Making Their Way Through The Bucket List

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Last summer Kalkidan, Claire (Sunshine), and Eden made a bucket list. They were so excited that Kalkidan was coming home and they had big plans – lots of big plans.

This friendship goes way back – all the way back to the beginning. In fact, I was at Eden’s birth and I like to tell her that she was such a cute baby that I couldn’t resist having one more of my own – so God gave me Claire. They’ve been like sisters more than friends, and thankfully, Eden’s mom, Signe is one of the people I love most in the world.

In 2007 when Kalkidan came home from Ethiopia, they became three peas in a pod. It wasn’t always easy because scarcity ran deep in Kalkidan, who had never had enough of anything, not even friends. There were some hard times, but the girls (and the moms) were invested in helping them have healthy friendships. This was so important that when Kalkidan was in Montana, we worked on it in therapy; it was completely worth the effort. The three girls had wonderful visits this summer and then plunged back into daily friendship when Kalkidan came home.

Last summer they made a bucket list of all of the things they hoped to accomplish in the near future. After the accident, Claire and Eden searched for the bucket list, knowing they needed to finish it. Signe told the girls she would help them, no matter what it took, to celebrate Kalkidan and their friendship. I told Claire they should quickly add a trip to Disneyland to the list, but I was joking (sort of).

Tuesday marked one month since Kalkidan went to be with Jesus, and we approached it with sadness. Claire and Eden wanted to take the day off of school, but we couldn’t see that actually being good for them. Signe and I opted instead to take them to do one thing on their list – get frozen yogurt with ridiculous toppings. It was the first time I left the house for anything other than a necessary appointment or church.

Signe and I did a little crying as we watched the two who should have been three. The lively brown girl with the wild hair and incredible energy was sorely missed. The girls feel her absence deeply, yet I’m moved by how well Eden and Claire are grieving their sister/friend.

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It’s going to take awhile to check off each item on the bucket list, but they’re on their way and even though it hurts, I’m going along with them.

Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

15 Comments

  1. Angela Arnett Stone
    January 29, 2015

    Beautiful!

    Reply
  2. Molly Kitsmiller
    January 29, 2015

    This is such a good reminder to all of us to work on our bucket list all the time (especially those things that involve the people we love) – since one never knows when God might call us home. What an amazing attitude you have – thanks for the updates!

    Reply
  3. Julie Hewitt Beem
    January 29, 2015

    Thank you so much for sharing your grieving with us – such a healthy model of vulnerability. We're watching – and going along with you on this bucket list!

    Reply
  4. Kemery Kane
    January 29, 2015

    I read this early this morning and thought of you. Loves.

    The Wild Geese

    Horseback on Sunday morning,
    harvest over, we taste persimmon
    and wild grape, sharp sweet
    of summer's end. In time's maze
    over fall fields, we name names
    that went west from here, names
    that rest on graves. We open
    a persimmon seed to find the tree
    that stands in promise,
    pale, in the seed's marrow.
    Geese appear high over us,
    pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
    as in love or sleep, holds
    them to their way, clear,
    in the ancient faith: what we need
    is here. And we pray, not
    for new earth or heaven, but to be
    quiet in heart, and in eye
    clear. What we need is here.

    Wendell Berry

    Reply
  5. Amy Louise
    January 29, 2015

    Hugs and Prayers for you all. Your sadness is most likely overwhelming. I know you know but keep reminding yourself Kalkidan is complete and whole. She has enough of everything and is fulfilled. Scarcity and being unable to give and receive love will never again be a problem for her. Shed all your tears and do whatever helps ease the pain. God will be there.

    Reply
  6. michelle tuten
    January 29, 2015

    So glad they are gonna finish the bucket list. God Bless you all.

    Reply
  7. Julie
    January 29, 2015

    May God bless the girls as they honor Kalkidan. May He continue to hold all of you tightly in His arms.

    Reply
  8. Shari mcminn
    January 29, 2015

    Wonderful. Thanks for sharing your joys and tears because an abundant life is full of both. Hugs

    Reply
  9. Mary
    January 29, 2015

    Golly. What a tribute!
    A few weeks after we lost my mother-in-law, our first son was born. As she was leaving, he was coming. I remember thinking that death and life are just a snap apart from each other. So to see these young women grasping life in the midst of losing a dear friend by physical death is pretty wonderful. What sturdy young women! They must have sturdy Mamas who have a sturdy Savior.

    Reply
  10. Heather
    January 29, 2015

    What a beautiful tribute, to live out their joint dreams together. It continues to celebrate Kalkidan and I'm sure she had the best fro-yo ever in heaven with them.

    Reply
  11. jacqueline
    January 29, 2015

    So bittersweet, and special at the same time, that this bucket list is giving the girls and yourself a way to honor Kalkidan's memory and grieve.

    Reply
  12. Andrea H.
    January 29, 2015

    This is a precious story. It just brought me to tears again. You have an amazing town there with amazing friends and friendships which I know is a huge blessing now for this huge loss in your heart. Love you so much, Lisa. Awhh I want to hug you again. When I saw you I really couldn't put a real bear hug on you because I didn't want to hurt you.

    Reply
  13. Sadee
    January 29, 2015

    Beautiful!

    Reply
  14. Pamela
    February 3, 2015

    What a lovely way for these two to remember Kalkidan and I think it may be a helpful way to help them (and you!) work through their grief.

    Reply
  15. Katie Nelson Bradshaw
    February 5, 2015

    That is really beautiful. So wonderful that they have each other. True friends are a rare gift! HUGS!

    Reply

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