I had no idea how much this beautiful little girl would change my life when my cousin married her Mom in 2007 or how much she would change the lives of everyone she met. My heart still hurts from the loss of such an incredible little girl.
Delaney Janea Clements
August 5, 2002 – March 21, 2016
The most beautiful fabulous dancing queen!
While she is no longer with us, Delaney is a bright shining light in the world that will outlast all of us. Her short time here on this Earth cannot be measured in years, although we all feel 13 was not nearly enough.
Delaney had no fear, she spent most of her energy making sure we were all okay and hiding her own pain with her brilliant smile.
That smile. It will be forever etched on our brains.
She became an emotional caregiver for other children hospitalized for treatment as well as a worldwide spokesperson for childhood cancer awareness. She would not be ignored! She invited all of us into her battle and allowed us into her most intimate moments, in the hope that things would change for other children. She was heard.
Delaney was a fashionista beyond the norm for a teenager. Even during her most trying times, you weren’t going to catch her looking anything but fabulous. She had the most adventurous spirit, every day could be an exciting new experience with Delaney when you let her take the reins. She never said no at the idea of doing something new, it didn’t matter if it was a simple task or even an errand, she made it fun. This was a trait directly inherited from her mother.
She was a dancer: any time, any place, she danced. Sometimes it was goofy and just for fun, but mostly she loved to choreograph and teach her friends and little sister, Emma Jo, the moves.
She taught us all a lot: how to love, how to laugh, how to open our hearts and mostly how to live every moment of our lives to the limit. She will never be forgotten, she made sure that was not a possibility, and therefore she will never truly be gone.
“There’s always time for living
Can we just do it again?
One more time like it once was…
Way back when”
-Delaney’s favorite song from “Mr. Peabody and Sherman”
Delaney is survived by her mother, Wendy (Brandon) Reece; father, Patrick Clements, and Brittan Campbell; her siblings, Keenan Clements and Emma Jo Campbell, and thousands of people across the globe who are forever changed for having known her.
Everybody deserves to have a little bit of Delaney in their lives. In her thirteen short years of life, she did a whole lot of living. She had adventures that some only dream of, but she also suffered more than anyone should ever have to. As a Paper Crafting Instructor, I realized that someone should be saving her adventures not only for her to enjoy, but as a way for her parents to look back when she was gone.
So, I set to work and my first step was to reach out to the Close To My Heart paper crafting community. I knew that her time on earth was growing shorter and so I asked for donations of scrapbooking supplies, as well as ready made layouts, albums and memory protectors. I was delighted by the turnout of gals willing to help me out with this project.
As I began collecting photos and copying down the hundreds of messages, I got an even greater glimpse into the lives of those she’d touched and how she was changing her community as they banded around their tiny hero. In fact, I couldn’t keep up with the daily stream of messages placed by people from all across the United States.
As I began pulling together photos, deciding where each one fit on the ready made layouts and Delaney’s beautiful life spread out before me. How could one little girl’s whole life span a handful of pages?
I made sure to leave some spots for journaling, so that Delaney, her mom or her dad could add thoughts or memories to the pages. Giving them a chance to make the pages their own. Recording specific memories of those precious days with their little girl.
These photos are of the layouts for the album that I made for Delaney and her mom. I used the same photos but placed them on different pages for the album for Delaney and her Dad, Brittan. So that he could hold onto his memories of his little girl.
I made a trip to Colorado back in February for my Grandfather’s funeral and took the opportunity to hand deliver the first album to Delaney & her Mom, Wendy. It was amazing and so much more for me to deliver it to her myself. She’d had a pamper day that day, which had completely worn her out, which broke my heart because a thirteen year old shouldn’t suffer so much. Even though she was tired, she glanced at the pages as I showed her what I had done. I left a cute box with her own journaling pen and some glue, plus a few more photos and PML cards.
I am grateful that I was able to make this beautiful gift for Delaney and her family. It may not bring her back, but it will help them remember the good times with her. Its why it’s so important to find ways to preserve your family’s memories. It can be done simply or more complex, either way they are saved for others to enjoy.