Remembering Moments Part 7

Three Sisters

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

Three months ago I wrote Remembering Moments Part 6. The series of posts was difficult for some of our family to read, so I stopped writing them for a time; I’m ready to finish now. Seven months have passed since the accident, and memories fade with time, so I’ll just share what I can recall in the simplest way I can.

In the week following the accident, I was struck by how amazing our adult children were as we made decisions and coped with all that needed to be done. In what feels like a very short time, they had become young adults and now they were operating in their gifts.

Hannah managed my medical care and stayed by my side, helping me shower, eat, and later, get to medical appointments. Mimi wrote Kalkidan’s obituary for the paper and worked with Isaiah on a slide show for the service.

Noah and Katie, and Samuel helped Russ with many practical tasks and were a great comfort to the younger children. Isaiah and Annarose planned the music for the service and worked with members of our worship team to prepare.

I was shielded from most of the details, but from time to time, I had to help make a decision. We had to choose clothes from Kalkidan to be dressed in for the viewing. Someone in the family picked out a long, bright purple sweater that was a favorite, leggings, neon earrings, and a colorful headband. It was just right.

Decisions about the program for the memorial service were made. The funeral home offered to make small memory cards to be given to guests. The older kids chose a picture of Kalkidan from a hike they had taken a year or more earlier. Below it we added the prayer we pray aloud with the kids each morning.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (the Jesus Shema)

I love that prayer, and I still love the cards seven months later.

I continued to live in the recliner in our family room, getting up only to go to the bathroom. I wasn’t allowed to put any weight on my right leg, so I used a walker to make it the dozen or so steps. We didn’t know yet that I had a fracture in my left shoulder; bearing weight on my arm must have increased the pain I had.

The pain in my right hip was extreme. The nerves had been damaged and the slightest touch was enough to take my breath away and make me want to drop to my knees.

The pain in my heart was jumbled with confusion, the need to comfort the children, sleep, and physical pain. Sometimes I just felt numb. I’m sure the pain medication contributed to my emotional state.

I think the viewing was on Tuesday or Wednesday. I was dreading it so much; it felt like too much to ask. But I knew the children needed closure – they needed to say goodbye.

I told everyone that we were going be casual – no dressing up, no stress. It was only our family and a few very close friends; nobody cared what we looked like. I could only wear yoga pants (which continued to be the case for the next four months due to the hip injury), and I have no idea what I wore on my feet.

I think it was cold and there was snow on the ground. Russ warmed up the van and somehow managed to get me downstairs and through the garage in the wheelchair. I remember thinking that it was strange to be outside again. The sky was so bright. The roads looked the same, but we were not the same. I felt like a stranger, and observer, as we drove to the funeral home.

More soon.

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.

13 Comments

  1. kristen
    August 10, 2015

    Lisa, thank you for continuing to share…i would love to hear more about the prayer you read with your children each morning. What does that look like? It seems like such a great way to begin new day.
    thanks for continuing to be an example of a mom after God's heart.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 10, 2015

      Thanks for suggesting that, Kristen.

      Reply
  2. Blessed
    August 10, 2015

    ((((((hug))))))

    Reply
  3. Monique Mccardle
    August 11, 2015

    <3

    Reply
  4. Christine
    August 11, 2015

    I still have my card from the memorial service. That was such a good idea. It reminds me to pray for y'all.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 11, 2015

      Thank you Christine. We are very grateful for your prayers.

      Reply
  5. Monica girod
    October 29, 2015

    Wow. I stumbled upon your blog posts from a friend's fb page as they were asking us to pray for your family today, your daughters birthday. I decided to read your story and truly wept. My heart truly hearts for you all. I am a mother of 3 boys and can not fathom your pain. I will pray for you and your family. And I just want you to know your story is powerful and the fact that you are standing so strong in your faith in our god is truly an inspiration. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      November 1, 2015

      Thank you for your encouraging words, Monica. I hope you'll continue to read.

      Reply
  6. Sarah T
    April 8, 2017

    I just read this series in full. Oh my goodness…no words. Still praying for your family daily. Much love.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 8, 2017

      I haven’t read it in a long time; it feels too hard, but I know I never really finished it. Maybe one day I’ll at least write a conclusion. Thank you for letting me share it with you, Sarah.

      Reply
  7. Kea
    December 16, 2017

    Love and peace to you and your family.

    Reply
  8. Lisa
    January 19, 2018

    Your daughter is beautiful and I feel privileged to be able to read your story about her. I’m so sorry for the great loss you all suffered. Lifting you up in prayer now.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 20, 2018

      Thank you, Lisa, for your prayers and your gentle words.

      Reply

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