Sunday, March 29, 2009


it's amazing what little things can make a grown women cry. friday it was a stuffed radish....a silly little stuffed radish. i was at school putting out the clothes that i was going to sell at the 2nd hand sale the next day when i saw it. it was sitting next to a pile of other stuffed animals for sale...a small red radish with big floppy green leaves and goofy little eyes....and all i saw was seth coming out of surgery to remove his vocal nodules and this little vegetable sitting next to him.

he ADORED that little radish. played with it like it was a basketball (go figure!). took it to school for show and tell. pelted his brothers with it in their backs. slept with it. and eventually gave it away. you see, seth had this habit of giving away his prized possessions to his friends. i don't know if he was trying to make friends or looking back now...was it prophetic - knowing he wasn't going to be needed it much longer?

it wasn't only HIS things that he gave away - he also took other's prized items. just ask greg someday about his biggest, clearest, and best agate! it was in a dish with other pretty stones and one day it came up missing. seth had THE MOST guilty look on his face! to this day we don't have a clue as to who seth gave that to. one of my favorite stories about things seth wanted to give away was his boxer shorts. i think he was in 2nd or 3rd grade when he had a friend overnight and they were upstairs just talking and laughing away. i couldn't resist so i went up and eavesdropped on them (as only GOOD mothers do - right?!) i am so glad that i did because what a heard was so precious. seth's friend was commenting that seth had the coolest parents (smart kid!) because we allowed seth to wear boxer shorts to which seth replied 'well, if anything ever happens to can have them' WHAT!?!?!?! only seth! (follow-up to this story: after seth died i washed up a few of his boxers and gave him to his friend along with a note 'from' seth - according to his mom he kept them in a safe place and once in a while i think she told me that he wears them! too cute!!!)

today it was a radish....i wonder what next will come my way?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


little grief glimpses....that's the word that fits best i think. those little things that take you off guard and send you swirling through another little wake of a wave. i get them all the time. sometimes i wonder whether this is what paul in the Bible felt like when reminded of his 'thorn'.

the silliest of things, the smallest of things, the strangest of things bring glimpses back to me of my grief. let me give you some examples...

-seeing a girl that used to be in seth's class at jenison christian who since has moved to the
school that lydia goes to. she was a girl that seth played basketball with quite alot in 3rd grade.
went back to the van and just cried.
-one of seth's hats that luke has started wearing...that coupled with the fact that he is also grown into the coat that seth used to wear. seeing him get on the bus in the mornings....for a few split seconds taking a second look.
-passing by the wall of champions at school and not seeing seth's picture or his little signature in his handwriting. (the wall is a place where kids are congratulated for accomplishing a goal in reading)
-having his pillow fall down from the top shelf in ben's room and smelling his sweet smell yet. i don't think i'll ever be able to wash it.
-seeing the kids in the culdesac behind us come out of 'winter's hibernation' and playing basketball and other games together....and not seeing seth with them.
-going for a walk with greg and seeing some kids skateboarding on a ramp and thinking of seth's ramp still in our garage.
-seeing grace's terrified face at a birthday party where the kids brought some basketballs with them to play in the gym. when we were ready to go grace came running up to me saying that the money ball was missing. "money ball? what's a money ball?" she told me that seth would always call his bball his money ball. went to go look for it with her and found caleb and luke FRANTICALLY trying to get into a room where they thought the ball was. they were trying to get into this room and the door was stuck a little...they were about to pull off the doors themselves just to get seth's ball back. (it's the same ball that seth is holding onto in the picture on the right)
-going through clothes for a 2nd hand sale this w/e at school and coming upon one of seth's shirts....and then putting into the ben pile for later. i think that maybe that may connect ben with his brother a little bit someday in the future.....maybe.
-talking about our trip out west and thinking how annoying seth could be looking for different liscence plates.... and now just wishing with everything that he would be with us to find some more.
-hearing the song by chris rice 'untitled hymn'. the kids would lip sync that to me when i was having a hard day. NOTHING could make me happier than to see all 6 of them in a line from tallest to shortes singing that song to me....and seth always singing at least 3 beats behind and 4 keys off chord. whenever i hear that song now....i always sing it way off key and way behind...closing my eyes and just seeing him stand before me not having a clue how bad he sounded and yet how beautiful.

so many little many big much grief yet. but it's different now. instead of jars and jars of tears each time...there are just sweet smiles of memories. somedays there are jars yet....but at smiles through those tears. thank you, Lord....for the grace to get me through these last 17 months. thank you for my smiles....and for my tears.

Monday, March 16, 2009


there are times when as a parent you are so proud of your kids. most times you just smile at them and treasure them in your heart....but then there are times when the pride just wells up so much you need to share - this is one of those times.

grace has a gift. she has multiple gifts, but one that is more obvious than others. her gift is a gift of writing. now, she usually uses this for good....but there have been multiple times when she uses it in the wrong ways (i have dozens of notes from her telling me how mad/angry/ticked off at us she is.....depending on the level of anger and the situation. we just figure it's better for her to get it out on paper than right to our faces with attitude!)

this time.....she used her gift beautifully. and i am so very proud of her. another dream (besides writing a book someday) of grace's is to be a singer/songwriter. if this is any indication of the future.....her future is very, very bright (or so this proud mama thinks!). we have always encouraged her to write down her feelings and this time she did it in the context of a song. wow!!! she did us proud! here is her song, in her own words......

Verse 1
It was November 4, when my world came crashing down
The world had all seemed bleak and gray
He had died that morning
How could this have happened
I just saw him yesterday
At the funeral the preacher said...

Shine like the stars
For the whole world to see
He's up in heaven and he is waiting for me
He's happy and dancing
And there's no more hurt
As tears streamed down my face
I could only wish that i was......there

Verse 2
What is he doing right about now is the question that i ask
Is he dancing, is he fishing, is he feasting with the Lord?
Something about that gives me a little hope
That we can...

Shine like the stars
For the whole world to see
He's up in heaven and he is waiting for me
He's happy and dancing
And there's no more hurt
As tears streamed down my face
I could only wish that i was......there

Bridge (a capella)
Ohhh shine like the stars
For the whole world to see
The maker of heaven
Loves you and me
That's all i know and that's all i need
to know that he's

(loud and happy)
Happy and dancing
And there's no more hurt
He's fishing and feasting
Laughing and playing

(slow down quiet music)
as tears streamed down my face
i could only wish that i was...... there

oh, how we all wish for that very same thing. someday, gracie.....someday!

Friday, March 6, 2009


i have been wanting to put this picture up for a while now. it's by far one of my much so you all are just going to have to look at it for a while! :) we had given each of the kids a new 'seth bracelet' for christmas. the girls have their bracelets made with their birthstone while the boys have blacks and tans. all of them have the square beads spelling out seth's name. (i think that greg and i may just have to cave and get us one too!) i love the way ben's looks like on his pudgy little wrist. i also love the different skin colors.....from winter white to olive brown to deep tan. the kids say that all we need now is a "beautiful black hand" - someday maybe. it was grace's idea to put the star in the center - it was a great idea to honor seth. we have been so blessed. all the praise goes to the One who has blessed us with these.