Yes, it will make you cry, but it is also so beautiful to read how much a family cherished their young daughter, and I am in awe of the strength and courage this mother possesses. After countless hospital stays, surgeries, and codes, Natasha passed away on December 17. This is the letter her mother wrote to family and friends:
"Dear Family and Friends;
This is an email we hoped we'd never have to send.
Natasha Marie passed away peacefully last night. As usual in her gentle but firm way she made the decision to go home. Her condition became too unstable to transport her to the operating room let alone perform a surgery that would have put her in a lot of pain with no chances for reversing the damages to her kidney and liver.
We were able to hold her in our arms for a long time and tell her how much we loved her, and how grateful we were for her love and the many ways she constantly demonstrated it to us in her laugh, and in her smile, her clapping her hands in joy when we entered her room, and patting her chest each time [her dad] entered the room to indicate she was his princess.
Now her job is to sit in Our Lord's lap and beg him to bring all her family into heaven - us and all of you who have been praying so faithfully for her. I'm sure she is joining all the preparations that must go on in heaven to celebrate Christ's birth. The name Natasha means Child of Christmas. She chose to go home the day the Church starts using the special antiphons eight days before Christmas, probably to help with the preparations.
She will a saint in heaven, skipping and dancing around free of all the encumbrances that limited her physically. While we had been constantly praying for a miracle for Natasha we always asked for one only if it was God's will. God gave Natasha an unusually tough yet most gentle, accepting, and loving temperament that enabled her to bounce back repeatedly with a ready smile after enduring a procedure that would have made most adults cringe. He also gave us many smaller miracles to ensure we had time to get to enjoy her beautiful presence and personality before He took her into His all loving presence. For this we remain eternally grateful. We also remain always in the debt of all of you who loved her and faithfully prayed for her. We could not have done this without you. Now, remember that all of you have a saint in heaven praying you get there so she can thank you in person."
I say a prayer tonight for this family and for all those who are suffering, either physically or emotionally, as Christmas draws closer.