If I get through this post without bawling, it will be an all out miracle. I feel sad and blessed all at the same time. Grief stricken and rejoicing all at the same time. Happy for my sweet friends in Atlanta and devasted for my sweet friends in Atlanta all at the same time. Allow me to explain.
I went to college (Appalachian State University) with Robin and Chris. They were sweethearts then and are still sweethearts now. This week, they said goodbye to their oldest daughter, Alexa. She was only 11 years old.
Alexa was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer when she was only 1. For most of her life she has faced more struggle and trial than most people face in 80 years of life. Here is what her obituary read:
Alexa Grace Rohrbach, age 11, died Friday, November 28, 2008. She was a beloved daughter, proud big sister, beautiful granddaughter, dear niece, loving cousin and great friend. The world lost a brave little girl who touched many hearts. Here spirit was unmatchable and her precious smile contagious. She accepted all challenges that life threw at her and did so with unbelievable strength and heroic grace. God used her here on earth to touch the lives of people everywhere. She did so much in her short lived life. Her face constantly contained a smile with the most beautiful bright eyes, long gorgeous lashes and adorable sweet cheeks.
She battled cancer at the age of one, then had to live with all the complications from treatment including pulmonary fibrosis, scoliosis, halo traction, spinal fusion surgery, and most recently a tracheotomy and was placed on a ventilator. For years doctors, nurses and other medical staff commented that they had never seen a better patient than Alexa. She has been the face of hope for many. With faith in Jesus, fierce determination, a positive attitude and smile that would light up a room, sweet kind-hearted Alexa had fought the good fight for 10 years. Alexa still had fight in her, but her precious little body did not.
Alexa was the daughter of Chris and Robin Rohrbach and sister of Jenna from Acworth, GA. She was also the granddaughter of Alice and the late John Rohrbach and Robert and Jean Thoem, all from Marietta, GA.
Her funeral was Wednesday. It was the most amazing worship and celebration. This child was so joyful and left such a legacy. She loved Jesus and He is the reason for the joy posessed while here on this earth. Her 7 yr old sister wrote a song about her and sang it at the funeral. Both of her parents spoke at her funeral. Her life was celebrated. The service ended with the song, "I'm Trading My Sorrow". Just amazing.
So Alexa Grace, you my sweet sister in Christ, up in Heaven, inspired me more than you will ever know. I want to be like you when I grow up! Your challenge to "find something to be thankful for everyday and never give up" will be something I strive to do daily for the rest of my life.
And to my friend, Robin. If you ever read this, just know, I love you so much and I can't wait to spend more time with you in the coming year. You are so beautiful. Just like your amazingly beautiful girls.
Love to All,