That is all I can really say about the memorial. It was just beautiful! We had over 200 people come to celebrate Kayleigh's life with us. We had support from as far as California and we couldn't be more thankful to all the people who were there. It was a such a blessing.
To recap the memorial so many of you who were not able to make it will get a chance to see what went on. The memorial started off with Brian Carpenter (Aubrey Carpenter's husband) sharing our relationship and opening up in prayer. I had asked Brian to do the sermon since we have built a great new friendship and he is a pastor who knows the ins and outs of our family. Him and Aubrey came and visited us from Illinois not too long ago to come see us and Kayleigh.
Wade Joye then sang one of his new songs from Elevation Church that will be released on their upcoming CD. Wade and Ferris Joye had their twin girls in the NICU with us and Liana shared a room with Kayleigh for a few months. They have been such a blessing to our family and we were so happy that Wade could sing for us at the memorial.
Brian then took over and preached his sermon. He did a fantastic job and we are very proud of him for coming all this way for our family. Brian and Aubrey are true examples of what you would call "Great Friends." After Brian spoke his sermon, my Mom (Patricia Freeman) and Aimee's mom (Joyce Rogers), read what they wrote and had everyone in tears with such beautiful things to say.
Aimee and I then read our letters to everyone. We first started off thanking the NICU staff for all of their hard work and dedication to taking wonderful care of Kayleigh over the past 11 months. We gave them all pink and brown ribbons so others would recognize who these special people are. Aimee spoke first and did an amazing job, sharing miracle memories of Kayleigh to reading a beautiful poem. I then spoke and could barely hold it together up there. It turned out really nice.
After speaking, we all watched the video that a good friend (Niecey) helped me make in perfect time over the past week. There are three songs that we played consecutively, but were too large to put in to one file. Some of the new professional photos from Faith @ Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep are visible and are so unbelievably beautiful. You will recognize them when you see them. Grab a tissue because this is just amazing:
Brian then closed in prayer and we were able to meet everyone who came from near and far to be with us during this beautiful day. We have a house of flowers that make me sneeze, but are beyond beautiful and we just love looking at them. Our whole downstairs is now a flower garden.
I have been overflowed with balloon release photos, so I am going to put a short movie together showing you all those photos soon. When we let our balloons off, it was raining and everyone was so dressed up, but they didn't care one bit because we were doing this for our sweet Kayleigh.
When the memorial ended, Aimee and I were scared that we would just break down and crawl in a corner, but I feel that we laughed a lot today. We had a good time teasing and flirting with each other and I pray that continues to happen. We should not be stricken with depression when there was not a single thing bad about what Kayleigh did for us in this past year. She is nothing short of a miracle. We are so blessed to be her parents and to share her story with so many people. Kayleigh has touch all of our lives and we couldn't be more happier than that.
Here are some of the photos of our balloon release. We had 50 balloons go to the sky and I have already received to email's from two different families who found balloons and were instantly touched by Kayleigh's story. Praise God!
I also wanted to share with you some of the great photography done by Faith Massey from "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep" and she has her own blog. To check it out: Click Here
"Kayleigh, we miss you tons already and hope you are having a blast with all your new friends in Heaven. We Love You!"