It’s Labor Day weekend here in the USA. For most, I’m sure, a holiday to mark the last hurrah of summer. For us, it’s “that weekend.”

Our Emily went to heaven suddenly on Labor Day, 2013.

We can try to act like it’s just another weekend. We can try to have fun (and we will). But we don’t mention “it” because, why? Why turn a holiday into a time of mourning?

But it’s there. It’s there in the heart, loud and clear. It’s in the social media “memories” that pop up, lest we forget. “This day five years ago” leading up to September 2nd brings happy pictures in which the pain of losing a dear one has not yet been etched in our faces.

The very old song “Try to Remember” comes to mind. “Try to remember the kind of September … when life was so tender, when no one wept except the willow.”

Emily’s birthday is also in September.

So I try to remember the GOOD times in September.


I remember when, after a miscarriage and months of trying to conceive, I was blessed to carry and give birth to Emily in September, 1992. We were surprised at the blond hair and blue eyes that greeted us since we both are brown-eyed brunettes.


I remember how happy we were to add two more daughters to the family. So many good times we all had together over the course of Emily’s 21 years.


I remember how much she loved animals.


And dirt. As in mud, dirt races, and mud truck madness.


I remember the look that said, “Enough pictures, Mom!”


I remember how beautiful she looked when she got married in a sweet, simple ceremony in our backyard, the blue waters of the lake reflecting the happiness of the day.


I remember her being pregnant with our first grandchild, and all the doctor appointments that I took her to. Due to her medical condition, her pregnancy was deemed high risk which meant we had the pleasure of viewing ultrasounds every month! Her doctor was 80 miles away, so we always made a day of it.


I remember watching my firstborn become a precious mommy.



Emily left us so many wonderful memories. But the best gift she gave us, after herself, is her beautiful daughter, who, like her mom, surprised everyone with her coloring: red hair, coming from blond parents. Emily’s little girl is our own. She fills our lives with joy and grace and laughter and gratitude.



I remember the times in September and November and December and all through the year. The good times. The blessed times. The wonderful times. When I do that, my heart is filled with thankfulness, along with the unswerving hope of seeing her again in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ.