A couple of Sundays ago, as I was getting ready for church, a word came to mind…RENOVATION. It made me think of all we did to the house to get ready for Kristen. We replaced old, rotted windows in the bedrooms upstairs, cut a hole in our basement wall (scary!) and put in an egress (escape) window, added a shower to the half-bath downstairs, moved Emily to her new bedroom down there, and transformed Emily’s old bedroom into a nursery for a baby we were not planning on, but were so very excited about. Since Kristen’s death, a different kind of renovation has been going on. It’s just as messy as the remodeling on the house and much more painful than I ever imagined. Beauty will rise from these ashes.

One step forward,
two steps back


I ordered Kristen’s grave marker today. There’s a whole round of tears just surrounding that.

I’m angry. I’m heartbroken. Kristen’s last hours keep playing over in my head, and I can’t seem to make that “tape” stop. I’m just having a tough time right now. Some days it feels like I’m making some progress, and then I find myself right back where I was. It’s very discouraging to feel like I’m going backward.

Conversation with Grace

This was the conversation between Grace and I as we headed to Braum's to pick up milk tonight...

G: “You know how the doctor said that I was having stress migraines?” (I had taken her to see our pediatrician in September when she had been complaining of headaches.)
K: “I don’t think they were migraines, Honey. Dr. Edmonds said your headaches were probably stress-related.”
G” “Well, I have a headache now.”
K: “You do?”
G: “Yes, and I’ve had one almost every day for a while.”
K: “Is there something bothering you?”
G: hesitantly “No, not really.”
K: “It sounds like maybe there is, though. Are you sure?”
G: “Well, You know how some people said that everything would be okay after Kristen's surgery and that God would take care of her and we would all be together?"
K: “Who said that, Grace?”
G: “You did.”
K: {Stunned, sitting in silence at the stoplight at K-96 and 10th Street}

I had tucked a "Back & Forth Journal" into her suitcase when she and Emily went to Ness City in August. In it, I had written the first entry:

August 11, 2009

Dear Grace,
I thought you might enjoy this "Back and Forth" Journal! We can write messages to each other and even share secrets! :) Something that is NOT a secret is that I love you very much and am SO glad you're my daughter! I know you might be a little worried about Kristen's surgery, and that's okay. It's only because you love her so much. Keep praying for her. God loves that cute little baby even more than we do, and He'll take care of her. Enjoy your time at Grama & Grampa's house, and we'll all be back together very soon. I love you, Gracie girl!
Mom :)
God certainly didn't take care of Kristen as I had hoped or expected, but He did take care of her. And in the scheme of things, no matter how far off it seems now, we will all be together soon. Oh, how the tears are flowing now. Grace took my words to heart, and they've been churning around in her head, not adding up to what she expected. Goodness knows none of us expected things to work out as they did. I'm glad to know what she's been thinking about so we can talk about it, but wow. {Sigh}