Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Love the ones you've got

You may or may not be aware, but there is a Christian music artist named Steven Curtis Chapman. Almost a year ago his adopted daughter, Maria, was tragically killed in an accident. He went on Larry King and has done a few other shows along with his family. They have been an inspiration and comfort to many.

What has fallen by the wayside a bit, in my opinion, is the awareness of their continued struggle to cope and understand and live without her in their lives. His wife, Mary Beth, blogs, the way most of us blog. A little tidbit here, a little newsy post there and interspersed is usually some mention of her ongoing feeling of loss since Maria is no longer in the pictures and sharing the fun. She also posts her new understandings and the things God is teaching her and how she is coping or if she's coping. She posted something just this week about her soon to be daughter in laws bridal tea. She mentions in there that Maria's birthday is coming up to be followed shortly by the 1st anniversary of Maria's death. She says:

Hug your kids tighter.

And I reiterate that. Strongly! Go, right now, and give them a kiss and a hug and tell them how much you love them. Share with the people you care for how much you do care for them and what their presence means to you. It has become so cliche, but we truly have no idea how long we have with each of these people. I have a number of friends who drive fair distances every day, and even on a short distance trip, any number of tragic things are possible and could take that person from you life forever. Never have any doubt that your loved ones know your feelings. So, I'm going to take a moment here, in print, to name names.

Kelly - I love you. You are so so dear to me and you get me in ways no one else does.
Charity - You are my oldest friend, and you will always hold a dear and special place in my heart. You hold my history.
Allison - you are the sweetest and sincerest person I know. Your simple outlook on life is an inspiration. Also your ability to seemingly not worry ever is too.
Kathy B - your honesty makes me laugh, regularly. Your hugs give me fuel to continue walking my path. Your shared confusion over my continued singleness gives me comfort.
Kari - you accept me in a way that I have seldom felt accepted. You expect little from me and never expect a change in behavior or character.
Mary - your willingness to schedule and share and enjoy anything and everything with me give me another friend to call sister.
Michelle - our shared history and shared struggles mean you, also, get me in another set of ways that few others do. Your acceptance of me, ability to make me laugh, and shared desire to be a lotta bit silly and sometimes ridiculous helps me remember that 30 is not that old!
(I'm sure there are many who are missing and some who wish I'd said about you what I said about the other girl. Drop that sentiment and wrap your arms around yourself and give you a hug from me, and remind yourself that you are loved by a crazy girl in WI)

Amy - I think it makes you nervous to be mentioned here, and if you'd like I will promise to never mention you again (just ask), but I would be deeply remiss if I neglected to express how deeply my heart overflows for you. We share a kind of history that cannot be duplicated anywhere else, no matter what happens in this life with anyone. ever. I sometimes think I'm eloquent, and then I try to express to you just how much I love you and I suddenly can't find the right words that won't sound hokey or contrived. You are a beautiful girl. You are strong and independent. You are unwilling to bow to any number of pressures in this world. And you face your struggle with stamina and courage, and a strength I'm not sure even I possess. And you do it all stoically. Often, seemingly, alone. I sometimes wish you would let me/us in, but even as I type that I realize there are struggles that I, myself, won't allow anyone else into, why should you, my sister, be any different? You are who you are, life has led you to this place, and you lead your life with a dignity and grace seldom seen. My life would truly be lacking if you were somehow gone from it. And it is richer and fuller for your presence.

Mom & Dad - you know I love you. You know how much. After that paragraph for Amy, I'm kinda spent. If you're not sure, ask me on Thursday, I'll be over for Survivor by 7.

Hug your kids tighter.


  1. you are so cool. i love you, too! hugs, kathy b

  2. I love you too. That was a lovely little blurb about me and I don't mind that you mentioned me.