Numb. This is the only word to describe what I have felt since Friday morning after waking to a post that no parent would wish on their worst enemy.
It all started Thursday night. The message came through in our online support group that one of my fellow warrior moms was in their local ER. Her daughter, only 4 days older than mine, had gone from flu like symptoms over the past few days into acute multi organ failure. She had just been intubated and placed on a ventilator, and was being flown to the children’s hospital an hour away. Children are very resilient, I remember thinking while pulling memories from my 20 years in healthcare, she will be ok. I sent my friend a message of support and went to bed. At 5 am I awoke to my alarm and checked messages.
Her message from 11:55 the night before made my stomach drop…her beautiful daughter had “gone to heaven.”
It is times like this when I get mad as a Christian for just a moment. Why do so many people have such easy lives while a mom who has been a pillar of faith, support and positivity, having lived through ten times the heartache I have, why does she have to go through this too? She has been through far more than anyone I know, and now this. Why do abusers keep living easy lives while one amazing mom faces nothing but one heartbreaking situation after the next? It just isn’t fair.
The weekend consisted of a blur of social media postings of prayers of strength for my friend and her teenage boys, and stories from friends about their beloved angel. My friend posted and reposted pictures and messages she shared with her daughter dating as recent as the day before her death.
In the past few days I have learned so much about such an amazing girl. I take that back, young lady. She was not a girl. She was wise and kind beyond her years. She continually spread messages of love. Teenagers left notes for her mom telling stories about how heaven’s newest angel had inspired or helped them in some way. They talk about how nice she was to everyone, and how she always made sure everyone was included. She reminds me so much of my daughter, both beautiful young ladies who shine bright and try their hardest to show kindness and love to anyone and everyone.
Over the weekend as the pictures flowed through social media and as everyone kept talking, some big things started to happen. The village that has surrounded my friend and her boys are determined to make something positive out of this horrible tragedy. One mom from our support group wanted to honor the precious angel and her mom in a way that would be dear to them both. She started a campaign to make and take “care packages” to give to women in domestic violence shelters today, the day heaven’s newest angel would have turned 14. Donations for creating more care packages have now been flooding in. Teachers at her school have joined the campaign and are accepting items or money to donate to domestic violence shelters. Many people are attaching memories to their donations that will be made into a special book for my friend. The story made the local news and during a special gathering after school on Monday, my friend was interviewed by multiple news stations.
There is now a slogan to inspire teenagers to #livelikelexi. Girls throughout her school are wearing teal and writing the slogan on their wrists. Lexi’s legacy is reaching states far beyond theirs. My friend is receiving emails and facebook posts from teens all over honoring #livelikelexi .
Tonight, my friend has chosen not to lay her daughter to rest quite yet, but instead celebrate her life and throw a big birthday party. She has asked any teen who knew her daughter to attend and share good memories and celebrate a life that was cut way too short.
If something this horrible, this tragic just has to strike a family that has already been through so much, the least we can do is lift up an amazing mother, and continue to hold her the rest of her days by honoring her and her incredible daughter. Such a beautiful heart cannot be forgotten. If you would like to honor Lexi in any way, please email me and I will make sure you are guided to the proper channels. From today until Saturday, my daughter and I will have #livelikelexi on our wrists.
Beautiful Lexi will be celebrated and laid to rest on Saturday.