Call Me Sapphire

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IMG_0676Each day, usually late in the afternoon, a call goes out, a harkening…”Let’s play family,” Allistaire implores.  And often a personal invitation, no, more like demand, is carried by messengers to individuals, “Sten, Allistaire wants you to come play family…Jojo and Taryn, Allistaire wants you to play family.”  It’s sort of weird because we’re already family so how do you play family?  Down in the Rec Room we go.  “Make a fort Mommy.”  And so I use the armoire and the hot pink tipi and we drapes sheets and Solveig recommends using hairbands to get the sheets to stay on the top of the tipi poles, it seems she’s done this before.  “No, turn the tipi around,” Allistaire says emphatically.  And we turn the tipi so that it’s entrance now is within the fort, so that it is a room within rooms and within it we put the pillows and the blankets and Allistaire is brought in and curls up tight in the little dark space, just a small pretend camping lamp inside to illuminate the curvatures of her sweet face.  She is always either the baby or the little sister.  This time it is just us girls and we are picking names for ourselves from the realm of jewels.  Solveig proclaims in loud voice over and over that she is Peridot.  Lucy considers the name Ruby.  Jo is Emerald and Taryn, Opal.  I choose Labrardorite, an ugly name but my favorite stone.  I’d heard that Allistaire had chosen Sapphire for herself, so I leaned my head into the door of the tipi to confirm.  “So you’re Sapphire?”  “Well,”and she considers for a long while, “I’m Sapphire Rainbow Sparkle Jewel.”  So as our play proceeds I keep calling her Sapphire Rainbow Sparkle Jewel.

“Mom, just call me Sapphire,” she says to me as though it was so obvious, I should have known.  And my heart smiles at her love of color and her delight in the fanciful, and my smile droops and the edges of my eyes tilt down, everything bathed in thin warm sadness.

“Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them! (Psalm 139:15-17)

Outside are the exotic sounds of Sandhill cranes passing over in the cool gray of this Saturday morning.  In days of old, days far to rare, Saturdays in which we four were all living in this same house, we would sit at the kitchen island enjoying chocolate chip and apple pancakes.  How few have been those mornings and this morning?  This seems most likely Allistaire’s last Saturday morning, a reality the mind can sort of grasp, but the heart gasps and gags, and everywhere wide eyes and the question, how can this be?

It’s funny how a few days of the same thing can lull you into thinking, ah, we have this routine, this is the way things will go.  For Monday and Tuesday looked largely the same, with Allistaire sleeping in late until 10:30 or 11 and then we bring her up from her room to sit on the old green couch, the $1,000 Ikea couch now eighteen years old, faded green velvet that has been the backdrop for so much of my life.  Sten patiently works with Allistaire to get in all of her morning meds, with she often moving in what seems impossibly slow motion, her hand holding the pills just millimeters from her tongue for what feels like minutes.  And then I would scrounge around through the few clothes we brought and the bins and bins of Solveig’s old clothes in storage, to find a shirt that will fit over her grand distended belly.  And sometimes the exertion of all this resulted in her falling quickly back to sleep for a few hours there on the couch.  Eventually the cousins and the sister-in-laws would be beckoned to return.  Allistaire would perk up in their presence and remain awake and engaged the rest of the day, though in a far more subdued and constrained way than her old self.

Wednesday began like the previous days so we had planned to meet up at the Museum of the Rockies around noon, knowing the absolute exploding zeal my nephew, Eli, would have over the dinosaurs.  We brought the stroller and tucked Allistaire in under blankets.  The planetarium show was about to begin and so we funneled toward the door where I was stopped and told, “No Strollers.”  My mind and words fumbled and all I could get out was, “She’s on hospice.”  We were allowed to proceed and were met with some sad Adele song before the program began.  There in that alien like green like of the glowing domed ceiling, I cried and cried as Allistaire slept silently and Solveig held her hand.  These outings, these things meant for fun and education, possible now only because she’s dying.  I never wanted to bring her home to die.  Dr. Cooper always warned of “going down in flames in the ICU.”  That always held a certain appeal.  I had no problem with that idea.  Let’s bring this to an end hard and fast, fighting to the last moment, pushing for life and rallying every force to uphold life until in one swift strike it might all be done.  But this?  This simultaneous rapid yet so slow deterioration of the girl that burst with life, this fading and blurring, this slow strangling?

The hospice nurse, Joyce, came up Thursday mid-morning to draw labs.  When she was done I changed both caps and flushed both lines.  No, I don’t need any flushes or alcohol wipes, I am amply supplied with more than you can imagine as Seattle Children’s home care has always been over eager in their provision of line-care supplies.  Allistaire’s all set for the day and in early afternoon I head down to what used to be Walgreens Infusion Center but is now Option Care, to pick up hydration supplies and be trained on their infusion pump.  Angie (Dr. Ostrowski) calls me in the middle of our training time to give me lab results.  Almost amusingly her kidneys and liver look great, even her hematocrit has oddly risen from 30 to 35 since Monday.  Her potassium, phosphorus and uric acid are actually quite low which is strange given that these electrolytes usually rise with tumor lysis (cell death) which is clearly happening given her LDH which has jumped up to 1,700 (normal high is 200).

What smacks me in the face are blasts.  Thirteen percent of her peripheral blood are leukemic blasts, making the ABC (Absolute Blast Count) 700.  This is the first time I’ve seen blasts in her blood since November of 2014 and the onslaught is not subtle, they are coming hard and fast.  And I cannot tell you how savagely I detest blasts.  They are the dark hordes of an army on the horizon, advancing and destruction goes with them.  When I finally got home I was shaking from hunger and I did not want comfort.  My instinct was to take that pyrex bowl of pulled pork and hurl it with all might might, eager to see it smash and shatter with terrible violence.  We’ve been in this place before, nay, we’ve been in worse spots, but never, never have I had to simply stand back and allow this beast to take her.  Everything about this cuts hard agains the grain, my hands flex in fists and my jaw is set hard.  I want to bellow some primal scream, a wail, a fury.  Look!  Look!  The girl’s body fights on.  The kidneys, they hold.  The liver it holds.  The heart beats on.  The lungs fill, pulling in air and the blood sends the oxygen hurtling throughout all the furthest reaches of her flesh.  Her flesh fights on!  Are we to simply stand by?  Are we to be accessories to crime?

And my pleading question repeats, “Is there really nothing?  Nothing left for her?”  Have you queried all your contacts?  Have you circled the earth? Have you scoured and sought?

Nothing.  There is nothing left for her.

And I know, I know.  Ten million dollars.  Four and a half years.  Twenty-two long hard rounds of chemo.  One genetically modified T-cell therapy.  Two bone marrow transplants.  Three separate attempts at focal radiation.  There very best minds, tenacious wills and kind compassionate hearts.  And it’s not enough.  Still the cells march on and this time, this time there is nothing to stop them.

When I consider all that her little body has had to endure, what has been asked of it…numerous infections of RSV, C-Diff, Streptococcus viridans and typhlitus, on top of all the vast array of toxins gathered from the likes of the May Apple plant (Etoposide), the purple sea sponge (Cytarabine), soil bacteria, laboratory concoctions – sophisticated molecules with microscopic weaponry capable of disrupting mitotic spindles, slicing DNA and robbing the cell of its nutrients…I am in awe.  Her heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, immune system – they’ve all been called upon over and over to respond to the most aggressive of assaults.  They’ve rallied.  Her body has fought so hard for so long.  And it presses on, not knowing that this time there will be no special forces bring aid, there are no barricades.  There are now no means of escape.

I have heard Allistaire repeatedly described as incredibly strong and brave.  She is strong.  She was knit together with a fierce fortitude.  But she has never tried to be brave.  She has never attempted to rally her courage.  Rather she has yelled at times repeatedly, “I’m terrified, I’m terrified, I’m terrified!”  Fearful things have come and she has called them what they are and she has walked into the fray and over and over shown herself to be resilient.  Perhaps this is not an entirely fair description.  She has in fact learned to calm herself, to close her eyes and breath slow, to repeat to herself, “You got this.  You got this.”  And yet, it seems that she just just is brave and perhaps this is because she knows no other way.  When she was a mere 21 months old, she was called upon to endure, to press forward, to persist through pain, to do the hard thing over and over and over.  While she has experienced so much brokenness,  I longed to see what all this fortitude and perseverance would yield in her adulthood. What sort of woman would she become?

The world will never know Allistaire Kieron Anderson as a name on a resume or on a wedding invitation.  Her life has been cut ever so short.  But are these the right words?  Does this phrase really aptly describe?  What is true is that we all desperately wanted more.  My heart keeps whispering with sad insistence, it wasn’t enough.  I did not get enough of that girl.  There are not enough pictures of two sisters together.  My eyes will never get enough of taking in the sapphire sparkle of her eyes, the glee of her voice, the tenderness of her words, the curve of her chin and perfect dimples.  Is there anything more wondrous as a parent than getting to bear witness to the miraculous unfurling of a child’s body and spirit?  Do we not all stand in awe that are children’s legs, those legs which once curled up tight in our bodies, look, they are now so absurdly long.  How has this come to be?  How has cell added to cell to cell to cell to at last make this leg that can no longer fit on our laps but spills out all haphazardly and is quick to flit away?  How is this child recounting to me that the hammer head shark has two sets of eyelids?

But the question that keeps slipping in is this, What is the measure of a life?  By what standard do we proclaim with satisfaction, that a person lived a good life?  Whether we ever say it out loud or think to intentionally articulate it or not, we have engrained in our 21st Century American hearts and minds that we are due 80 good years.  Years that are marked by a happy childhood, great education, independence and self-sufficiency, a meaningful career and opportunities to explore the earth and delight in activities and accomplishments, to have a full family and at long last, to retire and spend our latter years in good health and leisure, and to eventually die surrounded by those we love and who have loved us and without pain or struggle.  That all sounds entirely wonderful and who could not or would not desire such a life?  We were created to long for life and life abundant with our whole beings, every fiber and cell intent on such vibrant life.  And in our time in history and in our western world we have been able to achieve what most of humanity throughout time and place have never known and thus our expectation is solidified and our shock and angst at not getting what we want, what we expect, intensifies and we yell out – it’s all wrong!  Six year old little girls should not die!

And the God of the Universe pounds His mighty fist in agreement and calls death the ultimate evil and promises a life to come wherein there will be no more death and there will be no more sickness or crying or pain.  Every tear will be wiped away!  Can you imagine?  And we turn to Him and rage and rage, “Then why don’t you stop this?!  Why withhold your arm that is supposedly so mighty to save?  Where is your salvation now?  Why do your turn your face away from this child?  Do you not hear the agonizing cries of those that have loved her and cherished her?  How could you possibly love this little girl if you are willing to strip away her life?  How can you call Yourself good?  And our hearts seethe and the acid of fury fills our veins and we declare with all our finite might – if you are any god ant all then you are no god I want, and we throw up our hands and storm away.

And like a parent with a child, our Father calls to us, He beseeches that we return to Him, that we take His hand and walk with Him.  That we trust.  That we cast our gaze out upon that incomprehensible sweep of space, of billions and billions of galaxies, of stars more numerous than the grains of sand on the seashore, that we consider the grass and flower that spring up for a day and then wither, that we observe the birds clothed in brilliant luminescent blue, that we watch the storm cloud racing across the valley and rising up the canyon with great flurries of snow, that we consider the glacier capable of gouging out the sides of mountains yet made of mere individual snow flakes too light to be weighed on a scale.  And He implores that we look within, into our own hearts, to the marrow of our lives, what dwells there?  Is there not a longing for eternity?  Is there not a deep grief for our brokenness, for our sin?  The God of the Universe, the Ancient of Days, the first and the last, He is not deaf to our fury, our desperate sadness.  He asks us to consider that perhaps like a child who cannot understand their parent’s reasoning, we sink deep into His love for us and rest, trust, to know that there are reasons beyond our understanding and that one day this pervading sorrow that fills the entirety of our view, will somehow be a distant memory, a minor pain as it sits alongside all the wonders of His fulfilled promises.

And it sounds audacious and we gawk at the thought that we should believe that.  And I do.  I do rest in the words of my Father because they have been far more than words.  Words that once were mere black symbols on the page, mere groupings of sounds, I have tasted of the Lord.  I have seen Him with my eyes.  I have heard His voice.  I have seen His hand in my life over and over and over.  And I will keep lifting my eyes to Him and I will keep lifting my hands to Him and I will keep lifting my voice to Him and I will keep laying down my life before Him and I will call Him Holy!  And one day I will see fully what is the measure of a life.  I will get to see the magnitude and the grandeur and bounty of what God can bring about in the small span of six years.

So my mind and eyes are set there and set here on this little girl who is slipping away from us.  Yesterday we went into the Cancer Center here in Bozeman (which is part of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance by the way which means all you Bozemanites – guess what?  Your cancer care is directly tied to the research at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research), so that she could get platelets.  Labs were drawn again and only one day later her blasts had risen to 21% in her blood with a total of 1,700 blasts.  When we finally arrived home she slept and slept.  In early evening the cousins arrived and dinner was nearly ready but I felt no desire for food, so I slipped out of the house to the quiet of the driveway where I could walk around the bend out of sight and just sit on the gravely surface, watch the grasses bend in the breeze, the birds flitting and twittering in the air and the hazy Spanish peaks in the distance.  I fiddled with rocks stuck in the road and remembered back to how Allistaire loved to pick out the tiny bits of colored recycled glass stuck amongst the stones.  I would find dozens of little jagged pieces of amber and green and white glass, and occasionally the treasured bit of aqua.  Then I heard my name, my mother calling, and I kept saying, “What?” and she wouldn’t answer and finally, “Allistaire’s having a hard time breathing.  Sten is looking for you.”

She was asking for oxygen and Sten said she was struggling to put together her words.  My eyes downcast, I flew to the phone to call Angie.  We had already planned to arrange oxygen to be brought up to the house; Allistaire’s oxygen saturation was down to 83%

I have no time to finish this post.  Allistaire is having seizures or strokes.  Her right side is limp and she can no longer talk.  She still hears us and understands – we have her raise her right hand for yes when we ask her questions.  Lord Come Quickly!

101 responses »

  1. Lord, we call upon you to lift sweet Allistaire and bring her to into your loving arms. Her parents, her sister, her family, your faithful children need you. Please meet them with comfort and salve for their broken hearts. Allistaire will rejoice in Your arms, and for that we are thankful. Come swiftly and lovingly.

  2. NO comment….just a puddle of tears and PRAYERS…..CARES… & ((((HUGS)))) from GOD & me.💞…w/HIS LO❤️E & mine, Vanita (Scott Vinson’s mom)

  3. Dear Lord, please allow for a peaceful departure of beautiful Allistaire from our world into your eternal Heaven. Please help her grieving family feel your comfort and love in this most unimaginable time. Love, light, and constant prayer to the Anderson family.

  4. Prayers and tears are being added to those of many as we have just read this.. So grateful you know the truth of HIS presence with and within you as HE carries you.. ‘It was then I carried you.’ (one set of footprints). Thank you for being so transparently honest with us out here whom you don’t really know personally… You are treasured by many dear sister and family… Warmly, Sheila Dean for John also… Bremerton, WA ‘BSFers!’

  5. O Jesus, our most gracious Savior, let the Andersons and all who love her and have prayed for her see only Your goodness in Allistaire…and in You; and to make some sense of this struggle. Only for so short a while have You loaned her to each of them.
    May you marvel once more Allistaire’s presence, the sound of her voice, the Joy of her companionship, the beauty of her love. There will never be another precious Sapphire quite like her.
    In your moment, and according to your time, O Lord, Receive Allistaire into the number of your elect so she may Praise You, Enjoy You, and have her glory in You.

  6. Prayers for His abundant strength, peace and comfort during this maddening, confusing and desperate time. Lord, please hold this family tight!

    With love,
    A college friend of Esther Lee

  7. My 6 year old daughter just recently heard the words “it’s back” after a long treatment and short recovery for rhabdomyosarcoma. I was sitting in the waiting room on Monday while she was in a risky and complicated surgery and I was reading your posts. Our mama’s hearts are woven together with tremendous pain but everlasting hope. I will pray for your girl as I pray for mine! ♡

  8. Praying for your family, grieving, yet with hope. Longing for God Himself to restore all things, to wipe away every tear and make all things new.
    Trinity Church is praying for you.

  9. I’ve been following your story of Allistaire since I met your mom at Children’s in October. (Purple Hippo). You are a beautiful writer, tears stream down my face & words evade me. I have two daughters and our daily quibbles are nipped quickly as I call upon Allistaire’s every breath. Prayers for you all are nightly.

    With love and a heavy heart,

    Dawn

  10. Dropping to my knees–literally–to lift you up from Oklahoma. Begging God for peace and mercy for your whole precious family.

  11. Dear Lord, hear a mother’s cry….”come quickly”. May Allistaire’s transition be swift, without suffering and only comfort and peace surround her. I am praying.

  12. Jai…I can’t stop thinking about you guys and precious, precious Allistaire today…
    Sweet Jesus, let them sense your tangible presence. I’m with you in spirit from afar.

  13. My Four year old Grandaughter wanted to know who she is so, I told her the story. I told her that she is going to see Jesus and, I also told her that she will see my Grandaughters little sisters. We lost them a month ago at 21 weeks gestation to Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome . She seems very happy that Eleanor and Isla will have so many friends in Heaven. I just wish it could be many many years from now. Those of us who are left behind need them here. Many many prayers going out to you!

  14. Oh beautiful Lord almighty, show this beautiful family peace Lord!!! Lord be with Allastaire let their be no more pain!!! Lord be with Mama and her daddy and her sister Lord. Oh mama of Allastaire I am admired by your bravery. I understand the loss of a child. We lost our Tristen 4 years ago he would be 5 now. There is joy in the mourning sweet mama!!! It’s a crushing pain, it’s Exhausting. Sweet mama you are a fighter your whole family are fighters. Jesus loves your family so deeply. Don’t give up Help is on your way. You are not alone. The mighty angels of the Lord will come and they will protect your precious Daughter!!!

    Oh sweet mama!!! Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your heartbreak thank you for lifting the Lord up and giving him
    Glory while you guys are suffering, no human being should ever have to go up against this beast let alone a sweet 6 year old. Oh sweet mama Know that you have a army of people strangers lifting you all up. You all are loved, you all are worth loving. The pain is deep mama, but Jesus is right there with you holding your hands and weeping and wailing over Allastaire as well. He is your comfort your resting ground.

    Mama of Allastaire I don’t know you but I am here for you. One mama to another mama… Way to fight!!!! I love you. Know that I am here whenever you need anyone. You are strong!!! You are seen!!! You are worth it!!! Allastaire oh beautiful girl you are seen, you are loved by so many. Thank you precious angel for showing us that we truly need to walk in his Presence daily. Your family is amazing!!!

  15. Jesus, hold this family in your arms. Be near them. Please answer this sweet mother’s cry. Do something miraculous or move quickly. Father comfort them and let them feel you near.

  16. I do not know you but my mama’s heart is breaking with you as I sit here holding my sleeping three year old son and reading your words. I wish so bad that you did not have to endure this pain. Without Heaven to look forward to it would be utterly impossible. I am praying for you in California.

  17. Oh Heavenly Father, please make your great Mercy, Grace, Comfort, Love and Presence thick in the lives of this grieving family in this time of deep sorrow. I love you and I am praying for you from Seoul.

  18. We’ve been thinking of and praying for you every step of this journey. My heart breaks for all of you. It breaks for sweet Allistaire. I have no words, just prayers for peace to come for all of you.

  19. She may never have her name on a wedding invitation or a resume, but her name is written on the hearts of so many. She will be forever etched on mine. I continue to bear witness to sweet and precious Sapphire Rainbow Sparkle Jewel until she walks this earth no more. Death is wrong, it was not part of the creation that God called good. May God give you faith to trust as you hand your Allistaire into His safe keeping.

  20. We are praying for you all and although we only met recently- what a joy it has been. I was wailing as I read these past posts – you are such a good Mama.

  21. Thank you for sharing your journey, your family has blessed me and showed me what in means to walk with the Lord. I am praying for you and yours that the peace only He can provide will comfort you in these coming days.

  22. I do not know you or your precious beautiful girl but my heart aches for you on this journey! I am a Christian also and I saw a post in a group I belong to called the Mundane Faithfulness Community which was started after the passing of Kara Tippetts (a faithful beautiful young pastor’s wife and mama to 4 children). Kara had cancer. I pray that if it be the Lord’s will that your Allistaire be healed with Him in Heaven, that He will hold you all close and bring you comfort, peace and strength for the days and months ahead until you all are called to join your sweet girl. Until then, I have a feeling Kara (and perhaps others you love that have passed on?) will be there to hold her and listen to her laughter as she plays. There is nothing quite like a child’s laughter! I’m so sorry your sweet girl has had to deal with this awful disease!! I pray we find a cure!

  23. From one hospice mama to another, I hear your pain as you articulate your thoughts so clearly & I stand with you in faith. I hear God telling my heart, “I’ve got this. I’ve got you,” and I pray you feel His closeness as well. Lifting up Allistair and your family tonight.

  24. Dear Lord, surround the Anderson family, each and every one with peace that passes all understanding, comfort, and grace. Please wrap your loving arms around them and guide Every single moment. Please be ever so near. Show all of us who care so deeply for Allistaire and her family how to walk alongside and support them faithfully. Please keep Allistaire free of pain and fear, and help her to understand how much she is loved. Please hold Precious Solveig close to you Lord, this is difficult for adult hearts to understand and process let alone a tender young heart. Be with Sten and Jai. Give them your strength and bind their hearts one to another. We cry out to you to be faithful to this family in this time of sorrow. Amen.

  25. May the angels come swiftly and gently to take her home.

    I am so very sorry. I wish I had the words. Tears.

  26. The world, many people in the world, will never ever forget Allistaire, her brave sprit, because of you! Thank you for sharing your life and your pain… You may never know how much you and Allistaire influenced us… We keep you in our prayers and cry with you… Please know that your daughter is so loved by many, as well as you and your all family, your pain changed many hearts! I am praying for you! I am still praying for a miracle! If this doesn’t happen now, I know you will have abundant joy in Heaven! I cry with you now, but I cannot wait to see your joy when we meet Jesus face to face!

  27. Prayers to our great physician.Much love and prayers in this night.One of my favorite verses which I have relied on in the hospital with my own illness. “Fear thoughh not, for I am whith thee, be not dismayed for I am thy God , I will strengthen thee , yea I will help thee, yea I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness Isaiah 41:10-13

  28. Tears run down my face as I read your words. I feel for you and pray God to give you comfort in this time of pain.. My heart goes out to all of you.

  29. I am praying for your sweet family….for God to comfort, strengthen and uphold you. Thank you for sharing with the world your struggle and allowing us to pray for you. You are never far from
    my mind & prayers💗
    -A fellow TMC grad

  30. “And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne,
    as the appearance of a SAPPHIRE stone:
    and on the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a Man above on it.”
    (Ezek 1:26)

    Commentary:
    “as the appearance of a SAPPHIRE stone; which is a stone very clear and transparent; very hard, solid, and durable; very precious and excellent; and of an azure sky colour; denoting the clear manifestation of Christ’s righteous judgments, in the ministration of his kingly office; the duration of his government; the excellency of it; and its heavenly nature and original”

    The Throne in Heaven
    “Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a RAINBOW around the throne, like an emerald in appearance.”
    (Rev 4:2-3)

    Sapphire Rainbow Sparkle Jewel…PERFECTION!

  31. Lord please take this wonderful little girl home into your arms so her family has comfort in knowing she is no longer in pain and that they will see her again! Jess Uithoven (friend of Jo)

  32. So many tears, heartbroken! Jesus hold them tightly and cover them with love and peace only you can provide. Love you up all.

  33. Your story is very powerful and leaves an ache in my heart and tears on my face. I pray for your little one, to be relieved of this illness, through a cure which this mothers heart prays for, or for an end to suffering as she lives out her final days. And writing that last part is hard, bc although I don’t know your daughter, it seems wrong somehow to pray that prayer, for a peaceful end of days if healing is not to be. A part of my mind whispers that her end of days on earth means that she is with our Father, which really is the ultimate healing, but then I feel as though I have no right to say this; she is not my child, it is not my grief. I feel pain for this journey you must face; my words are backed with a grief that is shared by mothers and fathers upon hearing of a child’s illness.
    Please know that many are praying for your family, and that many are sending you love and hope and strength.

  34. My son Troy went to pre-school with Allistaire at Petra Academy in Bozeman. I have followed your blog and continue to pray for God’s loving hand on Allistaire and her family. Today in church I learned and felt led to share, that we live in the reality of a sinful world. Sin can bombard us at every angle and it does not seem fair or we may not understand why things happen. Rest assure..God WILL restore Allistaire and He is waiting for her in Heaven. She WILL jump and sing and play forever with Him. Find comfort in knowing that though she fights against sin in this reality…she will not have to suffer in the reality of Heaven. Sending you all my love and prayers from one Mother to another Mother.

    Kelli Cross-Boster

  35. “See, I have inscribed you on the
    palms of My hands.” Isaiah 49:16
    Asking the Lord to put His loving arms
    around you, Jai, and your family.

  36. Dear God, You’re good to give this family time with Allistaire. Praise you Jesus for your perfect timing in all things. I ask that You, Lord, coordinate these final moments of Allistaire’s life and her loved ones’ time with her in perfect accordance with your will. Make yourself known there in their home. Lord I ask that if it pleases you to free this little girl from her earthly tent and clothe her mortal body with immortality, to go from flesh and blood to spirit only, please God, take her from this earthly life soon. Please conquer this earthly battle with eternal victory! May precious Allistaire see you face-to-face this day if it pleases you dear Lord! In Jesus’ all powerful spirit saving name, amen!

  37. Much love to you all, Heavenly Father, Lord God give special strength to this dear Mom and may she continue to stand beside her beautiful little girl as You take her home to be with You and may she have strength to Be Family with her family thru all the coming days. You are Good, All the Time. Jai, your sermons have been so beautiful. God’s got this!

  38. Just catching up on your beautiful words, words that have got to be hard to write yet somehow are necessary to convey many emotions. Praying for Jesus to hold you, all family, all friends and especially Allistaire as He takes her home where she will be safe and secure and will wait for all of you to eventually come and play family again. My heart aches for all you must be experiencing at this moment … you and everyone close to her right now.

  39. I’m sorry to keep coming back here to write more, but there is no way to let you know that we continue to bear witness to Allistaire’s life and your pain as you watch her go other than to keep writing messages, completely inadequate as they are. We cannot stand around you in person (not that you’d want a bunch of strangers there!), but we’re here. I was reading some old posts and I found this:

    “I reached behind the seat, in the dark car and rubbed Allistaire’s leg. “Are you okay Sweets? Are you in pain? What are you thinking?” Her sweet little voice and tender eyes respond, “I will still love you when I die.” I look over at Sten and see the glassy sheen of tears filling his eyes.”

  40. I have not met you, but first heard of Allistaire from students at Heritage Christian School. I am praying for your family as are my students. I was just listening to the song Rest My Child by This Hope and thought of your family! It’s an encouragement to listen to if you ever have a moment!

  41. Oh sweet girl. Soon the Lord will give you a new name–one even more precious and beautiful than Sapphire Rainbow Sparkle Jewel (though that’s hard to imagine :O)

    Soon a new body, soon an eternal family among the saints.

    Praying for you all–for joy in heartbreak, for time to slow down, for love and the peace only God can grant.

  42. Come Lord Jesus, Come. I have not been able to put words together. This is not the way it was meant to be. Remember Jesus’ tears over this. He knows. He knows.

  43. You asked for words about Allistare, and I wish to honor that request. I have never been introduced to her, but once in 2014 my daughter and I went to Goodwill and you and Allistare were there. I immediately recognized your faces from following your blog. You were talking with a friend so I did not introduce myself, but as children often do, our two beautiful daughters without ever having met started to play together not caring that they were total strangers to each other. Then we each summoned them in different directions. So that is my only face to face encounter with Allistaire.
    But from your writings and pictures and the time spent praying for her, she has become dear to me. Her dimples and wavy blonde locks are adorable. But her personality is striking. What I know of her reminds me of my daughter Mercy. Her love for color, make-believe, family, her creativity, the way she strikes a silly and adorable pose for a picture and how she delights in life and beautiful things. All this makes me smile and love her more.
    I think of her everyday and am praying often. The name Allistare will always be beautiful and full of meaning to me.
    With much love,
    Lindsay

  44. Holding you all in prayer for strength and peace as you surrender Allistaire to eternity and into the love of our Father and Lord. May the comforting presence and consolation of the Holy Spirit be with you.

  45. Thank you for this. Blessings to your family and little Angel! I had a daughter die at 7 years old from a rare neurological disease. It’s very hard to see them suffer- life just isn’t fair!😇

  46. Praying for your sweet family through many tears. Thank you for allowing so many people to walk this journey with you, for being open to share your heart and continually pointing people to Jesus Christ through all of it. I wish you didn’t have to go through this and my heart is aching for all of you. I will continue to pray that the Lord will bring you comfort and a peace that surpasses all understanding.

  47. My heart is softened and raw as I absorb every word you have written. You remind us all to seek the Love behind all loves. May all of our prayers surround you and continue to cradle your gentle soul and your family. May you all be surrounded by Eternal Love and feel God’s embraced as He lifts your sweet angel from this imperfect earthly realm.

  48. I am one who has been following your blog for some time now, as a dear friend shared with me about your sweet Allistaire. I have prayed often for her. For your whole family. As a mother myself, I feel a searing pain within my heart to hear you speak of the joy, the laughter, the in-your-face punch of harshness that is wrought by such bodily illness. And I have admired you from afar as you have been striving to create some kind of “normalcy” in the midst of what is such a storm. How you remain steadfast in faith that God remains. He provides. He knows. He heals. Maybe not always giving healing while we still occupy our earthly bodies, but he does give complete healing as he takes us to be with Him in our eternal home. Oh, Jai, Allistaire has become the sparkly-eyed recipient of so much love and so many prayers! Even from those who, like me, have never had the blessing of meeting her. Not yet. I am confident though, that when I reach Heaven one day, I will see a girl who loves bright colors and rainbows, and recognize her immediately as Allistaire! She has touched the lives of so many BECAUSE YOU ALLOWED US TO WALK WITH YOU THROUGH THIS JOURNEY. “THANK YOU”. Thank you so very much for allowing your joy and your pain to be laid bare and letting us see your faith, raw at times, carrying you along. Allistaire is so blessed to have you as her parents and sister. Incredibly blessed! I am continuing to pray for each of you, knowing that this is such a difficult time. May you find comfort in what you already know to be true; that Allistaire will soon be in Jesus’ presence. Truly and completely healed! Fully alive, more than she’s ever been. I pray for your peace, for your heart to find rest, and your soul to be restored. ♥

  49. Jai, I will always remember Allistaire and her little laugh, her 10000 watt smile that could light a room. I remember her playing hide and seek around the hospital on her walks with her stuffed puppy close. She is a beautiful girl and I’m so glad I got to share a little time with you both. I’ve pored through your blog entries and I thank God for the sweet time that you got to spend together as a family since you went home. I pray that time and memory never fades. May you breath deep her smell and feel her warmth and smile and never ever let go. I am so thankful that I got to be her silly PACU/PICU nurse.

  50. We’re still here praying for Allistaire, Sten, Jai, and Solveig. May our God who understands our sufferings, give you comfort. He has given it to others who have gone before; may it be given to you now and for all the days ahead.

  51. With heavy hearts we pray for sweet Allistaire to be in her heavenly eternal home free of pain. Praying for your comfort and mending your breaking hearts.

  52. I don’t know your family but learned about Alistair thru Hillary W. My heart aches for your pain, sadness, and the emptiness you must feel. I know this won’t make any sense but I am certain that you will see many butterflies and they will have a special meaning. A symbol that Alistair is free and is watching over all of you. <3. I wish you all love, healing, and peace.

  53. Dear family of your sweet little girl. Your post spoke deeply to my heart. Your little girl will be waiting for you free from pain and sorrow. I know in part your pain as one of our grandson’s was born with MLL leukemia. It was so hard to see a baby and toddler go through all that. They lived in Salem and so he was at Doernbecker in Portland. We were blessed in that he had a successful bone marrow transplant at 14 months and now lives happily in Norway. I noticed your names sound Scandinavian. I will remember you all in my prayers.

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