It is with great sorrow that I must report that Amy Alyssa Cockayne entered heaven gates on Tuesday, August 25, 2009. She was born December 30, 1980. I am not sure when exactly she was put into foster care, but she was blessed to have been put into the care of Munson and Betty Cockayne who later adopted her into their ever growing family and she became my aunt.
Amy was a born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. She was paralyzed from the waist area down and told that she would never walk. As a toddler, she would wear her braces on her legs and using a walker, would throw her legs around and "walk". But around the age of 4, she broke a leg, and her bones were never strong enough again to try the braces once more. But that did not stop Amy's will power.
Growing up, Amy had the most imaginative mind. I often told her that she needed to become a writer and tell all the stories that she had locked in her brain, but she would look at me and tell me that no one cared to hear her stories but me and the family. I begged to differ.
When we were younger, we spent lots of time with each other. See, I am six years older than Amy. I was more like a big sister to her that lived far away than a niece. When I called her "Aunt Amy" it was more to joke with her. It made her smile. I'm going to miss that smile.
I have so many memories of my childhood at my grandparent's and my teen years that have Amy in it.......
My grandma would let us play hairstylist and sometimes let me even cut the girls hair! Amy loved that.
When I was 16, I got to take Amy to her first movie in a movie theater. I took her and Jennie (her younger sister) to see "Beauty and the Beast". We had a blast!
Amy HATED for anyone but Grandma or me to tilt her wheelchair back. She didn't trust anyone but us, and she would go into hysterics when that chair got tilted.
She loved watching "The Worst Witch". Actually, she ended up very much into the supernatural and the science fiction. Harry Potter, Star Wars, Star Trek (all of them) were things that she lived for and lived her life around.
She would "dance" in her wheelchair with her arms. It really looked like she was having a seizure, but she did it so often as a child. Her whole upper body would shake back and forth and if you asked her, she was dancing. I always saw it as a release of energy for her.
She wanted so much to be independent! She was for awhile, but after being sick and near death once before, all her independence was taken away. She and my grandma went back to the old days of grandma doing almost everything for her.
Getting on dialysis by the age of 20 didn't help any, I am sure. I know that Amy wanted to be able to have a real job one day. I don't know if she ever was able to try. I don't even think she ever had a real boyfriend, or got to be kissed.
I know that this post has been all over the place and probably hasn't made much sense, and I apologize. There was and is so much that I want to say or write down before the memories fade once again.
I know that Amy is in no pain like she was before her death. That she made it into heaven and the earth will never be the same without her here. That even though she did not get to do a lot of things that people take for granted everyday, that she left a loving legacy by touching the lives of the people that she knew and were blessed to have known her. I was one of them. God did not bring her into my extended family for no reason. Amy had a strong will to live, she had nearly died at least once before and survived. I really feel that this time, it was because God has a higher purpose for her in heaven. She is now so many people's guardian angel, watching over us who are left behind.
Amy, you always looked up to me growing up, but I looked up to you too. You loved with all your heart and were stubborn when you needed to be. I need to be a lot more like you. You also held on to your dreams and dreamed big. I love you more than words can ever say. I know that your belief is that we will not see each other in the afterlife, but my belief is that we will. I'll meet you at gate and see you standing tall. I love you.