A Divine Connection

Friday, April 10, 2015

I began writing about our journey right before I delivered EverBaby when we thought she "just" had heart defects.  At the time I wrote on Caring Bridge and one day soon after we found out about Everly's diagnosis, I received an email from a mama in Texas who was pregnant with a girl also diagnosed with Trisomy 18. 

This mama, Anissa Scholes, and I began what has become a year long across-the-miles friendship.  It turns out that we had many similarities that went beyond our special girls. 

And one so extraordinary because of our heart wrenching but beautiful journey with our daughters.

Anissa and Mark Scholes are the proud parents of Elisabeth Maxine and her three brothers.  She is also loved and cared for by many adoring family members, including Brittney, Anissa's sister.  Better known as Aunt Bees, Brittney also followed our Everly and came to know and love her through Facebook posts and our writings. 

Fast forward through the year of communications, calls, texts and messages between Anissa, Brittney and myself to Everly's Celebration of Life.  We were thrilled and so excited to find out that Brittney would be coming and representing the whole Scholes family.  We were just in awe that she would make the trip here from Texas, though we had never met, to honor our child. 

We were so blessed to have her be here and be among those celebrating with us the life of our precious girl.  We enjoyed her company and she spent time with us and Everly's aunt and uncle who also came to the celebration.

I was pleased to be able to spend some extra one-on-one time with Aunt Bees the day following the service.  One, it allowed us to get to know one another and speak about the two girls we both love so much.  And, two, the day after laying your child to rest is hard.  So to have plans and someone with a good ear is a blessing. 

We had an enjoyable afternoon going for a walk on the beach, a drive through downtown Clearwater and lunch at Columbia (believe it or not, my first time even though I've lived here 20 years!).  Though Anissa was not understandably able to attend, she was with us in spirit and called during our lunch to send her love and treated us to the lunch! 

I've felt such a connection to this family and through them to baby Elisabeth Maxine who turns one tomorrow!  They are on a journey that we know all too well...the tense doctor's visits, the worry about germs and illness, the increased oxygen needs and all that goes with this unique walk we share.  Anissa and Mark just recently shared that Elisabeth's cardiologist has some special concerns about her future.  Anissa writes about this visit here and I would encourage all of Everly's friends to read and show some love to this wonderful family.  (The link to Elisabeth Maxine's Facebook page is on the right.) 

I am excited to be traveling to Texas at the end of the month to meet little Elisabeth and the Scholes family.  I expect it to be an emotional challenge but have felt the urging to make the visit.  They have been remarkably gracious with me inviting me in and welcoming the visit, even understanding my trepidation.  I am glad that I have made the decision to go and expect that it will be a special time. 
Another perk of the trip aside from meeting all the Scholes is that I will also get to reconnect with Brittney, who has many plans for us which I love! 

I know that God's ways aren't our ways and many times we aren't able to see the reasons why things occur.  I will probably never know while I'm on earth why my daughter passed away at 11 months and 6 days.  However, I do know that God is with me and he continues...just as he has the entire journey thus far...to be with me.  I also know that the faith the Scholes family has will hold them up as they continue this roller coaster of a ride.  God has been with them and they will be the first to tell you that it is He who continues to comfort them even now.  Thankfully, only He is in charge and only He knows the future.  We have Him to cast our worries upon and just live in the moment today. 

This is probably one of my favorite verses because it tells me that He's got this and so just let it go. 

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

1 Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Much love and blessings to all! 


  1. So happy you get to head to Texas next month. What a special trip that will be.

  2. Sweet Crystal! Mark & I read your entry together while Elisabeth snoozed & the boys played. I don't have words to explain everything that your post stirred in my heart. I love y'all, that's the main thing. Also, I still just am so sad that your beautiful Everly -- Elisabeth's pen pal! -- is not here with you. How can it be? Ugghhh...you're right. No clear answers this side of Heaven. I'm so ready to squeeze you in person, I can hardly stand it. I know your trip will be heavy in a lot of ways; I also hope it brings you a sense of empowerment. And honestly...only God knows what state we will be in by late April. I pray we are able to welcome you in the manner we desire...Red Carpet-esque!!! (Or at least one clear chair for you to sit on and a clean surface somewhere!) Thank you for sharing your post with my family. God did knit our hearts together with our two very special EMs. Much love and Love for Everly forever. - Anissa

  3. Thank you for your sweet post, Crystal - it was my honor to come celebrate Everly's life with you. You and Jimmy, the boys, your entire family were so gracious to welcome me, and at the most difficult time in your lives. Your Sweet Pea is forever in my heart! I loved spending the day with you after Everly's celebration - it was a very special time and I'll always cherish it. (Also, I'll never again want to put my feet in that beautiful water in February - SO COLD! Ah, silly Texan…)

    We are SO looking forward to your visit! I admire you: knowing it will be a challenge, yet wanting to make the trip anyway. You are so brave, as is your sweet husband and your whole family - thank them for sharing you with us! SEE YOU SOON!!!!

    Love, Brittney
    (Aunt Bees to Elisabeth Maxine & Everly Marie)