The Kate’s Cause Birthday Toy Drive is always a little bittersweet for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love it and it’s a perfectly Kate way to give back to the community. But, it also makes me think about the utter joy on her face as she opened presents. It didn’t really matter the occasion or what was under the wrapping paper, she loved opening gifts. You’re probably thinking what kid doesn’t, and that’s true. But with Kate, it was as much about getting the gift as it was about her wanting you to know just how much she appreciated it.
I remember sitting on the couch at Lindsay and Mike’s house with a present I was pretty sure she would love. It was 2014, she was in the middle of treatment and it was a particularly tough time. As I watched her open it, she watched me out of the corner of her eye, pausing to oooh and aaah every so often, gently pulling off the wrapping paper. As she pulled the Pteranodon wings out of the paper, she started grinning ear-to-ear. For the next 15 or so minutes, she flew around the room being chased by her daddy wearing a T-rex head. It was 15 minutes of perfection. The memory is so strong that I can close my eyes and replay it in my head. It’s how I often think of her now — flying around, being goofy, with a big grin on her face. I always stop when I see toys in the store. I look for ones that I’m pretty sure she would like, and I think about her and those wings.
If you haven’t had a chance, take a look at the toy drive list. Find a toy that makes you smile. Think about the joy it would bring to kiddos fighting for their lives, and help Kate’s Cause bring an ear-to-ear grin to another beautiful face.
I missed sunrise service at Kate’s Place today, the sweet garden in the back of our church and in front of the preschool where Kate spent her days the last four months of her life.
I say “our” church as if we attend regularly. Truthfully, we don’t. I’d like to, but only recently did Pastor Gary retire. I couldn’t hear his voice without thinking of her funeral and, well, that’s just not something I aim to revisit. There is a new Pastor, who Kate’s Grandma really likes. I wanted to go…they held the sunrise service there today because “it’s the prettiest place we have.” Truth…on so many levels.
Like many, Easter used to be mostly about the bunny, the eggs and the chocolate. Only in the crushing pain of Kate’s death do I truly understand the power of what today means and how it has changed everything about my life.
Easter and the promise of eternal life in Heaven…it’s what I live for now.
But. I read this blog
early this morning, when I’d hoped to be at church and it summed it up precisely why I was missing that service I’d so hoped to attend. I am still “Saturday people” afterall. I am still reeling over what happened just yesterday, and I don’t yet KNOW what will come.
I have learned and come to completely believe that our separation is temporary, but knowing she waits for me often makes the pains of today harder. Why? How come? Well…because my hope in the future does not lessen the pain of my today.
Because today, I’d really like to have an almost 8 year old on a sugar high running through the grass and pink cherry tree petals of my front yard. I’d really like to know who she is and what makes her tick today. I’d really like to know if she’d ever eat jelly beans and I’d really like to not have to miss her like I do.
Miss her I do. Today and every day. I love you Kate. I miss you. Best friends forever. I promise.
And because He is Risen, I really do mean forever.