July 26, 2014

Celebrating the Life of Finley Elizabeth


What a year it has been.

Yesterday our sweet angel, Finley Elizabeth, would have turned one.  She would have been taking her first steps, eating handfuls of yummy cake (pink, I’m sure) and tearing open birthday presents in front of her amazing family and friends.  But she couldn’t… so we celebrated for her.




We celebrated the life that she lived, the lives that she touched and the lives she will touch in the future.  She was a world changer from day 1, and still is one year later.

Last night we gathered at East End Market with her mom, my friend, Noelle for a celebration of her life.  Finley didn’t have a funeral when she passed,  and looking back, I don’t think she should have.  Funerals are sad.  Funerals represent grief.  Funerals are the end. 

Finley was different.  She was and still is a light to so many.  As Noelle’s brother put it, she represents what was and what is.  Finley represents the future.  So it was only fitting that her pink and gold celebration be filled with tears, laughs and everything in between; encompassing hope in so many.






The venue was beautiful down to the last detail and the program was one filled with remembrance and promise. 

A few months ago I was asked by Nomo to read the letter that I had written to Everett right after Finley died.  I was so honored to get to share my letter, but knew it was going to be rough.  That letter takes me back to those days and moments when we all were in such despair, not knowing what to do next and trying so hard to put one foot in front of the other.  But it paints a picture of the impact Finley had on so many.  I can honestly say I wake up every.single.day with a new outlook on what is important in life and say a thank you prayer for our healthy (crazy) baby boy.




Dear Everett,

I want to tell you a story about an angel named Finley. She was a beautiful baby girl who was born just a few months after you were. She was bigger than you when she was born (just about every baby we know was) and her mommy and daddy were in love with her from the start.

She had a light dusting of brown hair and the cutest little sausage toes anyone had ever seen. Her eyes were a clear crystal blue, just like her mommy's, but instead of being wide open and full of wonder, Finley's eyes were closed.

She was very sick when she was born and we were all so worried about her. She didn't sleep in a regular crib like you did, she had to sleep in a special bed with lots of wires, beeping noises and blinking lights.  Her mommy and daddy just wanted to grab her up, kiss her face and rock her to sleep but they couldn't, and it broke their hearts.

I got to meet her when she was one day old and I just melted when I saw her. She looked so peaceful and perfect. She reminded me so much of you and how you looked when you were teeny tiny.

You and dad were there that day, too. You wore a onesie made just for Finley and cheered her on as you explored the hospital downstairs with dad while I was falling in love with that precious baby girl upstairs. I knew she was special from the start, but I just didn't realize how special she would become.

Baby Finley stayed in the hospital for a few weeks longer after that visit and although she  was fighting her hardest, she didn't get any better. Her mommy and daddy did everything in their power to help her, but nothing seemed to work. She had an amazing doctor and precious nurses who loved her just as much as we did, but they couldn't help her either.

One day, after weeks of sadness, Finley took one last breath and said goodbye to all of us. She went to sleep in her daddy's arms, holding her mommy's hand and was finally at peace. There would be no more poking or prodding, only dancing among the clouds like the beautiful ballerina that she was.

I want you to know that Finley not only changed the whole world, she changed our world. She taught people how to love again. She taught me how to savor every minuscule moment and not to sweat the small stuff, because in the end it really is all small stuff, and she showed your daddy how lucky he is to have a baby boy as amazing as you.

In honor of Finley, we promise to never take any moment with you for granted and will love you with every part of our being each and every day.  Just like Finley's mommy and daddy loved her.

You are our heart.



Noelle also had an amazing video that played and introduced her new endeavor.  The Finley Project.  She has been working hours on end to launch this amazing non-profit organization that is designed to fill the need for grieving moms after infant loss.  I know The Finley Project will be like no other and I can’t wait to see the continued effect Finley will have on our community.



finley project

Click here for more info!


After dinner we all headed to Blue Jacket Park for a butterfly release.  The weather was perfect, actually cool and breezy (thank you, Finley!) and we were able to fellowship together once more.  The perfect ending to a perfect day for a perfect little lady.






Every time I see a rainbow I say hi to Finley.  That’s my sign that she’s ok.  Noelle and I talk about it all the time.  As we were headed to her celebration last night it was storming, and instead of being worried about it, I just smiled and texted Noelle that, “We’re going to see a rainbow tonight.  I just know it.” 

Well, as my mom and I were getting ready to leave the park I was walking up to say goodbye to Noelle and happened to look down at my phone to see a picture message from Mike that said, “There it is!”  A double rainbow shining down, letting us know that everything is exactly as it should be and that Finley is safe and sound watching over all of us.



“Lord make me a rainbow, I'll shine down on my mother
She'll know I'm safe with you when she stands under my colors”  -The Band Perry


Happy 1st Birthday, sweet girl.



1 comment:

  1. Precious angel! Beautiful mom blessed by so many wonderful family and friends. We love her from afar and pray for all!