small pieces of joy

pieces of joy in each day

two thousand thirteen

on December 31, 2013

A New Year’s Eve Reflection

Tonight it is hard to celebrate. 2013 was a hard year. Really hard. If I were to celebrate anything it would be the fact that it is over. I have no desire to be with anyone, so I’m sitting in the basement of my in-laws’ house writing a blog post.

I don’t want to start a new year knowing Dad won’t be a part of it. At least in 2013 Dad was still here.

Even amidst this sadness I do have to remember that there were so many good parts about thirteen.

I watched my baby grow, move,  talk in his own encrypted language, and develop his own personality.

My husband and I have grown even more closer to each other and have found love in the most difficult places.

We showered my Dad with love like it was our job.

Two visits to South Bend to see his grandson, Lake Michigan, Fiddler’s Hearth, and of course the grotto on Notre Dame’s campus.

The high school marching band played in his front yard.

A ukelele group played in his living room.

We had an all expense paid trip to the Grand Canyon. Our best, and unfortunately last, family vacation.

We celebrated life with 300 of Dad’s closest friends with food and dancing.

Dad saw his youngest child graduate from high school, attend college, and march in the KSU marching band.

He was honored by the very organization he dedicated so much of his life to, the Boy Scouts.

And we prayed and sang together as he was greeted by the Merciful Savior to enter Heaven.

There was so much good in those events. And that we were able to provide all of those experiences for Dad this year is pretty incredible. I do feel that we did everything in our power to make Dad’s last year on earth the best it could be. And even though it was the worst year, is some ways it was the best. We soaked up every minute we had with Dad and did not waste any time we had with him. Each moment was so precious, and I have no regrets about how we handled this year.

I just wish he was still here. I wish he was at Christmas dinner with us, laughing and opening presents. I wish I could have given him hugs each time I came to the house. I wish I could call him. I wish he could see George grow up and teach him how to fish. I have so many wishes, and this year took all of that away from me, and I’m so upset about it.

I guess one good thing about the new year is that the old one will be gone. My only choice is to move forward and hope for better days to come.

I accept that I will not be myself in this new year. I will not always smile, laugh, or want to be around people like I used to. I will not be able to be the friend I want to be. It will be hard to be excited about things for a while. I will feel alone and lost. I will cry, a lot. I will miss Dad every minute of every day for as long as I live.

But that is OK.

I just will need the patience and compassion of my family and friends to try and understand that this grief thing is hard and ugly, but so important not to do alone.

Here’s to saying goodbye to thirteen. And saying hello to hope. 2014.


14 responses to “two thousand thirteen

  1. With tears running down my face, I send you love and gentle reminders that you will see your Dad again. It is the hope that our faith brings to us. I lost my dad in 1976 and I have found that as my heart healed, I was able to re-connect to him without feeling so sad. Hang in there my friend.


  2. Emily H says:


    Grateful for you. Praying for you.


  3. Anonymous says:

    So beautifully written Kari. Made me cry.


  4. Randi Romans says:

    Written by a hurting heart for hurting hearts! Beautifully said. I miss my Dad every day and he’s been gone 18 years.

    Have you read “Heaven is for Real” by Tod Burpo? Wonderful book! It gives a solid grace regarding those who have passed. Love to all the family!


  5. ginman says:

    Kari, i am amazed by your ability to put such deep feeling in writing. Your strength come through as well as vulnerability. Prayerful energy coming your way as you process a grief that will never go away. hug George for me 🙂


    • Kari says:

      Thank you for your kind words. Sometimes I wonder if this blogging thing is helping me or others, but it is words like that which encourage me to continue. thanks for reading!


  6. Kathy Flentie says:

    God bless you, Kari, as Our Heavenly Father continues to comfort you and honor you with your beautiful gift of the “pen.” You write so eloquently. I am typing this through tears because you do indeed touch my soul. the book than Randi Romans referred to in the post above is now a movie and will be released in about two months. It is a true story of a minister in Nebraska and the near death experience of his little boy. Nancy told me she read “Ninety Minutes in Heaven,” by Don Piper. I read it several years ago and then heard him speak a couple of years ago at Colonial Presbyterian (not the Colonial Church that we attend.) I know you believe that Kevin is in eternal happiness and joy with The Lord. You are so wise to acknowledge your feelings and give yourself time. Love to you always, Kathy


    • Kari says:

      Thank you! I have read that book but I might revisit it sometime soon. It was great seeing you over break and thank you for your continued support!


  7. Josie says:

    I have faith in you!


  8. Lisa Osborn says:

    Kari. For whatever this is worth. The Lord is reminding me right now that what thing I am given in life are one in which He entrusted to me. I’ve many times said to myself why can’t I have my life this way like those over there. And a I am still learning this is the path our Lord has for me to hopefully get to Heaven. We must Trust always in our Lord. And yes hope. That is what we need beautifully put. Want to hug you. Wish that I lived closer.


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