Monday, February 28, 2011

How long...

Dear Sara,

Last night I was thinking about the last time we spent this much time apart.  It was over 12 years ago.  We'd been married a little over two years and you had to take your Cross Cultural class at college.  I dropped you off at the airport on January 1, 1999, just as a huge snow storm was moving in.  If your flight had been 30 minutes later, you wouldn't have been able to leave for at least a couple of days.  You were gone for almost four weeks.  We didn't have cell phones, so you took a calling card with you and we talked on the phone every night.  Not for long.  Just enough to catch up on the day and say "I love you."  At the time, I didn't know how I was going to make it through until you got home.  I missed you each and every day.  But somewhere, in the back of my mind, I knew you'd be home and that made each day apart something I could handle.

You're not coming home from this cross cultural trip.  I know that, but there's still a part of me that can't accept it.  I wait for you at the door sometimes, just like Stevie does, hoping you'll walk in at any minute, but you won't...not this time.

While I was at the hospital, holding vigil at Miranda's bedside, the sister of one of our neighbors tied a beautiful pink ribbon on the tree out in front of our house.  It's been a daily reminder for me that even though you're not here, you're still with me, that it's our home I live in.  I untied it from the tree today, both to keep it from being ruined by the elements and to ward off uncomfortable questions.  On Saturday night, we ordered some subs to nosh on while we watched our movie. The lady who delivered them was very cheerful and asked if we'd had a baby.  I didn't know how to answer.  I felt dumb, like there was no least not one that I could give her that would make sense.  I mumbled back "no, not so much" even though it wasn't the truth, or at least the whole truth.  The pink ribbon is drying out today.  I'll keep it remind me of you both.

Remember how I told you that the whole pregnancy thing was flying by for me?  It always seemed like there just wasn't enough time to get ready.  The days don't move so fast now.  Part of me wishes they would and part of me is thankful they don't.  Grief hurts, I don't know anyone that would want to feel this way; but, I don't want to get over you either.  Writing to you helps, mostly to sort out my own confusion, but it doesn't help fill the emptiness.

I love you.  I miss you.  Give Miranda a kiss from daddy.



  1. praying for you, Chad. Sometimes there are no words... but I'm so glad that you know the Lord. He is the only hope in all of this pain that you're suffering.



  2. I am so sorry for your loss. In all your grief you are a kind and thoughful person. You are in my thoughts and prayers. My hope is that someday you will find peace and happiness. Sincerely. Nina

  3. I recently came across your blog the other day and I know you have heard this probaly far too much but I am so sorry for the loss of your wife and beautiful little girl. Your letters to your family are absolutely beautiful, I'll be praying for all of you

  4. You have such great memories of you beautiful wife.You are so lucky to have been blessed with a love like that. It is always the small things we miss the most about someone we have lost.And though we are confused about how to move on our memories always remind us of the great it will be to see them again. I think this is what is the most painful about death, it is not so much that they are gone but we are still here. I imagine heaven and what it will be like to see loved ones again. But the daily struggle here in this life and the memories of the past are very hard to deal with at times. But the brighter side is that we will see them again and knowing that is what helps us get through the day. Your faith is strong. God bless you and your family today and remember that through this tough time you are someone to be admired by all.

  5. praying for you, mourning with you.

  6. Answer those uncomfortable questions in any manner that makes YOU feel comfortable. I dreaded the "how many kids do you have" question. I will never answer one. I will always answer two: One here and one in Heaven. God bless you. Keep writing. You are brave.

  7. May you feel God's peace within you and the warmth of his love surrounding you.

  8. Chad,

    I have been following your blog and story since it was posted on Facebook by a friend. I am truly touched by your love for Sara and your little baby Miranda. I hope that in time you will look back at your memories with Sara and Miranda and feel peace even though they are not here on earth anymore. I definitely hug my children tighter and rejoice for the gifts that God has given me since hearing of your story. I think of you daily and cannot read your words without sobbing for you and your family. What beautiful lives were lost that afternoon! I can only believe and trust that God must have a very important plan for your life that has not been accomplished yet. May the Lord be with you always...much love

  9. Keep writing...keep working to sort this all out in your head. It will get won't ever get 'easy', but it will get easier.

    It worked for me when my life took a terrible 180. It wasn't the same sort as yours, but it was devastating and frightening nonetheless. I'm 4 years out of it now, and I'm still kickin'. And that is no less than a miracle.

    Hold onto hope...if you don't, all will definitely be lost. You can do this.

  10. Chad, I do not know you but heard of your blogs from a friend. Almost 9 years ago I delivered 2 very tiny baby girls. They were born into this world too early to survive. I remember two things very vividly after their death. Someone told my to Pray for peace!!! And, I remember feeling very frustrated towards people that would tell me they knew how I felt. It drove me crazy. No one knew of the love that I had for my daughters. Anyway, I recently heard this quote on tv and thought I would share, "Grief is the price we pay for love". It really is. Life can seem so unfair at times. Looking back and almost 9 years later I am thankful for the love and time I got to spend with my baby girls. I feel so blessed to have had them in my live even if for the shortest of time. It really comes down to finding your peace. You will.

  11. I do not know you but you are a friend of a friend and I have your blog in my favorites so I can easily access it to read each day. Your words are such an inspiration to those of us who read them. Sara was very blessed to have had you to share her short life with. My prayers go out to you as you go thru each day of this trial with such courage.

  12. My heart breaks with yours...I can't even imagine. You are in my thoughts daily! The following is a link to someone who knows what it feels like to lose a spouse. Like you, she continues to write to her husband and it's been almost two years since he died of brain cancer.

  13. "Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
    I have called you by name;
    you are mine.
    When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
    and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
    When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
    For I am the LORD, your God,
    the Holy One of Israel,
    your Savior...
    you are precious and honored in my site,
    and... I love you. Isaiah 43:1-4

    I will continue to pray that you may cling to the Rock,
    there is no other.

  14. My blog literally saved me through my grief. Keep writing. I beleive your wife is holding your baby girl in her arms & placed that kiss upon her cheek.

  15. Chad,
    Every time you write, I am moved by your insight and honesty. You are real and broken and not afraid of being either. In a strange, yet painful way I look forward to checking your blog daily for your updates. Maybe walking on a road somewhat parallel to yours, processing your insights, helps me feel less lonely on my journey...I'm not sure. So strangely....thank you. I do have a question for you though....have you had any contact or considered making contact with the driver that struck your van that day? Just a question I have that has stuck with me for some reason. Same time, same place tomorrow? See you then.

  16. I have been praying for you and your family since the day of the accident...I am sorry for your lost and find myself memorized by your written word. I, too, write letters to those I lost and it has helped me heal. I cannot imagine what it is you are going through and cry as I read this. I admire your strength in god, I was not able to cling to him as I should have during my loss and am still finding my way back without asking why.

    Thank you for sharing. This one post with all the questions of how long makes me so sad for you. I would have no idea when to do any of the things you brought up clue.

    My prayers are with you as you heal (if that is what happens.)

  17. God WILL see you through! Those words may seems so meaningless (I don't mean that as disrespect to the Lord or you). He is faithful. He won't leave your side, even on those darkest days where it hurts so badly and you don't want to get out of bed. I've been there. It's hard. Grief is agonizing, hard work. Lord bless you tonight. I just felt lead to write again since it is now nighttime, and the nights are rough, I am sure. You are being thought of and prayed for by thousands if not hundreds of thousands.

  18. Chad
    I honestly am at a loss of words..Your words have moved my with your honestly and purity. I like others find myself checking to see if you have written again. I wish you to eventually in your own way to find the peace you so deserve. Sara and Miranda are looking down from heaven blowing you kisses. One day I hope you will look back on this and see the love and prayers are what helped you get thru this. I am very sorry this happened to you and your family.

  19. Chad,
    There is nothing that I can say to help ease the pain you are feeling; nothing I can say as to what God's plan is that required your painful loss. I just wanted you to know that I think of you often and you are in my prayers. The strong faith that you have in our Lord has amazed many and you are a true testament to how that faith can sustain you. You may take some comfort in the fact that your tremendous faith I am sure has led many to think seriously about their own spirituality and brought many souls to know of God. You have become the voice of God; speaking through you to thousands. I write poetry and belong to poetry site. I ran across a poem written by a friend, Martin. Martin is a very spiritual man and I find much comfort in our conversations and in his poetry. Anyways, this poem touched me and made me think of you so I wanted to share it with you; with Martin's blessing of course. Be well Chad. I hope the poem brings you some sort of peace. Take comfort in the fact that so many that have never even heard of you until this tragedy now follow your words, have come to love you and the family you have lost and are humbled at your awesome faith. God Bless you Chad. Sara and Miranda are safe in His arms.

    Today is Yesterday’s Tomorrows

    Today has come as yesterday’s tomorrow
    Traveling memories moments of sorrow,
    Like a diamond hidden in coal
    Continuously covering my soul.

    Roses preparing to bloom ahead
    Glimpses of light that have not fled,
    Living with tears in flower beds
    Like in a swamp covered meadow.

    Grief delays time as my friend
    Each day seems like no end
    Yet in faith, hope and love
    I know memories will mend.

    ©Martin Kindig 02/26/2011

  20. Chad,
    I'm orginally from Jackson and I heard about your story and have been following it ever since I heard. I don't have the words to make you feel better. All I can tell you is that I pray for you and your family every day. I hope your pain gets a little less every day. I know Sara and Miranda are watching over you. Hang in there.
    Tammy Lefere Reed

  21. Hi Chad. I've been watching this... your story, your family and your Faith.

    This arrived in my inbox today and I wanted to share it.

    How He Loves Us:

  22. Chad,
    I know you are looking forward to being with Miranda and Sara in Heaven, but the rest of us are so very grateful to have you with us, sharing your thoughts, your beautiful memories of Sara, and the love you have for Him. May tomorrow be a better day for you. Hugs, Mellissa RN

  23. Chad,
    my heart breaks a little more everytime I read your blog. I don't always write, but I do always read. I can only imagine how you are hurting and even then I have no right words to say, nothing seems enough.
    If nothing else know that you are in our thoughts and our hearts and as such you are a part of our family.
    All our love across the ocean

  24. Chad,

    Wishing you a good night's sleep tonight. You are wrapped tightly in prayers from far and wide.


  25. Chad,
    Thank you for continuing to write.
    Praying for you,


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