Sep 29, 2011

Sloan and Finally Free

This week rocked my world. 
Literally, physically, mentally and spiritually. 
I was blessed to be an active part in the Chambers home this week 
and it was an honor and privilege to help this family during such a tragic time. 
Our care for them really is just beginning.
Sloan's service was today and it was beautiful, truly beautiful.
Her precious grandmother wrote Sloan's obituary and I want to share some of her amazing words...
"On Monday, September 26th at 3:39pm Sloan stopped dying and began living." 
I have never seen so many youth in pain though 
and these teens really aren't quite sure what to do with all of their emotions. 
Earlier in the week our church and youth pastors did an amazing job 
allowing them to express anything they may be feeling as we mourn the loss of sweet Sloan. 

I pray for rest and so many other things for the Chambers family.
I am craving rest too. 
Not just the physical kind but the other kind too. 
And so I've pulled this back out...
REST Nancy McGuirk, one of my favorites.

I think that is just what the doctor ordered.
And like I said here, may we remember that every day is in fact a gift.
And I was thinking that Sloan is finally free from mast cell leukemia, finally free from pain.
For that we are grateful. 
I am thankful to you also for your patience with me while I was away. 
And to thank you and in memory of Sloan 
I want to give away one yard of this pattern 
I designed for Robert Kaufman fabrics.
It's from my FINALLY FREE collection. 
You may remember why I named it that here.
For a chance to win,
simply leave a comment here telling us how Sloan's story impacted you.
You can read more here and here and here.
One winner will be randomly selected and announced Monday.
Blessings on your weekend.


  1. I left a comment but it looks like blogger ate it.

    Thank you for sharing Sloan's story. It is truly a lesson in faith that we walk each day with Jesus no matter what comes upon us...

    Thank you for sharing the options the kids had to express their grief.

  2. I have been thinking about you and Sloan's family all week. Her journey has impacted me as mother, therapist and person - faith is all powerful, continue to give your gift of love and live life fully because time on earth is precious. We saw a morning star at the bus stop this morning and my daughter looked up and said, " Look Mom it's Sloan looking down from heaven telling everyone she is ok.

  3. Coleman said:
    Ate my post every time I tried it….thankfully I copied it after the second time!!!

    "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints." Psalm 116:15
    what rejoicing heaven must have had this week!
    "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face. Now we know in part;then I shall know fully, even as i am fully known." 1Cor 13:12
    Ann Weems has a book of Laments and Psalms, Psalms of Lament that she wrote when she lost her son...i think it would bring Sloan's family great comfort.
    God bless, c

  4. Pam said:
    Good morning Caroline,
    I just wanted to tell you what a blessing it is to me to read your blog every morning! It's just a wonderful and beautiful way to start the day!!!
    Because of you and "Multiple Blessings" (and my precious neighbors, Paula and Fred Griffith) I was able to keep up with your sweet Sloan and I've been so touched by everything you've written about her and her family. The loss is just unbelievable but I'm so thankful that the Chambers family has your sweet self to love them through this sad, sad time in their lives.
    Thanks again Caroline for your sweet, faithful insight every morning.
    Take care,

  5. Life doesn't seem fair, does it, when a child dies. I know life isn't fair, though, and it's through our faith that we do get through this. Thank God IN all things, and I do. I pray that her family will be comforted and help up by all the prayers...

  6. What a beautiful post about Sloan! My family has been dedicated in prayer for Sloan since the day I read your first post. My middle son was confirmed with Sloan and it was just days later that your first post appeared about her diagnosis. We were stunned. The Chambers family has been a testament of faith to our family. Our faith has been strengthened while following their journey through your posts and caringbridge. My middle son is the only one who knew Sloan but my youngest (8th grade) told me about a tribute that the 6th graders at Country Day did on their lockers the day after Sloan passed away. This is a grade 3 years younger than Sloan and a school she did not attend. She had such an impact on so many! If that's not a win for her battle, I don't know what is.

  7. wow, Caroline,
    reading this post made me sad and happy all at the same time. It is amazing what Sloan's grandmother said and it is so true. Only in Christ can we truly live here on earth and one day with Him.
    thanks for sharing and since I am pretty new to your blog I also went to ready how you came to name your fabric line. Oh, to be free in Jesus.
    Hugs, carrie p.

  8. Oh, Caroline, my heart goes out to you and everyone who was touched by Sloan. Which was a large circle, indeed.

    As I read about Sloan's journey, I was reminded of the time surrounding my sister Tami's diagnosis with leukemia. The anguish at the thought of her leaving, the surprising moments of levity and fun, the tenderness, and the recognition of the everlasting strength of our bond.

    It has been eight years since she passed, and truly a day never ends without me having missed her. It has also become increasingly true that during each day I feel close to her, smile at a memory of something we shared. She remains part of my life, and I do my heartfelt best to be a reminder to her children that they were treasured by a remarkable woman and always have a place in our home and hearts. Seeing how my sweetheart loves them and looks out for them has added a new dimension to my love for him (even after 25 years).

    It has been an honor to share Sloan's journey with you. Please know that you will all remain in my prayers.

    wordygirl at earthlink dot net

  9. oh Caroline! I have been on 'vacation' from blogs with the craziness of school beginning and such. I did not know Sloan's condition until I read your blog this morning. I was thinking of her the other day as I pulled out a picture my daughter drew for her that I forgot to send. I am sick with grief for her family and friends. Thank you for being such a light in their dark world. My prayers are going up for her family.
    With lots of love, Erica

  10. The courage people exhibit at times of loss never fails to impress me. Thank you for sharing.

  11. Amazing. I am a firm believer that God has a plan and purpose for everyone on this Earth. It is always difficult for those left behind to deal with the loss of a loved one, especially a child, but it seems that Sloan spent her time here living in God's purpose for her. Nothing we say can take away the hurt and pain from the loss of her; I am just so thankful that her family had God in their lives to give them peace during this time of grief.

  12. I've known too many people that have had cancer. My husband's best friend was recently diagnosed with Leukemia and is currently undergoing treatment. We are staying optimistic. Also my mother is a breast cancer survivor. Let's hope that treatments keep improving!

  13. So sad. Cancer - it's affected my life, too. So hard to lose those we love. :(

  14. Thank you Caroline
    These have been such moving posts - As a parent losing a child is the worst thing imaginable, we lost our eldest son in March 2008 aged just 19

  15. It's almost 7:00 a.m. here in Ontario, Canada on a rainy Saturday morning and found you through Amy's blog. I visited Sloan's memorial and watched the news clip through blurry eyes, not because I just woke up but because a vibrant young girl was taken away too early and for all the family and friends left behind without her. I didn't know her but I wept.

  16. I've lost two close friends to leukemia. One when I was 14; the other in my 30s. No matter the age of the person, this is never an easy process to deal with. The outpour of love and support the Chambers family has received is endearing. My prayer is that Mr. and Mrs. Chambers will be comforted as they cope with the loss of their beautiful daughter in the coming days. Thank you for doing all you can to honor the sweet memory of Sloan.

  17. I read this and my heart broke but I am rejoicing that the she is finally pain free and watching over everyone that supported her thru this ordeal.

  18. Her grandmother's words are so very true! This life here on earth is just temporary. She's really begun now. It was interesting to see the ideas that the youth were using - such good ideas.


  20. So glad that Sloan is now living. How true are the grandmother's words. Makes me grateful for the health that I enjoy now. Thanks for sharing this experience with us.

  21. I found you through Amanda Murphy's note to "check out your giveaway". I fou d so much more than a talented designer and just a chance to win something. I found a commumity mourning, living, trying to understand why tbis young girl was taken so soon to be witb God. I found love, peace, caring, faith and trust in God through reading about Sloan. I didn't know Sloan but I know that she is resting now peacefully in the hands of God and will forever be safe. I can see, too, that she will forever e loved on this earth and never forgotten.Thank you for sharing Sloan's story.

  22. I came here from Amanda Murphy's blog, and I am so glad that I did. God plans even our blogging activities, do we ever stop to think about that? So inspiring, so touching, and so positive. I need to go hug my kids (again) and give them a squeeze. Blessings to all of you as you minister to this family.

  23. I came visiting from Amanda Murphys Blog, actually I stayed a long time! Your Blog and faith are so incredibly uplifting, and satisfying to know women like us are a minority. We care, pray and give deeply from our hearts~ I am now following your blog and look forward to reading future post. Will be keeping your family and the Chambers family within our hearts with Prayer~
    Huggs, Nancy

  24. "Sloan stopped dying and began living". That is one of the most beautiful things I've heard. God bless her and all who love her.

  25. I am touched by anyone who allows faith to be their driving force. Thanks for sharing.

  26. Praying for Sloan's family and all those who loved her. Her story brings tears, but you are right! She is home FREE. Thanks for reminding us the importance of what really matters.

  27. Thank you for sharing Sloan's story. It reminds us that we are all here for such a short time, and the time we have to touch peoples lives will stay with us forever.

  28. Life is a gift not to be taken lightly and we are all connected in some way and should treat each other as such!

  29. Caroline, I am a new follower (WeimerMom) and Sloan's story shows us how our lives are in God's hands. We can neither add to or take away even a second from His plan for us. That doesn't mean we proceed recklessly, but we need to be always mindful that true living is not on this earth. What precious promises for eternity we can embrace! Kd -

  30. Thank you for sharing this story, it is truly a story of faith and devotion. She will never feel pain or suffering again she is in a better place filled with love.

  31. Amazing story of faith and love; and with the Lord, we win the eternal prize! Love your Finally Free fabrics, the name makes me think of Sloan, who now is Finally Free and with the Lord. Thanks for sharing her story!

  32. Sincerest sympathy to Sloan's family and friends. This reinforced my decision to move on to the next step of being a bone marrow donor in the be-a-match process and to encourage others to become a bone marrow donor. Thank you.

  33. Meeting Kate, Labron and beautiful Sloan last year for the first time was at their home for a photo shoot. We had a fun experience. Prior to meeting the Vhambers, I photographed young children. I was a little nervous about photographing a teenage girl. It all came so natural and sha had me laughing (out loud) within one minute. She was young, beautiful, talented, outgoing, charming, kind and more.

    Just a few short months after, Sloan was diagnosed. After finding out, my heart heavy and sad. I kept in touch with the family and prayed for the Chambers. My young children developed a love for Sloan. Wearing orange, painting & drawing for her, including sweet Sloan in their nightly prayers and my 1st grader ran in her honor and raised money at his school "run for cancer". We made signs that read "We heart Sloan" and I cried my eyes out the entire race watching my son run with a big smile, his little brother on the side line cheering him on, neither of them really understanding it all.

    Last week "rocked my world" as you put it, Caroline. I couldn't find the words to describe it. The week was a blur. Attending the beautiful and meaningful service for Sloan brought peace to me. Knowing she was no longer suffering and she is finally FREE. A heart wrenching afternoon. Seeing Kate & Labron stand for almost 2 hours after the service to speak with each person who attended their only child's funeral was amazing. Kate said to me, "Thank you, Ali. The photos you took of Sloan were the last ones we had taken of her and our family." I love each moment of that shoot, something about it and this family, inspired me.

    Sloan touched my soul from the moment I met her and saying "farewell" to her on Thursday, left me a little empty yet very inspired. She was brave and strong throughout her short battle. I am thinking she will be with me in "spirit" with each photo shoot. Her smile is contagious.

    I hold my children so close to my heart and treasure each day I have with them. Each day is a gift.

    Finally free ... That is what you are Sloan. Free. You will never know how you have inspired me in the past months. I'm thankful we met. RIP sweet girl.

    Sloan stopped dying and began living." 

  34. Reading your blog & learning about Sloan really made me stop & reflect on all that I have that I dont acknowledge. You said at one point "We are literally and figuratively self absorbed...often wrapped up in ourselves.
    We are wrapped in sin and self absorption are like the cocoon.
    But we can change.
    When we choose to follow Christ, we can be free from the cocoon...
    free like the butterfly.
    Finally Free!" Losing a loved one is so difficult. Knowing they are without pain, meds, procedures, etc. there is a sense of relief like no other. May I continue to work towards being free & love others above myself. thank you.

  35. Sloan's grandmother is a great testimony of faith & trust that runs throughout the Bible. Being a grandmother myself, I want to be able to stand firm & be strong in my conviction that God is good all the time-I may not know what my life holds but I do know who holds my life in His hands!

  36. Hi Caroline, To lose someone we care about is the one of the toughest parts of life. Separation can touch us so deeply and bring pain so unbearable that it can break our heart. I felt connected to Sloan and her family through hearing your heart about her struggle with cancer. From your posts relating this battle, I could picture this courageous young girl whose courage and determination affected me, half a world away. I heard the greatest things; love, hope and faith were used as arsenal in Sloan's battle and they in turn gave me courage for my own battle and reminded me of the truth. Sloan's love for God and faith in him bought her freedom from the chains of death, for "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whosoever believed on him would have life."(John 3:16) Without that faith we all share the same mortal enemy, death and will have face it one day. "All we like sheep have gone astray, everyone to his own way, but the Lord laid upon him the iniquity of us all."(Isaiah 53:6) because you shall know the truth and the truth will set you free (John 8:32) I believe that Sloan is indeed finally free and has begun the new life that Jesus death has bought for all mankind. Sloan has given us a great gift, she has reminded us of the truth and her testimony remains to help and encourage until we are also finally free. God bless her family and friends and comfort them in their sorrow. Thank-you Caroline for sharing Sloan with us.

  37. This breaks my heart. And also gives me survivor's guilt. I recently completed treatments (surgery, chemo, radiation) for breast cancer. It's so hard to see anyone with this horrible affliction but I have an especially hard time seeing children, teens, young adults ... young parents in such circumstances.

    Life isn't fair and perhaps I don't have the strength of faith required to accept or understand it. I appreciate seeing the grace, despite the sorrow, demonstrated by the people who knew and loved Sloan. May she now know peace.


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