Day 366 — From Hell To Heaven

Today is Friday, March 22nd, 2019.  Exactly 1 year ago, on Thursday, March 22nd, 2018, our Hell began . . .

2018 was the worst year of my entire 39 years.  Throughout my life there has been the normal up and down days along with the good and bad days.  But none could compare to Amber’s death.  Not in a million years did I ever think to myself that Matt and I would have a child that, all of a sudden, is sick.  But not just sick . . . cancer sick, and not just cancer sick, but the type of cancer that would most likely kill her . . . and on December 17th, it did.  However, no matter how sucky and crappy it was for Amber and our family to go through this, I can say without hesitation that Amber died with Grace.  She should have died on March 22nd, 2018, but she didn’t.  With the Grace of God and endless prayers, Amber was granted a total of 9 extra months with us.  And while she went through the works; several brain surgeries, several regular surgeries including a vascular port and g-tube, her re-learning how to use her left side, the countless MRIs, radiations, numerous trips to NYC, all this while attending school, PT, and OT — Amber did it all with Grace.  Those hard yet special 9 months were fulfilling to our family, and God knew we needed that.  Some may question why Amber still died even though we prayed and prayed – I know we have.  God is Mysterious and God is All-Knowing.  God has an exact plan for each and every one of us, and our questions will be answered on our own judgement day.  God’s exact plan was always for Amber to be with him sooner than later, but to do so without pain and suffering.  God also allowed her to have those extra 9 precious months with us, and THAT is how our prayers were answered.

Today also marks 3 months since Amber was laid to rest.  Amber endured a lot over the course of those 9 months but everything she went through during her entire short 7 years ensured her a special spot in Heaven.  And although not here physically with us, she will still be a great part of our lives.  She gets to observe it from the best seat in the house — Heaven — watching how her family and friends’ lives progress.

The biggest goal in my life was to meet my soulmate and have children with him.  I knew I was put on Earth to be a mom.  Some people thought we were crazy for having so many children; their views like — the world is already overcrowded OR the world is a crummy place to raise even 1 child.  My response to that was that I knew the type of children Matt and I would create; children that would change the world for the positive. I didn’t realize that that would mean one of our children (who was an actual child) would achieve that goal so early in her life, by losing her life.  Amber was created by taking the best parts of Matt and mixing them with the best parts of me.  And when Amber died, those parts of Matt and me died too — but not without some positive impact all around. Amber Grace has changed the world by touching so many lives. She has brought so many together, and has changed the world for the positive.  

There was a school assignment in the beginning of the school year about who your Superhero is.  Amber wrote that her Superhero is herself with her super powers being Faith and Love.  Amber, without a doubt, was certainly a Superhero and she clearly has fulfilled her destiny on Earth by spreading Faith and Love, and continues to do from her special seat in Heaven.

27 thoughts on “Day 366 — From Hell To Heaven

  1. Caron…When I realized today’s date, I immediately thought of you, Matt, and your family. Anniversaries like the one you’re observing today have no business being a part of our families’ fabrics. I agree that Amber’s journey was totally Grace-filled, but I know that doesn’t always make it easier on the loved ones that she and other children leave behind them. You all continue to be in our prayers. May God bless you always and in all ways. With much love. ❤

  2. The world is such a better place because of you, Matt and your children. Amber awaits all of us with her wonderful spirit and true love.

  3. Amber definitely was a superhero, she inspired so many people in her too short time with us and left a strong mark on the world. Caron and Matt, you are both amazing.

  4. You said it so perfectly…and as I’m reading your words I glance out the window…the March 22nd snowflakes are falling as big as marshmallows….Amber’s presence will never leave us…

  5. Caron and Matt, Allen and I were driving by your home just as you must have been writing this morning. I said a quick prayer for you and then said to Allen, “l wonder how the family is doing?” You writing is beautiful and inspiring. God bless you and the children. Peace to you all.

  6. I think of Amber, Ned and Terry daily. Miss them but know they are in a better place.

  7. All my prayers and love sent to you and your family. Such a beautiful little girl and she was SUPERGIRL!! 🌸❤️

  8. Love to all of you. I will forever be a different doctor after meeting Amber and your family. That’s her gift to me.

  9. Amber forever changed the lives of Keith and I on her baptismal day. Thank you little Amber Gracie Smith!!! For if not for you and God; Noah and Autumn would not be here today. Always and forever Autnie Mel. 💜

  10. Continued prayers for healing, comfort and strength. I am continually amazed by your family and your faith. Amber inspired me to have more faith and to believe in God’s plan, not my own. Thank you for sharing your journey with others.

  11. Dearest Karen, Matt and family, Amber and her special family will hold a special place in my heart and soul. Every aspect of this journey embraced all of us with a remarkable love and faith.

  12. Much love to you all! Continued prayers of peace and strength 🙏🏻❤️

  13. Although Amber is no longer physically with us, she will forever be our Supergirl! Her classmates constantly remind me as I’m counting them in line, “Don’t forget to count Amber too because she’s right here with us.” The words of babes when you least expect it!

  14. Thank you for sharing. Amber will always be an inspiration to so many of us.

  15. Beautifully said. Tony and I think of your family often and continue to marvel at the Grace you have shown as you’ve shared your story.

  16. Russ and I were just talking about you and wondering how you, your parents & rest of family are doing. You are all in our continued thoughts & prayers.

  17. This is so beautiful even through your pain. May you continue to know both God’s and Amber ‘s love and grace in your lives as you make your way forward.

  18. Caron, Matt, and Family,

    March 22nd is a special day in my life. When I heard of Amber’s situation last year, well shoot it only seemed right to go to a Holy Hour on her behalf. Since then, I have prayed the beginning decade of the rosary for you all. This has been the longest, most spiritually fulfilling novena. Matt and yourself are such an inspiration to us all! Amber holds a special place in my heart, as does your family. You all will remain in my prayers on this day and all year long. We will be reunited with Amber. Her smile, love, and spunkiness will live forever in our memories. God Bless you all.

  19. Caron, I learned of Ambers struggle from her grandfather Mark, an ACTS brother. I was inspired by the families strength and faith in light of this terrible event.
    But your last entry was pure poetry explaining how Amber has impacted others and how you have maintained your faith in the view of tragedy.
    I have shared your family story as an example of keeping faith in time of unfathomable trouble. your faith is an awesome model for us all. Thank you or sharing.

  20. Eloquently written and all so true. We miss that little girl. We are so blessed to have had her in our lives! Love you guys!

  21. Dear Matt and Caron,

    It is hard to believe that a year has already gone by since Amber’s journey from this world to heaven. My heart goes out to you and your family as you relive this time. It is inspiring that as you experience the grief of losing Amber, which has to be the hardest cross for any parent, you are still able to see beyond that with the grace of God.\, knowing that Amber is experiencing the awesome beauty of being with God in heaven. There is no doubt, Amber was and is, a super hero. She found a way to bring about the positive in the midst of her illness with such grace. She has certainly touched the lives of so many people. I know that she has done that for me. You have raised such beautiful children who will no doubt be a positive influence on all the people they will encounter in their lives as you are two beautiful role models for them. Know that you are in my prayers daily as you travel this difficult but grace-filled journey.

  22. Dear Caron: I am an ACTS friend of Grandpa Mark. Your heart-felt messages over the past year have always touched me deeply. Then, I actually met you at Amber’s wake and I heard you tell me of your personal faith in God (from your deeply loving position of Amber’s mommy). And now your message today has left me speechless, because I recognize the voice of God in your message today. I have no doubt that Amber is so proud of you and that she is telling everyone about her great mommy as she travels throughout heaven these days. You will be well known when you arrive at the golden gates someday. I believe you will hear Christ say: “Welcome my good and faithful servant”.
    You and your husband and your family have touched me — I have grown better by knowing you!

  23. Caron and Matt Thank you for continuing to share yours and Amber’s Journey. I am not sure I would have had the same level of Grace and Faith as you have both exemplified. But I can tell you that reading this Blog have tremendously affected me for the positive. I have been more conscientious of being appreciative of my children, wife and and family. And your Faith and Trust in God has renewed my views that love and faith will get us through. You and your Family are amazing.

  24. Caron and Matt, I speak of Amber, and think of your family, often throughout my days. I wish you solace at this time of remembering. Love and faith are a powerful legacy for a sweet and strong little girl! May her life and memory continue to be a blessing for you and for all whose lives she touched.

  25. Heartfelt .. is about what I can say. I think of Amber so often…and feel I see her too….with her bells on…. Rei still prays for her. She was and remains a “lifechanger” My prayers go out to you all. God Bless.

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