Forever in Our Hearts

It’s been 1 week & I’m still breathing… one day, one hour, one minute at a time.

I’m overwhelmed by the beautiful messages from each of you, they remind me how much Emerson was loved and how much her life had impact & meaning. Thank you.

Eme proved that it is not the years in your life, but the life in your years that matter most… She packed enough love, joy, & inspiration in 13 short years to span a full lifetime. Her days here may have been short, but they were rich & oh so blessed. It was an honor to be her mother & to walk beside her on this journey.

I want to give everyone a brief explanation as to what happened, as so many have asked:

Emerson was doing really well – she had a great Halloween & even weathered a (very) cold night to walk door to door, collecting as much candy as she possibly could. She loved Halloween! Immediately after the costume came off, her focus quickly shifted to her Elf on the Shelf (Candy) who would be arriving on Thanksgiving Day &, of course, Christmas. On Sunday night, 11/10, we sat in bed forever as she scrolled through an endless list of things she’d found on Amazon… each one she “had to have” for Christmas. She was in great spirits. I went to sleep that evening completely oblivious to & unprepared for what the next 5 days would bring…

Emerson awoke Monday morning with a fever. I took her to the local hospital Monday afternoon where they started IV antibiotics, stabilized her, and life flight transferred her to Omaha. She arrived in Omaha early Tuesday morning and passed on Friday. Emerson was in septic shock; blood cultures were positive for both klebsiella and e-coli. Eme deteriorated very quickly upon arrival in Omaha. The many details beyond that are still too raw and painful to recount. Her dad and brothers flew in Wednesday to be with her… heartbroken, we all had time for personal & private good-byes. Her passing was peaceful, she went very quickly and without pain.

The support we received from current & former staff at Nebraska Medicine was incredible – so touching & heartfelt… former PICU nurses came in from home & other jobs, everyone from the transplant team was present… The compassion and empathy from so many helped to ease an impossible situation. There were so many tears, each one reminded me that her life had reach. Every memory reminded me that her battles were not fought in vain.

As I sit here today, 7 days later, I’m not sure I’ve completely allowed myself to accept the reality of what happened. I’m still expecting her to turn the corner or call my name… the silence is deafening. I’ve had many distractions at home from people checking in on me and from the boys who are here until after Thanksgiving break. The distractions have kept my mind busy and helped to protect my heart from the pain. It will take a long time to work through this and I’m not sure I’ve even begun. I lost my best friend 7 days ago… She relied on me & I vowed to protect her always, 7 days ago today I could not.

We are planning a Celebration of Life for Emerson on Saturday, January 18, 2020 at the Denver Botanic Gardens. All are welcome. More details to follow…

Thank you for being a part of Emerson’s journey & for making a place for her in your heart. Your prayers lifted us through the darkest of times & multiplied our celebrations. May the footprints she leaves behind forever imprint themselves upon you. May the lessons she taught carry us all through this life. God bless.

33 thoughts on “Forever in Our Hearts

  1. So sorry to hear about Emerson’s passing. My prayers are with all of you 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

  2. So so very sorry for you & your family. May the Lord Himself be your comfort & source of healing until you meet Emerson again, together in heaven.
    Karen in TX

  3. No words! I’ve been following your story for a while! For some odd reason stopped seeing updates and I came across this. I’m so sorry and Incredibly sad at this moment.🙏🏽You and your family will continually be in our prayers❤️❤️

  4. So very sad to hear this news Erika our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time. I have no words just love and to say day by day you will adjust to losing your precious Girl Emerson will always be in your heart xx

  5. Erika, and family, I am so very sorry to hear about your sweet, beautiful Emerson. Will be holding all of you in my prayers.

  6. Dearest Erika,

    Thank you for sharing your story and your heart here. I am so grateful Emerson’s passing was peaceful, surrounded by her greatest loves. You are on my mind and in my heart. I hope so much each day the love you and Emerson shared sustains you more and more. You are a REMARKABLE WOMAN AND MOTHER.

  7. Erica, your mother let me know. No words can really comfort you, so all I will say is that my heart breaks for all of you. May you somehow find peace. ❤️

  8. Erika,
    Please know that you, Emerson, and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. She gave it the best fight ever! You are to be commended for your steadfast love and care…it isn’t easy being the caregiver. The role of the caregiver is a lonely one…even when you have great support. God Bless you all!

    • I have lost touch with you but have often wondered how Emerson was doing. I remember that beautiful face from liver families. My son was Caleb we were.transplanted in 2004. He also had duodenal atresia as well as billiary atresia. I will continue to lift your family in thoughts ab prayer. Rest easy beautiful angel.You fought a brave fight.

  9. I feel so blessed that you shared Emerson with all of us. What an amazing journey it has been filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. You have been an amazing caregiver for 13 years. I am surrounding you and your precious family with love and prayers.

  10. I’m so blessed that you have shared Emerson with us. We have shared the highest of highs and the lowest of lows and you have been the most wonderful caregiver there ever was. I am surrounding you and your family with love and prayers,

  11. Ericka,

    There are no words appropriate enough to express
    my deepest sympathy to you and your family. I’ve read each and every post over the last several years. Emerson has touched thousands of lives and I personally thank you for sharing your journey. You were her constant support, through it all, every single day. Many, many, many spent in your little red recliner. Your strength amazes me. I too, am a grieving mother. My daughter passed away almost 3 years ago. I also understand your immense pain, unfortunately. You’re on a new roller coaster ride and again, I’m so terribly sorry. Praying for peace and you endure your grief journey.

  12. Please let us know how we an participate in her celebration of life ceremony. When my mother passed, I asked all who loved but lived far to participate by wearing the color purple, moms favorite color. Friends and family took pics wearing purple and messaged me. The support was well needed. Please let us know how we can show our love for your little one.

  13. Dear Erika and family – I hope that your hearts will find peace in knowing that you truly did protect Emerson every day of her life — and last week you made sure she was in the best hospital possible, she was surrounded by a lifetime of love from her closest family and from her lifelong medical family. I’m certain she felt all of that love and peace as she left this life. Her footprints have found their way to so many – because all of you were so generous in sharing Emerson and her story with us. Thank you for that gift of love and caring. Wishing each of you peace, smiles, and the laughter Emerson would want you to have when you think of her. Hugs Shayne

  14. Beautiful Emerson…Beautiful Angel…that little girl was so special. I’ve followed her story for many years. I don’t know your pain but I do know your fighting spirit for Emerson. Prayers….

  15. It has been an honor to share Eme life with you💕🌈. Only God knows how far reaching her life lessons will be. Stay close to those who love you! I will keep you and your family close to my ❤️
    Love and Blessings
    Alice M Shea

  16. My heart was broken when I heard the news. I remember the first night I took care of Emerson…and you! I will be there in Denver to give you a big hug! I am so sorry for your loss and for your family. If only every transplant child had a mother like you! You are the reason Emerson lived the life she did! You are amazing and a gift that many will never know! I admire you and your strength that all of us mothers wish we had! You are an amazing human being! I am blessed to be a part of Emerson’s journey! You and Emerson taught me a lot and formed me into the nurse I am now! Love you so much! -Leanna Cerveny

    • Erika, Eme could not have had any better mother & family on this earth. God entrusted her to you because you are a special person. My heart goes out to you and your family. Praying for all of you❤️💔❤️

    • Oh Erica I had not heard and I’m so very sorry. I remember the last post I saw she was doing so well. I know you are so lost without your buddy and sidekick. The prettiest sidekick I’ve ever seen. No child could have ever ask for a better Mom and I know you did ever minute of it out of a love only a mother can understand. Thank you for sharing your family with us. You really should write a book when you feel like you can you have a way with words. And the world needs to know Emerson!! And how important organ donation is. I know it may be something you can’t do, I understand. Just a thought. My prayer for you is peace that passes all understand as time crawls by with you missing your baby. I will be saying prayers daily for your family. I know the boys and her Dad are
      heartbroken as well. She was a very special little girl.
      And I know your heart is breaking. Thank you so much for sharing her with us. I feel blessed to have know her thru pictures. No more pain and disability for your sweet baby. Prayers and love sent to your family. God Bless you all. ❤️😪

      • I know me telling you no more pain and disability isn’t a comfort when you miss your baby so bad. I hope I didn’t cause you more pain by saying that. I’m not very good expressing my heart when someone loses a child. I just hope you know I meant it with the best intention. Prayers and more prayers for your precious family. And you. I can’t imagine the pain you are going through now or have give thru fir the last 13 years. Bless you!! ❤️

  17. Dear Erika, I am so very sorry & sad to hear of Erika’s passing. I started following her story years ago and burned a candle for her every day. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. She was an amazing little girl and you are an amazing mama. I will continue to light her candle. God bless you all💖🙏🏻

  18. Dear, dear Erica,

    My heart is aching for all of you. I am so, so sorry. I wish I knew the right things to say that would help. Just know there are so many praying for you for strength. Thank you for sharing in this sad, impossibly difficult time for you. Thoughts and prayers…..Annette W

  19. I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. I have followed Emerson for years, and was surprised to hear about this. So glad that the week before she passed was a happy time. May the God of comfort be near to you at this time.

  20. Dear Erika! Gale and I are so sorry over the heartbreaking news. What a roller coaster journey it has been for Emerson and your family. Thank you for sharing your story. Emerson is at peace now and in the arms of God. May this kowledge bring you comfort during these sad time. What an amazing mother you have been to Emerson. Our deepest sympathy to you and your family.

  21. My deepest sympathy to you and your family. I am so terribly sorry to hear of your loss. Thank you so very much for sharing Emerson’s journey, I feel blessed to have known her from your posts & pictures. Heaven has gained another angel. God Bless ❤️

  22. Erika,
    You have a gift with words. Eme was a fireball, full of life and not afraid. Eme touched everyone she encountered. I am amazed at your grace and Eme’s fight. I am thinking of you and your family; I cannot imagine the pain that your entire family is enduring. It is always harder for those left behind, your family and Eme are always in my thoughts.

  23. Thank you for sharing your very special daughter with all of us so that we could also be inspired and awed by her strength and resolve. I will pray for the hole in your heart to heal with memories and the love the two of you will always share.

  24. Erika, even though I have been through losing our precious Ashley Kate, I have no words to adequately express what my heart is feeling for you and your family. Please just know that you are in our prayers. May God bless you with comfort and peace during this most difficult time. Sending love…❤️🙏🏼😢❤️🌷

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