DSC_0698It’s Monday…just another day of many in my future that I will wake up missing my girls. I can’t really explain the ache in my heart other than that it hurts. I remember the first time Anna went and spent a long weekend with her dad; she was 2. I remember wondering if I was going to get through it. I knew she was in good hands and that she needed that time but as one day turned into two I remember the ache coming on. I remember trying to explain to someone but couldn’t. All I could say was that after a couple of days I just hurt.

Over time I got used to it. There were lots of long weekends and a week in the summer and a week at Christmas. This summer she spent 10 days in Hawaii and although I did miss her terribly (and was a little jealous) I knew that she was having a blast with extended family, swimming with dolphins and having an amazing adventure with her dad. She came home with lots of great stories and a hug that warmed every part of me. She didn’t want to leave my side for a couple of days and I can say the same about not wanting to leave hers.

I would feel the same way with Abigail. Whenever she would leave for a weekend or for an extended time with her mom I would miss her terribly. Abigail loved to call us. We would get nightly check ins and texts from her, text that I cherish now. I loved our Sunday reunions. We would all cuddle up on the couch for a movie and pizza. It was one of our families traditions, one I loved.

This missing, the ache in my heart, will always be there. I can’t imagine it ever going away. I just have to figure out how to navigate through life with it. I look at it like a giant pool of water that is really deep in the center. Some days I walk to the edge and get my feet wet, some days I go up to my knees. I can honestly say that is where I’ve stopped. I’m afraid to go any deeper, to feel the deep sorrow rush over my entire being. I’m afraid of that pain.


This does not mean I don’t hurt in every ounce of my being. It means I haven’t fully felt the impact of never seeing my girls again here on earth.  I really can’t imagine my life without them. I find ways to be with them now. Looking through countless pictures, watching videos, telling stories, writing about them in this space, sitting in their rooms, looking for and finding treasures, spending time with their friends, cuddling up with Anna’s favorite blanket and lighting two candles every night at the memorial. Doing these things helps me get through each day.

I know I will have to go swimming one day in that pool of water. I also know that I have God and I know that he won’t let me sink even if I wanted. I trust the people that God has placed in my life will be there. I trust that he will give them the words, the actions and the ability to pull me out when I have had enough. I trust that he is taking care of my girls and will take care of me. I trust that the peace I feel in regards to where they are could possibly be the same peace I feel one day when I think of that pool of water.

In time I will be ready but for now I’m going to hold on to Anna’s blanket and go find some more treasure.DSC_0697

27 thoughts on “Swimming

  1. Susan,
    I think of you and pray for you daily. Although I did not have the opportunity to build memories with my child, I carried her to term and the gaping hole left in my heart was gradually filled. The love of Jesus was the only thing that brought me through to the peace that you desire. The grief becomes less of a physical pain over time. In time the courage to step into the depths will come and God will give you the strength to resurface. May God continue to be with you and comfort you always.


    1. Thank you for your comment Carla. God is always with us…thank you so much for your prayers. We feel them!


  2. Last February we made an offer on a house and it was going to be accepted. That same afternoon Bill flipped and rolled our car three times and broke his back in two places. Parker did not suffer even a scratch. After we knew he was not paralyzed and was going to heal, we discussed the offer on the house and came to the same conclusion. God wanted us to stay. We both agreed there must be a reason. We could not imagine facing a move with a serious back injury. I will admit being regretful about why the house deal did not go through. I felt extremely thankful that my husband and son were not killed. I now see that God may have wanted us to be near to you two, who would need our comfort and support. I see God’s hand all over this path. I thank Him for knowing what is best and for directing our ways.


  3. I am amazed with your strength, faith, and love. I am also amazed by your ability to express yourself. What a gift you have! I thank you so much for sharing such a personal journey.


  4. Susan,
    You continue to amaze and inspire. Your faith is so strong in the Lord and mankind, and it teaches me something everyday. As you pursued your dream to become a teacher, I am certain that this lesson you teach us daily, wasn’t in your lesson plan, but as we all know, the school of life doesn’t always come with a plan.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, feelings, and even your sadness with us all. Although many miles apart, your always in my heart.


  5. Susan, thank you so much for sharing.
    Your words are so openly beautiful and honest. Thank you for showing a whole community what it is to Courageously Trust in the Lord during the absolute worst and darkest of times. Your testimony is huge. Know that I trust and pray the Lord will carry you and Tom every minute of every day wrapping his arms around you to comfort and give you peace, finding the joys of all the memories you have to hold on to, till your all together dancing again in heaven. 🙂


  6. Susan,
    What a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing and please know that I continue to pray for you and Tom every single day. My heart really ached for you this weekend, even more than usual. I am so thankful that you are able to find some peace and comfort and I know that we’ll all will continue to pray for you and love you! Your strength continues to inspire me and I wish that I were close enough to give you a giant hug. I look forward to seeing you sometime in the coming months, (that is my hope!), and hearing more wonderful stories about your beautiful girls! Love you my friend! xoxo


  7. Susan,
    I feel like I can never find the right words to say. I have been watching your facebook page everyday for new pictures of the girls and I read your blogs here every time you write a new one. It brings me such comfort to read your stories about these two beautiful girls. Thank you so much for sharing so much of yourself and your family.

    With Much Love, Cheryl West
    aka Brianna, Rebecca, McKenzi & Timothy’s Grandmother


  8. Oh Susan, you write and teach with such eloquent, beautiful words… It’s a pool of depth that no one can fathom all at once nor alone. Thank goodness you don’t have to do it all at once nor alone. Heaven and earth surround you with love and support.

    And, tonight I am praying for more hidden treasures for you this week 🙂


  9. Beautifully written. It reminds me of how Jesus knew the depth of the pain he was going to enter into and even he hesitated, asking that it be taken from him. He fully understands the ache in your heart, Susan.


  10. All I can say through my experience with the slow loss of my dad as a child and the sudden shocking loss of my best friend my brother as an adult is that time heals even if you cant see it now, it will always be with you but ease with time.
    thoughts and prayers..


  11. Through your words and pictures I can feel such great sorrow and beauty simultaneously. It is difficult to believe that anyone could find beauty in such tragedy, but you manage to do it. You too are a gift to the world…..teaching even in your grief.


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