Brad and I would like to thank everyone who came to support us at the funeral and those of you who supported us virtually. It was a beautiful day here on Saturday and I like to think that baby Katelyn and her brother Evan were looking down on us. We received many beautiful flower arrangements too - thank you!! I'll post pictures of those. I'm posting my eulogy as well, for those of you who couldn't understand me thru my tears or weren't able to come.
Katelyn Marie Lehigh 1.5.13 - 2.22.13
Brad and I would like to thank everyone for being here today to celebrate the life of Katelyn, and for all your love, prayers, and support for us and our daughter. The kindness we’ve received from friends, family, and even strangers, has truly given us the strength to endure these last couple of months. There is nothing more heartbreaking than losing a child and I cannot put into words the grief that my husband and I are going through.
63 days ago Katelyn was born. 48 of those days were blessed with her presence. Katelyn was born on the 5th of January, after seven long and anxious months. She was a blessing for our entire family and when we finally learned we were expecting her, Brad and I were excited. Sean was also excited about being a big brother again and having someone to play with him.
Katelyn’s pregnancy was difficult. After we lost our second son Evan, we tried to keep Katelyn’s pregnancy quiet until it became too obvious. Some of you may know that we were told we had miscarried her at 6 weeks, then found out at 8 weeks that I was still pregnant. We made many trips to the hospital for dehydration, bleeding and premature contractions. I told one of my best friends that I wouldn’t be happy until she was born and safe in my arms.
Despite all these difficulties, I wouldn’t have changed anything. I would go through those 32 weeks again and again for my little girl. I hope that while she was living and growing in me that she felt safe, warm, and loved. She always responded to Sean’s voice, and her daddy’s too. Even then she was super strong and was always moving and loved to wiggle her toes right under my ribs.
Katelyn’s birth was stressful to say the least. She was supposed to be a planned c-section, but she had other plans. Katelyn Marie was born at 9:58am on January 5th. Right after delivery the doctors and nurses knew something was wrong and that she needed to go someplace else for treatment. She was ultimately diagnosed with Epidermolysis Bullosa. I never got to hold her, but the NICU team from Mott’s Children’s Hospital brought her up to the ICU before they left. She was beautiful.
Katelyn will always be my third child, just as Evan will always be my second. As of the 5th of January, I have three children, Sean, Evan and Katelyn. Sean will always know he is a big brother. Her birthday will be celebrated every year. We will honor her on the day she passed. I often speak to her at night and wonder if I will see her again…I hope that I do, and Sean and I say goodnight to her and Evan every night and we tell them we love them.
Despite the pain and heartache that we feel, we are lucky. Katelyn chose to come to us and she will always be a part of our family. I am privileged to be Katelyn’s mother. I am honored to have carried her, felt her move, delivered her and held her. She was born to us. For someone who never left the hospital, the number of lives that she has touched is amazing. Katelyn has taught me more in a short time than I have learned in the last 27 years. She has taught me more about life, love, friendship, and peace than you could ever imagine. Katelyn had a purpose. She introduced us to many wonderful people. She will always be my beautiful little girl.
It’s important for you to know that we do not want to “move on”, we want to “move forward”. We will always be the same people; we just have a profound new perspective on life. We will miss Katelyn forever and will always remember her in our hearts and remember that she is now at peace.
Simply put, we love her. We always did. We always will.