Saturday, July 25, 2009


I put Lizzy to bed for the last time tonight. As she lay her head down on top of mine, she said her prayer without any prompting: "Deauh Fadder, 'ankoo fadis Sabba day. In 'esus nem, amen."

And then she asked about town. We've told her she's going to town tomorrow to get ice cream with Nurse Lisa. And she is. But the truth is that after she gets ice cream, she's going home. And she knows it. Because after she asked about town, she then asked, "an 'en home?" She knows. She saw the tears in my eyes. She's sad too.

Lately, I've been trying to extend the length of every moment that I have with her; trying to hold on to something that I know is slipping away. I play her puzzle with her for longer each day, I talk to her more before bed, and I let her mess up my hair for longer each night. Lizzy loves long hair. She loves to put it over my face and rub it in circles.

Words cannot capture the beautiful person that is Lizzy. She makes me laugh. She makes me smile. She makes me cry. She makes me sing. She changes my life. She hides peanut butter sandwiches in puzzle boxes. She finds me special sticks and holds my head down when I don't want to take my ear drops. She got me pudding today because I didn't have any. She loves "buhhitoes" (burrito's), peanut butter, juice, and washing the trays. She folds down the bottom of my jeans when they are folded up, and folds them up when they are folded down. She steals my sunglasses and loves to give hugs. She loves boys: Brian, Alex, Joel, Laury, and Pastor Dan in particular. She loves sunny days, showers, the pool, and "Bo' rides!" (Boat rides)

We sang special music tonight for chapel. She stood inside the guitar strap with me and sang in her heart-lifting way. Her words, slurred and unclear, echoed mine in the most beautiful notes of praise that I have ever heard.

I don't know if I will ever see Lizzy again. It's not likely that I will return to camp for another summer. Plus, she is over 50, which is fairly old for a person with Downe's syndrome. But Lizzy has been the biggest blessing of my summer. I cannot wait to meet Lizzy in heaven. She's such a prankster now; imagine what she'll be like in heaven!

So I sang her a lullaby, gave her a goodnight hug, and turned out the light.

"I love you, Lizzy."

"Luh oo too"


Caitlin said...

My heart twisted all up watching her go this morning... or rather try to evade departure. God has taught me so much through her gentle heart, I am honored to know her.

Little Christen said...

That's beautiful. :)

Alex said...

I too, was blessed by Lizzie this summer. I too, cannot wait to see her in Heaven... but if next summer comes and we aren't there yet - you'd better come back for her.

Christy Joy said...

:) Thank you for your encouragement, Alex! If persuasion were the only factor, you'd have convinced me to return long ago. We'll see what God has in mind :)

shama said...

Awww Lizzy is such a sweet lady. I love her so much. Nurse Lisa and I shed our tears driving down the road, and I know Lizzy's heart was crying. She kept telling us to turn around... But she smiled when she got ice cream, and each time she twisted my hair... :) Camp Cherokee is a special place, but it is the people that make it that way.

bonzobuddybear said...

That's so sweet! Reminds me of my summer camp days with wonderful blind campers.

Christy Joy said...

Shama, I'm so glad you were there to ride back with her. I'm sure your hair was a great distraction. :)

And you're right, Cherokee, in all its beauty, would be just another place on the map if not for the wonderful people that work here. You put it very nicely :)

Bivan said...

Was here..

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