Kelsie and her parents and sisters have been part of our journey since our children’s early elementary school days. They have always offered prayerful and loving support and genuine caring for us.
Kelsie graciously gave us permission to print the following letter we received about a year ago as part of a memory book presented to us during the scholarship awards presentation.
Kelsie, We're sending hugs, love, and prayers to you and your family.
Love, Susan and Jimmy
Dear Mr. Jimmy and Mrs. Susan,
Gus and I met when we were 15 & 16 years old. We fell in love instantly, and it didn’t take long for me to share the “Claire” part of my life with him. I told him about my friend Claire that passed away when we were only 9. He felt sad for me but then asked, “I mean, did you guys really know each other for that long….?” He was curious about how, at 16 years old, I was still crying so hard over a girl that was in my life only a few short years. I then began to tell him about Claire. About her family. About the kind of person she was all the time. About the kind of person she made each of us. And about everything we did that 4th grade year and the impact that it made on all of us.
By the end of all my stories Gus was sobbing. “Wow…what a beautiful person.”
Through the years, Gus has continued to ask me stories about Claire. Eight years later, when I was pregnant for our second child, it was actually Gus who asked if we could use “Claire” as a middle name to honor your daughter.
Claire’s death did not stop her from living on inside all of us. And my story is to show that Claire, and your whole family, continue to impact other people’s lives after all these years. Even ones you don’t know.
Sounds like an angel to me.
I love you Goudeau family,
Kelsie Napoli Murillo