Remembering Through Tears of Sadness & Joy
It was exactly a year ago that the Anchor Blog was launched. It began during a very special week that marked the 10th anniversary of my daughter Karina’s passing on April 26th. The five-year journey our family endured that began with our daughter’s leukemia diagnosis and ended with her passage home to Jesus was truly the biggest reason behind starting The Anchor.
Our faith in Jesus held so strong throughout the biggest storm of our lives—and that was true not just for Karina but for me and my family. The passion and desire that was kindled ten years ago continues today….now more than ever I want to share how real Jesus is and the hope and strength He brings.
At this time of year, every year, my heart is often heavy and the grief settles back in. Grief tends to come in waves. I was once told it is like a rocking chair — you rock in and out of it — times of sadness then times of joy. A rocking chair of grief is one you can get used to, but it is never too comfortable and I find it becomes a rhythm of life with whatever loss we are experiencing. The month of April is a contemplative time for me full of treasured memories and moments of my dear Karina. Each year on April 26th I hold a “Forget Me Not” tea in memory of my precious daughter.
A photo of Karina with my Forget-Me-Not creamer dish and fresh Forget-Me-Nots
Grief tends to come in waves.
I was once told it is like a rocking chair — you rock in and out of it — times of sadness then times of joy.
It is during this month that I start to notice the little blue and yellow flowers, forget-me-nots, sprouting up and blooming. I have often thought how timely it is to see these flowers that announce the arrival of Spring. Something about these delicate flowers brings hope and light to my grief. In Karina’s last months, she talked about spring and longed for the newness and beauty it brings.
Every year I look forward to setting up for my tea and using my unique collection of forget-me-not cups and saucers . It is remarkable that I possess a “forget-me-not” tea set with the teapot and cups to match. It couldn’t be more perfect. Over the years, I have acquired quite a collection of teacups and saucers in differing patterns of this dainty flower. I remember being given the original tea set as a wedding gift many years ago and wondered the happenstance that I would possess such a perfect treasure to mark this cherished day.
Forget-Me-Not Tea aboard the Karina Jean
Then it dawned on me. The forget-me-not was my Alpha Phi Sorority flower from my college days at the University of Washington. Little would I realize the very special use this tea set would have in my future.
The significance and meaning of it are more than I could have ever imagined.
It never ceases to amaze me that forget-me-nots grow in abundance this time of year and can adorn my table in vases to mark this special occasion. This is a time to bring my family and friends together to remember my daughter and never let the memories fade even as the years pass. We share memories while sipping tea and eating lemon bars, Karina’s favorite treat. We ready ourselves for the annual watching of the video that we had specially made for her memorial. With Kleenex in hand, I anticipate some tears but they are good tears — tears of joy and sadness all mixed into one that I let stream from within my soul. It makes it feel a little lighter. I hear her voice on the video and am flooded with happy memories of the time when she was with me. I cherish the moments of this sacred video I watch just once a year. Gathering together, watching and celebrating Karina’s life helps to keep the memories of her alive and always with us.
You can view Karina’s memorial video below.
“Forget-me Not” is a theme that speaks so clear to me. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of my daughter in some way as I carry her in my heart forever. I will also not forget the hope and truth that Karina held to and inspired me to hold fast to today. She confidently told me very early in her cancer journey that if she did not survive it, she would be with “Grammie Jean (my mom who was already in Heaven) and Jesus.”
This is the hope and strength that the Anchor was founded on. “We have this hope [Jesus] as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” (Hebrews 6:19) This promise is the one that keeps me pressing on and brings me the hope for certain that I can live strong today and forever with Karina in heaven. This is the great news that through knowing Jesus as our ANCHOR He promises us abundant life for today and for eternity!
With hope and light,
JOIN OUR ULTIMATE BOOK CLUB!
Please join me for three Tuesdays in May (the 11th, 18th and 25th) from 9am to 10am (PST) on Zoom. You can sign up here if you are interested and we will get more information to you. Let’s encourage one another and take time for the book club that will change our lives and help us to experience anchored living forever!