Anna and Abigail’s Heaven Day

I was laying in bed and I heard her, like I did most mornings, put her feet on the ground and run down the steps. I knew exactly where she was headed and I remember, as I did every morning, feeling grateful that she still loved to cuddle.

We fit perfectly together.

We didn’t cuddle for long that morning but instead, after having a discussion about waffles, got up and headed to the kitchen. I pulled down the waffle maker and she grabbed the bowl to start mixing the batter. We chatted about the day and the weekend, it had been very full.

She told me stories and I listened.

I told her I loved her, as I did many times a day, and she responded with a smile.

Our love is solid, our bond is deep and our hearts are connected.


That same afternoon I was walking home from the theater after volunteering, it was a beautiful Fall day. I stopped to take a picture of my feet in the leaves, the title ~ I love Fall!

I saw them hiding behind a tree and knew exactly what they were doing. Wearing spy glasses and hats both girls were trying not to move.

I played along.

Eventually they both came running towards me excited to tell me about their day.

Anna jumped around a bit, happy to have been playing with her sister, and then ran up the street back to the house.

Abigail walked with me and told me all about her first Annie rehearsal. Her voice was sore and her feet tired. They had started with It’s a Hard Knock Life and she was thrilled to be an orphan. The excitement in her voice made my heart so happy.

I loved that she was sharing, she was happy and that we were connected. I remember looking forward to her teen years, and although they would come with challenges, as they do with most teenage girls, I knew we would make it through with even a deeper connection.

Abigail is a blessing that I never knew I needed and, as we were growing in our relationship as mother and daughter, I felt so much gratitude in having her in my life.

I grabbed her hand and she held it tight.


We ate dinner before I needed to leave for another obligation with the theater. The girls sat on the bar stools and laughed about spying on Tom. Anna, very happy to be playing with her sister. Abigail, happy and loving life.

“I love you to the moon and back,” I said as they continued to laugh and giggle at their seats. My heart was happy they were having so much fun together.

My heart filled with love for my family, I walked to the door, turned around and said goodbye.


For Tom and I, every day of the year is another day without our girls. We never stop feeling the heartache of their absence.

Today, on their Heaven Day, we give thanks to the countless people in our lives, both near and far, that have prayed, supported, loved and held us this past year. We believe that God has used each and everyone of you to show that He is so real and His truth is alive and well.

We know our girls are good by the peace that He places on our hearts everyday.

We know that if we asked them to come back they wouldn’t.

We miss them terribly but trust in God’s word and look forward to the day when we too are in eternity.

We see clearly the love and joy He wants us, all of us, to spread.

Our girls lives were remarkable and now, in Heaven, they have shown us all what it truly means to love one another.


When I said goodbye a year ago today I had no idea what that truly meant. I rest in knowing that one glorious day my girls will say, “Welcome to Heaven Mom!”

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Heaven Day
I love you both so much to Heaven and back!!!





34 thoughts on “Anna and Abigail’s Heaven Day

  1. Pingback: Love-Drenched Life
  2. I wish I could come give you a hug. Today I have been feeling great joy in the interactions with my boys. Thank you for reminding me how sacred these everyday moments are. I will be praying for your family and I think I will make some love rocks to place around our town. God Bless.


  3. Thinking of you and praying for you. Loved the lunchroom table full of Love Rocks at school and wondered how many lives were also blessed today with the love they so easily share. The girls’ tree continues to add stripes of joy and color to the street. May the ministry you have been presented with and chosen continue to help others find Love and Joy!


  4. I remember getting a call from my husband who heard the tragedy over a police radio,it made my heart sink.You were only a few blocks away from us and I prayed for you right after that call.Still don’t know how you are able to be so strong,you are truly an inspiration.I imagined God’s angel putting his wings around your girls and taking th heaven.


  5. Susan and Tom – I love that you use Doug’s photo of Abby – a truly magnificent photo of a beautiful girl. I can’t put words to what he captured on that day, but it’s special. I am grateful for having met your girl and had the privelege of being a part of her life: her life with her friends and our granddaughter, for one weekend. Please know that we were thinking about you yesterday, and today and tomorrow. Your desire to learn and grow because of, and despite, your grief is inspiring.


  6. Susan, I thank God every day that what holds you up is Truth. It is not some story, some lie, some fantasy that you have concocted in your head just to make you feel better for the loss of two daughters. It is Truth. The day your daughters tell you “Welcome to Heaven,” will be the culmination of a journey in which you have poured your life out for the sake of so many. You will never know how your honesty and your walk has touched all of us who watch you. Thank you for being Christ to so many.


  7. Thank you for sharing your beautiful love drenched life with the world. May the peace that only God can give,continue to help you today and always!
    love and prayer gayle


  8. Thinking of you, Susan, and Tom today. You both are truly an inspiration. Just know many people are holding you close in thoughts, love, and prayers today.


  9. Susan and Tom,

    Angels brought me to meet you and hear your story. Your faith is so ever-present that it brings the Spirit to all of those around you. This blessing is as precious as your children and it is through your love that we can wipe away our tears and see this remarkable resemblance to the Fathers love for his Son. I will personally support Martha in her effort to make your dreams become reality.

    Praying for y’all!


  10. We are doing what you suggested… Having a special dinner with our boys and Love Rocking our community. Holding on to the warm thoughts of seeing you in just days and visiting Anna & Abby’s tree… And giving you a long awaited BIG HUG!!! Xoxo


  11. May the Lord bless and keep you and your family on this day and everyday….I remember hearing about what happened , leaving a stuffed animal by the tree and praying for your family…..I know the Lord does amazing things and He proves it by the love you share for your babies….may you be enveloped by wonderful memories of your girls today and everyday….God bless


  12. This had me on tears.. much respect for you an your husband. An for always keeping your guys head up.this story is so touching an sad. Your story admires me as a parent that I am.thanks for sharing your story about your beautiful daughter may god bless you guys.


  13. Susan, it is so hard to put into words everything that I would like to speak to your heart. The way you have chosen to live your life has inspired so many of us to set our eyes on Him especially when we want to figure it out ourselves. To be present, to choose Love and Joy and be still, trusting Him even in the storms. We all love you so much Susan and my heart aches daily for your loss. You and Tom are wrapped in love by so many. Remembering Anna and Abby and their Love-Drenched lives today and everyday 💙💜💙💜💙💜💙💜


  14. So many prayers for you and Tom today. When Jesus told his disciples he would be leaving them soon, they were so sad, especially Peter who loved Jesus so very much. I think we can all relate to how Peter felt, as we travel this road of life. We will cling to the promise of eternal life in heaven when we will be restored and there are no more goodbyes….only waffles, ice cream, and endless games of spy. We miss your girls for you. We pray they will feel near to you today.


  15. Susan, you and Tom have been such an inspiration to so many people. Your undying faith has taught me so much. Thank you so much for sharing your life with us. I am making a special batch of Love Rocks to honor Abby and Anna today. I will have the grandkids help me find the perfect places to put them. Love, Hugs and Prayers………Always!


  16. Last year I remember this day and how it felt. How I felt as a mother, that tug of emptiness and horror at the thought of what you must be going through.
    This year I am rejoicing in what has come from this tragedy.
    I just recently moved from Hillsboro
    Oregon to Palm Springs, CA. At church yesterday I decided to share the girls story and give the gift of love rocks.
    So officially, love rocks have made their appearance in California!
    Today I am carrying a huge bag of love rocks with me everywhere I go to spread the love that represents the joy of your girls’ lives.
    Good bless you!


  17. You are a wonderful mother. I am blessed to read about your love for your girls. It reminds me that every day with our children is precious. I admire you and your husband’s commitment to each other and to carrying on the memories of the girls by ministering to others. God bless you and Hold you. I cannot imagine how hard Heaven day must be. Evem though they are in a magnificent place, the ache is still there. You are in my prayers!


  18. Praying for you today, as I’ve prayed many times for you, finding out about your family through Parker Pup. I know it is through God’s love and grace that you are able to get up and face each new day….and be authentic in how you live with this indescribable loss in your lives… in His love, grace, faithfulness. As a Mom, my heart aches for you… thankful for your sweet reunion someday….God’s timing. ❤ I feel like I know your girls, you and Tom…..thank you for sharing your lives with us. Thank you for being a messenger of God's love, His hope, His joy. Praying God's comfort and peace will surround today, and every day. Blessings~


  19. I have been thinking about you so much as this day has been approaching. Yesterday in the car, we were all saying what what we saw in the clouds, and then Hadley said, “Mom, the other day I saw Anna in the clouds, just laying there. She looked like she was relaxing.” I loved it. Know that there are so many people praying and thinking about you and Tom today. And every day.


  20. Thank you for this past year and giving us glimpses into your love drenched life. You have changed my life in more ways than I can count and I want to say thank you but those words just don’t seem to be the right ones. You are both beautiful, loving, amazing people and this town and world are better places with you here. I don’t know if that is God’s plan or a “by-product” of his greater plan. But through all of the grief, seeing the world become a better place, filled with more love, is like rainbows and butterflies and spring flowers breaking through the earth. I love you both.
    With a loved filled and grateful heart,
    Kara 💙💜


  21. Thank you for sharing your story Susan. Reading about your relationship with Abby gives me so much hope. It’s hard to be the second place mom when you run the race that brings you in first. You have no idea how God is ministering to me through you! Thank YOU!


  22. Susan and Tom… You have been in my prayers and thoughts so much these past few days. Your Love Rocks have become such a wonderful tool for sharing Love.
    Thank you so much. May God’s blessings pour down upon you. 💕


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