Hello everyone. It’s Eric. I have some news regarding my family and Snow by Night.
On January 15, my wife and I met Elise Rose — our second daughter. She was born with a congenital heart defect. The valves of her heart were not formed right, leaving her with effectively a two-chambered heart instead of four.
Elise spent the first two months of her life in the neonatal ICU. When she stabilized in March, she came home with us for a brief eight weeks. Her broken heart kept her from doing much more than eating and sleeping. But she was a sweet thing who loved cuddles. She looked up at you with big eyes and made adorable cooing noises.
Elise had her heart surgery on June 9. The doctors reattached the valves of her heart so that it would pump properly. She came through the operation well. Over the next week, she came off all the wires, tubes, and supports. After ten days, the doctors sent her home a second time. She was on the mend and growing stronger and louder with every day. She held a rattle for the first time. I was proud of my little Rosebud who had made it through so much.
On this past Tuesday, Elise took a turn for the worse. She had been fussy all day, but when her breathing started to become labored in the evening, we took her to the hospital. There, her condition quickly worsened. Within hours, her blood oxygen plummeted and her pulse failed. Every doctor in the ER must have been in that small room, working frantically to save our little girl, but around 10:30 they were unable to resuscitate her, and she slipped away.
My wife and I took turns holding her body until it went cold. Then, in the small hours of the night, we said good-bye to our Elise Rose.
I’m going to need some time. There is much to be done over the next couple of weeks. Family and friends are coming into town. A funeral has to be planned and a burial site chosen. Also, I need time to grieve the loss of my favorite flower. To give me time to do all this, I’m extending Snow by Night’s hiatus for three more weeks until July 21. My apologies for the delay, but I hope you will understand.
We close with the last of our hiatus updates — Jacqueline’s headshots by Julie. The extended hiatus graphic above is part of the cover for Chapter 9.