The holidays can be tough. For many, it is a time to rejoice with praise for the wonderful year they have experienced full of job promotions and hope for a prosperous future. For some it is a time to lavish excesses on those we love in the form of new phones, gaming consoles or perhaps a beautiful new handbag or useful tool set.
And yet, for others, the holidays can be a time of loneliness, sadness and desperation to be able to provide even the smallest of tidings and most meager of meals. These are our people, the ones who may not ask for it but need our assistance in the worst of ways; quiet neighbors and friends who may be dealing with issues that the average person cannot even grasp.
For Holly Weigman, “normal” has an alternate meaning for her family. The Sarasota Post followers may remember reading about her daughter, Gracie Weigman (AKA Amazing Grace,) in previous articles (Meet Amazing Grace and “Amazing Grace,” She Needs Your Help) which detailed the extraordinary resolve and bravery she has shown in her short life as a spunky 12-year-old. Gracie was born prematurely at 34 weeks old and according to an earlier SP article, “has numerous diagnoses, including thoracic insufficiency syndrome as well as Robinow syndrome. Thoracic insufficiency syndrome is a condition where several deformities of the chest, spine and ribs prevent normal breathing, lung growth and lung development.”
We recently spoke with Holly, who updated us on Gracie’s prognosis and new developments within the family. As of September, Gracie has endured 46 surgeries. But Gracie would also like to add that she “had her tonsils removed so that really makes 47.” Due to her diagnosis, Gracie will likely have two to three additional surgeries a year for the next several years. You would think this family has received all the extra suffering that they could manage, but life doesn’t always see things that way.
“It was such a normal day,” is how Holly Weigman describes this past September 6th. “I wish we had been doing something important but my husband George, Gracie and I were riding around taking care of errands.” Holly’s voice barely gets the next words out, “George – – after four rounds of CPR, he just never recovered.” The Weigman family sadly lost their beloved George on September 10th, with his two oldest children and Holly by his bedside. Gracie made sure she sent her favorite stuffed animal as a stand in to say goodbye to her father. The past couple of months have been a whirlwind of confusion and grief. And now Christmas is fast approaching.
When asked what her family might like for Christmas or what might lessen the burden for her Holly is reluctant to answer. Each day presents new challenges they had not thought of so planning a nice Christmas for the kids hasn’t been at the forefront. We did gather a few ideas of some items that the children and Holly might need and we’re hoping the generosity of our community could fulfill that list. Please see below for more information. I hope you will join me in praying and thinking of the Weigman family this holiday season and throughout the coming year and beyond. Let’s pull together for this sweet family and shower them with love, care, and hope for 2020.
Holly: Just someone to clean her gutters and help with the utilities would be great.
Austin: Visa or MC gift cards
Katie: Gas cards, Tropcal Smoothie gift cards, Chik fil A gift cards, Target gift cards
Gracie: Anything Blues Clues, Basketball and hoop for outdoors, non-girly superhero shirts, (shirts and pants size 14-16), Nike shoes size 5 (Nike fit Gracie’s feet the best so that is why the specific brand is mentioned.
Editor’s note. To our readers, we will make it so easy for you. Please DONATE HERE and Sande Caplin & Laura Bell Adams will purchase and deliver all of the items to the family. This is a special family and they need our love.
Photos from Holly Weigman