ElliesWay | Ellie's Way - Part 7

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Dreaming of Ellie by Todd Nigro I was talking with Kristen one night about how much I missed Ellie’s hugs. She always came running to me when I came home and wrapped her arms around me and just squeezed for a few moments. She knew how to hug me and I absolutely loved it. At night, when I was putting her to sleep, I would snuggle next to her. She always wanted me to read a book to her, followed by some cuddling, and then I would usually try to leave as I usually had something else to do. She would give me the cutest little kisses. They were little pecks, but I could tell she was really trying to express her love with her kiss. It was just precious. One of my tricks to exit each night was to get the stuffed horse, who I always jokingly called “Donkey”, to lie down next to Ellie. It was a big horse and she would always smile and just say “Daaaaad, it’s a horse!” I would wrap the horse’s legs around her and the last leg I would kind of clamp down on her tightly. She loved that. Then, she always wanted me to be nearby in the office while she went to sleep. One morning the dogs woke us up around 5am and by the time I got dressed to take them out, Kristen was already outside with them. We went back to bed. I fell back asleep and had […]

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Larry the Cable Guy by Todd Nigro About a week after our six-year-old Ellie died, I was outside with Kristen and a friend. Our dog Maverick was barking at a man up the street in a neighbor’s yard. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. We don’t have a fence for Maverick and he slowly wandered up our driveway. He kept barking obnoxiously and moving closer to the man. I had no choice but to try to get Maverick and stop him. As we got close to the man, he began talking to Maverick and to me. He said how much he liked daschunds and how he had owned several in the past. I kept getting closer and Maverick eventually walked behind me and would let out a random bark every now and then. The man introduced himself “Hi, I’m Larry”. He was digging a trench for the cable. Obviously, he worked outside all day long and he looked like it. In the past, I would have judged his appearance. But, I seemed to have a different view. I saw a man who wanted to share and needed to talk. I made a point to just listen. He talked more and more. He told a story about a dog that bit his brother. He respected dogs and was careful with them. He pulled up his shirtsleeve and showed me a scar where a dog had bit him. Then, he said, “What if I was a little kid […]

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“If you know someone who has lost a child, and you’re afraid to mention them because you think you might make them sad by reminding them that they died–you’re not reminding them. They didn’t forget they died. What you’re reminding them of is that you remembered that they lived, and that is a great gift.” – Elizabeth Edwards Some thoughts from our friends “Remembering them in conversation truly is a gift. There is no such thing as a delete button in matters of the heart.” -TGH “It makes our angels smile when they hear their loved ones talk about them.” -KLW Message from a friend regarding this post “I want to thank you for posting this. My brother died Aug 26 1999 in a car crash. I have never called my mom on this day for fear of upsetting her. I called her tonight and tried as hard as I could to maintain my composure as I read this to her. Needless to say I could not but I finally was able to convey the whole message. It made my mom’s day to know that he was not forgotten and was remembered for his life. Thanks!” -JL

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Ellie’s Last Sticky Note by Todd Nigro Six-year-old Ellie was always watching people. One day, she noticed that I was leaving encouraging sticky notes around the house for Mommy. She informed me “Daddy, where is my note?” She was irresistible! I began to write her notes and leave them where she would find them. I always wrote her one because it made her so happy (even if Mommy didn’t get one sometimes). Ellie learned and wanted to give back. She began to write notes and cards to everyone. She took it to a whole new level! Her nice words are on all the neighbors’ refrigerators and were delivered to her swim team coaches. She always had time to write a nice note. One day last year, I came home for lunch. Just before I left, I was walking out of the garage to my car and I saw Ellie run across the driveway as fast as she could. She darted around the back of the house. I walked up to the car and saw her last sticky note to me. It touched my heart and I put it over the tachometer, and that is where it was for the last few days I had with her. Ellie was killed in a tragic accident. What a wonderful memory for me. I love you too, princess, you are the best daughter ever!

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God’s Lent Child by Author Unknown I’ll lend you for a little while, a child of mine, God said For you to love the while he lives and mourn for when he’s dead. It may be six or seven years, or forty-two or three But will you, till I call him back, take care of him for me? He’ll bring his charms to gladden you and should his stay be brief You’ll always have his memories as a solace in your grief. I cannot promise he will stay, since all from earth return, But there are lessons taught below I want this child to learn. I’ve looked this whole world over in my search for teachers true And from the folk that crowd Life’s lane I have chosen you. Now will you give him all your love and not think the labour vain, Nor hate me when I come to take this lent child back again? I fancy that I heard them say “Dear God, thy will be done. For all the joys this child will bring the risk of grief we’ll run. We will shelter him with tenderness, we’ll love him while we may And for all the happiness we’ve ever known, we’ll ever grateful stay. But should the angels call him much sooner than we’d planned We will brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand.”

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Before losing our six-year-old Ellie, I had no idea what to say to someone that experienced loss. The fear of saying the wrong thing was paralyzing and very uncomfortable. I ran a poll in several groups that I belong to and asked “What are the best things someone could say to you as you grieve the loss of your loved one?” These were the top answers: I’m not sure what to say, but I want you to know I care. We all need help at times like this, I am here for you. ____ was such a wonderful person. My favorite memory of ____ is ____. Say nothing. Just be with the person. Here’s a couple of stories that relate to this topic. Ellie’s T-Ball Coach I was in line at a restaurant. The man behind me looked familiar, but he would not look my way. He was busy ordering and I considered just not engaging in any conversation. But, then there was a delay at the register, and I thought why not just go for it. I said, “weren’t you a T-ball coach?” He replied, “Yes, years ago”. I asked him about his kids and he informed me about his new twins and other kids. He asked me about my kids, and I told him I had three, two boys and a little girl in heaven. I said, “I think you were her T-ball coach”. Tears welled up in his eyes and I could see the pain in his […]

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This has to be the funniest of her videos. Thanks for the laugh, sweet little Ellie! Some background on this video. After Ellie died, we decided to download any videos on the camera to see if there was anything we might want to use for the memorial service. We were stunned to find a bunch of videos that Ellie had created all by herself. She left us many priceless gifts.

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Ellie wrote this in her Fairy Notebook. As the summer ends, we hope you had plenty of summer fun! Summer Fun by Ellie Nigro the sun is shining. it is a beautiful day. jast a prfict day for the bech. I wish we wor at the bech. But the good thing is that we are going to the bech tmro. summer summer it’s so fun. it’s proble the best thing that you have ever dun. summer fun in fact it’s so fun that it so fun, it’s so fun that you will fall in love with summer fun becus it is the most fun you will ever have in your whole entire life. summer fun. The End I Love You    

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I’m Free by Shannon Lee Moseley Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free. I’m following the path God has chosen for me. I took His hand when I heard Him call; I turned my back and left it all. I could not stay another day, to laugh, to love, to work or play. Tasks left undone must stay that way; I’ve found now peace at the end of the day. If my parting has left a void, then fill it with remembered joys. A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss; Oh yes, these things, I too will l miss. Be not burdened with times of sorrow, look for the sunshine of tomorrow. My life’s been full, I savored much; good friends, good times, a loved ones touch. Perhaps my time seems all too brief; don’t lengthen your time with undue grief. Lift up your heart and peace to thee, God wanted me now – He set me free.

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I was finally getting around to cleaning up my desk, and I found a piece of paper. It was a “To Do List” that I wrote presumably in early January 2012, just before Ellie passed away. The items on the list relate to buying Ellie’s cello, setting up the kids swim meet, and getting the address to pay Nathan (Ellie’s cello teacher). Ellie must have seen the list, and she added an important item at the end.   I feel like she’s still loving me today when I find these treasures. Ellie and Dad

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