The day of her funeral and burial I was so strong. I was depending on God for my strength and He gave it to me. If I knew at that time the deep grief and heartache that would linger so long after... I think I would have just crawled into the casket with her and died too.
But God...God in His mercy gives us what we need for each day. As the days go by and turn into weeks and the weeks into months and the months into years it is getting easier to live without my sweet girl.
Last Sunday, the 8th, the five year anniversary of Amy's death, we met at the cemetery and released balloons and prayed like we have each year since she has been gone.
This year there were eleven balloons, one for each of us. The grandchildren will probably have no memory of this day except from the pictures they will see.
But they will in the years to come realize that this is something we do each year to remember their Aunt Amy; whom they never knew but was so very dear to their parents and grandparents and Auntie Em.
We have had such a long winter but the daffodils came up early and I was worried they would be all bloomed and gone before April 8th. Not so. We had so much cold weather and snow that they weren't blooming at all! I felt bad that I wouldn't have my flowers to put on her grave. Emily and I went the week before and put a ring of fake flowers around the base and cleaned out the grass and weeds that were starting to grow. I noticed some bulbs just starting to come up that I had planted in the fall. I couldn't remember what they were. But God... He knew and He allowed them to be blooming on Sunday. As I approached her grave I just burst into tears. They were miniature daffodils and they were in full bloom! Yes, only God could have provided those flowers that He knew my heart wanted this year.
The kids brought whirly birds, pinwheels, and pinecones to decorate Amy's grave.
The last months have been full.
In February Bill and Emily went to Andros Island to do some ministry work.
While they were away I worked on a Christmas tree skirt made out of Amy's Christmas scarves.
On Amy's birthday weekend, March 9, Bill and I took a few days off and drove east. We wanted to visit some state parks, do a little hiking and maybe see some wildlife.
We drove through the small campus where Bill attended his first two years of college.
We discovered Susquehannock State Park, but it was way too cold and windy for any hiking.
We visited Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area and saw a lot of cool birds!
Thousands of Snow Geese.
And Canada Geese
Then we ended our weekend by visiting one of Pennsylvania's landmarks, the town of Hershey and Chocolate World. The last time we visited Hershey was about 8 years ago and Amy was with us.
Micah turned two.
Marissa Amy turned three.
And....we had our share of snow.
One of the biggest blessings in my life the last few months is that we have decided to keep attending the church we've been going to since December. God has blessed us there and our whole family worships together once again. The first time I held little Samuel at church I cried tears of joy. This was my one fear, I never thought we would all be able to worship together again, But God...
A few weeks ago we sang a song I had never heard before. The Title is:
God of creation
There at the start
Before the beginning of time
With no point of reference
You spoke to the dark
And fleshed out the wonder of light