Remembering Moments Part 6

2011
2011

Remembering Moments Part 1 | Remembering Moments Part 2 | Remembering Moments Part 3 | Remembering Moments Part 4 | Remembering Moments Part 5 |Remembering Moments Part 6 | Remembering Moments Part 7

With tears running down our cheeks we held hands in the back seat as our friend slowly drove us home. It was snowing lightly and I was nervous to be in a car again. I also knew we were going to pass the curve where our accident had occurred, and I didn’t want to see it. I closed my eyes and drifted off.

We pulled up the driveway and saw our house, the front porch lit by white lights, and the Christmas tree still in the bay window. One of the older boys, maybe Noah, met us at the car with a wheelchair and they carefully brought me through the garage and into the house. I don’t remember how they got me up the short flight of stairs and into the family room.

All of our children were there as well as my dear friends, Signe, Michele, and Beth. My younger children were quiet; they were so glad to see me, but distressed by my appearance. I remember lots of hugs, and wanting to hold on to my kids. I’m sure there were tears. It’s been three months and it’s a blur to me. At some point Noah and Katie went home, but I think everyone else slept here.

I was in tremendous pain and slept that night (and for the next six weeks) in the recliner in the family room. The same chair I bought to rock my little ones whose hearts had been wounded, now held me. Russ was exhausted and desperately needed rest, so Hannah slept on the sofa near me while he slept upstairs.

The next day brought the first of many hard conversations and decisions to be made. Russ met with our friend, Rick, who took over communicating with the funeral home. Rick and Michele managed most of the logistics for us.

Later the older kids gathered in the family room with us and we began to talk about burial, cremation, viewing, and the memorial service. I didn’t need or want a viewing, but they hadn’t seen Kalkidan and said goodbye to her like Russ and I had at the hospital. We decided that each sibling would choose if they wanted to attend, although we didn’t plan for the younger boys to be with us. With their histories, we didn’t think it would be good for them.

As a family we agreed that we wanted to bury Kalkidan on our property. This may seem like an odd choice, but we’ve always been a very home-oriented family, birthing most of our babies at home and home schooling. It didn’t feel right to have Kalkidan buried in the cemetery on the other side of town.

We probably wouldn’t have thought of this, but years before when we lived in Colorado, we often gathered for church events at the home of Michele’s mother (the same Michele who later moved to Moscow and became “Aunt Michele” to my children). The children played and ran on the property behind the house where Michele’s father and grandmother were both buried. Later two babies from our church were buried there and I recall feeling thankful that our children didn’t find it frightening.

This decision led us to discuss burial of Kalkidan’s body versus burial of her ashes.  I didn’t feel that I could bear to have her body buried here, and I was struggling with the idea in general. We talked with some pastors we respect and decided cremation was the right decision for us.

We planned the viewing, with only our family, Signe and her daughter (Kalkidan and Claire’s best friend), and Michele. Another friend came to be a special support person for Beza.

The memorial service was scheduled for Friday evening and everyone was invited. It was only four days away, which meant there was a lot to sort out, but with help from our kids and friends, it began to come together.

Friends, this is hard to write about, but it occurs to me that each one of us will some day face similar decisions. I hope that not one of you will lose a child, but we will all lose people we love. Thankfully, one day we’ll be with Jesus and there will be no more death or suffering. We cry so much now, but one day there will be no more tears.

Thank you for walking with me, reading my thoughts, and letting me share my heart.

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.

20 Comments

  1. Emily
    April 14, 2015

    I love you so much.

    Reply
  2. Emily
    April 14, 2015

    And I'm glad Ben and I could be with you all that week.

    Reply
  3. Mavis
    April 14, 2015

    One day there will be no more tears…amen.

    Reply
  4. Barb G
    April 14, 2015

    Praying for your family daily.

    Reply
  5. sharimcminn
    April 14, 2015

    Thanks for sharing the tragedies along with the triumphs. We all need to remember we are but dust, and He is Lord of all, forever. Hugs.

    Reply
  6. lucylou99
    April 14, 2015

    Love you. Praying for you. Trusting God to carry you.
    Cindy Mc

    Reply
  7. Leslie
    April 15, 2015

    We love you all, and we are praying for you.

    Reply
  8. Michelle
    April 15, 2015

    (((hugs))) So much. I can't imagine.

    Reply
  9. Erika
    April 15, 2015

    Lifting you and your family up in prayers.

    God bless you.

    Reply
  10. Laine
    April 15, 2015

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 15, 2015

      Thank you, Laine. I'm feeling the need for all of them today.

      Reply
  11. darci
    April 15, 2015

    Oh dear dear Lisa-I have not read blogs for many months. I have just read thru your last many posts. I am weeping for your deep loss. I am so sorry. My prayers are and will be with you in the months ahead. How my heart is aching for you. Praying

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 15, 2015

      Darci, it's lovely to hear from you. I'm so sorry that you had to learn this now. We are doing better – we really are. It's just so sad and difficult for our family, and some days are better than others. Jesus has been very, very present to us and we are thankful.

      Reply
  12. Ann
    April 15, 2015

    Love this picture of dimples. Just before I read your post I finished the book Evidence Not Seen by Darlene Deibler Rose and I felt compelled to share the title with you. Her faith which got her through so much sorrow and suffering is inspiring. Hugs to you dear friend.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 16, 2015

      Ann, a friend gave me that book at the end of February and it was such a blessing. In fact, my book group decided to switch book choices this June and read it. I'm so glad you liked it too. Those are the kinds of books I need to read right now. Love to you.

      Reply
  13. April
    April 16, 2015

    I am continuing to pray for your family. My heart hurts with yours.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 17, 2015

      Thank you April,your prayers are a blessing to us.

      Reply
  14. Elizabeth
    April 16, 2015

    I have been wondering how the younger ones have handled it all. The loss of a sibling as well as seeing you very injured. I have been especially thinking of your little boys, though it is unthinkable for everyone. Blessings to you all as you daily walk this road.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 17, 2015

      Elizabeth, it is incredibly complicated to support each child as they grieve. The little boys are doing well, I think; I expect their questions and even their grief to become more complicated as their ability to fully understand the loss increases. I know they're glad to see me up and about, functioning much more normally than I could for the first few months.

      Reply
  15. Sammy
    April 10, 2018

    You’re so sweet to write about this. I mean the way you try to confort others at the end of your post. And, of course you share Jesus.

    Reply

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