Monday, October 26, 2009

8 minutes of beauty

A good friend created this collection of pictures of our girl.  As you view, it is OK to have thoughts like, "Wow, she's beautiful."  Or, "Look how much she was loved."  Even, "It just doesn't seem right."  It's also OK to enjoy her...we do.  

As you grieve with us we appreciate your prayers: please continue in them for us.  We also appreciate you loving well those who are in your relationship circles.  Take care of each other.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Tonight I miss her.

A friend shared this song with us by Steven Curtis Chapman.
He knows the words to sing as he too lost a little girl.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Home with 2 Hanks

We have been out of town for a couple weeks.  
Some friends loaned us their RV and we've been on the road. 

A stop in DC to visit Uncle A...

A few days at a great RV campground in Virginia (hot tub included on our site)...

A stop in Kentucky to revisit our Asbury College & Seminary days and to reconnect with some great friends...

And a stop in Indiana to see Nanna and Granddad (oops, no pictures).

This is the kind of trip we've always wanted to take and yet it's the trip we never wanted to take.  RVing and exploring has always been on the list of things to do in life.  But each mile was marked with the reminder that the reason for the trip was the tragedy of losing Annie.  

We live in real paradox right now.  Joy & Sorrow, Happiness & Sadness, Plenty & Emptiness...

As we returned home we were reminded of the paradox.  Although we were glad to be heading back to our own beds and our own home, there was part of us that never wanted to return.  But a humorous distraction helped ease our entrance back into life.

While we were away on our "Big Rig" Adventure we kenneled our dog, Hank. It was strange that on one day while we were gone one of our neighbors facebooked us saying something to the effect, "It'll be good to have you guys back. I could hear Hank up early this morning." We didn't think too much of it, kinda just thought it was a little joke or something. Little did we know what lay ahead. As we arrived back in Michigan we picked up Hank at the "Doggy Hotel", giving him a chance to ride in the "big rig". It was weird when we walked into our porch and discovered a new dog bed and a note that said, "I'm out on a walk. Love, Hank". I checked his dog food and it was obvious that it was much less than when we had left.  I called a couple neighbors to find out what was going on--evidently a yellow dog had been at our house for about a week and our friend across the road, Annette, had been taking care of him.  

A few minutes later, she came strolling into our yard with a yellow dog yelling, "Welcome home!". You should have seen her face when I told her that the dog she was walking, and had been walking for a week, was not our Hank.

Here's what we've deduced... A stray dog showed up in our yard last Sunday and someone put him in our porch--assuming he was our dog. Word then travelled to our neighbor Annette that they were supposed to take care of Hank the second week of our absence. She's been walking and feeding "Hank" for a week.  

So we stood in the yard with Annette and these 2 yellow dogs and wondered what we should do. Brainstorm...let's check his collar. We quickly found a phone number on dog #2 and his rightful owners (1/2 a mile away) came, quite relieved that their dog had been found. Annette explained that he had been such a great dog and had come when called so obediently. It made sense when we asked Dog #2's name . . . yep, you guessed it, Hank.  

We're home and life moves on in all its humor and pain, with all its certainty and questions.