We have had too many memorial services here recently. After losing Albert at the end of August, then Reese at the beginning of October…another loss at the end of last month was hard to bear. All of them CCU babies, all suffering from the same cruel disease. The CCU nannies have taken it hard, and we all share in their sadness.
Karen made the decision to do things a little differently for Esther’s memorial, to make it a time to remember Esther and honor her short life, but also to be thankful.
Karen said a few words, especially thanking the CCU nannies for their hard work and love for Esther. Then we all gathered around the tables in the playroom and…made pumpkins.
Esther passed away on what was the evening of Thanksgiving here in China. In fact, the staff and volunteers were celebrating together in the dining hall as Esther and her nanny went rushing out to the car to take her into hospital.
We all took strips of paper and wrote on them the things that we were thankful for, and stapled them together to make these pretty decorations. The CCU nannies made special ones with their pictures inside, and they worked together to make an extra-special one on behalf of Esther.
Then we strung all the pumpkins and hung them in the hallway of the Foster Home. Every time we walk in, we will look up and remember both Esther and all the blessings that we are thankful for.
We are thankful that we had the privilege of knowing Esther and caring for her, that we were able to hold her and look into her beautiful eyes.
We are thankful that she was given a chance, that she was fought for and not given up on.
We are thankful for her amazing nannies, that took such good care of her and loved her so much.
We are thankful for generous donors and sponsors and supporters around the world, for all those who all hoped with us for Esther's healing.
We are thankful that Esther is no longer in pain, and that she is an orphan no longer.