Dear Sarah…

I debated whether or not I should publish this on my blog. Then, it came to my mind that writing is my passion. It’s something I love to do and Sarah knew it and loved that I wrote too. So, I knew there was no better way for me to share my love for my beautiful little sister.

Dear Sarah,

Your twitter bio once said, “She wants to change the world and you know what? She just might do it.”

Well, my love, you did it.

Over 10,500 followers, thousands of shirts sold, numerous hearts turned purple and now, many tears fall.

The Crane Crew before Sarah started chemo and I left for school.

The Crane Crew before Sarah started chemo and I left for school.

The day I left for school in August, I felt so guilty. I didn’t know how I was going to not only leave you, but mom, dad, Ally and Jenna. I thought I was being selfish and that maybe you’d be angry at me because I wasn’t there to help you all the time. I was wrong & you proved that to me. I know you held on for me to drive home and we all be together.

You didn’t have to, but you did.

I won’t forget looking into your beautiful brown eyes one last time. Never ever.

Sarah, do you know how much you accomplished in your fifteen years of life? I feel sorry for people who didn’t know the healthy you, just the sick one. Your spirit was still the same, but they only got a glimpse of you.

The Sarah whose smile could light up a whole room in a second.

The Sarah who could make anyone laugh.

Seriously though, all I can think about is how you would randomly break out in dance moves or random facts.

The Sarah whose positive outlook helped renew another’s attitude.

You simply loved life and loved sharing your life with others.

Sarah and one of her best friends over Spring Break 2013.

Sarah and one of her best friends over Spring Break 2013.

I know, I know, if you were here right now you’d be frustrated and annoyed that I was getting so upset.

But I keep thinking about what we didn’t get the chance to do.

I didn’t get the chance to watch you get all dressed up for your proms like you did for mine. You helped me numerous times with my nails and hair…I wish I could do yours.

Me, Sarah & Ally for Prom 2013

Me, Sarah & Ally for Prom 2013

I don’t get the chance to have you in my wedding or have you there when I have my first baby. I know you will be…I  wish I could see your face or hear the jokes I’m sure you would tell.

And all I can think about is how as a big sister, I’m supposed to protect you. I’m supposed to stop the bully from hurting you. I’m so sorry I couldn’t stop it this time. This nasty, nasty bully.

But don’t worry, Sarah, I’m not full of complete sadness because I know you’re there thinking, “Seriously guys, don’t worry about me.”

I’m not worried at all. You’re in the greatest place possible and I can’t even imagine how beautiful it is. It became even more perfect when you arrived.

Isaiah 40:29-31 keeps comforting me:

“He gives strength to the weary 
and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord
 will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

I can see you running again. Seriously, like miles and miles. I can visualize you playing ball with Reno again and it makes me smile.

I can also look back on the memories we shared. I remember you being born and thinking, “Sweet! I don’t have just one new baby sister, but TWO!” Oh goodness, you were so tiny. While mom was probably panicking at the thought of dealing with four very young girls, I was rejoicing in the fact that I now had three sisters to call my best friends.

Image 1

I remember Ally and I strapping you and Jenna to the toy box lid and pushing you down the stairs as if you were sledding. I knew you would always crash into the wall, but it was so fun. I remember your gymnastic days and how we would always go to Buffalo Wild Wings before or after and play trivia.

I remember the numerous summer days spent by the pool and the cold, winter days as we would try to snowboard down the hill with our sleds.

You were so fearless.

Ugh and how I remember the days of how dirty you were. Seriously, you would play in the dirt and attempt to eat the rocks. Everyone called you pigpen, like the one from Charlie Brown.

Then somehow, you became a beautiful young lady. You were perfect.

And so yes, I am happy because you are healed and you are not suffering.

But gosh, as a human I am selfish and therefore I am upset because you can’t be healed with us.

I  wish I could hear you laugh again.

I know you’ll always be with me. So, as you requested I will finish these finals strong. Especially since I know you will be looking right over my shoulder. I won’t let you down.

I just miss you so much. And I guess I’m confused because if God wanted to use you so bad as an example, why couldn’t he just let you live a little longer to teach others? I’ll find out the answer some day.

No matter what, we will always be the fabulous four Crane girls. We will always be dad’s “crackers.”  There will ALWAYS  be six of us in the Crane Crew.

& now, Sarah, you are my angel.

I love you so much.

I can’t wait to see you again, Sloppy Jo.

A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life.

A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life.

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36 thoughts on “Dear Sarah…

  1. Inspiration def doesn’t stop with Sarah! This is such a beautiful sentiment to your sister! I cannot imagine having to say goodbye to my baby sister and yet you do so with grace, honor and then share with the world here…… Beyond beautiful. I see that God will continue to use Sarah through her big sis! He has big plans for you! Thank you for sharing! Sending you positive vibes to get thru finals and lots of prayers lifting your family up ! Xoxoxo –

  2. You are a beautiful young lady and what you have written for all of us to read us just awesome. You truly are a great Big Sister, We are so lucky to know the Crane family thank you for this tribute to you lovely sister Sarah.

  3. My eyes are filled with tears as I read this BEAUTIFULLY written “see you later” letter to Sarah! You TRULY have a gift and I too am glad you use it and that you shared this most personal letter with all of us! Please know I continue to pray for all the Crane family and friends up there. Just know Sarah has reached so many people who will not meet her here but will surely know her wearing purple when we get up there. HUGS!

  4. Kylie you gave your sister a wonderful tribute I see that it is not just Sarah strong it is all the cranes are strong you guys have shown us something that you didn’t have to and taught us more than I can say thank you for allowing us in when you didn’t have to you are a beautiful and bright girl carry on and be Crane strong

  5. Your family is in my prayers! Sarah was such an inspiration to so many! Reading your beautiful tribute had me streaming with tears feeling your pain of loss!

  6. I have a 15 year old daughter and I cant imagine what your family is going through. She was truly an inspiration to us all. I give my deepest sympathy and will pray for your family in these next few hard days.

  7. To Sarah’s Family:

    I just want to send my deepest simpathy. I couldn’t imagine what you all are going through. My family and I would love to come by the viewing if possible to show our respect for a young and beautiful young lady. Who should have had a longer life. My daughter is her age and I couldn’t imagine. I am so very sorry for your family. I loved reading this story you wrote for your younger sister. We need more people to love life as much as your family does. Very Inspired!!!

  8. I never knew Sarah or the Crane family, but I can say she has touched so many people. Beautiful letter, it was hard to hold back the tears. My prayers to the Crane Family

  9. I would like to give my condolences to the Crane family. Sarah was the same age as me. When I heard her story, even though I didn’t know her, she became one of my idols. I would love to come to the viewing just to give my respect to the family. I will have my prayers and thoughts coming to your family during this time of pain. Sarah was truely a beautiful and inspirational girl! This was a very moving letter/story. R.I.P Sarah!! God Bless The Crane Family!!

  10. My sister passed away nearly 19 years ago when she was too so young. You will miss her and you will cry and you will laugh at the good memories but you will find her in the wind on a spring day. In the midst of sunshiny day. In the smell of a beautiful flower. She will be everywhere. She is healed and in the arms of our Heavenly Father. She will lift you up when you feel like you can’t go one more step. Be nice to yourself and don’t be surprised at how much you hurt becuz that’s what means to love. Lifting you & your beautiful family in prayer!

  11. I didn’t know Sarah personally, but the way her story brought everyone in the community together is just amazing, and she seems like she was a pretty amazing person herself. I wish I had the chance to meet her. The first time I heard her story I was at the Memorial vs. Concord JV soccer game, Concord was wearing ‘Sarah Strong’ shirts and I turned to my cousin and asked what it was all about. After she told me I started seeing stuff shared on facebook.. Then my school did a “Purple Out’ for Sarah and we all bought shirts. Today at school after hearing of her passing a lot of us wore our Sarah shirts, and a lot of people wore black today too. It’s so sad that such an innocent girl had to go through all of this, but now she is in a better place. Thank you for sharing this story, again, I did not personally know her, but just reading this gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes, and a lot of the things I read about Sarah did the same. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Sarah.

  12. Kylie you stated everything so well. I know you will miss Sarah even if you know she will be with you always it’s just not the same. I am so glad you have such a great family you will all help each other with this loss. I didn’t get to know Sarah very closely but the times I did get to be with Sara and your grandma are very memorable. She is a very special young woman and always had a smile. I am very sorry for your loss I’m glad you have good times to reflect on to help with the pain.

  13. Such beauty, having lost my brother a year ago, I know the pain you are feeling, it’s a pain so unimaginable, indescribable, I’d like to say it gets easier, but I myself am not there yet, however you do find a ” new normal “, know that she will always be with you, she will let you know she’s there :) you will see. My thoughts and prayers are with all the Crane Family. Hold on to those memories, continue to laugh and talk to her and about her, and cry, she is crying with you and she will hold you in those times of sorrow. Take care and forever SarahStrong

  14. So beautifully written , and what a wonderful tribute to your sister !! Although I have yet to meet any of the Crane family , I feel very fortunate to be part of the same community !! Bless you and your family . You hold a special place in my heart !

  15. A beautiful, loving, letter ! I have only 1 sister left now, lost one and 3 brothers, and I felt your pain!
    God be with your family.

  16. GOD bless your family on the loss of your beautiful sister Sarah. Although I didn’t know her personally I feel as though she is a part of my heart as I’ve prayed for her every day since hearing her story. My granddaughter goes to Memorial High School and would often come home telling us of the tenacity with which Sarah fought, her courage and overall belief that she would beat this horrible disease.
    My heart goes out to each of you as you carry your memories of Sarah and know that you really aren’t saying goodbye but saying Thank you GOD for holding her close until we get there. GOD bless her for bringing a country together.

  17. What a beautiful tribute to your sister. I don’t know your family but I know the loss of a child. He was a man but he was my child and I still miss him, it has been a year since he left us. He too had fought that battle. I’m so sorry for you loss. Prayers go out to your family. God Bless You All.

  18. Kylee,

    I don’t know you, but I’ve heard about your family’s story. My heart aches for you and your family during this time. However, I know that Sarah’s strength is already being seen in you – just by having the courage to share your letter to Sarah on your blog. You are strong – and this incredible strength comes from God, which is so great! Anyway, all this to say that there’s a body of believers in York, PA praying for you all – and though I didn’t know Sarah, I’m excited to meet her one day as well. Stay strong.

    In Christ,
    Ben Godfrey >

  19. Kylee,

    Hello! My Mom, DeAnn Schuler & your Mom are friends. I’ve been following your blog & praying for Sarah & your family through this difficult time. I am so sorry for your great loss. After I read this post & that you know Sarah is thinking, “don’t worry about me” I had to share this song with you; the lyrics are below. It was written & recoded by Alan Jackson. If you’re not familiar, I encourage you to listen & hope it will provide some comfort. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCvgXw-Bh04
    My cousin passed away unexpectedly of a heart attack in August & like Sarah she wasn’t a wife or mother but defiantly a friend to many & a sister. So for them it’s more appropriate to sing, “daughter, friend & sister”.

    “Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

    God’s purpose for each of us is far greater than the tiny role we play in it. I’ve learned that I may not understand His plan right now & why people so young have to go so soon with so much life to live. The loss is numbing, heart wrenching & unfair. Sarah was a beautiful gift & she fulfilled God’s purpose.

    You mentioned Isaiah comforts you… The Lord also said, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, 
Nor are your ways My ways…the heavens are higher than the earth, 
So are My ways higher than your ways…” Isaiah 55:8-9 God’s wisdom is so deep & I have faith someday we’ll understand. I agree with Jenna that you will one day see Sarah in paradise!

    I truly believe Heaven is real & far more beautiful than we can ever imagine. And I hope your strength grows this Christmas to know Sarah will be at peace with Jesus surrounded by beauty, love & joy!

    Love & Blessings to you, Jen Horoky

    Sissy’s Song

    Why did she have to go so young I just don’t know why
    Things happen half the time without reason without rhyme
    Lovely, sweet young woman, daughter, wife and mother
    (You can sing…..daughter, friend and sister :)
    Makes no sense to me I just have to believe

    She flew up to Heaven on the wings of angels
    By the clouds and stars and passed where no one sees
    And she walks with Jesus and her loved ones waiting
    And I know she’s smiling saying don’t worry ’bout me

    Loved ones she left behind just trying to survive
    And understand the why feeling so lost inside
    Anger shot straight at God, then asking for His love
    Empty with disbelief just hoping that maybe

    She flew up to Heaven on the wings of angels
    By the clouds and stars and passed where no one sees
    And she walks with Jesus and her loved ones waiting
    And I know she’s smiling saying don’t worry ’bout me

    It’s hard to say goodbye her picture in my mind
    They’ll always be of times I’ll cherish and I won’t cry ’cause

    She flew up to Heaven on the wings of angels
    By the clouds and stars and passed where no one sees
    And she walks with Jesus and her loved ones waiting
    And I know she’s smiling saying don’t worry ’bout me
    Don’t worry ’bout me, don’t worry ‘bout me

  20. I began tearing up as soon as I read the first sentence b/c I knew the beautiful words you were going to write. I didn’t know your family or Sarah personally, only through my daughter’s babysitter and through being a strong supporter of the SarahStrong campaign. I can’t explain the heartbreak I feel on behalf of your beautiful, strong family, and I know it doesn’t come close to the pain you all must be feeling. Know this, in Lamentations 3:31-33 it reads “For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone.”

    Sarah will shine as one of the brightest stars in the skies b/c her faith was unwavering and she showed the world her strength in our God and in herself. I pray for you all endlessly and still find myself overcome w/ grief and joy when I least expect it. In combination of my SarahStrong hoodie and sticker on my car, I will continue to share the amazing story of a beautiful young lady who conquered the odds and brought the community together with her infectious smile! With complete love and respect for you and your family, God bless and continue to be SarahStrong!!

    Yours Truly,

    Jennifer Chupp and family

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