Kayla Renee Reichert

On July 12, 1994, our beloved daughter was killed when a teenager driving a pick-up truck rearended our family car. Although seatbelted, we all sustained injuries but they paled in comparison to the tragic loss of Kayla. A choice we had made years before, to be organ donors, provided us with a way to cope with her tragic loss.

Kayla's organs gave eight others a second chance for life, a new beginning for them and their families. While our religious faith was our safe harbor, organ donation gave us the strength to find some peace when our whole world seemed to crash down around us. We have always believed in the organ donor program but now we have a message to share.


by Rae Ann Reichert

My mother held me in her arms and dried my tears.
I was a baby and I thought I knew what love was.

My new puppy licked my face and wagged his tail.
I was a child and I thought I knew what love was.

Johnny slow-danced with me to "Get Together" by the Youngbloods.
I was a teenager and I thought I knew what love was.

My father posed proudly beside me as I held my diploma.
I was a graduate and I thought I knew what love was.

Tom pledged his love to me and I gave my love to him.
I was a bride and I thought I knew what love was.

Our infant son smiled at me when I sang to him.
I was a young mother and I thought I knew what love was.

Our adopted baby girl was placed in our arms.
I was older and I thought I knew what love was.

For seven years our children's laughter rang through our home.
I was middle-aged and I thought I knew what love was.

I looked into her face when God called her back home and
I held her hand to say good-bye.
I lost my little girl and I thought I forgot what love was.

But eight lives were changed,
eight people were given a second chance to live
because we donated our daughter's organs.

Now I know what love is.

Copyright 1995, Rae Ann Reichert. All rights reserved.

The Christmas Bear

An original story by Kayla R. Reichert, age 6 yrs (December 1993)

For days, all she heard was,
"Christmas is coming! Christmas is coming!"
There was so much excitement in the forest!
Little Bear didn't know what Christmas was,
so she went around the woods asking the other animals.
"It's presents! It's sweets! It's games!"
She heard so many answers but none seemed to be the right one.
Finally, she went back to her home and saw her mother,
her father and her big brother bear and she smiled!
"Now I know what Christmas is! It's not presents or sweets or games!
It's being together! It's a family!"