, any proud parent. Katy was truly a gift to me and I'd like to share with you who my Angel Face was. 

Facts first ... Katy was a published poet by age 11, an accomplished artist, (the final drawing she was working on {though unfinished} is in my gallery), an honors student from grade 5 on, and despite missing her entire senior year as an attending student, (her school work was brought to our home and was completed without the help of ANY teacher, {and she was in 4 level 4 honors classes}, when she wasn't sick from chemotherapy), she graduated with her class on the 'A' honor roll. Her goal, before being diagnosed at age 17, was to join the military and become a nurse under the GI bill. 

Ok, enough of the technical facts, following is who Katy was as a person and I'll quote from family and friends ... "smart", "funny", "pure of heart", "compassionate", "beautiful", "trustworthy", "loving", "giving", "talented", "wise" ... the list goes on, Katy was many things to different people, but now it's my turn to say who Katy was to me and what she meant to me. 

To me, Katy was not only my daughter, we were confidantes and best friends, we were each others strength and support and learned a lot together as she grew from a helpless infant into a butterfly on the verge of finding her wings. She showed me an innate strength I didn't know she possessed, thereby becoming my hero. Katy was and remains my hero, she stood just 5'3", was far less than 100lbs, at best, and had the most striking blue eyes I've ever seen that never once saw an enemy or adversary, but always a friend in every one she met. Katy held more love in her small body, in her short life for everyone, including those 'less fortunate', and felt more compassion than most who live a long 'fulfilling' life. Those who knew her are better because of the privilege. I know I am, and I thank God to be so blessed. 

I knew from the time Katy was very young that within her resided a very wise, old soul that knew compassion in a way most her age couldn't comprehend. Her compassion knew no limits and the depth of her caring about others continued past the death of her earthly body when she gave sight to two young blind men by donating her corneas. Honestly, Katy was upset that due to the systemic spread of her cancer she could not donate more than just her corneas to help more people. 

Two things that just came to mind that occurred prior to Katys passing that are so indicative of how much she cared about others and just wanted to make them smile and feel that they were loved and thought about. 

The first ... over the years Katy had acquired a rather large collection of stuffed animals, mostly bears, which she favored, and this collection grew after she became sick. Because Katy was still a minor when diagnosed all her treatment was in the pediatric oncology section. We were..uhm, fortunate..(so to speak), that I was able to stay with Katy 24/7 during all her many surgeries and chemo sessions, whereas many small children were left alone over night and sometimes for days with only the occasional company of the busy nurses. This didn't sit well with Katy and after hearing a poor child crying for hours the night before Katy told me once we got home, "Mom, those babies and kids need something to hold, to cuddle. Get some of those lawn bags, I'm giving them my stuffed animals so they have something when they are alone." We proceeded to fill 4 bags with animals and made the one hour drive back to the hospital we had left only hours before. Katy was wheelchair bound, due to an adverse side effect of the chemo, and as we wheeled through the doors the nurses on duty were more than a little shocked, Katy HATED the hospital and to see her back and then to find out why, there were no dry eyes at the nurses station. With the head nurse in tow and a room list, we went from room to room, Katy talked with each, if awake, then let them choose one or two from the bags. After going to each room there was still almost a full bag left and as we were saying our goodbyes Katy handed the bag to one of the nurses, who asked why she was doing this. Katy then said, "I have always had my Mom to comfort me, but these kids don't. Maybe these will help, so keep them for when new kids come in alone."

The second ... Katy was no longer in remission, actually, though we didn't know it then, she was only weeks away from passing. For years we had chosen a childs name from the local Angel Tree, this year was no exception. As Katys condition rapidly worsened it looked as though we would not be able to fulfill our obligation. About a week before the due date for the drop off, Katy was as sick as ever and I told her I would have to call the manager of where the Angel Tree was to let her know we couldn't get to the store. Katy absolutely refused to allow that. She said she would fulfill her promise to make that childs Christmas happy. By the grace of God, she was well enough a couple days later and demanding to use her own, (graduation), money and bought everything that child had wished for.

This has gotten far longer than I intended, I am not sure how many of you will read all this. For those who do, I thank you for taking the time to get to know a little about the earth angel God blessed me with. 

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