In the midst of such sorrow after the passing of my precious daughter Sarah, I have had much time to reflect on God’s provision and blessings along our journey. One of the things I am most thankful for is the staff and families at Circle Christian School. I am left in awe of the amount of support and kindness shown to us over this past year.
Circle was always such a special and safe place for Sarah to attend school. She absolutely LOVED her teachers and friends. In addition to being challenged academically, she was also encouraged spiritually and emotionally. I will never forget her first day of Chemistry with Mr. Snyder. When she got in the car that afternoon, she immediately told me how he took the time at the beginning of that first class to look each student in the eyes, one by one, say their name, followed by “I care about you and I’m here for you.” Sarah, always being sensitive and intuitive in nature, was notably impressed and knew without a shadow of a doubt he meant every word with all his heart.
This was just the beginning of the many memorable moments. After Sarah’s brain surgery, Dianne Richardson drove all the way to Tampa to visit Sarah—of course with a big, beautiful basket of all kinds of sweet gifts. One I will always cherish was a “prayer pillow” where each teacher had written a Bible verse or uplifting word for my girl. It was on that pillow that I placed Sarah’s lifeless left hand that was unable to move after surgery. And wouldn’t you know, within 48 hours, that lifeless hand and arm miraculously started moving again!
This was just the first of many visits from Circle staff, and Sarah was always so excited to see her beloved teachers and faculty members. In fact, an overwhelming number of them even gladly came to UF Cancer Center Orlando to surprise Sarah and celebrate with her after her last of 30 proton beam radiation treatments. She felt so loved and supported that day as she was surrounded by those who meant the most to her.
Soon after, Team Sarah bracelets were donated and selling like hot cakes…The support was unreal!
Next, a huge Circle fundraiser was arranged to help us with the surmounting medical expenses. I remember the way all of our Circle family lovingly gathered around us at the basketball game to pray over Sarah and our family.
Before I knew it, parents whom I had never met were writing me the most precious letters, encouraging me and offering to be there for us in any capacity needed. And the students! Many of them came to hang out with Sarah and encourage her. Even the basketball team brought over a team shirt they had all signed in her honor. Art classes were creating the most thoughtful figurines to keep Sarah’s spirits up. Over the 13 months of her illness, I ultimately acquired a large box FULL of the most beautiful hand-written cards to Sarah, many of which were from students she had never even met, all inspiring her to keep fighting and to trust in the Lord. She treasured each and every one of those notes and read them many times over.
So you see, through our journey, we truly experienced the love of Christ in such a tangible and real way, like we have never experienced it before. We are so incredibly grateful for the outpouring of such tremendous love. This is what community is all about, what family is all about, what the love of God is all about. So here’s to you, our dear Circle Family! We honor you for loving us and especially for loving my daughter so exceptionally well! We will forever hold you in our hearts!