Little_batten Before you read this, know two things, 1) Im already going to see her and two there are some others (Patriot Guard Riders) who did the same! Carry on……..

Hello Captain B, let me introduce myself to you and then I have a little story for you to read about my exceptional daughter.

My name is Cathy, I am a housewife/ part time caterer with 2 wonderful children.  Taylor Grayce, age 12 and Tanner Shay, age 9.  Now earlier, I said I had a little story, but that is not really the case.  I hope you have time because I am going to probably make your eyeballs cross by the time this is done.

Twelve years ago, I was blessed with the birth of my beautiful daughter Taylor.  I know you have children, so I know I don’t have to explain the overwhelming feeling of love you have the first time you see your child.  I have always wanted to be a mom, even when I was a child myself, I just knew it was my ‘calling’ so to speak.

On

Taylor

‘s second day of life, she was not eating and I had to take her to a nurses station to have her blood sugar checked before I fed her.  There was a nurse that was standing there with a sandwich in her hand and the second she saw my daughter, her sandwich was thrown to the ground and Taylor was scooped out of my arms and all I saw was the back of that nurse almost running into another room with my baby in her arms before I could even register that I was standing there empty handed.  My knees just about buckled, but by God, I was not loosing sight of that nurse!!!  I ran after her and by the time that I got to her, she already had

Taylor

hooked up to monitors and an oxygen tent over her head.  Talk about your stomach up to your throat, I could not even speak.  I just stood there in disbelief, eyes wide, mouth shut.  After this nurse worked on her for what seemed eternity to me, she finally told me that she was not sure what was wrong, but something was.  She told me that

Taylor

had not a right color to her and her instinct told her something was not right.  She called in the pediatrician, on a Sunday, and I guess he was not happy.  When he entered the nursery, it was with a kick to the door.  He did not look at

Taylor

‘s chart, he did not even really listen to the nurse, he lifted the oxygen tent and said very clearly, ‘There is nothing wrong with this child’.  And he started to walk away.  That nurse got in front of him and blocked his way.  I can’t tell you for sure what was said, but the last part we heard loud and clear and she said to him, ‘my husband does not talk to me that way and you sure the hell aren’t going to either’.  Needless to say, that got our attention!  She proceeded to tell him she did not care what his degree said, she had been a nurse in the NICU for 20 some years and there was something wrong with our child.  All I can say is thank God for that nurse!!!! 

Taylor

‘s heart was actually starting to shut down.  She had to stay in the hospital for a week before we were able to bring her home, she fought and fought well and her condition improved.  But we knew she had to have major heart surgery.

Capt. B, from day one my daughter has had to fight and she has had to fight hard, every day of her life.  Her struggles are many.  Her first surgery was at 6 months old and she has since had to endure 5 others and we know she will have more.  We always felt there was something else going on with her other then just her heart condition.  At 10 years old, she already had 4 charts full just at her pediatricians office, not to mention all the specialist we had been bounced around to.  She was very small for her age, and never healthy.  She struggled with things that came so natural for other kids.  To say that she has been medically traumatized by all the testing and poking and prodding and surgeries she has had is just about the biggest understatement there could be. 

Finally, when she was 11, I couldn’t stand it any longer and insisted that we take her to Mayo Clinic to find out what was wrong with her.  I had to take on our insurance company, and I had to fight all the way to the top as well as getting a state Senator involved.  I was determined to get her there one way or the other and after months, I won and we were on our way.  What we found out there, devastated me at first.  It was that double edged sword, you fight to find out what is wrong but once you do, you wish you didn’t.  After her 4th day there, they had pretty much a diagnosis, but didn’t have the blood work to confirm it.  Mind you, 4 days there and they knew what it was versus 11 long years of misdiagnosis here.  We found out she has a genetic chromosomal disorder.  She is actually missing a chromosome.  In that missing chromosome, she has lost miles and miles of genetic makeup.  She is not mentally retarded like

Downs

, they actually have an extra chromosome.  We found out that this condition only effects girls and it is extremely rare because only LESS then 1% of these girls are even born.  Well what the hell more of a miracle do I need then that?  That right there told me just how amazing she is and just how strong she is.  In being born, she had already beat the odds. 

This condition basically effects her from head to toe.  The most major problem being her heart.  We know she will never be able to have her own children, that eventually her hearing and eyes will more then likely be effected.  Her body is resistant to its own growth hormone and that is why she is so small.  She is now on growth hormone injections and she is responding to it very well, but she will always be small.  Her brain does not wire in some areas as it should and then it has over compensated for it in others.  In neurological testing, her verbal areas are considered to be in the genius level, while her visual spatial areas are in the impaired area.  Her kidneys will eventually give her issues.  She has chronic fatigue syndrome and is tired a lot.  Her bones do not nor will ever have normal density.  She has scoliosis.  From all the radiation she has had, it has given her brain some slower growth rate.  This is just some of the issues she faces.  In her short time already, she has faced more and fought more then most adults will their entire life.

Now, onto the amazing part.  For what she has had to endure, for the amount of struggles she has had to do, she always has a smile on her face.  She is so compassionate and so caring.  She has this light about her.  I know every parent feels this way about their child, but I kid you not……her light shines just a bit brighter. 

Ever since

Taylor

was very young, she has always had a huge fascination with the military.  If she saw someone in uniform, it is like she had this respect for them, even before she knew what respect was.  As she has grew, so did the fascination.  When the war in

Iraq

started, she always wanted to do something, I just never knew what we could do.  One day, a little over a year ago, the website for anysoldier was passed onto me.  Taylor and I sat down and we read almost every entry from that day.  We came upon your posting and both of us were laughing about something you said about Elvis.  But, I could tell by the way that you wrote, you more then likely had a huge following of supporters!  So we kept on looking, but we always checked your postings and looked forward to them!  As luck would have it, we came upon a Marine who posted GO BLUE (for the Michigan Wolverines) and that he loved the Detroit Red Wings.  That was it, this was her man she choose to send to.  She loves her Wolverines, as that is where she had her heart surgery at and she just loves the Wings. 

She sat down and wrote out a letter to this Marine and then her and I went shopping.  I had no idea on really what to get, so I asked her if I put her down in the middle of the field with not even her pooh bear and blankie, what would she want.  At 11 years old, she set out on a mission and picked out things that I never would have thought of,  and things that were so appropriate!  I wrote a note about her to the Marine, as I wanted him to know about who was sending to him.  I told

Taylor

that we probably would never hear from him, as he had a very important job to do.  In Taylor’s grown up way of saying things, told me that it was OK, she wasn’t doing it for a letter back, she was doing it because it was the right thing to do.  11 YEARS OLD!!!!!  Amazing how she seems to get ‘it’ while most adults don’t and never will.   We sent off several packages to this Marine and one day, we checked to see if he had any updates and were crushed to find out anysoldier had not heard from him and he was dropped.  We knew as well that his time to go home was more then likely close.  But, we thought, go onto someone else.  A few days later, a box came for

Taylor

and I saw the customs form on it so I knew where it came from.  I don’t know who was more excited, her or I!  I got my camera all ready, for her little face was just aglow.  She sat down in the middle of the living room floor, surrounded by my husband, my mom, her brother and myself.  She opened her box and the first thing she pulled out was a boonie hat with a pin in it that we weren’t sure what it was (we later found out that it was the chevron this Marine was promoted to Sergeant with), and Marine shirt.  Then she just sort of gasped, and so slowly, pulled out an American flag, folded into a triangle.  She said ‘mom, look at what I got!’ with it, was a certificate that it was flown on a mission in her honor.  She just sat there, holding that flag, staring at it.  You know, the whole time this was all going on, I had that camera in my hand and never took one picture!  I was so enthralled by her and what was happening, I couldn’t take my eyes off of her!  She never let go of her flag, and I should add that this flag is by far, her most prized possession EVER.  She found a letter and started to read it, holding her flag to her heart as she did.  What happened next, I can only describe simply as life altering.  She read the letter to us, speaking slowing and clearly.  This young Marine told a bit about himself but then talked about her and how special she is.  He told her who wonderful it was that she was trying to take care of them while they were out doing their jobs.  He told her that her courage was amazing and her spirit was that of a Marine and because of that, he was making her an Honorary United States Marine.  When she read that, she looked at me dead in the eye, with a tear rolling down and said in a tone I had never heard before, ‘I am a Marine, ooh rah’.  With that, I swear, I saw something in her I had never seen.  In that moment, that Marine had given my daughter what I had tried to her whole life.  Her spirit just grew by leaps and bounds.  I could actually not only see something in her, but I could feel it.  Needless to say, I was bawling.

From that moment on, things have been very different for

Taylor

.  She now faces her challenges head on.  Instead of fighting against what is being done to her, she fights for it.  I can remember the very first time she had to have something done after this happened, she walked into that room, head held high and chest just puffed out.  She got up on that table, she still had tears, but she did it!  When it was all done, she jumped off that table and ran to me yelling ‘I DID IT I DID IT OOH RAH’  All I could get out was OOH RAH baby, because my throat and emotions wouldn’t let me say anything else.  The little things that used to frustrate her, just didn’t matter any longer.  Her whole demeanor was completely different, it was like she wasn’t even the same person.  Life altering. 

Her and her Marine have kept in touch through email, and he was thinking of getting out of the Marines as he had been in for 8 years.  She just got a surprise from him, he wrote to her and said he had decided to relist, as he liked helping people way to much!  He lived in PA and is being transferred to

Texas

.  He made a surprise visit to meet her.  I never will be able to give this  young man enough praise for what he has done for my child.  In his one small gesture, in words on paper, changed our whole lives forever.  How do you thank someone for that?  And true to form, he claims he is nothing special.  I beg to differ! 

She has since picked out many others to send to, and even picked out someone from the Army, just to be fair! LOL  She has a Marine Major that is keeping in great contact with her through email and it means the world to her, he tells her that her courage is inspiring to him.

While my daughter will never be able to join the service, never go through basic training, never get that Eagle Globe and never be able to wear the uniform, in her heart and soul she IS a United States Marine and she IS an American Warrior.  I can’t even convey on just how proud I am of her for this.  Her obstacles are many, but she takes them one at a time.

We just found out that she is going to go

Bethesda

Maryland

at the National Institute of Health for some intensive testing.  We are not sure on the dates as of yet, but were told that it might be in September.  At first,

Taylor

did not want to go.  I believe she remembered the hell she went through while at Mayo and just wasn’t up for that.  Then, just as soon as she said she didn’t want to go, she stopped and did an about face.  Her exact words….Marines don’t back down and I am not going to either, I want to go.  We do know she will be tested from Sunday to Thursday.  They are paying our way there and back, so I am not sure if she is going to be able to take in any of the sites in

Washington

and this has her a bit down.  She really wanted to see

Arlington

, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers.  We knew there was a barracks there that did a parade, but I believe that is only up until August, so she will miss that. 

Here is the reason I am writing.  I figure you know ‘people’ right?  I was wondering if you could put me in contact with someone, anyone that I can tell her story to and maybe see if I can’t get some Marines to come visit her while she is at the Institute when I get the exact dates?  As I said, I am not even sure if we are going to be able to get out to see anything. 

Taylor

has met her special Marine, and to her that was gold.  But, she has never met anyone in uniform.  I would just love for someone to come in, talk with her in uniform and recognize her for the Marine that she is.  I am not asking for anyone to give her anything, just someone to talk to her.  Someone in uniform, that can salute her and make her feel that she is indeed a warrior.  Can you help me?  I can only imagine that you more then likely get a lot of emails asking for things and probably get pretty tired of it.   I know you are busy, and if you can’t help, I do understand. 

I thank you for your time in reading this, and as I said, I would greatly appreciate any help you can give me, but I also do not expect it.

Thank you,

Cathy B

Comments

  1. Damn Major! *sniff* I’m sure you don’t know any Marines at that particular location. You know, where the parades are? And I’m sure you won’t be in uniform while visiting:) Things like this, are the reason for the post just before this one. Thanks again…for being you.

  2. Give her my best and tell her she is a TRUE inspiration to me.
    Thank you for sharing this with us. And, thank you for taking the time to go see her. I just got a chill and a smile thinking about you walking in to her room in uniform. It really is so often the “little” things in life that matter so often.
    PLEASE give us a report once you’ve been to see her.

  3. Wow, now that I can see the computer screen again, I have to say that this girl is remarkable…and so are you for taking the time to see her.
    Semper Fi, Capt B.

  4. I have never seen a story more touching than this. I just have no words. Thanks for sharing Major. I do believe Taylor is a real Marine. And I think she has about 160,000 brothers and sisters in the Corps. Kinda gives a new meaning to Semper Fi. I look forward to the follow up. Give Taylor a real Marine hug from us all. Can you wear dress blues for her? I bet some spiffy Marines from Eighth and I would do her a show from the sacred ground at Arlington. It is for these so special we are willing to fight and win. This is going on the net right now.

  5. Hey Major,
    I have sent this story to everyone I know. I have also sent to Sean Hannity, Bill OReilly, H. Hewitt, and Malkin. I included your web link to everyone I sent this to. Good job Major Pain. Absolutely outstanding. I know I sent it to other news hounds but have forgotten which ones. I would have sent the story to Dan Rather but he is as brain dead as Yassar Arafat, Madonna and Sean Penn.

  6. God Bless you and your family Cathy B, my prayers are with you. *sniff* Little people…aren’t they wonderful! Make sure you give your own kids a special hug today! Now, where’s that damn box of kleenex.

  7. Oh man.. this is *SO* unfair. I am sitting here, crying, knowing how brave this little girl and her mother must be. Thank you, Capt. You are more special than you’ll ever know.

  8. And the heart of a child holds you all……in that uniform in my eyes that child stands about 12 feet tall….The force is strong in that one.
    She certainly breathes spirit into the corps.
    God bless you sweet little girl. You are a most excellent marine and we salute yer great heart. Love to you and mama. Loved the pix.

  9. And the heart of a child holds you all……in that uniform in my eyes that child stands about 12 feet tall….The force is strong in that one.
    She certainly breathes spirit into the corps.
    God bless you sweet little girl. You are a most excellent marine and we salute yer great heart. Love to you and mama. Loved the pix.

  10. I am the mother of a son disabled with cerebral palsy who’s been thru the drs, tests, hospitals, surgeries, bad times and rays of hope. I thought I was tougher for all this, but this story ripped my heart open. God bless Taylor and her family and all who take alittle of their time to spend with them!

  11. Dear Major Pain
    What a tear jerker. What a brave little Marine she is. I know you will “do right” for her. If I can help just let me know.
    If she ever wants to be an Army Nurse I sure can fix her up. The Nurse Corps would be honored to have a member like her.
    Big hugs to her and her family when you see her
    Major Maxwell- the Combat Granny

  12. I love it that this wonderful mother reaches out to our Major for help. She knows. We know. Is it any wonder why we love you Major!
    God bless our Marines!

  13. MAXIE –
    can you email me… i am interested (maybe) in being a Army Nurse — do you mind talking to a wanna-be-Marine and a gonna-be-RN? the link to my email is above…
    i am at work, and cant get into my email now…
    thanks!
    ladybug

  14. I kept getting something in my eyes while reading this. God bless you Taylor, and your Mom and all your family. Keep fighting little one…
    Major Pain…well done.

  15. Major P,
    What an amazing story…I will definitely be sharing it at my blog! How could we not pass along this wonderful story of strength and fortitude!
    Thank you, thank you for sharing it! And I hope you are able to see her and her mom!

  16. The Little Marine

    This is an amazing story on many levels. I found it through One Marines View. The story was sent to Captain B and posted by Major Pain and all I can say is WOW! Meet the Little Marine, Taylor.
    Hello Captain B,
    Let me introduce myself to you and…

  17. The Little Marine

    This is an amazing story on many levels. I found it through One Marines View. The story was sent to Captain B and posted by Major Pain and all I can say is WOW! Meet the Little Marine, Taylor.
    Hello Captain B,
    Let me introduce myself to you and…

  18. Thoughts-My son (Enlst) is 20 and in a different branch of service, Okinawa. He met a woman who declared to be “available” and still declares to be available…short of the story, this 23 yr old woman married her first love in April 2006 or early May, was in Oki by June, there for just over a month when her husband John (USMC Officer) was sent to HI for a month, then he left for Korea in Aug.. All the sudden this woman declares being divorced (which she is not) and now my son has been spending more than a lot of time with this woman. Apparently she cant go home to the states because her Passport is with her husband in Korea (Dont understand why). She claims she has sent her divorce packet off through Johns chain of command, however, John appears to not be cooperating. My point, I dont care what the reason and my son shouldnt be involved! These two shouldnt be hanging out at all! My son has had one serious relationship going in to the military and had been one of the “good” guys. Now Im torn up with his behavior and I want to know if I should inform Johns (womans husband) commanding officer (Dont know which base in Oki he is at) of this womans behavior and maybe even inform my sons commanding officer? They both took their MySpace down, however I already copied most things, and I have been in contact with this Girls Mother. Yes this is a bit of drama, but I need help! More than anything I feel devastated over my sons loss of morals. He really thinks this is ok because this Girl has him thinking she had the worst marriage (I sensed she was lying-so I emailed her Mom from MySpace) and they have been separated since July (not legally), so there isnt anything wrong with them seeing oneanother. I told them I would see to it she doesnt get any further spousal support and I would be telling both the commanding officers of both John and my son. Since then, Ive heard nothing back from the girl or her mom?
    HELP! I want to save my son, I already have the worries of him going to war next year-he is in combat search and rescue USAF.
    Concerned Mom

  19. Oh My Gosh, I have mascara running down all over my face. What a story and I know that Taylor will have a wonderful visit from Her Marines. Please be sure and give us an update after you’ve been to see her. You are a Good Guy, Major “P”.
    ~Schizzil~

  20. What a beautiful story. I went through a box of Kleenex but it was worth it. Thank you for sharing with us and for being so kind to a remarkable young woman. Please let her know that all our prayers are with her and her Mom.

  21. Oh my. Tears in eyes here!
    What a very special girl and what a special Marine to send that box to her and to visit her!!
    Another story that proves you men are heroes. You always say “I’m just doing my job” but these kinds of things prove that your heroism is a part of who you are. A character you posses. I know Maj. Pain, that you don’t want to hear that, but it’s true. This girl will never forget these visits.
    Wow. Nothing else to say.

  22. From Taylor and Cathy’s hometown of Mendon, MI – thank you for all you have done for the Batten family. Taylor is our own little inspiration and we are so proud of her! Our community’s hearts swell with pride for her. What a special family and a truly terrific story!

  23. Okay…seriously…could I BE crying any harder!? What a great story. I linked here from Thunder Run & I’m almost sure there was a part two to this story.
    I’m going to go blow my nose & then come back for more. 😉

  24. Just Get a Washcloth

    Sometimes, I give you a Kleenex alert. I’d like to caution you that if you read the upcoming story and its follow-up, you won’t find enough Kleenex in the Western Hemisphere to sop up your blubbering. Unless you’re just cold-hearted,

  25. The Heart Of A Warrior

    You must go visit One Marines View and read about this remarkable 12 year old
    Who has had to endure so much and still has the heart of a Marine.
    Ooh Rah Taylor!
    Bookmark to:

  26. I found this link on our Patriot Guard Rider site first but happy to see the link again on our Soldiers Angel site as well .
    This is truely a special little Girl many prayers for her and the family and only thing to say is
    Semper Fi Taylor !!!
    Stay strong young Marine

  27. First saw your post linked at A Rose By Any Name, but didn’t read it at the time; saw it again at Flopping Aces tonight, and this time clicked here, and read it all. It made my eyes all misty and my heart dance and cry and soar and ache.
    Thank you Cathy, Captain B, and above all else Taylor! God bless you!

  28. WOW!! Realy, that is all I can tpye…(say).
    To survive being born, and having that rare condition..and just to look at life the way that young girl did….That incourage is amazing! I am 14, and it’s not just the grown ups who are touched with storys….
    That young girl takes life to the fullest..she is brave!
    Taylor, you and your family are in my prayers, along with all the military, you’re all in my prayers..
    Stay safe! God Bless.
    from:::
    —Sarah—-

  29. WOW!! Realy, that is all I can tpye…(say).
    To survive being born, and having that rare condition..and just to look at life the way that young girl did….That incourage is amazing! I am 14, and it’s not just the grown ups who are touched with storys….
    That young girl takes life to the fullest..she is brave!
    Taylor, you and your family are in my prayers, along with all the military, you’re all in my prayers..
    Stay safe! God Bless.
    from:::
    —Sarah—-

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