Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I am thankful for...Callie Marie

Callie Marie
By: Janell

I am blessed to have a great job where I work with one of the most incredible teams around. Not only do I have the privilege of working on a great team, we also are great friends. Not long after I ran my first 5k, there was talk of training for a half marathon amongst our coworkers. I honestly questioned myself, doubting if I could ever run a full 13.1 miles. I remember distinctly the conversation, where my friend and coworker said hey we are going to train for and run the St Jude half marathon and we are going to run it for Callie. Straight away, with no questions asked, my response was, 'I'm in'.

Whitney and BJ with their son, Caleb (2)
 after completing
her first half marathon in 2012
My sweet friend, Whitney (and the only other female in our office) and I and were pregnant at the same time and due with our babies (my second and her first-both girls) just 2 months apart.  It was a sweet time to be pregnant together and dreaming of bows, dresses, and our sweet little girls playing and growing up together. 

Callie Marie Clay was born Nov 27, 2009 at 9.5 oz 23 inches long. We knew that upon her arrival into this world that she would have to have immediate surgery to correct a bowel loop. She survived her 5 hour surgery but shortly after developed complications in her breathing. She lived for 15 hours before passing from her fathers arms into those of her Heavenly Father. It gives me chills to even write it, we were completely devastated.

The days and months after Callie's birth, were admittedly dark times for me as well as others. As we wrestled with feelings of anger, sadness and mourned for Callie, I remember what is was that helped us move forward. Her parents, Whitney and BJ, endured this devastating circumstance with such strength and bravery. They were an example of grace and faith that challenged us all. They remained confident that God is in control and were such a testimony to each of us wrestling with it. Do they have hard days even still? Absolutely!  But, I am so thankful for their attitudes, the courage they had, and how they remain confident that Callie's short life was not in vain.

Callie's St Jude Marathon team 2010
In 2010, a group of us from Central Church ran in the various events of the St Jude Marathon weekend for Callie. For a lot of of us it our first half marathon and the beginning of the marathon madness. We continue to run for her. Whitney completed her first half marathon in 2012 in her honor!

Her legacy continues. She would have been four next week.  We never want to forget Callie and what she meant for so many of us. We will continue to run in her honor, to celebrate her life, her beauty and how she changed us. We are thankful for you, Callie Marie.

Callie's St Jude Marathon team 2012


  1. Thank you for putting into words, what all of us who love Callie & her parents & now her brother fill.

    Jim Nichols

    1. It is amazing how little Callie touched my very soul with her awaited birth and then short life. What a precious baby. Her parents and grandparents faith and strength through this is inspiring. In a few short hours she inspired so many. You are forever in our hearts Callie MarieπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ

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