Tag Archives: Birthday

Another Birthday in Absentia 

Today, November 2nd,  is the date of Bethany’s 23rd birthday. I have nothing to give her except maybe a moment of recognition – of remembrance. The hour of her birth was recorded one hour and one minute after the hour of her brother’s. I’m not sure what significance that holds, if any at all, but it’s a detail I’ve always held onto.

The doctor who delivered Cole, delivered Bethany. The nurse who assisted with Cole’s birth, assisted with Bethany’s. That meant a lot to me. The nurse was actually assisting another patient and saw my name on the labor & delivery whiteboard and traded patients in order to be my nurse. I felt as if these were gifts God gave to David and I. Maybe a gift to the doctor and nurse too – it’s no fun to help a mother deliver their stillborn child. Medical professionals carry wounds too. So I like to think God overlaid a bad experience with a good one for all of us.

Bethany was named Bethany Joy, but I later wished we’d hyphenated her name. A good family friend bought her a sippy cup with her name and it’s meaning when she was very young. Bethany was not excited to learn that Bethany means ‘House of poverty.’ I liked to tease that the full meaning of her name then was,’House of poverty and joy.’ If her name held true she would be joyfully poor. Much better than bitterly poor!

Bethany was a sophomore at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) in Conway at the time of her death. It was a long time later when I heard that the school paper published an article about her death. It was even longer, on the second anniversary of her burial in fact, when I actually saw the article. 

So on Bethany’s third birthday in Heaven, here is the article her school paper published (keep scrolling down to read the article):


Posted by on November 1, 2016 in Grief


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Father’s Day

(Facebook Post 6/21/15)

For David on yet another Father’s Day filled with joy and longing. You are an awesome Dad! Happy Birthday to Cole who has never been and will never be forgotten – you are loved and missed. We are looking forward with great anticipation to the day the Lord and your sisters will introduce us to our son. And for the many fathers out there who experience the repeated and painful losses of anticipated moments of fatherhood – who often stand on the sidelines celebrating lost moments with joy, a touch of sorrow and a surprising lack of bitterness as friends, family and strangers enjoy them firsthand. You are all a unique kind of brave.

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Posted by on October 22, 2015 in Grief, Links


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The pre-song interview pretty much says it all; and aside from the line in the chorus that says, “But I always thought you’d come back, tell me all you found was Heartbreak and misery”, well the rest of the lyrics speak a very uncomfortable truth. I miss my children and I am desperately jealous to know they are happy without me. Not that I’d want them to be unhappy – and certainly not that I’d want heaven to be anything less than all I hope it will be, but I find myself jealous that heaven has their sunshine and I do not.

On this, the day after my youngest daughter’s birthday, this song seems especially appropriate as the following (partial) lyrics testify:

I wished you the best of
All this world could give
And I told you when you left me
There’s nothing to forgive
As I sink in the sand
Watch you slip through my hands
Oh, as I die here another day
Cause all I do is cry behind this smile

It’s hard for me to say,
I’m jealous of the way
You’re happy without me
It’s hard for me to say,
I’m jealous of the way
You’re happy without me

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Posted by on October 21, 2015 in Grief, Links, Music


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Katie Eve 2015

(Posted on Facebook 10/18/15)
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It’s ten p.m. Katie Eve. Soon, far sooner than I’d like, be it eleven or three a.m., I’ll close my eyes only to wake and find it’s Katie’s birthday and she’s not here – will never be here again. There are no carefully selected gifts, no friends coming, no cake, candles or ice cream. Just the ever present void her enthusiasm and contagious smile left behind.

Eighteen, she should be turning eighteen tomorrow., October 19th. And just that easily her life is erased. Oh, not in our hearts and minds, but I can guarantee you that the majority of people (friends and family – who can keep track of all those dates?) have no idea tomorrow is Katie’s birthday and will only be made aware by Facebook notification.

Before her death, celebrating her birthday was primarily a family affair. It didn’t matter to me if anyone else was aware of, or celebrated her birthday. But that has changed as well, because the fact that no one outside our family misses her screams that her life on earth had no worth. Lack of recognition, lack of appreciation, lack of awareness equates to lack of value – and that is one thing this broken mother simply can’t swallow. My throat tightens and chest heaves as I attempt to contain the sobs as tears roll down my face before I wipe them away. My heart is choking on the sorrow.

I didn’t fully comprehend how much life is defined by relationships. We are so distracted by jobs, and things and responsibilities that even the most valuable of relationships compete for our attention. In a world where the squeaky wheel gets greased, there is always a squeaky wheel demanding attention. In fact, David just stopped at the foot of my bed where I was reclining as I keyed this and said, “Will you cut my hair?”
“Sure”, I respond.
Minutes later from the kitchen I hear, “OK, I’m ready.”
And I’m off, grease can in hand.

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Posted by on October 21, 2015 in Grief


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