Our wonderful little girl Krystal, was the most delightful child anyone could ever hope to meet. When she was born weighing 2 pounds and 13 ounces and many birth defects the doctors didn’t have any hope of her living. When she was still thriving after a week they said…she won’t live much longer.
That is when my family came on the scene. We were foster parents for the state. A social worker called to see if we would be willing to take this tiny little girl that was not expected to live and take care of her, and without blinking an eye we said “yes”.
As it turned out she lived longer than they expected. We adopted her and she brought us much joy for 8 years.
She had much to live with being diagnosed with Microcephaly, Cerebral Palsy and Cytomegalovirus Infection (CMV). Having these problems left her legally blind, with seizures, quadriplegic and not able to do anything for herself in any way.
She wore special shoes and braces, we put her hands in braces off and on during the day to hold them open, she held them in a tightly squeezed fist most of the time. She had to sleep and sit elevated at all times because of reflux. She would not suck or chew so she was fed through a GT button. I had to use a machine several times a day and night to clean out her nose and throat, sometimes she had to be on an updraft machine, she took many medications throughout the day and night.
We made many trips to Children’s Hospital and sometimes it felt as if she and I lived at the hospital because I stayed with her every second. I provided all of her care even changing her bed. The nurses just gave her the medications and the respiratory therapists did what they needed to. We had many friends at the hospital and no matter how sick Krystal was she always had smiles for them and knew them by their voice.
She had the most wonderful smile and would even sometimes laugh out loud or giggle. Everyone that ever saw her remembers her for that big, wonderful, happy smile that she gave everyone.
Krystal was such a special little girl and brought joy to people she knew as well as strangers. She recognized the voices of her nurses, doctors, friends and family members and everyone always saw a huge smile on her face when she heard their voices. There was only one nurse that was successful drawing Krystal’s blood. Krystal loved this nurse very much and when she heard her voice she would smile and say her little “hey”. When the nurse placed the needle in her arm Krystal would giggle every time, she never cried during any medical procedure.
She loved her daddy very much and they had their own way of conversing as did she and I. I knew by the different sounds she made what she wanted. I could also tell by her facial expressions some times what she was needing, but she never could say words other than “hey” and I can’t say that was really a word, it was just a sound she made that sounded like she was saying “hey”.
No matter how Krystal felt, good or bad she always had a smile and never cried or complained. She kept her mama in line as far as being thankful. Seeing her as she was and still able to smile made all my trials seem very trivial.
Krystal loved going to church and hearing music. Our pastor played drums. Sometimes when the music stopped and she could not hear drums, real loud she would say “hey”. Pastor would beat the drums a few beats just for Krystal when he heard her say “hey” and she would smile a great big smile then was quiet the remainder of the service.
Since she loved drums so much I could not see her going from this life to the next without drums so I asked our pastor to play his drums. He played a drum solo. Some of our friends sang children’s songs, my son read a poem about Krystal written by one of my friends. Some got up and talked about her and shared how Krystal had made an impression on them and told how much they loved her. Almost all who attended the service commented to me that they had never been to a funeral with drums, nor had they ever been to a funeral so upbeat. Several told me that they felt happy and at peace all during the service. I had never been to a funeral where drums were played either but, it was the way Krystal would have liked it and I would not have it any other way.
I thank God for the privilege of getting to care for and love this wonderful little girl for those eight years and I appreciate him trusting me to care for her while she lived on this earth. Having her for those eight years changed my life forever in a beautiful way.