Monthly Archives: October 2013



So many inquiries about how we’re doing, and I guess the only real answer right now is that our hearts are broken and we find words difficult to come by. Experiencing her absence afresh every morning is overwhelming. Thank you for continuing to pray for us. We are blessed by all of the kind messages and cards and books that come our way. We know better days are ahead, but also that grief is something we must slog through one day at a time.


Homeward Bound

Tomorrow we head home to Texas. We left 3 days after Phoebe passed. The house was full of beautiful funeral flowers, but so empty of her presence. We had to get away. We have spent the last two weeks traveling with our boys and enjoying the blessing of just being together. We are ready to come home, but a little nervous as well. We know Phoebe’s empty room will be waiting for us, a stark reminder of her absence. Please pray for us as we transition into this new season. We are so thankful for all of the messages and sweet rememberances of our girl.

Everyone loved her from the start. Here she was, all blonde and blue and fair, born in Mexico. “Ella parece una munequita” they said; “she looks like a little baby doll.” And they would ask to hold her, and I always said yes because that is the culture in Mexico; babies belong to everyone, they are for everyone to admire, touch, and love. And while they were fawning over her, I would proudly announce; “Ella es Tapatia” ; “She was born here, in Guadalajara.” (Essentially, she’s a Guadalajaran) And their eyes would light up and I would smile. Such sweet days.

We lived in a house in town with a banana tree in the yard at the foot of a mountain range that surrounded a lake. The boys were 7, 5 and 2 and then baby Phoebe. I home schooled 2nd grade and kindergarten that year and taught writing and composition 2 days a week at the Christian school on the missionary base. Nathan coordinated short term outreach teams, taught a Bible study at a local prison, and headed up the Homes of Hope home-building ministry.

After school, the boys would play in the water-hose and Phoebe and I would relax on a blanket under the trampoline with her dog Sadie. Getting her dressed each day felt like Christmas, finally a girl to gussy up! It was a precious time, and the last year we would have before our lives were touched by suffering.

Shortly after Phoebe turned 1, we moved back to Texas after 3 years in Mexico. We lived and worked at an agricultural training farm called World Hunger Relief, and hoped to return to Mexico with some real life experience in agricultural practices. It was a tough year. I miscarried a baby at 13 weeks and then miscarried again 3 months later. I spent so much time feeling ill with morning sickness and then feeling sad about the losses. I regret not paying more close attention to Phoebe…it was the last healthy year I would have with her. It’s hard to believe I had a daughter who could run and play and sleep in her own bed and who didn’t need meds or shots or an ng tube. It seems like a story I told myself.

On new years eve 2011, my face book status said this; “Ready to give 2011 a swift kick in the rear on its way out. Here’s to a better 2012.”

The next evening I was in the ER at Children’s Medical center Dallas with my mom and a very sick Phoebe waiting for CT scan results. I can close my eyes and see it so clearly still. Phoebe was wearing her dark blue jeans with the big ruffles on the cuffs, and the maroon shirt with the flower embroidery and ruffles at the wrists. She had on her Stride Rite Mary-Janes, the brown ones with the scuffs on the toes. I ran my fingers through her blonde curls while she slept next to me underneath the fluorescent lights.

I often think of the lady who performed the CT scan. She saw that baseball size tumor on her screen, and for just a moment she was the only one in the world who knew that life as we had known it was over. Phoebe held still and the lady gave her a teddy bear. I still have the teddy bear, but my daughter is gone. How can that be?

After that everything is a blur. “She has a mass on her brain”….”take her to the ICU”…”will need surgery”…”we’re so sorry”…

And there we were taking each moment as it came, not fully realizing the path we had started down.

We pulled in to a gas station today and Nathan hopped out to fill the tank. I leaned my head back on the seat and looked out the window. ‘EL TAPATIO RESTAURANT’ the sign in front of me read. “The Guadalajaran”. Nathan tapped on the window just then and pointed toward the sign. I nodded, knowingly. And at dinner tonight they accidently gave us 6 waters. At the end of the table was an empty chair with a little cup and straw. I loved it, and cringed inside all the same time.

Remembering my girl tonight…
Phoebe amey

Phoebe cute



On the Road


Yesterday at 10:30 pm was one week since our Phoebe left for heaven. We are out of town for a little while..needing some space and time between last week and the rest of our lives. Today was a gift; we ate at a restaurant where patrons are encouraged to throw their peanut shells on the floor and of course I thought of Phoebes. Then they brought rolls and butter, and if you know Phoebes, you know the girl can spend half an hour buttering one roll, it’s one of her favorite pass-times. Later this evening as the sun was setting we came upon a long row of cars parked beside a country road and people sitting in their lawn chairs looking toward a field. We stopped out of curiosity just in time to see about 15 elk make their way out of the woods and into a meadow to graze. It was beautiful. We talk about Phoebe, the boys take turns sitting in her spot in the car so that her seat isn’t empty, and we watch videos of her throughout the day. Expecting good things from this time away with our boys. Thank you for thinking of us and continuing to pray for us.


Day 6


A couple of weeks ago Phoebe and Deacon were in my room playing. She took my favorite lip balm off my bedside table and asked if she could have it. I hesitated, after all Phoebe has about 26 tubes of sparkly Hello-kitty chapstick. I knew she would set it down somewhere and I wouldn’t see it again, but I couldn’t tell her no, so she toddled out of the room happily on her way with my lip balm in her clutches. I haven’t seen it since then, but I know one of these days I’m going to come across it and cry like a baby. For now, it’s a mystery where my little Phoebelicious put it and I like it that it’s here somewhere, out of sight right where she left it. Grieving; Day 6

Day 5


Rough day. Visited her grave, arranged her flowers a little, blew some bubbles. Came home, cried a lot on her bed. Found her sandals in the basket of her stroller and saw her little peanut shells under the bench on the front porch. Grieving; day 5.

Feeling Thankful


So many names of people we know and love and who also love Phoebe written in her funeral guestbook. Wish we could have hugged each and every one of you. Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate her life with us. We were so blessed just by your showing up. Feeling thankful tonight.