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Claire and Janna 2

For the past few years, Claire has been asking for a puppy. She’s done her research, and even volunteers at a veterinary clinic. Life was too full and difficult to consider adding one more thing to our lives, so we said no.


Then the accident happened and we lost Kalkidan, Claire’s closest companion. Kalkidan had bunk beds and most nights found Claire sleeping on the top bunk. Claire read aloud to Kalkidan before bed, they listened to music, and talked. On Saturday mornings they made crepes.

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It had to happen. For nearly three months I’ve hardly left my house, but last Saturday I found myself at the grocery store and realized that I am emerging from my cocoon. My world was very small for many weeks, revolving around physical therapy and a few other medical appointments. Then we added church, and finally our small group. I even met a friend for coffee last week.

Easter 2009

Easter 2009

“Mom, if God makes the future, why doesn’t he always make it good?” Little Man’s question and the expression on his sweet face made me stop and pull him close.

Oh, precious boy, I wish I had an easy answer to this question that has burned in the hearts of so many. How do I express that most days it takes sheer faith for me to believe that God’s ways are good and his plans are always best? It makes no sense when we suffer and feel we’re drowning under the weight of sorrow.


Remembering Moments Part 1 | Remembering Moments Part 2 | Remembering Moments Part 3 | Remembering Moments Part 4

Time passed and eventually I was taken upstairs to a room. As my bed was wheeled down the hallway I saw Russ and with him, friends who live in Coeur d’Alene. I later learned that our pastor called a friend of his, a pastor who was much closer to the hospital, who came to be with Russ in the emergency room. He also called friends of his who lived near and had lost their son a few years before; he knew they would be a comfort to us.

The anticipated snowstorm had arrived and Russ didn’t want anybody on the roads coming to see us – not our children, our families, our dear friends from home, or our pastors. What a gift it was to have the Body of Christ show up, even when we were far from home.

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One thing I miss terribly about homeschooling is reading aloud to my kids. Last month I realized this really isn’t a difficult problem to solve, I simply need to carve out time to read before they leave for school. I always want to make the most of time spent reading aloud so I choose my books carefully. For the next many months, we’ll work our way through The Chronicles of Narnia. Thankfully, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is a relatively short book, so we are brimming with success at having finished it last week.

If you haven’t read these books, don’t delay. I read them for the first time as a college student and couldn’t believe that I had missed them in my childhood. I have never liked fantasy, so I wasn’t drawn to them, but Russ persuaded me to give the series a try, and I’m so glad I did.

Earlier in the week we read the saddest section of the book, where Aslan dies at the hands of the White Witch. Susan and Lucy are weeping and Lewis writes, “It was all more lonely and hopeless and horrid than I know how to describe.”


I didn’t know how hard this would be to write, so I’m going to write it quickly with minimal editing and publish it.

Remembering Moments Part 1 | Remembering Moments Part 2 | Remembering Moments Part 3

We held on and cried, whispering comfort to each other. A nurse came in and asked Russ if we wanted to see Kalkidan, and without hesitation we said, “Yes.”

They wheeled my bed into a room where Kalkidan was lying on another bed. She was covered to her shoulders with blankets; her left arm was uncovered. There was a tube in her mouth, but otherwise, her face looked beautiful. I reached out to touch her arm and hand. With the brace on my neck and my other injuries, I was nearly unable to move. We hugged, cried, Russ stroked her face and hair.


After school snack with our therapy guinea pig.

After school snack with our therapy guinea pig.

I began writing the next section in my Remembering Moments series and realized that my memories are all so confused that I need Russ to help me sort it out. That conversation is going to take some emotional space that we haven’t had the last few days, so I’ll pause and post Part 4 as soon as it’s done.

We’ve had a couple of emotional days. On Monday Russ went to the middle school to pay athletic fees for Claire to participate in track.

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Writing this is becoming more difficult. I’m struck by the large gaps in my memory and the time that is completely gone. I also know that soon I’m going to tell you about losing Kalkidan, and that is unbearable. I’ll press on.

Remembering Moments Part 1 | Remembering Moments Part 2

I have a vague memory of Russ telling me he loved me and they would get me out. That is jumbled together with a memory from immediately following the accident when he had unbuckled me but not yet climbed back to check on Kalkidan. He kissed me and told me he loved me and we would be okay.

The next thing I remember is someone breaking a hole through the windshield and looking in. The man told me that they were going to lift the car and get me out. Time passed; I don’t know if it was one minute or ten, then I heard the rumbling sound of a generator.

yellow daffodils from Beza and an orange mug to remember Kalkidan

yellow daffodils from Beza and an orange mug to remember Kalkidan

giving thanks #1631 – 1640

coffee with a friend while kids played – it’s been awhile

great hand-me-down baseball cleats for both boys

the view from our backyard

the view from our backyard

Thank you for your kind and supportive words as I share the story of the accident and our loss of Kalkidan. I’ve written the next section, but I want Russ to read it before I publish – while I’m writing only my memories, I need to be sure that I’m telling it as well as I can.

Yesterday Russ and Beza left on a quick trip to Seattle for a medical appointment at Children’s. While there they picked up some great patio furniture a friend is passing to us as they prepare to move to a new home. Funny thing is, we don’t have a patio. We’ve long dreamed of building one, but it hasn’t made it to the top of our list.