Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Death That Rocked The World

I'm not talking about the execution of Saddam Hussein.

I'm talking about something much bigger and profound than that.

Today the girls and I attended a funeral for their 8-year-old classmate Tatiyania Harris. She has been fighting leukemia for 5 years. I would like to share the obituary that was printed in the program.

Tatiyania Mylie Renee Harris was born on July 10, 1998 in Tacoma, Washington. She went to her homegoing December 22, 2006 surrounded by her parents Jeffery and Timika Harris and many friends and family.

Affectionately known as "Tati Mommas" she was raised in Tacoma all of her life, and attended schools in the Tacoma and Puyallup School Districts.

As a young child, "Tati Mommas" was very independent and determined to have things her way. At the young age of three, she was able to write her own name and complete a 25 piece puzzle. Tatiyana loved to write letters, draw pictures, color, do puzzles, play video games and decide what to eat for dinner.

During Tot's first year of school at Edison Elementary she was diagnosed with Leukemia. Many years, days and hours were spent at Mary Bridge Hospital in Tacoma where staff always extended their love and support. In time, she became royalty and has earned the title "Princess Tatiyania".

Tot was very dynamic in proving herself to the medical field as well as her community. No matter how sick she was, she was always eager to go to school. Her inspirational courage has earned her much recognition including Terrific Kid Award (three times), Kiwani's and Meeker Soaring Eagle award. The City of Puyallup officially proclaimed December 2nd as "Tatiyania Harris Day". And she didn't stop there! The first Tuesday of each month has been recognized as "Think Pink Day" at her school as well as citywide.

She will be forever remembered by her parents, Jeffery and Timika Harris, brother Jeffery Jr., Tavion and Jaylin Harris, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and extended family and friends.

I cannot tell you how humbling it is to sit in a church with two daughters the same age as this beautiful little girl, staring at a flower-draped tiny pink coffin. The sadness is all encompassing.

Everyone was asked to wear pink to the funeral, and as far as I could see, everyone did. There was a slide show set to music - the music that my girls love. I had no idea that "Cheetah Girls" would ever have made me cry.

And man, did I cry. The entire time I sat there with my hand covering my mouth, with tears dripping off my chin.... Oh, it was just terrible. And the girls, I think for the first time, understood what death really meant. They are still crying - that silent type of crying with their eyes digging right into my heart for answers.

And all I can do is think, "Thank God you're okay. Thank God you are with me. Don't EVER go away. I could not stand it even for one minute."

Isn't it amazing, on a day like today when every televison and newspaper and internet site is weighing in on one death, that another can be so, so much more important? It proves to me that death can be much more powerful in the quiet sad corners of our lives than it is on the world stage.

Rest in peace, sweet girl.


At 3:42 PM, Blogger Ant said...

Oh Shari. That is so sad.

I agree - our much smaller, personal circles are far more powerful than those on the grand stage.

She sounds like a lovely and inspirational girl.

Hope you and the girls are ok.

At 11:00 PM, Blogger Christine said...

Goodness. Wishing you, the girls, and the family of Tatiyania much peace.

I cannot fathom what they are going through. So, so sad.

At 11:18 AM, Blogger rennratt said...

As the mom of a little girl, I simply can not fathom the grief that this family is dealing with.

My thoughts and prayers go out to them - and to your family. May your girls NEVER have to experience this again.

At 1:53 PM, Blogger anika said...

Shari, I wish your family and Tatiyania's family peace.
My heart is sad.

At 6:33 AM, Blogger Biff Spiffy said...

Thank you for writing about it. Brings things into instant focus, releasing the urgent, insistent noise of life into the background.

Will hug my kids more tonight.

Found you thru Marisol's site just today.

At 1:45 PM, Anonymous Jennifer said...

My daughter attends Meeker as well. It is a very moving event, and tucking my girls into bed at night is a different experience.

My daughter wore pink on Tuesday, and says she wants to "forever".

Thank you for sharing this with others. I have as well, and am encouraging people to have bone marrow screenings done.

Best wishes for you and your family.



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