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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Amelia's Journey Home

Amelia's Journey Home

Written by Kurt Hansen, father of Amelia
 March 19, 2013.

Amelia has never liked being indoors. Unless there are shows and suckers involved and then one of her favorite places to be is what she calls Amelia's House (pronounced Ya-ya's house).

As mentioned in an earlier write up we found ourselves at an unthinkable juncture in life. One in which we had to decide the fate of our little girl. As difficult as one would think it to be, we already knew the answer. Amelia was already free, we were the only ones holding her back at this point. She had already put on her show and cause divided families, long lost friends, and countless others to knock down walls of pride to gather around her and each other so she could teach us all some lessons and share with us some of her spirit.

This morning we took Amelia off the ventilator. There was much that went into this decision both medically and spiritually and I can tell you that we have never been so sure and assured of anything as we were of this. The doctors told us to expect something under an hour of her being able to sustain her own life. They obviously thought this was an ordinary girl. She had others things in mind. Amelia, being miss independent and always her own boss, decided to show us who was really in charge. As Ashley and I held her in our arms during the morning we enjoyed the peaceful presence of the spirit of God and of our girl while cherishing the opportunity we had to hold her (she is not into fuzzy hugs and snuggles. Head bonks and best-friend beeps are more her style). After many hours singing to her and kissing her we began to realize that we were going about this in the wrong way, and Amelia wasn't going to go along with it unless she got hers. 

We made the decision to take Amelia to where she, and the rest of us, really wanted to be. To Ya-ya's house! It seemed to be the right thing to do and it turns out that it was. Getting a drowning victim out of the hospital is no easy task. Technically we couldn't take her since all drowning victims are supposed to be examined by the State Medical Examiner according to Utah statute. But with the help of an outstanding staff of not just medical professionals but also compassionate people they made it happen. Strings were pulled and the door was opened to take Amelia outside and get her homeward bound. This is where she wanted to be, not in an ICU room connected to machines. Although those ICU rooms are wonderful places where miracles happen every day, it just wasn't right for our girl and she was letting us know.

After Ash and the nurse got Amelia cleaned up and ready to go in PJ's, I carried her down to the car. Ashley sat in the back holding her little girl and we hit the open road. We drove out of the Salt Lake Valley and down I-15 like we were busting out of jail. Everyone was in a happier place, Amelia included.

 Earlier this same day I mentioned we were singing songs to Amelia thinking that we were singing her to sleep, as we continued to peacefully roll down the interstate that role reversed. Ashley was holding Amelia with her little head nestled up against Ashley's neck and her precious arms over Ashley's shoulders, holding on to Mommy. I had the pleasure and privilege of watching this in the rear view mirror. Amelia's labored breathing against Ashley neck was a sacred lullaby for Ash. Soon I saw Ashley sleeping and Amelia peacefully resting on her mother's shoulder. Sometime later, as we continued down the road I could tell Amelia's breathing was getting softer and it started to fade from my ear. At that same time Ashley slowly opened her eyes and looked at Amelia. As Amelia's beautiful face came into Ashley's focus she drew one last breath and let it out in a soft sigh and then lay still in her mother's arms. Ashley and I looked at each other in the rear view and we didn't have to say anything. We both knew that our little girl was leaving the arms of her mother to be embraced in the arms of her Savior. We both smiled at each other and enjoyed the silence and peace that the spirit brings. Amelia was where she wanted to be and after she let her mom know she loved her and sang her to sleep she left us for the eternal world.

Ashley and I have been privileged to know Amelia and to have her in our lives. We will forever be changed from what she has taught us in the short time that we had with her. Amelia is still with us and will continue to teach us. She has changed venues in order to assist us in obtaining salvation and to seize the opportunity to be together again. She is here to help our family make righteous decisions and to comfort us in times of trial. She is our beacon, our light on a hill, to help us maintain direction in times of trouble. When we falter she will be there to give us strength and reason to make the right choice. This seems to be the theme of this tragedy. All who came into contact with Amelia were touched by her irresistible spirit. She made friends out of strangers. And this same little girl has inspired thousands to be better people in order to get where she is now. This is our wish and Amelia's, that all who were affected by this and touched by Amelia would take this tragedy and use it for good. Use her example as a reason to be a better individual so that you too may one day see Amelia be welcomed into the arms of your savior as she has been.

Ash and I have been surprisingly calm and comforted during this time. Never in my life have I felt the hand of God working such miracles. We are devastated to lose our little girl, but this pain is overpowered by the happiness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and by the miracles that Amelia was able to work with her little hands.

More about Amelia's story…
Amelia Marie Hansen, a mother's thoughts
Amelia's obituary and Grandma's reflections
Amelia's viewing
Amelia's funeral and burial
A letter to Amelia's parents

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