If you recall--on Monday I wrote a post about a little girl named Tatum and her battle with Alpers Disease.
Tatum passed away Friday night.
I read about it after I got home from frosting cookies for Gracie's party.
I cried for about two hours. I prayed for two hours. I talked it out with my best friend for two hours.
I honestly couldn't think of why this was hitting me so hard.
I wasn't terribly close to her, and I am not terribly close to her family. I had gotten to hold her a few times, and I saw her and talked to her every Sunday at church. She was such a sweet sweet spirit. She had such a sparkle about her. She was a beautiful soul and I only knew her for four or five months before I moved to California--I can only imagine how her family felt-who got to be with her every day for her amazing year of life.
Though I wasn't terribly close to the family or Tatum-- her mother, Heather, was always so very nice to me. Always able to answer any questions I had about being a mom. She always checked up on me to make sure I was okay, even though she was recovering from giving birth too. She is the sweetest lady, who even in times of struggle and sorrow, still cares for others.
You can feel the spirit is SO strong around this woman. She is the most in-tune to God woman I know. She has such an understanding of the gospel that I wish I had. I invite you to read her post on Tatum's passing. If you don't sit and marvel at this woman's strength, knowledge and testimony...
After awhile, I was able to see why this affected me the way it did/is. This entire journey that this family had gone through--I could completely empathize with: because of Gracie. Gracie and Tatum are SO close in age that I kept (and keep) imagining what and how I would feel if this were happening to Gracie, then I can see how Heather must be feeling and my heart breaks for this woman. That kind of pain I imagine I would be going through, she is actually going through. That amount of pain for anyone...is heart breaking. I wish I could just go hug her and hug her. This poor mother. No mother should have to say goodbye to her babies.
But, in between the moments of complete sorrow I feel for Heather, I am so happy for Tatum. She was in so much pain and her body was just so broken. Now, I know she is happy, healthy and running around with her brother Trevin. But more so, she is in the arms of our Heavenly Father. How amazing. I know she is looking down on her family right now and helping through this hard time of mortal anguish.
I am so incredibly happy that this family has the knowledge that though they said goodbye to Tatum tonight, it wasn't forever. I am so happy that they are firm believers in the Atonement of Jesus Christ and know his love for us and the promise that families can be together for ever. I am so grateful for that knowledge in my life, and I am so grateful that I know they have it in theirs. I know, because I am learning more and more from them through Tatum. Sweet Tatum.
I wish there were words. I wish there were something I could do for this amazing family who have shown me and my family nothing but kindness and love. This family, this woman, and this little girl who have taught me so much.
For now, I have simply this.
Rest in peace sweet, sweet Tatum.
Please, go give Heather some words of love, I am sure she would love to know that so many people's lives were touched by her daughters life.