Wednesday, August 10, 2011

15 years...

She is Gone - by David Harkins
You can shed tears that she is gone,
Or you can smile because she has lived.

You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back,
Or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left.

Your heart can be empty because you can't see her,
Or you can be full of the love that you shared.

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember her and only that she is gone,
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back,
Or you can do what she would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

"Out of all the gifts You’ve given
Besides the very gift of life
There is none as precious to me
As the treasure of my wife."
How Do I Love Her?
by Steven Curtis Chapman

Dear Sara,

Fifteen years ago today we stood in front of our family, friends, and God…pledging our lives, and love, to each other “until death do us part.” The “until we are old and gray, having lived long and fruitful lives” was implied. Most days it’s still hard to believe that those vows have been fulfilled…or…maybe it’s more that I don’t want to believe that they have been fulfilled. In daily conversation, you are still “my wife, Sara.”

This day has been on my mind for weeks. I’ve been completely unsure of how to approach it. Should I celebrate the fourteen and a half happy years we shared? Could I celebrate, even if I wanted to? Should I go somewhere? Should I be with people or be alone? My answer came to me late in the afternoon yesterday…maybe you sent it to me.

Last October we went up north on a color tour. It was something we had always wanted to do, but working for the public schools made taking time off work during the fall a little difficult. In retrospect, I’m obviously glad we made the time to go. We both enjoyed ourselves. It was a happy trip. We knew it was probably our last vacation with just the two of us.

One of my favorite memories from the trip was sitting out in Grand Traverse Bay, at Mission Point State Park, watching the sun set behind the Leelanau Peninsula. You were cold; I was comfortable. You snuggled in next to me as the sun went down. We had seen Miranda in an ultrasound just a week earlier; it was our first, last, and only sunset as a family. It was a perfect end to a perfect day. We were both so happy, and excited about where our lives were heading.

That brings me back to today. It finally occurred to me to go back to that happy place…a place where the future was unknown, yet filled with joy…a place where we both felt safe, happy, and content. So, that’s where I will celebrate our 15th anniversary, sitting in Grand Traverse Bay, watching the sun set over the Leelanau Peninsula. As the last rays of the sun disappear behind the horizon, I’ll sprinkle some of your and Miranda’s ashes in that place. The joy of that memory will forever exist there, as it exists in my heart.
I love you. I miss you, today more than any other. Give Miranda a kiss from daddy.



  1. Our thoughts and prayers are with you again today.

  2. I have to agree with Mommyto8. BEAUTIFUL!

  3. Chad~ May you find God's {peace and comfort} in your heart when you visit this beautiful place in Michigan that was so special to you and Sara. Hold those memories close to your heart...always.

  4. And I also concur, very beautiful! Thinking of you and praying for you as well, Chad! I am glad that you decided to celebrate in a place that means a lot to both of you and to reflect on the 14 1/2 wonderful years you had with Sara! I think of you often and pray you are well.

  5. Praying God's peace for you on this sweet day. You have blessed me so much by sharing your heart and faith through this time.

  6. What a great way to celebrate the time you had with your wife. Leaving the ashes of her and your daughter is a beautiful tribute to the life you shared. God's blessings as you continue your journey.

  7. It was so beautiful. As always praying for your peace from Puerto Rico. God bless you!

  8. Crying for you again. I am unsure as to whether they are happy tears or sad though. Sara and Miranda are with you in that wonderful sunset and remember...there with be a sunrise.

  9. I'm crying too reading this. I am so glad you have been able to remember your life together in this way. A beautiful place.

  10. "Do not stand at my grave and weep
    I am not there, I do not sleep
    I am a 1,000 winds that blow
    I am the diamond glints on snow
    I am the sun on ripened grain
    I am the gentle autumn rain
    When you awaken in the morning's hush
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circled light
    I am the soft star that shines at night
    Do not stand at my grave and cry
    I am not there; I did not die."

  11. Amen...and no words can express how beautiful your words and memories are...just want to say thank you for opening up...... thoughts and prayers to you Chad.

  12. Chad, I do not know you personally, i know someone who does, your blog has acquainted me so well with you and Sara and Miranda, that the tears come and the prayers go up, i am blessed with the most amazing circle of family and friends and i so wish that i had known your Sara. Wishing you all the beautiful memories and joy that your heart can hold.
    Summer's breeze.

  13. Thank you for sharing you most beautiful and precious memories. Still thinking of you and your family.

  14. Undone once again - by your grief, your openess, and your gentle words. What a lovely way to honor Sara. Grateful for your visit, was like hearing from an old friend. I continue to think of you and pray for you, even in the absence of your posts.

  15. Beautiful pictures (we live in TC :) ). What a perfect yet heart wrenching way to remember and reflect. Those words from She is Gone are incredible. Many prayers continue for you. You remain on our church's prayer line at Fellowship Church, and on our hearts.

  16. As always so eloquently, and beautifully said.

  17. Keep looking to Him, Chad. He weeps with you. He cares for you so much!

  18. What a great way to remember your wedding anniversary, and a wonderful tribute as well to leave some of their ashes there.
    I to think of you and pray for you in this absence of your posting.

  19. I keep up with you chad and of course i cry.The way you love Sara is amazing <3 you were truly blessed to have each other,i just wish you could have enjoyed all the memories together with beautiful Miranda.Her little face still captures my heart.She was beautiful,just so perfect.The way you talk about both Miranda and Sara shows how good hearted and strong you are.Just hold you head up,never forget them,and what they meant/mean to you.You don't find love like the one you shared with Sara very often anymore and it is truly something to hold in your heart.It's worth remember all the good times you had together.Sending lots of love to a wonderful man that i will never forget.

  20. Your writings touch my soul. I sit here and weep. I wish I could wave a magic wand and bring your two angels back to you. Love and hugs...Ruth x


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