Izzabellah Renae Peterson, 14 months old, finally got to go home, even though it’s not the way we wanted or dreamed it would be. She was born on December 25, 2021 to Miranda Weakland and Franciose Peterson, and left this life on February 25, 2022.
She was born in Shands Children’s Hospital in Gainesville, Florida as our Christmas Miracle Baby. Within the first few months of her life, Izzabellah (Izzie) had had several surgeries and would have more on and off for the first six months of her stay in the NICU in Gainesville, FL.
We got to visit her in the NICU, and every time we would come on the weekends, when she heard her daddy’s voice or saw her mommy, her eyes would light up and she would get so excited and start moving around like she was going to get up and run and go somewhere. At eight months old, she was transported to a skilled nursing facility in Plantation, Florida called “Kidz Korner”.
Once she learned how to stick her tongue out, we rarely ever got a picture or got to interact with her without that tongue being stuck out as if she she was saying, “nana-nana-boo-boo”. Izzie loved playing peek-a-boo. Her eyes lit up when she saw us, especially when daddy or mommy were wearing a bright colored shirt. She loved the neon orange shirt daddy wore, and the bright pink one mommy wore. She enjoyed laughing and smiling when she saw us and when we were administering her care while she was still in the care of the NICU. She found out what Mickey Mouse Club House was in the NICU and fell in love and would watch it and smile and laugh with her eyes glued, hardly seeing her blink at the monitor it was playing on. Izzie loved her crocheted octopus the NICU gave her and the crocheted octopus/jellyfish that her Granny Ann made. We were never sure what we were to call either one.
The first coo sound she made once her trach ventilator surgery, was a sound her daddy nor I will ever forget. Even though she had many medical complications she was our perfect-strong-trooper, and she NEVER gave up. Nothing could keep her down. She kept prevailing every time. She would lay with her hands in one another as if she were holding her own hand or praying. Izzie would giggle and smile and have a surprised look -when looking in the mirror at herself once she discovered what a mirror was. She was special and a blessing. She was our daughter. She will always be perfect in our eyes no matter how many medical complexities she had going on. Izzie was never a small baby, her rolls had rolls. But she was an awesome baby, even with all the things she had going on we only saw and heard of her crying by staff only four times in the 14 months she was here. Her daddy could always get a smile out of her, and Tasha, at Kidz Korner, who called Izzie her little mama, could always make her smile, and Izzie enjoyed their time together.
She didn’t get to meet or experience this cruel world and all of its ugliness; but then again, she didn’t get to see any of the beauties in it either. She was sheltered indoors and never got to go outside to feel the wind on her face, see the sun shining, feel the warmth from the sun on her face, or the wetness of raindrops on her cheeks. Cardiac arrest occurred on February 25, 2022 where her little body was tired and could no longer bounce back.
Izzabellah was preceded in death by both her paternal and maternal grandfathers, Louis Peterson and David Clemmons. She is survived by her parents, Miranda Weakland and Franciose Peterson; brothers, Grier Weakland, V and Julious Peterson; paternal grandmother, Shelly Holland; maternal grandmother, Cheryl Watson; great-grandparents, Kenneth and Ann Robinson, and Betty Clemmons; along with many aunts and uncles; great aunts and great uncles; and more than a dozen cousins. She is also survived by a handful of friends, who are more like family, Tete, Angie, Trish, and Dawn, as well as a few others not mentioned, who loved her without ever meeting her.
Izzie will always be remembered as “Daddy’s girl”, his “Chunkie-Monkie”, Mommy’s “Chunk-a-Dunk”, big brother, Grier’s “Sunflower”, and aunt Te-Te’s “Butterfly”.Funeral services will be 2:00 PM, Tuesday, March 22, 2022 at James & Sikes Funeral Home Maddox Chapel. Interment will follow at Riverside Cemetery, Marianna, FL with James & Sikes Funeral Home Maddox Chapel directing. The family will receive friends one hour prior to funeral service at James & Sikes Funeral Home Maddox Chapel.