Friday, July 3, 2009

She's Gone

Michele Graddy lost her battle with cancer on Thursday, July 2. She passed a bit before midnight- missing her oldest son's tenth birthday by minutes.

Through what some would call a series of coincidences and what others would know to be the hand of God, I was at the hospital with another mom friend and some of the family at the time of her passing.

It put me in a unique situation. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to put into words everything that I experienced that night.

I was in bed by 2, slept restlessly until 6. Coffee with a friend, dance class, home for a nap. My nap was very brief as I was soon called by a local news channel wanting to do an interview with me and another mom to close the story they have been working on to spread the word of Michele's story.

I spent a lovely afternoon with Christy on a nice little artsy street in downtown Indy. We perused a few unique shops. I was glad to have her with me.

The news piece aired this evening. I hope that it touched people in this city and that the fund that we set up for the family will be overflowing with donations. Michele Graddy and Family. Huntington Bank.

I want and need no praise for anything I've done. I've opened my heart and my mind and I've prayed a lot and followed my instincts. I've done nothing compared to what others have done. We are each gifted in different ways, called in different ways. There are so many truly amazing people who have become connected through this tragedy.

Last night, I hugged and kissed my children. Stroked their hair as they slept. Thanked God for these sweet blessings. I held Jeff's hand as I fell asleep. Jeff has supported me completely this week- picking up the slack for the family, supporting me as my energy as waned. He understands what this family is facing; he empathizes with the dad, the kids. And he is doing what he is called to do- support me, embrace me.

I am so blessed. I have this moment. I have today. I have right now. I have my health, my husband, my children, my home, my job, my family, my friends, my online community. I have so much to be grateful for, to be appreciative of. My life is full of love, my life overflows with blessings.

May Michele rest in peace as she has returned home to our Heavenly Father. May her husband and children find the strength and comfort they need to take each step forward each day as it comes. And may those of us who rallied around our friend, who came together to hold up this family... may our commitment be true and be strong and be sincere and be longterm. The online community of moms that came together for the Graddy Family is made up of at least 35,000 moms. Not one of us, not 20 of us, not all 35,000 can replace the wife and mother that Michele was to her husband, to her children.

But we will do what we know best to do as moms. We will love.


The Courteous Chihuahua said...

I am so sorry to hear this. I was telling John about Michelle today, and that I hoped she and her family would receive a miracle.

Garret said...

Sigh. I hate sad news.

Strange Mamma said...

My heart aches for this family. My prayer is that her son will be able to find joy again in celebrating his birthday, that he will feel especially close to his mom as that time of year rolls around again and again, knowing that he was loved more than life itself. If you talk to him today, wish him a happy birthday. Remind him how much his mom loved celebrating his birth.

C. Beth said...

Thank you for honoring Michele with your posts, Liz. I'm so sorry for your loss and I pray her family and friends will be comforted.

I'm holding back from saying what I want to say regarding the previous comment. I hope you'll be able to delete it and forget about it.

Valerie said...

I love what you had to say about Michelle and her family, throughout this entire journey. I cannot imagine how my children and husband would feel if I were gone, and I really hope they never have too find out.
I haven't posted comments throughout this journey but she has been in my thoughts since you brought it up. You were a great friend, and I too hope that her son will one day be happy on his birthday.

Kristi said...

actually Mr. or Ms. Anonomyous you are right, it isn't about Liz, and you obviously don't get it. Liz didn't at any point, including in this post, make it about Liz. She has done so much for Michele and her family it is incredible. I wish we had more people like Liz who were so giving and generous and put others before themselves. The world would certainly be a nicer place!

So sad this story Liz. Thanks for sharing and helping us all get to know Michele a little better. She will certainly be missed.

Boozy Tooth said...

I am so sorry to hear the sad news about Michele's death. But even sadder is the anonymous comment. When we blog, there is a kind of unwritten expectation that we have a safe platform and right to speak our minds and form our deepest thoughts and feelings in a way that will not be subject to harsh criticism. That doesn't mean that everyone must believe and/or agree with our opinions - but at the very least, our platform should be respected. and if THAT is too difficult, then at least put a name behind your words. Leaving an unkind, scathing anonymous comment is cowardly. I have to go with Liz on this one.

Garret said...

Well, if we keep entertaining this, then it's not about Liz or about Michelle, it's about Anon. Screw him or her.

Randie said...

Liz I think I have come to know you over our years of talking. I don't need to justify anything for you, we both know how you are!

I just want to say thanks to you for doing for Michele what some of the rest of us could not. She was a beautiful person and will be sorrowfully missed.

I wanted to keep vigil with you all, but four kids is a lot to keep up with, Michele understands. So I kept my vigil at home, every hour on the hour and continue. Her family needs all the strength it can muster now to carry on in her absence.

Thank you for this piece on your blog.

Eternal Lizdom said...

Thanks Randie. I know you couldn't be here. So many of us couldn't. Heck- I couldn't be at the prayer vigil Weds evening. No one can do everything. But we all do what we can. We all have different gifts, different purposes. And we find we fit the need at the right time, each time. Thanks for your kind words. I really appreciate them. And you!

Eternal Lizdom said...

FYI- I've removed the negative comment since it was taking away from the purpose of the post.

If anyone has any issues with that or anything that has been posted, please e-mail me. gentlemomlc at gmail

Jason, as himself said...

Yet another. I'm sorry you lost your friend. It sounds like she was really worth knowing, and then some.