"Diane, what a joyous adventure you all are beginning!"
"ALL of your boys are lucky to have you!! Camden will be loved just as we love our own!"
"Camden will show you a deeper love than you ever expected!"
"Diane, get ready for how blessed your life will be!"
"Diane, clearly you were picked to mother these two special boys. Lucky you...lucky them."
"Children come into this world in different shapes and sizes. They are pure with hearts of gold. we love them for who they are and each in a different way."
"God challenges us to step out of our comfort zones. Camden is a wonderful addition to your family. Be prepared to learn so many lessons from this little man. We love you and will continue to support you in whatever way we can." - Jodie
These are just a handful of statements that I pulled from the messages that were sent to me from my co-workers after I told them Camden has Ds. I literally could not put them all on here because you would be reading forever. The outpouring of love and support was indescribable. There were so many words of comfort and offers to help. Even people I hardly speak to, only because I do not see you much, sent messages of love. I can't even thank you all enough for how much your words and help meant to me. I am truly touched. You all are not just people I work with, you are my family. Family is not just blood, it's a number of things. We bicker, argue, and drive each other nuts like family members do. We also laugh and cry together like family members do. I can count on you all for love and support when I need it. Our family has come together many times over the last several years, even before I came along. We have celebrated births and weddings together. We have also mourned together during tragic and difficult times. Today was one of those days when we all united and banded together to say goodbye to one of our own. I sat in the very last row of the sanctuary so I got to see each of you walk out before me. As you all started to go by, I started to cry again. I cried because I was reminded once again that we truly have something special here. I felt your hearts bursting with love and kindness. I also cried because I saw the look of pain and sorrow on your faces. As I watched the tears roll off of all of your cheeks, my heart ached. It ached because you all were hurting. We were all hurting. I have worked many places before I came to Cook, and I have never experienced anything close to what I have here. I'm so blessed to be a part of this amazing family. I know it's been said a lot lately, but I love you all.
There were still so many things I wanted to say to Jodie and I thought I had one more day...but I didn't. Jodie went through more in the last two years than anyone will every go through or deserves to. She lost her sweet daughter Lilly under unfortunate circumstances a couple of years ago. Around a year later she was diagnosed with cancer. "It's not fair" we all said. Why does one person have to bear so much? Why does one person have to go through so much pain? Why? One of the things I learned was that it's not my place to ask God why. Maybe it was to teach us something. After we heard the news of Lilly's death, we all held our children a little bit closer. We vowed to hug them more, tell them we love them more, and stop taking each day for granted. When we found out Jodie had cancer we vowed to stop griping and moaning about all the petty stuff in our lives, and again, to stop taking each day for granted. When I couldn't stop crying and feeling sorry for myself, I thought of Jodie. Here I have my son alive right next to me, and all I can do is be angry and sad because he has Ds. Jodie would have given anything for just one more moment with Lilly. It put my life in perspective. I realized that time really is precious. Jodie was a selfless and kind woman. When I asked to extend my maternity leave because I just needed more time, she gave it without hesitation. She sent me many messages to let me know that she was thinking of my family and constantly praying for us. Here is this woman who has lost a child and is dying from cancer, and she still wanted to comfort me. That tells you what kind of woman Jodie was. Toward the end, you could see she was so sick and in pain, but yet she never complained. Jodie never lost faith and still praised God. She never gave up. She fought until her last breath. She still believed a miracle could happen. I find comfort in knowing that Jodie is now at peace and is no longer in pain. She is cancer free up in heaven where she is reunited with her mama and sweet Lilly. She has been called home to our heavenly Father.
Jodie...we love you and will miss you dearly!