Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Nicholas & Olivia's birthstone is a ruby. In researching the folklore and meaning of rubies, I found a quote that says "the Ruby's red glow comes from an internal flame that cannot be extinguished, making a gift of this stone symbolic of everlasting love."

It is one of the most highly prized gems in history, considered to have magical powers, and believed to be a talisman against evil.

I cherish the thought that the rubies I now wear, one for Nicholas and one for Olivia, represent everlasting love. They also represent the beauty that is created from really hard circumstances.

My Corrie is a good man, a good husband, and a good father. Not just because it was his delight to give me a gift of "everlasting love", but because it was as important to him as it was to me to have something beautiful and tangible to remember our children to the world.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Saviour...He can move the mountains...My God is mighty to save...He is mighty to of salvation...He rose and conquered the grave...Jesus conquered the grave…

I was on my way home when the song Mighty to Save came on the radio. It's one we have sung many times at church and when times were at their darkest, I tended to focus on the power of the lyric "My God is mighty to save..."

Today I heard the lyric "He rose and conquered the grave...Jesus conquered the grave…" Conquered! Conquered! I haven't had a chance to meditate on the depth of what this truly means yet, but I sure am excited to find out!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Talking and Remembering

I need to thank you. I was reluctant to share that I had been feeling lonely, but I resolved back at the beginning of this journey that I would stay real. After I poured my heart out in my last post, and poured it out again to God, good things have been happening today.

All of your lovely comments! Thank you for reminding me that I'm not alone in this. I knew it, but it's so nice to hear it.

Connections at church. I was so blessed by one particular conversation, where the person I was chatting with asked how I was doing, then felt uncomfortable and confessed that she never knew if she should ask how I was doing or not. Where the blessing in this is that for all those conversations I've had lately where no one asks anything about how our family is doing, I can take comfort in the thought that many of them wanted to.

Even in Facebook. In particular, I had a lovely message from someone we love and it was a real encouragement.

Don't get me wrong - it's not that I want everyone to be thinking about me and my family all the time. That's not my point here. But it's really hard to keep the memory alive of those who aren't with us here without talking and remembering. Maybe the next step in my journey is finding out how to do that.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Now What?

So, here we are. We've made it past all our big milestones.

Now what?

I thought I would be relieved to have the tension of this season of rememberance over and be ready to start fresh into another year. But, what am I moving on to, exactly? My children, and the events of last year, are a distant memory to all but the people closest to us. I struggle with how I'm going to keep them present with us and their memories alive in a real, tangible way. I have no new stories. No new pictures. No opportunities to proudly share how they've grown and what they're doing. You've heard it all before.

The farther I get away from their point in time, the more I come up against a new kind of loneliness. I long for understanding, for someone who "gets it". I fight against my children fading into obscurity, part of that unfortunate "thing" nobody ever talks about. All around me, families are going about their lives, children growing and changing. Without Sabrina, I would have been totally left behind.

So, now what?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Things I Learned From Olivia

Good things come in small packages.

Don't ever, ever give up.

If you want to be noticed, make a lot of noise.

Bright blue eyes can win anyone over.

With acceptance, comes peace.

Olivia's New Birth Day

Early in the morning of January 12, 2008 our little Olivia left us to be reborn into eternity with her brother. We mourned her bitterly, for she was our hope, our consolation.

Livvie, our bright little girl, how we miss you. We celebrate you and remember you on your New Birth Day. The hope you brought remains with us, for we know we will all be together again.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Tending Jethro's Sheep

I wonder if Moses had a plan for his life before he killed the Egyptian and fled for the wilderness. Maybe he was going to rescue the Hebrew people by winning Pharaoh over from inside the family. Maybe he was going to try to rejoin his Hebrew brethren in the brick pits. Maybe he was going to get a job in the Egyptian government, raise a family, and retire somewhere nice.

I doubt he ever thought he would end up in the Midianite wilderness, tending sheep. He did that for 40 years until God called to him from the burning bush to lead His people out of slavery.

Over a year ago, my life turned upside down. I was all of a sudden in a place that I never thought I would be. I had a plan for my life, and I was really excited about my twins and turning my heart toward raising children and caring for my family. I believe that over this past year I have come to accept that life did not go according to plan. But I still look to Moses' example. Yes, he got comfortable in Midian. He married, had a family, learned a new career. But he never lost hope in God's plan for his life. He named his firstborn son Gershom, which means "sojourner". He knew he was a stranger passing through. He named his second son Eliezer, which means "God is my help". He knew he could not fulfill his destiny without God.

Right now, I'm tending Jethro's sheep. But that just means my "burning bush moment" is yet to come.

Monday, January 5, 2009

If I Knew Then What I Know Now

We are soon coming to a year since our Olivia passed through to the next world, and as I remember the events of her last few days with us, I struggle with bitter regrets.

We were so heartsick, so exhausted, so incapable of comprehending what was happening to our family. I tell myself we did the best we could. If we could have done anything differently, we would have.

Oh, how I wish I knew then what I know now! I would have drawn even deeper on the Lord's strength and wisdom. I would have held her more, sang to her more, read to her more, talked to her more, told her everything I knew. I would have left the safety and support system of the hospital and brought her home.

But what I also know now is grace. I used to think that Jesus' death on the cross was only to make right those things I did wrong. What I know now is that it can also make right the things I didn't do right.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

I had considered writing a Christmas letter, but what could I say about the past year that hasn't already been said here? So I thought I would launch a new tradition: a New Year's letter.

I always get excited about a new year, eager to get back into a routine after the hustle and bustle of Christmas, energized by the possibility of new projects and making better what we already have. I don't write New Year's resolutions, because I am usually living in a state of resolution.

Since you can't contemplate where you're heading without looking where you're at, permit me for a moment to reflect. 2008 has been a year of readjusting for our family, coming to terms with what is. We have gone through all the major milestones but one. We are strong. We are at peace. We are close. We are blessed. We are incomplete, but have discovered that a family can span two worlds at the same time and still be a family.

What do I see for 2009? I believe that we will take the gifts given us by our children and use them to their full potential. We will become even closer as a family. We will be wise with the resources that God has given us. We will be better friends. We will focus on the things that matter. We will not waste time on those things that complicate and enslave.

God has been wonderfully good to us, and it is the desire of my heart that we will bless Him with the way we live. 2009 holds so much promise.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."
Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)