Do you remember your 18th birthday?  Life was just beginning right?!  My daughter, Kathern, never made it to 18 and there are so many things I wish I could share with her.

ALL ABOUT KATHERN ELIZABETH

ANGEL WELSH
ANGEL WELSH
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I remember it so well, I was 24 and working for the Owensboro Parks & Recreation Department.  I had just started four weeks earlier.  Sitting in a staff meeting and I couldn't get comfortable.  After the meeting, my boss, Cyndi Sturgeon, told me I should go to the doctor just to make sure everything was ok.   Well, thankfully I did or everyone in the Parks Dept. would have been delivering a baby.  My water was about to break and it was time, to say the least.  Miss Kathern was six weeks earlier than expected.
Let me say she was perfection.  Dark brown hair, tan skin, and the most gorgeous blue eyes you've ever seen.  She could stare a hole right through you.  I smile thinking just how wonderful she was.

We got to keep her just shy of two months before the good Lord called her home.  She took a big part of my heart with her that day but I have never forgotten to be thankful for the time we were given this side of heaven.

HOW WE CELEBRATE HER EACH YEAR

ANGEL WELSH
ANGEL WELSH
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Since her passing, I've added three more to my crew of kiddos.  It is a rite of passage for them to learn about their sister and how very special and loved she is and will always be.  I share the story of her life and how Jesus needed her more in heaven than we did down here on earth.

It is tradition for us to celebrate her every opportunity we get.  We buy her an ornament each year at Christmas and place it on the tree together.  We visit her gravesite on her birthday and any and every chance we get we speak her name and include her in all we are doing.

Here brothers and sister love to talk about who she might be and what she might be doing if she were here with us.   Our youngest daughter, Charlotte, was chatting up a storm this past weekend that her sissy would be driving her to school and taking her shopping and how they would most definitely share a room.  I loved listening to her vividly describe it all in her innocent six-year-old view.  It gave me life.  I love how much she loves her sister.

I tell my children if we continue to celebrate her she is never really gone and we have held onto that for 18 long years now.

THREE THINGS I WISH I COULD TELL HER

I'm sure you're thinking only three things?!  Honestly, no but three that weigh heavy on my mind.  For instance if I only had a few minutes to speak with her.

ANGEL WELSH
ANGEL WELSH
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YOU TAUGHT ME TO USE MY TIME WISELY WITH THOSE I LOVE

I didn't know you would be taken so soon and I have only a handful of memories to carry with me.  I am grateful I took the time to snuggle you and listen to you breathe.  I thank God daily for our last night together when it was just you and I (we didn't have cable) and nothing was on tv so I propped you up on my knees laid back with your hands in mine and I sang to you ( I weep thinking of this exact moment as I type).  You cooed and crossed your eyes listening intently to my songs.  I praise God he gave me those minutes alone with you.  This has reminded me to soak in every little detail of my time alone with each of your siblings.  I have learned to take time to have those moments with each of them.  It has taught me a deeper appreciation of their different personalities and how absolutely amazing they are individually.

ANGEL WELSH
ANGEL WELSH
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YOU TAUGHT ME TO BE THANKFUL IN ALL THINGS

Something that has played in my mind for 18 years now when I speak of you to others is God never had to pick me to be your mother but he did.  He chose me out of all the women in the world.  Some women never have the chance to be a mother.  I got to have you and hold you and love you for a whole month and 26 days.  I have memories, photos, and most importantly I can say I'm your momma and no one else can ever say that.  God thought I was special enough to be your one and only and for that, I am more than thankful.  I find myself stopping and thanking God daily for the smallest instances, for those things others let pass by, I know God's hand is in it all, and I have you to thank for this.  There are no coincidences in life and I believe this with all my heart.

ANGEL WELSH
ANGEL WELSH
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KNOWING WHAT I KNOW I'D DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN, YOU MADE ME A BETTER ME

I have often been asked over the years if you had it to do over again could you or would you do it knowing the outcome?  Without a doubt a million times.  I would go through every ounce of pain and heartache just to see your beautiful face, hold you in my arms, and stare into those eyes of yours.  The memories although very few have last me through the years and listening to your brothers and sisters speak about you gives me such joy.

My favorite story comes from Braden when he was just 5.  We were laying in bed and as we talked I was looking at the sweet freckles on his face.  I touched one and asked "where did all these come from" without a second thought he said "momma don't you know those are all the times Kathern comes down from heaven and kisses me at night" his answer stopped me right in my tracks. It must be true how would he know otherwise.  I'm grateful you visit each of them and even more that you watch over all of us.

I often wonder whether you would look like me or your dad.  If you'd be an athlete or involved in dance or drama or if you'd just be working.  I try to imagine you at the dinner table and sitting with us at church.  What kind of style you would have and would we share clothes.  You'd be graduating this year and I think of you going off to college and away from home.  While I'm sad we'll never know I am so blessed to know you were mine for a little while here on earth and forever in eternity.  I look most forward to the day I leave here and meet you again after so long.

We will do as we have always done and pick out cupcakes and balloons and pay her a visit.  We'll sing Happy Birthday and stand together in silence to remember who you are to each of us.

ANGEL WELSH
ANGEL WELSH
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My Kathern Elizabeth Freels you are so very loved my girl and we all hope you are having the most amazing Birthday Celebration EVER in heaven~

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