Wednesday, May 19, 2010


When waves crash puddles form between the rocks. What happens to the water? When the waves come again at high tide the next day do they take all the water back out again? Is it mirky and miry? Is it stagnant? Do mosquitoes live in it? Maybe tarantulas? What happens to my puddles? While I am in the puddle is the water getting yucky? My water feels a bit mirky still. I would like to keep it clean, pest-free, and fresh. I would like it to not become salty there. I want the sand underneath me to stay pliable. The tide actually keeps my water clean. These waves, this tide, this grief journey is cleansing my life, and keeping my sand soft. As I let the waves wash out my muddled puddle I can face life again. In the daily hum of life it's easy for me to just live. To try to forget the grief that is around me every day. But letting the grief come it constantly refocuses my life and I accept the hole left behind Kira. I repeatedly tell God "I am confused, I am hurt, I am full of grief, but I will still trust you." When I do not allow the waves to come I grow salty; grouchy and very temperamental. For now I am in the puddle. Maybe sometime I will jump up and stay on the rocks. I jump out every once in a while just to remember what it's like on the rock. Psalm 40:2 reads "He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay; And He set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings."

I recently remembered fter New Year's Day 2009 we spent the night at Merlin's brother's house in OH. Kira was still really proud of her suitcase she had received for Christmas. That morning when we were packing, she packed neatly and promptly. I can still see her wheeling her suitcase out to the doorway for her daddy to load in the truck. The pride was written all over her face. After all she was the first one to have her suitcase there from a family of five. I am human...I wish......

Please pray that we would stay focused on Jesus while the waves continue to cleanse us.

Marylu and Merlin, Marlea, Anna

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I have heard someone say that grief comes in waves. My mind pictures the ocean. Last fall we were in El Salvador and spent two nights on the beach by the Pacific Ocean. There the waves crash onto rocky shore. In between the rocks are soft puddles of sand. At night the tide comes way up and the waves crash mighty crashes all night long that spray water into the air and up over the concrete walls, often giving water to plants on the other side. I have never been there in a storm but I think the power of the waves would frighten me. Likewise, in my life these waves of grief crash onto rocky shore. They make puddles between the rocks. Puddles that with God's help I am trying to keep impressionable. Sometimes the waves crash, the pain is great and the water splashes on those around me. People see my pain with their eyes because it's obvious that Kira is not here. They can hear my pain with their ears when I speak. I pray that the splashes of water they receive from me will help them grow. My heart is not stormy anymore. I can feel the storm ending. But the waves don't leave. Maybe as time goes on they will be more like low tide waves leaving only soft puddles in the sand. Right now I think they are pretty much still like high tide waves at least in portions of the day. Currents in my life trigger big waves...Yesterday one gripped me as I looked at Kira's clothes. Today one gripped me as Marlea told me how much she misses Kira especially when she looks at pictures of how it used to be. On Mother's Day it gripped me as I looked out the window at my nieces and nephews playing. Anna told me she saw Kira out there and I felt the wave go through me. Kira's friend sat with me in church and I couldn't help but wonder what it would be like with three little girls. The wave washed over me as I realized that I will never experience a six year old, four year old, and two year old at the same time. Not with the names Marlea, Kira, and Anna. The ocean seems to be okay with the tides. Someday will I be? My longing for heaven grows stronger...a place with no waves. Only peace.

All little girls like to dress up. There is no story about it. It just is natural. This picture is worth a lots of words. I will spare the words and just share the picture.

Thanks so much for still remembering us and caring for us. Continue to pray that we would be able to balance our lives in the waves, puddles, and sprays.

Marylu and Merlin, Marlea, Anna

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


This past year I have made lots of choices. One of the first ones I made was to care more about Kira's happiness than about her recovery. That was a hard one; I wanted her to live very badly but God called us strongly to that choice. Another one I made was to embrace grief and not run away. Choosing grief brought buckets of tears, valleys of disappointment, and heartache as I had never know to be possible for a body to endure. I can understand slightly how dying of a broken heart can be possible. A lot of the time I felt as if I were swimming with only my nose above water. Later on I made the choice to remove anger from the circle of emotions. That was a partial success; one I am still addressing. It pushed me closer to reconciling my trust in God. When Christmas came I made the choice to try to enjoy it... a choice that proved very difficult to do given the circumstances. On Kira's birthday I ate the bitter cake for days; I partially had to choose to enjoy it. As the year came around we chose to celebrate - especially children - by having a party, some activities, and lots of good conversations with people who freely embraced our grief with us. Many more of you have done so also that weren't here, and we feel that deeply as well. Again it was a choice to not run away from the pain of it being a year. The choice to be alright with healing seems to follow me these days. Just like I found pain around the corners, in the closet, running after me - I now feel healing along with it. And it feels confusing. I want it - I want to make that choice but I have discovered that along with the choice comes more pain. I still don't like pain. I struggle to be okay with what happened. I struggle to accept the last memories of Kira here in our home... Little things still set off my memory. Yet strongly and urgently healing calls me to accept it as part of what is shaping my life to be the person God must think I can be.

I have been digging in the dirt. It reminds me so much of Kira. She loved the dirt so much I even caught her eating it sometimes. Today we were mulching. I remembered Kira two years ago bringing her little bucket to fill with mulch to help her mommy. Anna was born at the end of April two years ago and it's always more fun to help mommy when she is helpless. Or maybe then they feel really needed? She was so sweet about it and such a diligent worker!

Please pray that we can discern following God's plan of healing in our lives.

Marylu and Merlin, Marlea, Anna