I Named it Mark

Today is not an anniversary. That sounds festive.

But it is the remembrance of a day. Even remembrance sounds fondly sentimental.

How about a marker day?  Because that is what it really is. A day that marks the end of one kind of life and the beginning of another. Not really one to celebrate, but one that is recognized.

Thirteen years ago today was one of those kind of days. It marked our family. When someone from the other side of the freeway hits you almost head on, it’s going to leave a mark. But one of us still deals with the fallout in a daily, physical way. From her wheelchair.

I have been having some conversations with a friend, Shannon, who has been feeling, in her words, “schmoopy”. I call it being in a funk. She is missing her Mom, and this is the time of year that reminds her of the illness and the grief of losing her. What we were discussing was how it always catches us off guard. The schmoop, or funk, or depression. Whatever you want to call it. And she said

” grief sometimes sneaks up on you until you name it”

And that is exacty what it is. Every mid September, I start the funk. By the beginning of October, I am asking myself, what is wrong  with you? Then I flip the calendar.  And my mind remembers what my heart cannot forget. Every year it still catches me unaware. Maybe I should put it on the calendar. At least I could name it. Earlier.

In a way, I am actually thankful that God gathers most of the sorrow into these few weeks in the fall. It makes it easier to live the rest of the year.

Some years have been better than others. God has often been very good to keep me busy on this day. One year He  kept my mind off it with my Dad’s prostate cancer surgery AND The Boy broke his wrist in such a way that required surgery with plates and screws. That was the 10 year “marking”. And do you know what?  I was ok with that. Because that year was going to be a bad one, I could feel it coming longer  than usual.

 We marked that day back at the U of M Hospital, the scene of the original day. Where all of our close personal Dr. and Nurse friends live. A place that we frequent regularly.  Where we run into people that we know in the cafeteria, where I know the outpatient surgery nurse and an ER nurse from my discussion groups at BSF,  where we totally  know our way around. And in a strange way, that maybe only some families would understand, it was a little comforting.

This week in our Bible study, we were at the tail end of the Israelites enslavement. In Exodus 2 it said:

 23 … The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. 24 God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. 25 So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.

Our question asked what were the 4 verbs that tell us what God did in response to their cry for help? The answer was, He heard, remembered, looked and was concerned.

I think Shannon and I both took that to heart. The crying out to God?  That is familiar. And God’s response? Wow, that is personal.  For them, for her, and for me.

The next question asked if we needed  that kind of response from God about something that is unbearable to us. My answer was, “it would be nice”. 

Just knowing that He hears my cries, remembers His promises to me, and is concerned about what concerns me? That can make all the difference in how I am able to go forward.

A dear woman that we know from BSF lost her son tragically several years ago. She knows all about crying out to God. And she has a little ism  she uses. It’s “He knew, and He knows”.

Everything we go through has a purpose, a reason. We may never know why this side of heaven. I know God doesn’t owe me an explanation. Sure, there will always be questions. Would’a, could’a, shoulda’s.  I seriously doubt my questions bother the GOD OF THE UNIVERSE. He never said that life would be easy, or always good. As a matter of fact, what He said was that we would have trouble. ( John 16:33)

So, if I believe  that He loves us, and that He works all things  together for our good, and that He knows  the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future (Jer. 29:11), then I have to believe  that everything that happened 13 years ago was not a surprise to Him. It wasn’t a mistake, He didn’t forget to pay attention.  I can’t pick and choose what I want to accept.  I believe that God’s Word is true. All of it.

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer”  Romans 12:12

Sounds like a good plan to me. And hopefully  that joy  will be back soon.



  1. caprilis said,

    October 7, 2008 at 10:56 AM

    Sending you a cyber hug and a promise for a real one next week.
    Your family and your faith are an inspiration every day. Love you!

  2. TAMMY said,

    October 7, 2008 at 1:14 PM

    Wow! I have no words. This has been one of the most insprirational blogs I have ever read. Thank you.

  3. Rachel Hostler said,

    October 7, 2008 at 2:20 PM

    All I can say … love you all!!

  4. automatic7 said,

    October 8, 2008 at 11:33 AM

    Well said, friend Kelly. This SO makes up for all your one-word answers in The Big Group. (chuckle) I did love that day’s question and those 4 verbs. Sometimes I hear the coaxing voice of the questions…leading me to a new thought. Even though I got hung up on “remembered” and my answer was “nothing unbearable at the moment” that didn’t prevent me from leaking all over the hymnal on Thursday morning as we sang Great Is Thy Faithfulness. It was/is hard for me to make that leap from God Knows All to He Wasn’t Surprised When This Happened but I loved following your train of thought including Jer 29:11. As Farm Dog reminded me a while ago, “He Maketh No Mistake.” It’s still hard to process, but somehow easy to KNOW.

  5. Ellen Roth said,

    October 8, 2008 at 10:12 PM

    Wow, Kelly. Knowing your accident is what linked us because of our girls……knowing God knew how special your family would become to us…..how He weaves all the bits and pieces, good and bad, into a magnificent tapestry…..that we will see someday…..you have been such a gift to me! Thank you for sharing yourself. Miss seeing you guys! God Bless all of you!

  6. Vickie said,

    October 9, 2008 at 9:12 PM

    I am so proud of you Kelly: all the time I have known you, you have always had a great attitude even though you still have questions. I heard a song the other day by John Waller “While I’m Waiting”~ if you go his MySpace you can hear the song. It is in the movie Fireproof (about marriage) but it is applicable to may subjects . This song describes you to me: while you’re waiting, you are bold and confident, you are serving while you wait, and you are taking every step in your life in obedience. These are some of the lines in the song. My hat is off to you girlie! I love you, and I love your family. You all have my upmost respect for how to act while life isn’t fair.

  7. debkolar said,

    October 11, 2008 at 12:55 AM

    Those are some powerful and touching words, Kel. You and your family are such an inspiration to me. Love you!

  8. January 4, 2009 at 7:29 PM

    […] 6. I Named it Mark […]

  9. October 7, 2009 at 6:13 AM

    […] that the kids and I were in the car accident that altered the course of our lives. I wrote about it here last year. Honey had the date wrong for years. The kids would not be able to tell you if you asked […]

  10. October 7, 2009 at 8:22 AM

    You’re so wise. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and the story.

  11. Shannon said,

    October 8, 2009 at 8:07 PM

    I forgot all about MY date…it was lurking like something I forgot that was ’bout ta boomerang-smack me in the back-a-the head any minute. Hiding in busy-ness doesn’t make it go away. (oh yeahhhhh) It’s good to remember those cheek-kisses from last year and thank God again for His faithfulness–then AND now. And remember that whole one-set-of-footprint idea.

    Here’s to less shmoopy, more happy groupie 🙂

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