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Here to There

I went to a fundraising event at Avery's school tonight. They showed a slide show presentation that included pictures of all the students doing different events throughout various random school days. All those kids with smiling faces. Playing on slides and studying out of math books. But not Avery. Avery's face wasn't in there.

Avery started 5th grade in September and by the end of October she was gone. Just gone. In the most final, absolute way imaginable. She was gone.

And although everything I was and everything I had ever known ceased to exist in a matter of the blink of an eye - everything else around me continued on. The sun rose. Seasons changed. Students moved on to the next lesson.

And yet, Avery was in that slide show... just not in the way I would have imagined. Pictures of students decorating Christmas ornaments to hang on her tree by her grave. Pictures of her name. Picture after picture that showed she was not forgotten. That she was cared for and thought of and, oh, so very much loved.

I looked around and saw that Avery was still very much in that school. There were papers written by various students explaining what they loved about attending Delavan Christian School: they talked about God and learning about Jesus, and they talked about Avery. My Avery. They talked about being thankful that they knew Avery. They talked about how they got to understand a bit more about leaning on God when things got rough. And they talked about taking care of each other during tough times. Avery would love that.

And there was a beautiful bench that was made in her memory so that she would continue to always be part of that school. I love that. (I need that.)

I think about what a blessing it was that Avery was attending Delavan Christian School when she died. Can you imagine trying to comfort children in the loss of their friend without being allowed to mention God or heaven? I can't. My faith is what has made it possible for me to wake to another day. My faith is what has made it possible to see the joy that surrounds me, even in my darkest days. My faith is what is healing me.

I know no other way but through God. And His way is good.

"Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away." 
Genesis 5:24.
I am not who I once was. When Avery died I chose to faithfully walk with God. He has taken me by the hand. Waited for me while I wailed. Showed me the way up the mountain. Who I once was is no more; God took that old me, put her away, and is working someone new. 


Anna See said…
Oh Sweetie, this is beautiful. I can so relate. xo
Getrealmommy said…
Another touching post. What a beautiful bench and a beautiful way to honor your daughter's me ory.
lorianne said…
When I was 10, my friend was killed in a car accident. Her brother was driving, just two weeks after obtaining his license. It was a short trip to school with hardly any traffic. My heart ached for her parents, my gut twisted painfully for her brother, and my tears fell like rain for my own loss. I am 36 now, and I can tell you that few days pass where I do not think of my friend. I wrote to her parents--paper and pen writing, no email. I wrote every time I met a milestone in my life, just so they would know that she is remembered. That she is still loved. I wrote when we would have graduated high school together, when we would have finished college, when I was getting married, so they knew she walked with me. Throughout my pregnancies, at the birth of each of my children, as I watch my daughter and her best friend and thank God that they have each other, my friend is on my mind and in my heart. My children know her name and speak of her memories I have shared with them. I still think of her brother and how my feelings are but a faint whisper in comparison to his. Her parents have reunited with her in Heaven in the last ten years, and I rejoice in that. The sadness of mourning has faded, but what my friend means to me has never waned. After learning your story, I felt compelled to share this with you, so that you will know what I wanted my friend's family to know -- your daughter will never, ever be forgotten. For many of her friends, she is a blessing that will carry on throughout their lives. I am so sorry for your loss.
Brenna said…
The bench is beautiful. I'm so glad you're seeing her in places she ought to still be.

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