Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Surprise Visit to Remember 7 Years Ago

Donna and Amber surprised us by driving from Florida to be with us on the 7th anniversary of Emily's passing.  Here's what Donna wrote: "My first visit to the tree planted 7 years ago in memory of Emily Smith at her school in Lynchburg, Virginia, was today. It was also the last day I spent with her December 30, 2007. We all wore matching beads in her honor. Being together today brought me some comfort to that deep ache that is embedded within my heart. So thankful God allowed us that blessing. Especially thankful for the time spent with Zachary. God is so faithful, gracious, and omnipresent."

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Of All Things! ~ Chicken Noodle-Loos

Of all things, you wouldn't think a midnight snack would bring on a rush of memories and emotions! Hungry from working on a late-night project, I went to the fridge and saw that Sonja had made one of Emily's favorite meals: "Chicken Noodle-Loos." It didn't hit me until after I took the first bite. I could see her enjoying every spoonful.

Emily was a celebrator. She celebrated little things with hand-clapping, kissing, and shouts of joy. When Sonja would serve her up a bowl of "Chicken Noodle-Loos" (as Emily called it), she would visibly be thrilled and could hardly contain herself.

I often think of lessons Emily taught us -- to celebrate often is one of those lessons: celebrate people, celebrate food, celebrate animals, celebrate music, celebrate birthdays. Oh, she would celebrate birthdays for weeks -- until someone else had a birthday. My birthday is November 2, and she would tell me "Hap-Birday, Dah-ee" every day until December 5, which is Sonja's birthday! Then Sonja would get the daily "Hap-Birday" until the Christmas season gave Emily something else to celebrate.

She taught us to celebrate life, despite its trials, confusion, and pain. The blessings God grants us by far surpass anything that might bring sorrow. So, as I eat another bite, I swallow hard to get it past the lump in my throat. I miss her, and the missing hurts. But I will carry on just as she did every day, with a smile and an eye to look for something to celebrate. Even if it's just another bite of "Chicken Noodle-Loos."

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Video of Emily's Story

CLICK HERE to see the 5-minute video.
Pastor Jonathan Falwell preached a sermon series at Thomas Road Baptist Church entitled "When It Hurts Too Much to Cry."  As part of the series, several video testimonies were shared with the congregation.  Emily's story was one of them.