The following poster was made by Carly's class.
Many flowers were sent, several came from across the United States. They were all beautiful and they filled the viewing room and beyond. Ashleigh and her best friend spent hours upon hours putting together several picture boards and a video clip that was played during visitation. Carly's classroom made a poster and each child told the teacher what they wanted to say to Carly. The teacher typed up each saying and printed them off and placed them throughout the poster board. Under each saying, the child signed his or her name. The one that choked everyone up, was from Shanna, it said "Carly please come back from Heaven, I want to play with you again". 6 of Carly's classmates came to the visitation. One of course was her best friend, Shanna who went to preschool with Carly from the age of 3 1/2 . They were best buds. Kept in the same classroom each year because of the bond they had. Poor Shanna, she was in such denial. She had no understanding of what was taking place. Shanna was convinced that Carly was coming back from Heaven to play with her and that Carly was only going to be gone for a while and then she'd be back. Even though her mother talked to her during visitation and reminded Shanna that "Carly will not be coming back. Carly is in Heaven with your Papa". Shanna would NOT hear that. She just wouldn't. Other friends of Carly's that came were very much aware that Carly was never coming back. We hugged those kids tight and we cried with them. We thanked the kids for being Carly's friends. We told the kids that Carly loved her friends so very much and we were so glad that they loved her back. We told the parents that we felt they should be very proud of their children for being so kind and compassionate to our girl. It was very difficult to see all those kids. But, it made us feel good knowing those kids did love our girl. Many kids from the upper grades came too. I didn't know many of them, but their parents told Paul and I that their kids insisted on coming to tell Carly goodbye. What an impact our little girl made on everyone.
On a side note~Carly's Oncologist, Dr McAllister and Carly's Nurse Practitioner, (from the cancer center) Judy were both at the visitation on the 27th. Dr. McAllister was the on call doc for that week and couldn't be gone long enough for the service. They were both very upset. I guess it likely had something to do with them both seeing first hand, how Carly fought to survive her leukemia, chemo and 2 nearly fatal blood infections. They were both really shaken up.
These flower arrangements, Carly would have LOVED! Yes, you're seeing the smaller one correctly; it's a dog. And, it was sprayed with a tinge of tan colored paint (hard to see that in the pic). It looked very similar to Carly's 3 year old cockapoo. Who misses Carly as much as we all do :( . The one behind the dog is an ice cream cone done in Carly's favorite ice cream flavors; strawberry and vanilla. Both these were purchased by both of my sister in-laws.
April 28, 2010:
We arrived at the Funeral Home by 10am. The service was to start at 11. Our local Funeral Home is very old. I believe, at one time, years and years and years ago it was an actual house which was turned into a Funeral Home. Although, all of the years that I can remember, it's been a Funeral Home.
As people started arriving, our family had already been seated. We could see that the Funeral Home Director was scurrying around and pulling chairs out and placing them all over. In the hallway, the entry way on the ramp, which the caskets are rolled out to the waiting hearse. There were even people seated on the stairway that lead to the second story and standing out on the entry way steps. We were all very surprised at the amount of people who were in attendance for Carly's funeral. And pleased to know, that our precious girl did in fact touch many, many lives.
As we sat waiting for people to be seated. A steady stream of people came to pay their respects to our family and to view Carly. As we sat, we noticed the people coming in. One was Carly's infusion nurse, Susie from the Cancer Center at UofM. A few people beyond her were Carly's Cardiologist, Dr. Crowley, from UofM. and our family Doctor, Dr. LaBerge.
We spoke to each one of them before they were seated for the service. Dr. Crowley knelt down with tears in his eyes, telling us that "I wish I could have done more for Carly". We thanked him for the many years and wonderful care that he had given to her. Even though she hated his Donald Duck impression, for which he was famous for! Carly was his only patient that told him "NOOOO", when he'd come into the exam room quacking just like Donald Duck. A little background on Dr. Crowley, he has been a Pediatric Cardiologist with UofM for over 30 years. He is one of the kindest, caring most compassionate doc's that we ever encountered over the course of our 8 years with Carly.
11:00 the service begins:
**for those of you who don't realize it, you can click on the blue wording to link you to the readings and such**
Our Pastor spoke a few words and we prayed. Then we had the song "Go Rest High On That Mountain", by Vince Gill play by CD over the intercom. After another short message from Pastor, "Jesus Loves Me", sang by a children's choir was played by CD. (my mom always sang that song to Carly). We then had a reading which was done by my Aunt Linda, it was the Down Syndrome Creed. The next song that followed that reading, "Every Mothers Prayer", by Ciline Dion. Then came another reading, this one read by our Pastor. Heaven's Very Special Child. After that reading, our Pastor, unbeknown to us, announced that we was going to play his guitar and sing a song for Carly. I don't know the name of the song, keep forgetting to ask, but he changed the wording up a bit and put this in the chorus, "Carly's singing in the choir". Hopefully someone can recognize that short verse and let me know the name of the song. None of us has thought to ask the name of it...The service went on, Pastor read Ashleigh's letter to Carly and smiled through the entire letter, even though everyone else in attendance, was in tears. He continued on with the service, and did a wonderful job. He choked up a couple of times, surprisingly not during his singing. We also had the song In The Garden played by CD, to which many people sang along with us. As the service ended and all prayers were said, we had one final song played. Carly's most favorite song, "The Climb", by Miley Cyrus.
One of Carly's several "The Climb" performances. It was taken on Christmas Day. Wish I'd thought to switch on the movie mode on the camera.
As the funeral ended, both my brothers and 2 of my cousins husbands, carried out our baby girls coffin and loaded her into that god awful hearse. While arm in arm and side by side, Brad, me, Paul and Ashleigh followed behind.
I'll blog about the amazing balloon launch at the cemetery next week. Trust me, it was just that...AMAZING. Some people even say that it was eerie. I only wish that someone would have thought to pull out a phone and snap a picture. But honestly, everyone seemed to be just to mesmerized, to have thought of a picture.