Dear Keith: 33

Dear Keith,

It’s a blessing and a curse that the first of your birthdays that we celebrate without you has come so quickly. You haven’t been in heaven a week and we are already faced with a milestone day. As I’ve learned in grieving the loss of my dad, the anticipation of the day is probably far worse than the day will actually be.

I miss you.

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Walking with you through sickness and having to come back home without you will probably be the hardest things I’ll ever do. You are the best friend I could have asked for and even in the last hours of your life,  you wanted me to know how much you loved me. As much as it breaks my heart that our kids will grow up without you as a daily presence, I am so thankful that they have an example of someone who lived and died courageously.

I see your gentle kindness in Caleb every day and it reminds me that your presence may be gone, but you’re not entirely gone from our lives.

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Monday night I slept better than I had since you got sick in October. Knowing that you are healed and waiting for me in heaven is more comforting that I could have imagined. This grief journey is difficult and feels nearly impossible, but I have confidence that you are no longer in pain and praying for us until we join you.

I am reminded constantly that God is my comforter. Tuesday morning we woke up to snow. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to remind me that God cares. Each day since then, it has snowed somewhere where people are missing you. Even Ben & Jerry’s must have known we needed extra loving this week: they released the Peanut Butter Half Baked flavor we’d been waiting for.

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Not quite sure how we will celebrate your life today, but I have to thank you for challenging me to do a lot of my grieving with you, while you were sick. It has given me a lot of freedom knowing that you knew and prayed with me over what I feared and we were able reassure one another of our commitment to walk this road as a team. I am thankful that there are no regrets; I’ll always wish we’d had more time together, but we made the most of every second we did have.

I love you, I miss you, and I hope you’re having lots of snow and ice cream for your first birthday in heaven!

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Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. [Isaiah 46:4]

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11 Comments

  1. Peggy/Rick Mcgowan on January 11, 2015 at 9:18 am

    You certainly know how to write, Becky; writing for healing, writing with so much love and compassion and faith in your heart. Bless you for moving forward as you are and, yes, your posts/blogs continue to help YOU and all of us who know & love you, Keith, Caleb, little McCoy & your family. You inspire more than you know, even in times like this. May you always see the signs in each day that God is ever present.

  2. Audrey on January 11, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Becky, thank you for sharing these thoughts. How wise you and Keith were to grieve together. My heart breaks that your life experience of loss matured you to that point, but I know that God has and will continue to use it for His glory in ways we cannot comprehend this side of heaven. You shared Is 46:4 with me years ago at a time of high anxiety. In this season of loss (at GBC and elsewhere in the body of Christ I’m sure) we are plumbing the depths of its meaning together. You are constantly on our hearts and in our prayers, and thank you again for trusting us with the care of these precious thoughts. Love you very much!
    Audrey

  3. Anne on January 11, 2015 at 9:53 am

    Becky, May you be able to celebrate Keith’s life today and the gift he was to you! Thank you for sharing your heart. It must be hard to have a milestone come so quickly….. Know you and your little ones are in our prayers. May you feel God’s peace envelope you. Know that He is holding your hand and walking closely with you. The snow has been sweet!

  4. Kim Stirtan on January 11, 2015 at 11:33 am

    Beautiful words of love and hope!
    Love you,
    Kim

  5. Susan Bever on January 11, 2015 at 11:52 am

    Happy birthday to Keith. Your heart and devotion to him is evident and proven. Will say special prayers for moments of comfort for all of you today. Caleb is so full of the love of life and love of people. He reflects 2 parents who loved each other well and will always love him.

  6. Katie Giurleo on January 11, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    Thinking and praying for your
    family daily. Thanks for sharing
    this beautiful post.

  7. Natasha on January 12, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    My mom just called me about 20 minutes ago to share with me about Keith’s passing! Immediately my heart sunk! I told her how terrible I felt because I let too much busy-ness go on in my life, that Id not taken the time to open your posts for some time! Although I know you and Keith and familes were surrounded by all the love that could be imagined, but I’m sorry that I was not one of them! I truly am in anguish over your loss! Praise God Keith is no longer in pain, you can hear that comfort all throughout your words! I will be keeping you in my prayers. Much love to you and to yours!

  8. lovelysimply on January 16, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    My father knew your father, and loves your family very much. He told me what had happened, and my heart broke for you, even though we don’t really know each other. I cannot fathom what you are going through right now, but your love for your children, your courage, your faith are so clear. My prayers, as they may be, are with you.

    Hannah mcbride

    • Becky M on January 19, 2015 at 11:33 am

      Hannah, thank you so much. I think of your family often these days and you all remind me that God heals.

  9. Maureen Walker on January 18, 2015 at 1:32 am

    Becky reading your blogs & posts is so uplifting to so many. You are an inspiration to everyone out there. You have an incredible gift & you really could right a book. I continue to keep you in prayers & hope that you can find a little more peace each day as you remember something about Keith.

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