A New School Year Without Her

Rory would be going into 5th Grade this year.

Dax was in 5th Grade when Rory died.

I’ve spent the last week thinking of what she would be doing and what she would be learning.



Writing 5 paragraph essays


We’d still be working on her handwriting, I’m sure.

Ugh. I got sad thinking about it.

Then I had a new thought.

Rory, this is what I wish for you this year:

I hope you’re continuing to learn.

I hope you make new friends.

I hope you skip through fields.

I hope you give lots of hugs.

I hope you visit us in important moments and in the everyday.

I hope you feel our love constantly.

Here’s my hope for us:

That we see you and feel you surrounding us.

Love you, baby girl.

And Then They Sang

This memory keeps coming back to me. Usually it means I need to share it.

The night that Rory passed away, Lance and I gathered our boys and went to my parent’s house.

There were a lot of people at the house. In the family room and in the front yard.

A lot of hugs.

A lot of questions.

A lot of disbelief.

A lot of sorrow.

A lot of falling tears.

In the middle of this tragedy, the three boys started to sing a children’s song from our church.

Their voices broke through the sorrow.

Their voices united them in their brotherhood. In their fear. In their strength.

As I was just trying to process what had happened. They were already searching for peace. In the best way they knew how. Music.

These are the words they sang that night:

Heavenly Father, are you really there?
And do you hear and answer ev’ry child’s prayer?
Some say that heaven is far away,
But I feel it close around me as I pray.
Heavenly Father, I remember now
Something that Jesus told disciples long ago:
“Suffer the children to come to me.”
Father, in prayer I’m coming now to thee.

Pray, he is there;
Speak, he is list’ning.
You are his child;
His love now surrounds you.
He hears your prayer;
He loves the children.
Of such is the kingdom, the kingdom of heav’n.

My boys face pain. Everyday.

The life they are living is different now. It’s harder. They carry a burden they can’t quite process and don’t fully understand.

I think back to that moment and tears instantly begin to fall.

They are light.

They are love.

These boys are my hope.

Talking About Rory

One of the things people say to me is that they’re unsure if they should bring Rory up in a conversation.

I understand the hesitation. People don’t want to cause me more grief.

I love Rory.

I miss Rory.

For me, I want to talk about her. Share her love. Share her funny stories.

IF it comes up naturally, then please ask me, let me share a little something about her.

If you had a memory come to mind. If you dreamt about her. If you felt her to close. Please share that with me. It tells me that she’s remembered. It tells me that Rory is still around, loving those she loved in life.

Here’s the caveat. There’s a good chance I’m going to cry. Happy memories. Sad memories. Hard memories. Lovely memories.

Talking about her makes me happy but also makes me miss her.

So don’t be scared of my tears. Don’t think you caused me more grief.

The grief is always there.

But for a few minutes I got to think about, talk about, this amazing little girl.

That I miss.

That I love.

One Year





One year.

To some extent, it feels arbitrary. We’ve already had 364 tear-stained days. Why does 365 hurt more?

It’s the memories.

The missing.

Getting through firsts.

The sad realization that this one year is indicative of the rest of our lives.

I think it’d be easier to stay curled up in bed today.

Instead, I’m going to hug my boys, my husband, my family.

I want to share her love today. To remember her. To honor her.

She was light.

She is light.

She will always be light.