Saturday, January 28, 2012

Rest In Peace, My Sweet Patrick

After months of chemo, countless drugs, uncontrollable seizures, a medically-induced coma, long, fitful ICU nights, uncomfortable catheters, a gradual loss of all neurological function, feeding tubes, IVs and around-the-clock morphine, Patrick drew his last breath this morning around 4:10am. Early signs of his imminent death had begun to show, and we were told yesterday that it shouldn't be more than 24 hours before he passed from this life into the next. We gathered some of Patrick's dearest friends and our families to his bedside last night, and together shared stories and memories of our relatively short time with one lovely Patrick Alexander Kelly. We passed around pizza and sipped wine in Styrofoam cups, and each said our goodbyes to this dear man. We shared in a simple Anglican liturgy of last rites, and cried many tears over him.

Christine (PK's sister) and I had been sleeping in his hospital room overnight for the past 9 days, and were joined last night by his father, who slept in a recliner next to PK's bedside. It was evident throughout the evening that Patrick's breathing was growing more and more shallow, and his coloring was growing more and more pale. Around 4am, his night nurse came in to give him an extra dose of morphine, to help with any discomfort he might be having, and to help manage his breathing. I could hear her pressing the buttons on his morphine drip machine, and dosed back to sleep, figuring Patrick would rest comfortably for a few more hours. Soon after, Tim noticed his breathing begin to falter and checked to see how he was doing. While Christine and I (the recognized "hardy" sleepers of the family) dozed off in our rickety cots, Tim realized that his only son had just passed away. He awoke me, saying "Julie, I think he just passed..." (not the sweetest words to one's ear!) and I could feel that his face was now cold, his lips were purple, and listened with my new wannabe-a-doctor stethoscope for his absent heart beat.

The love of my life passed on from this life and into the loving, healing arms of God at 4:10am on 1/28/12, just five months after he had been diagnosed with a re-occurrence of brain cancer, just two months after he turned 34, just a week short of our 4 1/2 year anniversary. It's both the saddest day of my life, and a strangely joyful one, as I know he is now finally in no pain. He no longer needs heavy meds to sleep, scans to determine his brain function, catheters to help him pee, or mouth swabs to help him feel hydrated. I like to imagine that he's already regained the fifty pounds he had lost over the past few weeks (and anyone who remembers Patrick's lean frame knows there wasn't 50 pounds to lose!).  He looked more like an Auschwitz survivor this morning than the strapping young man with whom I fell in love. I like to imagine that he can again run with strength, dance with ease, and kick his beloved soccer ball around with great agility.  I like to imagine he's eating really tasty non-pureed food for the first time since December 1st. I like to imagine that he's meeting my Grandpa Seume, and my Grandma and Grandpa Cate. I like to imagine that he's playing tenderly with our unborn child, and those of our friends who have recently miscarried.

I especially like to imagine that he's cheerfully gone through some sort of Heavenly Orientation Day today, along with the fellow new members of Heaven's Class of 1/28/2012. I can see him raising his hand to request a Medium-sized orientation tee-shirt, and a slim-fitting one at that. I'm sure he asked that multiple photos would be taken for his ID badge, so that he could have his best headshot displayed for his new friends to see.

I'm going to miss that sweet man, as I know many of you will as well. Thank you for following along with me. Thank you for your words of comfort, support and empathy. My goal is to somehow turn this sorrowful story into a real book someday soon, so that Patrick's legacy can live on, (and selfishly so that I can process the pain and memories in a healthy, productive way.) I'll keep you updated as that comes together! :)

For now, I'm trying to catch up on lost sleep, and I look forward to spending focused time on Cecilia once again. We're working out arrangements for his memorial service.  As of now, I believe it will be held on Friday, February 3rd at The Falls Church in Falls Church, VA (just outside of DC). Any and all are welcome! I'll send out more details when I have confirmed date/time/details, etc.

Thanks for your ongoing love and faithfulness to us, and to him, during this hard season. Your love and friendship has been SUCH a blessing to me.

With a mixture of love, sorrow and eternal joy,
Julie - the newest widow on the block. :(

82 comments:

  1. Oh Julie your grace and strength is an inspiration. Peace and Love to you and sweet Ceci. I look forward to joining you later this week. We love you and love sweet PK. I eagerly anticipate a reunion with him in our TRUE home.
    Love you, Lindsay Moore

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  2. Julie, I don't know if you remember me, but we were classmates at Wheaton. I had no idea you were going through this, and randomly ended up on your blog via a series of clicks today (of all days). I just wanted to say I am so sorry for your loss. Praise the Lord that Patrick has joined Him in Heaven, and may He comfort you with his love and grace. Peace to you.
    Janna (Burkhart) Williamson

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  3. Julie- Can't imagine the grief you must be feeling. I remember the first time I saw you and Patrick together and could tell that you guys were crazy about each other and were meant to be with one another. It is a great thing to have lived a life as loving and full and adventurous as Patrick did. It is so sad to lose him, but am glad that he is healthy and whole with the Father. Will be praying for you and Ceci. Love, Sarita

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  4. I am so sorry for your loss, Julie and Cecelia, and for all you and your families have been through. I've been following the blog for weeks and praying for you often. So much love to your whole extended family and to all of you. I love your visions of Heavenly Orientation Day and know Patrick will be watching over you and bringing you comfort. All the best, Maureen Atkins (friend of Julie Wright's)

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  5. I am Lindsay Moore's aunt and just want you to know that I am praying for you and Ceci. Even though we know a loved one is in the presence of the Lord, we still miss them and grieve. My prayer for you is for His peace and His rest. God bless! Love, Alane Mills

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  6. My heart goes out to you and Ceci, Julie. Thank you for sharing your journey--I am thankful Patrick is with his Father now, but will continue to pray for peace and comfort for you in the coming days. Lisa Campbell

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  7. Oh, Julie...I can't wait to read your book. You have such an amazing way with words (only you could make me laugh today, with visions of Patrick requesting extra face shots for his ID badge). I know he will be watching over you and Ceci...praying for you, loving you, and looking forward to reuniting with you. We will continue to pray every day for you guys, as you are always in our thoughts and hearts. Praise God for your faithfulness. May God continue to comfort and strengthen you in the days ahead.
    Grace and peace, my friend.
    -Julie, Michael and Annabelle Wright

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  8. Julie, thank you for sharing your experience through all of this. I am amazed by your strength and so grateful for the love and support that Patrick had surrounding him through this battle. The grief of this loss is so great, but knowing that he is no longer suffering is truly a relief. Those of us who were fortunate enough to know Patrick will continue to pray for you and Cecilia. Please don't hesitate to reach out for any future needs. Sending love to you and Cecilia, and praying that God will provide you both with comfort and peace through this difficult time. Love, Amber Barbour

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  9. Praying for your family throughout this time.

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  10. Julie - My heart is with you. We've never met and I've not seen Patrick since our days at JMU but I have followed this journey the past several weeks and have found myself thinking of you and your family so so often, and its always stopped me in my tracks. I am praying for you and Ceci and am relieved along with you that Patrick is no longer in pain. And I love the vision of him with his soccer ball at his Heaven Orientation day. :-) Know that people you've never met will be thinking of you and praying for you often in the days and weeks and years to come, wishing they could offer more. May God grant you many moments of peace amid the grief. With love, Kate Boka

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  11. We love you and are praying for you. Claire and David Hughes

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  12. A big hug to you and Ceci. You all have been in my daily prayers and will remain that way. Patrick is in an awesome place. May you always feel the presence of the Holy Spirit wrapping you in His healing arms. God bless, Carol

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  13. Thinking of you this evening.....

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  14. I'm so sorry. Prayers for you all.

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  15. Dear Julie,
    Your words are spoken with such truth and clarity - thank you again for the honesty that you share with us. It is a mixed emotion day and I'm grateful you see the joy along with the grief. Today's orientation class will be like no other with PK in there. It has been such an honor to journey with you and your family thru this time. Love and prayers continue to be with you all.
    Melissa Medley

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  16. Times like these are strange--happy that the suffering has ended, sad at the new emptiness in the world. We are praying for you and your family. Peace be with you.

    --Emily in Baltimore

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  17. Julie, my wife and I have been following this blog for months. We've been praying often for you and Patrick. We would like to express our condolences. --Matt Edmond

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  18. Julie:
    Our love, prayers and support are with you.

    Tall John in Charlotte

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  19. much love to you all this day. i was bawling when i found out this morning. andy walked in and just hugged me without words as he knew in his heart what we were anticipating had occurred. andy's reflection when we actually did speak struck me. it was something along the lines of 'He is now as close as he has always longed to be to our Lord. His deepest desire has been met.". Andy's known PK since we were in college and heard stories of him since then. One of my fave memories that shows the incredible warmth and hospitality of the whole Kelly family is from my 18th birthday. I'll be sure to share it soon via a letter to dear Cece. Monday, Jan. 30th is my birthday where we will celebrate the Kellys this year, too. My girls prayed for Cece this morning for "God in the world to comfort her." and we lit a candle for you all. Much love to you, Julie. From, Stacy Fletcher Gunter and our gaggle.

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  20. Praying for you right now and in the days and months ahead as you grieve. Rejoice in his eternal healing and that he is resting in the sweet arms if Jesus. Love, Courtney latta (Church at charlotte tues am study)

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  21. We weep with you at such a gaping hole left in this life by Patrick. We rejoice with you that his suffering is, at last, over. We love you and our prayers won't stop.
    Michael & Vickie Couch

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  22. Julie - I am so sorry to hear of Patrick's passing...yet glad to know he is pain-free and radiant in the Presence of the Lord. I will join many others in praying for you and your family. Grace and peace to you, Brian B

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  23. I've only been reading for the past few months, as we have some mutual friends who have been posting links on FB. Julie, I'm over here just crying and crying for you and Cecilia. I love how you can write with such clarity, peace and humor when you're in the middle of a situation that would make me just want to scream at the sky! I know God will make something beautiful out of all of this, but I also love how you're not waiting until that someday to rejoice. Well, I'm praying for you all and will keep reading to see where this journey takes you.

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  24. Julie, you definately should write a book. You have so beautifully and eloquently written this blog. You have shown so much strength and grace throughout this ordeal. I wish you continued support from God as you continue to try to move forward with your daughter Ceci. I too had a miscarriage and what a lovely picture you painted of Patrick playing with your unborn child. It brought tears to my eyes. I wish you peace and pray continuously for you and your family. Wendy (Glase) Kraft

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  25. Julie,
    We are so sad about the loss of your precious husband and Cecilia's wonderful father. Patrick was such a kind and caring man, and we loved getting to know both of you while you were in Durham. We will continue to pray for you and Cecilia particularly during this most difficult time and rejoice that Patrick is now with his creator and redeemer. Paul and Lori Armistead.

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  26. Only know of this loss through a mutual FB friend, but I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Be strong, sister in Christ, our loving Father is right there with you. Your blog was a moving and heartfelt piece...remember joy cometh in the morning and Jesus will never leave you nor forsake you. May you continue to have visions of your beloved in perfect health,with perfect peace,and perfect joy in perfect heaven.

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  27. Julie, your blog has been the greatest tribute a wife could give to her husband. I feel that Patrick is not only in peace in his new heavenly home; but at peace knowing he left his earthly home to be taken care of by the love of his life. I feel and know from reading your blogs and the many posts from your friends and relatives that you have great strength and are caring,loving, wonderful mother. Ceci is a blessed to have you as a mother! May the Comfort of our Lord and Savior be with you and your family in this time of sorrow . You are in my prayers.

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  28. Dear Julie,
    Your faith and perspective are incredible and a testament to the grace of God. It is amazing to think that Patrick got to hear the words Well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord. May His strength be with you and Cecilia always.
    With Prayers,
    Tom

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  29. Julie,
    Your imaginings of what Patrick is up to are deeply moving and beautiful; thank you.
    We are so sorry he is no longer with us in this life but we are also grateful for the hope we have and that his joy is real. Jesus is near to you even though you may not be able to feel it. Praying for you consistently. Our love to you.
    Tim and Cheryl

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  30. Thank you for sharing your heart. May you sense God's arms of love around you during this time, and in the months and years ahead.
    Praying,
    Elizabeth

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  31. Ah Julie, God rest his dear soul in great peace and joy and may the Lord be a real presence for you and your dear little Cecilia. You are loved by many and have ministered to many in these last days and prepared them for the future with your faith, honesty, and humor. God's grace be yours.

    Ray and BJ Blunt

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  32. Dear Julie,

    Please accept my deepest condolences on Patrick's passing.
    You and Cecilia are in my prayers.

    Peace and grace.

    Arthur Freyre

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  33. Dear Julie,
    Your updates display a rare combination of humility, strength, authenticity and grace. Be kind to yourself in this grieving process. Let yourself just be. God will handle the healing and the journey ahead.
    Love,
    Sara Allen
    (an old acquaintance from TFC)

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  34. Julie, I am praying, grieving, and rejoicing with you. Kelly Kirk

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  35. I'm saddened but thankful for his release. Knowing him only a short time, I'm sad we didn't get more time to know him. What a smile he had....

    Lisa and Aaron Martinez

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  36. Julie, I am a friend of a friend from Patrick's high school and college days. I have been following the blog for about 2 months now, and I have been thinking of you every day since hearing of Patrick's fight. So courageous you are to share all of this with us.... Some of us total strangers. I want you to know what a difference you have made in my life in terms of appreciating each day as the miracle and the gift that it is. Patrick is slightly younger than me, and Ceci is the age of my youngest child. What happened to Patrick, what is happening to you and Ceci, could be happening to any one of us right now. I applaud you for your strength. For your faith. I pray for you as you grieve, and as you come to terms with what has happened over these last 5 months. I wish there were something that I could do to help ease your pain. I'm rambling. But just know, Julie, that people far and wide are lifting you up in prayer right now. Patrick will not be forgotten, and your graciousness in sharing these last few months will be remembered and appreciated always. May peace be with you.

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  37. Julie,

    Psalm 34:18

    Please know that you have my deepest sympathy in your loss, my heartfelt thanks for sharing your faith and sacred journey, and my thoughts and prayers with you and Patrick's family and friends at this difficult time and in the days ahead.

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  38. Julie, we sit here reading your entry today in tears. Partly for your loss, partly out of wonder at your grace and composure through it, partly at the way our Lord has chosen to demonstrate His sovereignty in this way. You will be lifted up in prayer from here. Thanks for shining the light of Christ today.
    James & Leslie Day

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  39. Dear Julie,

    I often have thought that the old-fashioned way of writing 'Fell asleep in Jesus' on graves was such a lovely way to describe an earthly loss. It seems that is how it went with our dear friend Patrick yesterday morning. He fell asleep in Jesus and awoke, completely healed, in the joy of joys. Thanks be to God! We rejoice with you in his redemption, hope with you in our own resurrection, and grieve with you in your profound loss. I am relieved for you that your long, sad, sweet goodbye is closing, but know the journey forward will be long and hard. But seeing how incredibly gracefully you have handled this process gives me confidence that if anyone can do it, and continue to lovingly mother Cecilia through it, it is you. You have an army of prayers and support behind you, a weak but real stand-in for Patrick. You are all three so loved.

    All our love and thoughts and prayers,
    Naomi, Michael and Molly Skena

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  40. Julie,
    I don't even know you, but saw this post through a friend. With tears in my eyes I write this, and my heart breaks for your incredible loss. I am so sorry, and will keep you & your family in my prayers. May God give you peace & strength through this incredibly difficult time. Much love,
    Sarah

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  41. So sorry to hear that he has passed, but overjoyed in the fact that he is with our Lord and Saviour. We will be praying for you and your family.

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  42. Julie,
    I have been following your blog and have felt so much emotion with you and your family.
    Today I am writing through my tears imagining what you are feeling.
    I am so sorry and yet understand your feelings of joy as well.
    What could be better than the comfort of the arms of Christ?
    Please know you have many, many people praying and caring for you-including those you have yet to meet, like me. Your faith, your blog, your marriage and your story has touched so many lives.
    Because of you and Patrick I will hug a little tighter, gaze deeper, smile longer, pray harder and thank God for each moment.
    You are an inspiration and I would read any book you write. Your heart spills out onto paper in a way that makes reading your words close to experiencing what you feel along with you.
    Please accept my most sincere condolences (that seems so trite and I am sorry) for the inexplicable loss you are experiencing

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    1. Jeremy and Tina BeckerJanuary 29, 2012 at 2:08 PM

      As I have been writing and following reading to my husband, aloud, your story, he (my husband) never saw your pictures...until today. I am married to Jeremy Becker. Today, I shared your blog on his Facebook, and as he read, I watched his eyes fill with tears. He shared that you and he were good friends in Youth Group and grew up together in Calvary. I just wanted to share this with you because I have followed your blog, read every post, cried, prayed and only today did we know that my husband has known you for years. Julie, my name is Tina Becker and I am glad to "meet you." Jeremy and I will continue to pray for you. May God bring you comfort and peace in this unimaginably sad and emotionally conflicting time. Our hearts go out to you.

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  43. Julie Cate: Though the words are hard to bring together, know that our hearts are forever bound as one through the many nights, meals, and glasses of wine we shared together. As we said to the 3 of you in December, our door is always open to you, and so it shall be for the 2 of you as well. Our love to you dear lady and dear friend. God's abundant strength to you, and may that glimmer of joy you shared having blossom to the full glow of the smile we remember so well. beth and jim.

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  44. Julie,
    I am writing through tears and unable to comprehend what you must be going through. Your words continue to the very end to be filled with such courage and the grace of God. You are so beautiful. I am so very sorry for your incredible loss and the hard journey you have walked. I rejoice with you for Patrick's relief and new body in heaven. May He indeed be dancing with the angels in worship to our great Heavenly Father. May the Lord pour out His mercies and comfort upon you over these days, weeks, and months ahead. You, Ceci, and your family are in our prayers.
    Rob and Jen Krech

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  45. Julie,

    We are so sorry to lose our dear brother Patrick.
    Thank you for including us here.
    You have encouraged all, and allowed us to be with you and Patrick. Thank you.

    You have a great future!
    You have a great family!
    You have a great God!

    you are on our minds, and we are praying for you and Ceci.
    I am reminded of this... "When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
    “Where, O death, is your victory?
    Where, O death, is your sting?”
    The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1cor 15:54-57
    In Christ,
    Kevin and Heather Konkal

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  46. Julie,

    You don't know me but I've been following Patrick's journey because of a post Courtney Cassada placed on Facebook. My heart is heavy for you as you walk through the next several days and weeks ahead. Please know I am holding you, your family and Patrick's family up in prayer. May our precious Savior give you the strength you need for each new day.

    Psalm 29:10-11 NLT - "The LORD rules over the floodwaters. The LORD reigns as king forever. The LORD gives his people strength. The LORD blesses them with peace".

    In Christ,
    Judi Schleiden

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  47. Julie, you do not know me, but, we have friends in common. I have been following your story through their facebook postings. I just had to write and tell you that your faith inspires me and has me filled with THE HOLY SPIRIT. I am so very sorry for your sorrow. May GOD bless you and Cecilia each and every day until you are with Patrick again.

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  48. Julie,
    We weep with you for Patrick's earthly loss but like you, we are relieved that the hours/days/months of illness are over and that his body has been restored! We know he is rejoicing in heaven right now, worshipping at the feet of His Savior and King and he joins that great cloud of witnesses to watch over us. We are so very blessed to have known a very wonderful, amazing Patrick Alexander Kelly. May the Holy Spirit comfort you now and the days and weeks ahead.
    Love
    Natalie & Dave

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  49. Praying for you & your little girl. Peace & comfort from our heavenly Father. You are an inspiration

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  50. Julie - I only met you and Patrick briefly during your time in Charlotte on Roslyn Ave, but I am so sorry for your loss. You and Ceci and Patrick's family are in my prayers. Your faithfulness throughout this heartbreaking circumstance is so beautiful. In Him, Ashley Curtis

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  51. I do not know you or Patrick - but was brought to tears by your post on Patrick's passing. I've followed the posts of friends over the past months and am encouraged by your faith and joy in during this trial.

    May the strength of our Lord sustain you and your family in the coming days or months.

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  52. My God hold and keep you in his hands during this more than challenging time.

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  53. Praying for you, Cecelia and your family during this difficult time.

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  54. Julie, You don't know me but my former husband is a cousin to Tim.. and my kids are second cousins to Patrick's.. We spent lots of time hanging out and being with Patrick's grand parents and with Tim and Claire when they were in town here in Nashville... I am blessed to have spent so many early memories of Patrick and I am so glad to know that he found his love and was so very happy ...he is at peace with all those that love him....sending you abiding love and knowing that all is perfect in this world...Knowing Patrick is healthy and whole and enjoying the reunion of many...May you walk in the Lord's blessing'

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    1. I'm so curious - who are you?
      Tim

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  55. Julie- I'm another person you don't know, but the delightful family you married into, used to live 3 doors down from us. I wasn't certain about that until I saw the names Tim & Claire above. Your husband and Christine were a rich part of my homes life when we were new parents with little twin boys. I recall Claire & Hershey joining us in our family room. Selfishly, we were sad when they moved out of our neighborhood. The ripple effect of Patricks life reaches far, and obviously many people care about you. Consider my family more of them, and please give an extra special warm hug to Christine. Still praying....and with much love--Kathy, Joe, Nathan, Matthew & Sarah Fioramonti

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  56. Blessings to you and your daughter, for a strong heart in these weary times.

    In Christ we all live...

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  57. My deepest sympathies go out to you Julie. There are never words to say at times like these. We abruptly lost a good friend and young Dad just 6 months ago yesterday. Its still a shock even after these 6 months and his wife is also left to parent their little 4yr old girl too. I hope you can continue to let people help and love on you. It takes a village. I am praying for you and your family and that you continue to see God's grace and mercy to Patrick. How awesome it is to know he is dwelling with the Lord now and eternal peace is his. And what a witness your strength and love has been to all that know you all and have been following Patrick's story. God bless

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  58. Julie:

    You don't know me, but you know my brother Jeff Kraus and sister-in-law Martha Berg. I have been following your Caring Bridge page and Patrick's last few weeks on this earth. Please accept my deepest condolences on your loss. I am amazed at your strength during this extremely difficult time in your life. I believe, like you, that Patrick is finally whole again and in the presence or our Creator. Although I know you are going to miss him terribly, I can't think of a better place for him to be right now. I will keep you and Cecilia in my prayers.

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  59. Julie -
    Like many others who have posted, you do not know me, but I have been following your blog for weeks. I cannot tell you the impact your story has had on my life. I have shed many a tear for your profound loss, and my heart just aches for you and your daughter. Your grace throughout this heartbreaking journey is a beautiful testimony of amazing faith - what an inspiration to all of us. I know there are no words that can help ease the pain you must be feeling, but I pray that God will shower His mercies and love upon you. I am comforted to know that there are so many people surrounding you to help shoulder this burden and care for you and Ceci. Let the Holy Spirit fill you with strength now and in the weeks, months, and years to come. What a joy to know that someday you, Patrick, and Ceci will all be together again in Heaven. I will keep you, Ceci and your family in my prayers. Much love to all of you.

    Rachel

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  60. O God of spirits and of all flesh, Who hast trampled down death and overthrown the Devil, and given life to Thy world, do Thou, the same Lord, give rest to the soul of Thy departed servant Patrick in a place of brightness, a place of refreshment, a place of repose, where all sickness, sighing, and sorrow have fled away. For Thou art a good God and lovest mankind; because there is no man who lives yet does not sin, for Thou only art without sin, Thy righteousness is to all eternity, and Thy word is truth.

    For Thou are the Resurrection, the Life, and the Repose of Thy servant Patrick who has fallen asleep, O Christ our God, and unto Thee we ascribe glory, together with Thy Father, who is from everlasting, and Thine all-holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever unto ages of ages. Amen.

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  61. Julie - you do not know me but I grew up across the street from Patrick and Christine on New Parkland Dr. In middle school, we would play cards almost daily during the summer (omg - the house rules aren't the REAL rules for Rummy?). I was thinking about the Kelly kids just recently when I was teaching my own kids how to play spoons and wondered how both Patrick and Christine were doing. I'm very sad to hear of your loss and sorry to hear of the short life of someone who was always polite and kind to everyone.

    Karin (Hamburger) Wallace

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  62. I do not know you or Patrick either but I've been following your blog for the last few months and have been touched by your strength, humility and eternal perspective on your current circumstances. I am a nurse, myself, so hearing a firsthand story from the side of a patient is both encouraging and eye opening to me. You have changed my practice as a healthcare provider, Julie, and I will be forever encouraged by your faith. How wonderful and comforting it is to have assurance that Patrick is resting with our Heavenly Father now and that his earthly body has been replaced by a new heavenly one. May God bless you greatly in this time and I look forward to one day being the first person to buy your "book." Praying you through.

    Emily

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  63. May you and Cecilia be conscious of God's arms around you as you mourn the loss.Peace...

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  64. Dear Julie,

    please know that you have my deepest sympathies.
    I have been following your blog and all of you have been in my thoughts and prayers.
    I, too, admire and am inspired by your faith and the way you have been able to write about this tragic loss.
    It is hard to find words of comfort.
    I lost my brother a couple years ago, and my sister-in-law lost her husband after three years of marriage.
    Since then I feel like I have a much better understanding of what people go through after such a loss: the loneliness, the despair, the tears, the constant fear for the future. But I also started to understand better the hope that we can have as Christians, and the reality of Jesus' victory over death.
    May God surround you and your daughter with his peace, love and comfort every day in the years to come.
    Please extend my sympathies to the Kelly family.

    Peace,
    Manuela
    (friend of Anne Wagoner)

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  65. Becca and Brenden MillerJanuary 30, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    We raise our glasses in honor and celebration of a life well-lived, Patrick, of the new life that has begun for him in the heavenly world, and the new life that will emerge for you and Cece, sweet Julie. Stand tall and confidently on God's promises to you, even as you cry in His arms whenever you need.
    love,
    Becca and Brenden

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  66. I want to express my condolences to you and your family. I have never met you all but I have been following your blog for a little bit now and the way you describe Patrick's life makes me feel as though I've known him for years. I am so very sorry for your loss as well as Cecilia and your family. I cannot imagine the pain and torture you have been going through and I have admired your strength through each word you wrote. Thank you for sharing Patrick's story. Your family will be in my prayers.

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  67. Praying for peace and comfort for you and the rest of Patrick's family. I knew Patrick in middle school and haven't seen him in years, but I remember his kind heart and friendly smile. I pray that your memories of him will bring a smile to your face during the difficult days ahead. Maybe God be with each of you.

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  68. Dear Julie,
    Although we met only briefly, you and your family hold a special place in our hearts because our paths have been parallel in so many ways. My husband Garnet, also battling brain cancer, writes a blog and has the following Jim Henson quote at the top: "My hope still is to leave the world a little better for me having been here." Without even knowing him, I can say with certainty that your Patrick has left the world a better place. I'm only sorry that our husbands weren't able to meet this side of Heaven; the photo of Patrick outside the Hair Cuttery leads me to believe they would have shared a similar sense of humor. :) We wish you comfort, peace beyond human comprehension and a tangible sense of the nearness of the Holy Spirit as you adjust to your "new normal." The next time we have pizza, we'll raise a styrofoam cup of wine to PK.
    In Christ's Love,
    Trish & Garnet Stevens
    Waynesboro, PA

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  69. I am sorry for your loss. I went to Freeman with Patrick and we graduated the same year. We weren't really close friends but he was always very nice to me when we spoke. When I read about his battle with cancer and his death I felt a sense of loss. It hit me really hard and I just wanted you to know that his death has had a profound effect on me.

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  70. I am so sorry for your loss. I had the privilege to meet and work with Patrick for a few years at Touchstone. He was kind, welcoming, and a respected colleague. And so clearly a great friend to so many people. The world is an emptier place without him.

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  71. I am so sorry for you and your family's loss. It has been heartbreaking to read along, but it's comforting to see the strength that is obvious through you all. You are in so many people's thoughts + prayers. <3

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  72. I am praying for continuing comfort and peace.

    When the time is right, please consider continuing to blog so that those of us, that you don't know but have grown to know of you through this time, can continue as your prayer contingent and lift up you and Cecelia's specific needs and situations as they arise.

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  73. I'm very sorry to hear this. However...the orientation!!! I thought that too! It warms my heart to know someone else thought that. When both of my grandparents passed away in a very similar process as Patrick's.. I remember thinking to myself "ok well, I probably won't feel them much right now bc they are going through orientation for probably the first day. I will feel them soon tho.." He is totally getting the Heaven tour right now.. and you'll feel his love coming back around again soon. Clearly not in the same way, very different..and while we wish it was the old "in person/healthy way".. its still true love. Nothing can separate us from feeling that truest of love, not even this. Many prayers to you from someone you don't know, who hasn't stopped thinking about you and praying for you from far away, and I'll continue to do so. x

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  74. Julie,

    Like so many others, I do not know you. I came to you via a link at buildingcathedrals.com blog. My deepest condolences to you,Ceci and your family. All of you will be in my prayers. My grandfather died on January 28 - but LONG ago in 1940. Hopefully, Patrick Class of 2012 will be greeted by members of the 1/28 club.

    I wish I knew what more to say. I am so sorry for your and Ceci's loss.

    -Kathy Fitzsimmons

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  75. I will continue to pray for you and your family. You have such a courageous spirit and I don't think I could ever be as strong as you. You are truly an inspiration for everyone.

    We've never met, but I sit here crying for your loss because I know you did not deserve to lose the love of your life especially at such a young age. I hope you find solace in the trying times ahead. <3

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  76. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. I, among many, have been praying for you all and I have to say you are such an inspiration and so strong in your faith! I pray that God will pour His love on you more and more and give you peace over the coming days ahead and I pray that always know that He is always there with you and comforting you, keep calling out to Him. God bless you and Ceci loads x

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  77. Many hugs to you Julie and all the comfort that could possibly be in times like this.

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    1. Here's hoping I post a comment correctly! A mutual friend sent your blog a few months ago. While you and I have never met, I have been praying for you and your daughter. Praying now that He'll draw you nearer to Him and that this will mark you in a way that will make you look back and see His hands wrapped tightly around you, drawing you near...and that you'll walk on knowing Him even more than you did before. Bless you.

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  78. Dear, Sweet Julie, we have never met, but I have been following your blog since around Christmas and praying for all of you! Words cannot express how sorry I am for your loss, or how moving it has been to read your blog, distantly entering into this journey with you. Thank you for your tremendous faith and the beautiful manner in which you shared in Patrick's suffering, escorting him with your love to his eternal home. We will continue our prayers for you during this most difficult time. With love, Brenda Harold

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  79. I first hear about Patrick's fight against his brain tumor from my niece, who joined Fuller in 2011. Since then I have been praying for him. Now I know God will take even better of him in heaven. I will continue to pray for him and you and your dear daughter. I live in Vancouver Canada, but in God's family, we are brothers and sisters in Christ. May God bless you and your daughter abundantly. Prayers and condolences, Grace Liu

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Thanks for your prayers!