Extra Time


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When Skylar was 2 1/2 years old she complained for a few days of severe stomach pain. As a small child it was hard to tell if she was constipated, ate something bad or just simply had a stomach virus. After a few days we decided it had to be more than a virus, maybe it was her appendix.

Matt and I spent about 15 hours at Columbus Children’s ER while they tried desperately to figure out why she was in pain. After several failed attempts of getting an ultra sound on her appendix (stubborn girl had a full bladder and they couldn’t view her appendix properly) it was finally decided to give her a CT scan so they could see what they needed to.

Matt and I waited as patiently as we could…at 22 and 23 years old and sitting in a room with a 7 month old we were desperate for the news to be simple and correctable.  Before long a doctor we had not seen before walked into the room and told us he had good news and bad news. The good news: it wasn’t her appendix. The bad news: it was her heart.  Her pericardium to be exact. This man was a pediatric cardiologist ….that was the fist time my world went silent.

We were informed that Sky would need surgery fairly quickly. She had pericarditis (inflammation of her pericardium) and it was restricting blood flow to her heart and causing her stomach pain. It didn’t take long for me to realize and THANK GOD that Skylar was being stubborn with her ultra sound and refusal to empty her bladder….otherwise a CT scan never would have been ordered and this heart issue would not have been detected until it was too late. Her cardiologist was quick to realize and voice this as well…he said “God was looking out for your little girl.”

Surgery went well and more than 700 cc’s of fluid were removed from around our little girls tiny body. After a few nights in ICU and some steroid therapy and a few years of regular cardiology check ups, Sky was given a clean bill of health. All she had to show from this experience was a 3-4 inch scar in the center of her chest (of course she hated this as she matured). That story is something I told over and over to people that ever doubted God’s helping hand and Sky and I talked about it many times over the years. Without that wonderful cardiologist who ordered that CT Scan, modern medical technology, a stubborn 2 year old that just wouldn’t “go” and a God that loved her more than even I … Sky would have left us at age 2 1/2.

I tell that story because just hours and maybe even moments after those police officers and coroners left my home the morning of the accident I cried out to God and asked WHYYYYYYYYY?!!!  Why did you save her 14  years ago only to take her from me now!???

Boy was I angry. Why would he “tease me” with 14 more years of memories? I’ve thought about that a lot over the last 10 months and of course things are more clear to me now then they were 10 mos ago at 4am when being told that your first-born child is no longer alive. I still don’t have all the answers that I want but I know I certainly wouldn’t trade my 14 extra precious years with her or the lesson that I learned through that experience knowing that God had her in His hands back then…..and still today.  We were all given the gift of Skylar because she changed so many people in her short time on this earth…she certainly changed her mama.

In life she taught us to live, love and laugh. She taught us that not everyone is a good friend but she was an AMAZING one. She taught me that at her young age she gave  some of the best advice and she was always willing to listen  to me vent. She also taught me that a young girl can go through a TON of Q-tips, tampons, toilet paper, make-up, body wash, borrowed cash and chapstick!

In her death Sky taught us all to live a little better, to love a little harder and to appreciate your time here while you can.

I miss my baby girl with every fiber of my being and I spend hours and hours of my day thinking about her and looking at her pictures. Thank you God for giving me 16 1/2 years of time and memories with my angel…it wasn’t nearly enough, but I am counting down my days until I am with her forever. Stay close to me Sky, I need you.

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.

6 thoughts on “Extra Time

  1. I wanted to let you know that Skylar visited me in a dream last night. Honestly, its gotten to the point where I have begun to forget what her voice really sounded like. So hearing her actual voice shocked me. I remember being upset in the dream but she kept telling me that everything was fine. I even heard Sophie at one point and they were just laughing together. I woke up immediately after and was kind of in a daze for the next couple hours. It was that vivid. But I just wanted to pass on her message to you. They’re definitely having fun up there together.

  2. Kelli,
    You and your family (along with Julianna’s and Sophie’s) are always in my prayers. Although I did not know the girls on a person level, I have thought of them every single day since the accident. I know in previous posts you have expressed concern over the memory of the girls being forgotten over time, but trust me that will never happen. Your strength and you your Faith in God is remarkable. Although I don’t know you and I only knew Skylar from one class, I’m constantly inspired by you and your strength. This particular post blew me away and I have a story for you that is such a blessing from God.
    I have undiagnosed chest pain (undiagnosed in the sense that I have yet to go to a doctor that can tell me what’s going on) that has been going on for about 2 months now and the levels of intensity vary from severe to mild. On Tuesday (9/11) I was returning to my dorm from Bible study and I felt a tremendous amount of physical pain that had been persisting all day, yet spiritually I felt so uplifted by the Lord. That night I was saying my prayers while lying in bed and I was covering every little topic from my friends in Bellbrook, my friends at college, my chest pain, and then I felt an overwhelming need to pray for you. Every night I pray that you and the other families to feel comfort from God and get signs from the girls, but that night your name popped into my head and I instantly started praying for you. The next day I woke up with zero chest pain. After two months of continuous pain I felt perfect and remained that way for the rest of the day. I praised God for taking away my pain and didn’t really think anything of it, until I got the email notifying me that you had added a new post. As I read the post my jaw dropped. The very day you shared of Skylar’s heart issues was the day that my chest pain stopped. I thought about it and was in awe for the rest of the day. The fact that I fell asleep praying for you, woke up the next day feeling the best I’ve felt in a long time, and then to read your post about Skylar blew me away. I have truly been humbled by the power of prayer and don’t believe that your post and my pain are a coincidence, but a blessing from above.
    God bless you Kelli. You truly deserve it, I cannot think of a stronger person on this Earth. Your faith is such a testimony and beyond inspirational.

  3. Thank you Skylar for making me slow down and love with all I have. Life is to short not to. Your passing has changed me. I think of you everyday. I tell people how I feel and what they mean to me because tomorrow is a gift no one is promised. I wish I could bring you back but only for selfish reasons. I know you are in a much better place. Just know you have changed more life’s than you know. And thank you Kelli for allowing us to love your amazing baby girl! She will never be forgotten.

  4. Your story is certainly a sad but truly amazing one. I wish I had gotten the chance to really know Skylar as a friend, not just as a classmate that would, along with Sophie, make the whole class laugh and have fun. I think about them daily, and today I shared their story with my new classmates at my new school, and let me tell you there wasn’t a single dry eye. It Sucks that this had to happen, but because of it lives have changed for the better and
    made me realize how greatly fragile life is, and how quickly it can be gone. Thank you for sharing your journey with us, and know that you are in EVERYONE’S prayers, always.

    sucks that this had to happen to you, bit

  5. You don’t know me, and you probably never will. Truthfully, I don’t know you either. For I only know you through your words and wisdom. Your way of writing is truly touching and inspiring. To put such tragedy into such beautiful words is admirable. As a Bellbrook graduate who never knew Skylar, I feel as if I did. I pray for your family, Sophie’s & Julianna’s daily. I often wonder how these three girls enter my thoughts daily. Yes, I have a connection to one of them, but not to Skylar. So how is it that she enters my mind daily as well? It is through your blog & your determination to keep her memory alive. You clearly have done a wonderful job of this and I have no doubt that in the years to come you will continue to do so. I also have no doubt that my prayers for you will ever stop because I am sure your pain will never stop. “God has a plan”. That is something I have always told myself to keep my mind and soul at peace, but to be honest, I never truly believed it … until I read your blog. Your faith in God & his plan has strengthened my faith more than you will ever know. YOU & your beautiful Skylar have changed my life.

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