by Christina and Ernie Richardson

There will forever be significance to 10:53 a.m., Saturday, January 26, 2002. It was the moment of Karly's birth - the time from which we would measure her twenty-five minutes of life here on earth.

The brevity of her life has reminded us - that life truly is a gift from a loving God, that the gift of life is a sacred one, and that for some God has in His wisdom willed that this sacred gift be enjoyed for merely minutes.

We do question God - not because we question His wisdom - but because we seek to know His purpose in His plan for Karly if He would choose to reveal it. As Believers, we accept - for us and for Karly - this lot that God has chosen for us knowing that He has either intended it or permitted it to be.

Despite these questions, we know this. We know that Karly's life was not cut short. She lived a life as full as God intended and she passed at the time appointed for her. Whatever God's divine purpose, it is being served.

We know this too. We know a little of the pain God the Father must have felt to have known before His Son's birth the day of His Son's death.

We are saddened by the loss of Karly but we know that she has gained so much more - for Heaven is all she will ever really know.

Despite our sadness, we are grateful to God for so many things. We are grateful for the memories of those 25 precious minutes with Karly. We are grateful for the knowledge that she is in a better place and when little Ryan asks, "Where's baby Karly Anne?," we are grateful that we can say with genuine conviction that she is in heaven with Jesus.

We are thankful too for Choices Medical Clinic and the special blessing that Tammy, Gayly, Dr. Bohman, Dr. Schooley, and Dr. Stringfield have been in the care of Karly and us. We commend them all for their love of life and wish upon them God's richest blessings.

We are grateful that Karly was surrounded for her entire lifetime by family and friends who loved her. We are grateful that Kadi and Ryan saw their sister, that they knew her and will remember her. And we are thankful that when Karly passed, she passed quietly and peacefully into the arms of our Lord.