Weekend ritual for Anna and her Tom. Miss these moments.

This process of writing is so unpredictable. I am woken every morning with thoughts of my girls. They are always in the forefront of my mind but in the morning it’s almost as though they are telling me to wake up.

I start my morning by putting my feet on the ground and getting out of bed, somedays this is very easy others it is close to impossible. Tom is good for me because his routine involves making coffee and grabbing his bible for some quiet time. The smell of coffee and his commitment to the word motivates me to get up and on with my day.

We typically sit on opposite ends of the kitchen table at our computers, with a stack of devotionals, notepads and a lit candle between us. We start our day with a prayer, thanking God for sleep, each other and expressing how we are open to whatever he has in store for us that day.

Most days this is when the process of writing begins. I start looking at pictures or sorting through memories in my mind. Sometimes I have an overwhelming need to express a thought or feeling I’m experiencing but most of the time I feel like I have nothing to say. I decided early in this process that I would write in this space as long as it felt right, when I started to feel forced I would stop. I’m nervous sometimes when I sit down and try to find words and I can’t – thinking “that’s it”.

I also have decided that I can’t put a time on my writing or have an expectation to write everyday. This was very difficult for me at first because I tend to put expectations on myself a lot and am generally hard on myself when I don’t meet them. These past couple of months I have come to realize that life just unfolds and sometimes I don’t have a choice on which way it goes. I also realized that living second by second is good enough and that expectations will only bring disappointment.

So, with all this said, I have had nothing to write about this morning. Yes, we have had lots happening these past few days with the trial but I have not had a pressing need to put my thoughts about all of that in this space – or so I thought. When Tom left for work today I had the first moments, in about a week, all to myself and my thoughts immediately went to Cynthia’s family, specifically her father.

After we left the courthouse yesterday we had the opportunity to interact with Cynthia’s dad and brother for the first time ever. Hugs and condolences were exchanged between two families that lost so much the night of Oct. 20th.

This experience made me realize, more so than I already did, that Cynthia’s dad is also grieving the loss of a daughter. Yes, he can still have an earthly relationship with her, see her, touch her, hug her and hear her voice, but the night my girls went to Heaven was a turning point in his life as well. As we all walked away from one another I couldn’t help but feel sadness for him, he was going home without his girl too.

Over the past couple of months we have received a lot of emails and messages regarding our ability to forgive and how we are choosing to move through our loss. All I can say is that the ability to forgive and the way in which we are moving through our grief is completely influenced by God. We have completely surrendered our lives to him and fully believe, without a ounce of doubt, that he is holding, not only our girls in Heaven, but us. We are not amazing, God is Amazing!

On my own, I would not be able to function. I do not know how anyone could do this without God, I truly don’t. He has given me so much hope, joy and peace these past months that I should not have. I am amazed daily by him and the Grace he has given me.

I smile at the thought that my girls are in his presence and can see the big picture. Abigail always loved knowing secrets before we did. I’m sure she is loving knowing the greatest secret of all. I smile thinking about the day we are together again and the look on her face when she shares with us why this all came to be.

10 thoughts on “Secret

  1. I love your heart Susan! And Tom’s too! You have opened your hearts to God’s love, grace, and peace and I can’t help being inspired by you both. You choose to turn to God with every unbearable moment, thought, and feeling. It’s your choices that honor Him and your girls with your every breath! Love you!


  2. Under His wings you will find refuge. You and Tom demonstrate how this is done. You gather strength from Him, His words, His promises and you put your trust in Him. Someday you will know the why. I wish it could be today or tomorrow, but someday it will all become clear. I love how you spend time in the word each morning. You can hear the still small voice, probably now more than ever before. Your example is not something you wanted, but it is a beacon for all.


  3. I know God is amazing and I know counting on him and his plan means everything to you but whether you believe it or not you are both amazing!!!! There are many people that follow much different paths after tragedy. You could have turned your back on god but you didn’t! Give yourselves credit👍


  4. Susan, I am truly inspired by your ability to open your heart up to us, by your ability to write in such a way that I can feel nothing but love, by your ability to give so much more to all of us who grief with you. I feel you are able to walk on water; the trust you have and share is overwhelming. I feel nothing but love for you and Tom, and I wish I could share it in such a beautiful way you do everyday. Without a religious background, for the most time of my life I did not believe, but you changed that and you make me believe. I love you, Susan and Tom!


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