Sunday, December 31, 2023

Saturday, December 30, 2023



Through grief, God reveals beauty I've never seen before. 

Friday, December 29, 2023

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Living life


In the past three and a half years, cancer stole a lot from Naomi. There were many disappointments and limitations. 

One of the things I most admired, which I witnessed over and over, was the way Naomi responded to bad news. There were usually tears and sadness, but then she soon found a way to move forward and live her life in the fullest possible way.

This is perhaps best exemplified by her quilling business

Tuesday, December 26, 2023



 Naomi always wanted her siblings to be together. So, how is it that she is the one missing?

Monday, December 25, 2023

Sunday, December 24, 2023

At the Edge of Grief


I stand at the edge of my grief, 

frightened by its power. 

I will be swept away by its current. 

Can I wade around the edges 

without becoming submerged? 

My grief is too deep. 

It will surround me, 

cover me. 

It will suck my breath away 

for a moment or perhaps forever. 

It is immeasurably vast. 

I may sink and sink, 

yet never reach the bottom, 

with no strength to even struggle.

I have seen some 

who have drowned in their grief. 

But, there are others 

who clinging to the edge, 

become shriveled and withered.

I cannot stay at the edge. 

Trembling, I plunge forward 

into my grief.

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Friday, December 22, 2023

Thursday, December 21, 2023



The little Christmas tree, with Naomi's quilled snowflakes, is behind me. I didn't have to get it out since it was in the back of Libby's car waiting for the next craft show. Nearby is also the card holder that Naomi borrowed for her show. There are three unopened Christmas cards on it. I don't know when I will open those missives of cheer and life and goodwill.

The twenty-fifth of December is coming. One day turns into the next whether we are ready for it or not. We dread it and yet long for it to be over. This is one thing we can quantify--the first Christmas without Naomi. The first holiday where the past is vivid in our memories and we catch glimpses of a future we long for and yet we are stuck in a present without clarity or direction. We don't know what we want, except the impossible, which is that the source of this pain and loss would be obliterated; that all would be put right, the way it is supposed to be.

And there is the irony. The truth of Christmas. The gasping cry that the source of our pain and loss would be obliterated and that all will be set right, the way it was meant to be.

That is why Christ came. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Gummy bears

 We had gummy bears at the funeral dinner. When Naomi was having a rough day, she needed Albanese gummy bears.

Monday, December 18, 2023

Sunday, December 17, 2023



I found a corner of the conservatory, filled with light and growth, that was just right for reading a book on an otherwise colorless December morning. 

Saturday, December 16, 2023



The arrangements from the funeral were looking a little bedraggled, so we compiled a new bouquet with flowers that still looked cheery.

Friday, December 15, 2023



This photo was from Naomi’s phone.

Thursday, December 14, 2023



We lost electricity the other evening, so we used the oil lamps.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023



This little girl has spent a lot of time in her car seat traveling between Michigan and Pennsylvania in the past few months.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Monday, December 11, 2023

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Friday, December 8, 2023

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

At the lake


One of the highlights of Naomi’s summer was taking her little niece and nephews to “Aunt Naomi’s upper peninsula.”

Monday, December 4, 2023

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Saturday, December 2, 2023

With Jesus


My sister Naomi went to be with Jesus yesterday.

Friday, December 1, 2023