Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Carolyn's Legacy--Prayers and Beauty

We said good-bye to our precious Carolyn last week. People, the service was a true celebration of life! I just have to share a little about this remarkable young lady.

Carolyn had an extremely rare form of cancer for almost three years. She had undergone numerous surgeries, several rounds of chemo and radiation, and countless other procedures. She was in remission for several months before the enemy came back with a vengeance. Carolyn endured it all with a stong faith and unstoppable spirit.

Carolyn made a public profession of faith just shortly before she became sick and received the cancer diagnosis. She faced her disease with a faith that you would expect from someone much older who had known the Lord for many years. She was an example for all who knew her. This was obvious at her funeral service when many people shared examples of how she made a difference in their lives. Just listen to this story that was told by the grandmother of another little girl with cancer. What a witness.

Carolyn was in the hospital for almost two months starting in late January. I believe it was during this time that this woman and her seven-year-old granddaughter met Carolyn and her family. The other child (Since I don't know this child I'm going to call her Clare--not the name the grandmother used.). Clare had the same very rare cancer as Carolyn. As I understand it, this form of cancer is not only rare, it is even more rare for girls as young as these two.

Carolyn was often in great pain during this hospital stay. At times she had such pain that she could not stand for her bed to be touched. However, one night Clare was having trouble going to sleep. Carolyn let her crawl up beside her. The girls wrapped their arms around each other and snuggled together.

This sweet grandmother told about sitting in the darkened room listening to the girls talk. Carolyn told Clare that they should pray. According the the grandmother, Clare knew some memorized prayers, but didn't really know how to pray specifically. Carolyn taught the younger girl to talk personally to God and pray about specific things.

The girls did not pray just for themselves. They talked to God about the other children in the hospital. They prayed for those children to have their pain controlled; for God to be with the families, etc. Carolyn taught Clare to look outside of herself to find others who also needed God's care. She taught her to simply talk to God about the things that were important to her at that time.

That story, told at the funeral, made such an impression on me. What a lesson! I have certainly been doing some thinking about my conversations with God.

And the butterfly at the top-- We released butterflies at the graveside service. Carolyn had told her younger brother that her funeral was "going to be fun." In a conversation with my sister about how that could appropriately happen I mentioned a butterfly release. I didn't know exactly what that was, but it sounded pretty and a somewhat "fun." After getting enthusiactic approval from her parents, my sister told me to "go ahead with the butterflies." Huh--I was just brainstorming ideas--but you know how it goes--Sometimes if you have an idea you "get" to do it.

I gladly arranged for it. It was much easier than I anticipated. Some other family members helped with the cost. At the end of the service Carolyn's brother, Jacob, released the gorgeous Monarchs under a beautiful Texas sky.

Carolyn was a "butterfly girl." Actually she loved all animals and God's creations in nature, but she had a special attraction to butterflies. The release was a wonderful way to honor her and her love of God. Lots of people were wearing butterfly pins and clothes adorned with butterflies because they knew about Carolyn's interest in them. What a lovely sight it was!
The butterflies were very "people friendly" and were, of course, immediately attracted to all the flowers. I didn't have my camera, but some other family members took pictures of the butterflies. If I get copies off the pics I will share some of the butterfly antics.

BTW--If you have an interest in butterfly releases you might be surprised to find out how easy it is is to find a source. I just goo**gled "butterfly release." I found Vibrant Wings which happened to be very near where we were in Texas. The butterflies were delievered to us the morning we needed them. Most companies Fed*Ex overnight. Kathy gave us excellent service on short notice. She graciously tolerated my anxiousness about everything going well! :-)

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  posted at 1:50 PM  
  13 comments



13 Comments:
At April 16, 2008 at 2:04 PM, Blogger LBP said...

What a beautiful tribute you have written about Carolyn. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Blessings

Linda

 
At April 16, 2008 at 3:00 PM, Blogger Momma Roar said...

Beautiful!!

 
At April 16, 2008 at 3:06 PM, Blogger Becky said...

The butterflies are not only appropriate because of Carolyn's love for them, but can you imagine that she was stuck in this dark cocoon of cancer here on earth ... and now ... she is released from that bondage, recreated into the beauty that she can only find in the arms of her Savior.

What a lovely, lovely thought.

Our hospices here in our county use the butterfly as their symbolism of release from this world to the next.

I am glad you are home my friend. And I am so moved by the story of Carolyn. Why do we so often lose that childlike faith that is so unafraid to share, when we grow up?

What a wonderful legacy she has left in her few years.

 
At April 16, 2008 at 4:09 PM, Blogger Linda said...

Myrna, your posts are such a wonderful testimony of your faith. How they encourage and bless. You have had much to deal with these past long months but your faith and love for the Lord just shine through. Thank you for being a shining light here in this community.
The butterfly release sounds just perfect. What a dear, sweet girl. I pray His peace and blessing for all of you Myrna.

 
At April 16, 2008 at 5:36 PM, Blogger ~Just A Thought Ginger said...

Tears in my eyes.

One of His own is now at His feet.

Thanks for sharing. I have been thinking of you often.

 
At April 16, 2008 at 7:53 PM, Blogger Cherdecor said...

I have been thinking of you! Thank you for this beautifully written tribute to Carolyn. I would loved to have seen the butterflies! What a special thing to do for her! I hope you can post some pictures! Blessings my friend.

 
At April 16, 2008 at 9:05 PM, Blogger Susie said...

Hi Myrna,
Carolyn's service sounds like a wonderful celebration of a life which ended far too soon.
The butterfly release must have been just a glorious sight.
Hope you're doing well. I think of you and keep you in my prayers.
xo

 
At April 17, 2008 at 3:37 PM, Blogger Midlife Mom said...

What a lovely, lovely girl! Oh to have the faith of children and the freedom to share it so easily. What a mark she made on this world in her short life. How glorious to know that she is in a new healthy body in heaven with our Father and with Lee! I hope this brings you comfort in this time of grief. Wonderful post!! xoxoxox

 
At April 17, 2008 at 9:29 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

What a heart-rending, sad, inspiring story - she sounds like a wonderful young lady, who I know is having a great time with her Jesus right now! Thank you.

 
At April 17, 2008 at 9:50 PM, Blogger ellen b. said...

Beautiful tribute to a beautiful young lady! Blessings on you and yours Myrna...

 
At April 19, 2008 at 6:27 PM, Blogger Needled Mom said...

What a beautiful read. I shall think of Carolyn when I see a butterfly and remember her compassion throughout her time of need.

 
At April 21, 2008 at 2:14 PM, Blogger Wanda said...

Myrna, I am so sorry about your recent loss...however, this Legacy is beautiful.

I will pray for the family, and for you. My thoughts are with you every day. Please call me anytime if you need to talk, as I am here for you. I Love You, Wanda

 
At April 22, 2008 at 11:47 AM, Blogger Penless Thoughts said...

Thanks for sharing this with us Myrna. I love the idea about the butterflys!!!
Susan

 

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