This was originally written on Facebook, by Kelli’s cousin Lisa Kelley Schmidt.  Thank you Lisa for sharing your feelings with us all!


It was one year ago today October Friday October 21st that I last spent with you. You were my angel that day coming over to help with Blake (then 3 1/2) and Max & Spencer (2months old). I was frazzled before you got there then you added your charm and ease to our day and everything was peaceful and happy for those 6 hours you were her. I remember everything we talked about, and how much you cared for the new babies and the sounds coming from Toy rooms you said ” B l a k e ” and he immediately starting laughing. He loved having you in his life. He has talked about you so many times this past year, he keeps you alive in all of our hearts and minds. I don’t know when you told him the story of a coyote eating your dog. But her recounts every detail like you told him yesterday He’ll say “and Kelli’s dog’s name was Banana’s”. It was Button’s. Just last weekend we were talking about which cousins he wants to see at Christmas and you were number one on his list. You are number one on a lot of peoples lists.

I remember the first day I met you. It was Easter 2004. Your mom was picking me up to take to dinner and when the minivan door rolled open I saw you sitting in your booster seat, with your Easter dress on and your hair in ponytails. Your put down your kiddie music player and looked at me. You smiled and said “who are you?”. I remember your mom calling me up later that year and saying “Kelli wants a sleepover.”. That was fun. Movies popcorn and in the morning you told me you wanted to do a crafted and eat pancakes. Anytime after that if you would come over, like on a school holiday I made sure the craft involved cooking. We made cookies, cakes, cupcakes. And you decorated everything. You always decorated my world. I remember the flip flops you made. Pink with green ribbons. And the jewelry you made with Lexi and sold you us at huge mark up. I remember all the times you, me and Blake would have an outing. You would run around to his car door and try to pick him up. You loved him like he was your little baby, not just your baby cousin. He loves you like a big sister and a great friend not just his big cousin. We still have the giant number 1 that you made him for his first birthday. And he loves to play with the moon sand you got him for his third birthday. He tells his friends that his cousin gave it to him. Everyone loved having you at Blake’s birthday parties. At his last one a little girl at the party told her mother that she wanted Kelli to come to her party too. So many people are so glad you were in our lives.Every night while I sit holding Max and Spencer in the dark for bed time. I look up at the stars on the ceiling put there by you for Blake and remember you every night. I love you and I miss you every night.
Lisa Kelley Schmidt