This Old House

mom paintingWe had just had the conversation, one that kept coming up over and over again. We needed to save some money so that we could do the work necessary to sell our house. We talked about the 5 year plan and how, if we really focused our efforts, we would be in “our house” in no time.

When Tom and I blended families we made the decision for all of us to move into his house and rent out my townhouse. This decision was made because of space and because of where we wanted to live long term, Forest Grove. We knew from the beginning, when the market was better, we would eventually sell both places and find the perfect home that we both, with the help of the children, picked out.

I remember daydreaming about the girls running from room to room in a big empty house trying to figure out which rooms would be theirs. I was excited about creating a space that was ours from the beginning and about the possibilities of a bigger yard so we could have chickens, something I’ve wanted since I was a kid.


I was never coming back, how could I. It was empty and I knew that I would feel that in the core of my being, and it would be too painful.

It was during the first week after they went to Heaven; Tom and I were staying in a hotel and couldn’t sleep. Holding hands we talked about what we were going to do.

He asked if I wanted to go see Sampson, I did.

So in the middle of the night we got in the car and drove home.

Sampson was so happy to see us. He was old and missing his people.

I immediately went down to the studio and started writing a letter to Anna and Abigail to put at the memorial. The site was already filled with balloons, flowers, stuffed animals and lots and lots of cards from so many people grieving the loss of my girls.

The tree was empty, it was my canvas, and I quickly began the process of filling it with the letter and two photos.

I stood in the exact spots, this is where they met Jesus.

I went back into the house and I met Tom in the living room; we stood silently, both feeling the spirit of our girls.

I still feel it.

As I’m typing this I feel them, looking over my shoulder wondering what words I will choose next. When I’m in their rooms I can hear their laughter, feel them dancing around me and sometimes when I close my eyes I can see their smiles, their eyes and the beautiful way they both moved in this world.

That night we decided there was no place else we would rather be.


My mom has been here all week helping us to repaint our living space. Once dark, red, green and even black in spots, is now white and yellow with red accents. We had slowly been working on it but my mom is a rock star painter and has gotten the job done.

In the mornings she sits in Anna room and reads. I know she feels her granddaughter too.

We are so grateful to everyone in our life who has helped us in some way these past 9 months. Our house transformation, the painting, the deck and all the work that has been done, has allowed us to focus on each other, our girls and on sharing love and joy.

This big old house of ours, the one we were so ready to get out of, has become more than just a home. It is the place we have experienced a love drenched life with our family; a space in which we celebrate the life of our girls and it’s our safe place where we can be when our hearts are heavy.

We are no longer on a 5 year plan.  This old house is “our house” and we aren’t going anywhere.


13 thoughts on “This Old House

  1. Your writing touches me to my core. You and your family were in my conversation today with another mom I was interviewing for my direct*Connect business group. I brought her a Love Rock and left some in her place of business. She is going to be making some with her son and niece and the Love goes on. Big Hugs, Ev


  2. Your perspective is so interesting and leaves such a long-lasting impression. have a gift for how to put words down on paper that come to life and affect all who read them! Your home sounds like it still has that familiar pulse that comforts you…..Hugs♥


  3. This brings a lot of strong emotions. Just after the accident people were passing by constantly in droves. I worried about your home feeling like a safe place, your courage to come back and if your home would be a place of peace or a place of sorrow. I just prayed and prayed for your peace and cried and cried. Halloween night a man came to my house and asked if we knew the family of the girls. He went on to explain that the house was his grandparents house and he had wonderful memories of your house as a kid. He said his grandmother loved the house and loved children so much. He asked me to pass on his heart felt condolences. It is so comforting to know that your house is your safe place and you feel the love and warmth of your family. It had been a house of many warm and loving families. How wonderful for your mom to be able to help make it such a beautiful home.


  4. Love is what makes a house a home and your home is filled to the brim with love. I’m so happy you have a safe place to be with the love and to process the sad. ❤️


  5. How many times have we heard “you can’t go back”. It will never be the same, but all the love you have built there, is still there, stronger than ever. Your beautiful girls are around every corner.


  6. I love that you can close your eyes and still see them. I hope you never loose that. I love that you can look out your window and have that special place right across the street. Don’t ever let that place go away. You still live a love drenched life. And your girls are helping with that. Love you Dieter!


  7. That old house holds memories for my family also. Long ago my girls went to preschool there. We were friends with the Vaseys (the owners) also and we had so many fun parties there with other families. The kids would run around and play hide and seek and dance until they all laid down on their sleeping bags, giggling and whispering, to drift off. The parents talked and laughed, and yes we danced too, to old rock and roll records! So the house itself is full of love and laughter and fun times that are soaked into it. Stay there, it’s yours now, and the love and joy will seep back out as needed.


  8. ❤ So I am a very visual person and I can't even begin to describe how epic the picture in my mind was when I read the line about you standing in the exact spots the girls met Jesus. That was so intense. I was thinking about the girls and you guys last night when I couldn't sleep and how fun it is to think about the girls running around up there but also popping in down here when they are needed. As always you are such an amazing woman and so inspiring. I hope you know that. Reading your blog is something I look forward to all the time.


    1. Miss Becky…I wish I would having gotten to know you better when you were at EPMS…maybe when your back from Africa…someday ; )


    1. What insight! Your words, each other and time are helping you find your purpose and place where God wants you to be! God Bless you and your family, past and present!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: