Thursday, December 31, 2009

100 days...

As 2009 draws to a close, I am ready to put this year behind me. This year has been bittersweet. Sara and I grew immensely together as a couple, we were in the process of "conquering" cancer, we welcomed our new daughter to the world, and then we had to say good bye to Sara.

On the 22nd of each month, I think, "Well, I made it through another month without Sara." The first few months were very difficult, as I was adjusting to life as a young widower and new father. With each passing month, I would compare it to something known. At the one month mark, I thought, "I have been separated from Sara for one month increments, traveling with work." Now, you could say that I am in "uncharted territory."

After the 3 month anniversary of her death (on December 22), I thought to myself, "Why are you counting? She is going to be gone for the rest of your life...she is gone from this earth FOREVER." Forever seems like a long time, but when compared to ETERNITY, this life we live is "but a blink of an eye." That is hard to comprehend and hurts my brain to think about.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. --Ecclesiastes 3:11

How do I remember 2009? LIFE and DEATH, JOY and SORROW, SICKNESS and HEALTH, PEACE and DESPAIR, FAITH and MORE FAITH...

On this final day of 2009, we have made it to 100 days of life without Sara...but who is counting?

(Yes, those are jewels in her HUGE bow...No, I did not pick it out. Thanks, Angie).

Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy 2010. Happy New Year and God Bless!

58 comments:

Colleen said...

God bless you and Chloe too, Brady. 2009 was a wonderful, awful year for you. I will keep you in my prayers in 2010, hoping that it will simply be a wonderful year for you. And, as always, I know that Sara must be looking down at you and the wonderful job you are doing as a Daddy and as a man...and she must be smiling. Much love, Colleen Kolsti

Cathy said...

I lost my husband on February 20th of 2009. I can relate to your words that you express. It makes me feel that I am not alone in my life of grief. You have a very beautiful daughter. You are blessed. Like you said, bittersweet......

Kelli said...

May God's comfort and great love for you keep you strong!! Chloe is getting more and more beautiful!!!

Here at home said...

I can't imagine what it's been like for you. You are so right. This life is but a small moment compared to eternity. The beautiful thing is, Sara can be yours forever. I not only believe this with all my heart, I know it to be true. God has a plan for every one of us. He loves us so much He sent His son to die for us, not only did he make it possible to free ourselves of sin, he also overcame death. Part of His plan for us is to come to earth in families and those family ties can last forevern because Jesus made that possible.

Lisa said...

Happy 2010! I wish you all the best that life has to offer you this year! It will be a year filled with many firsts as Chloe will continue to blossom and flourish into an even more beautiful girl, just like her mom.
Be well and sending you continued strength!
Lisa and family :)

carole said...

Years ago, I too lost my spouse. My husband and I had been married for 18 years, and he had a massive heart attack one Sunday after lunch in April, and was gone to Heaven instantly. I counted the weeks he was gone until it was about 2 years, then I quit it. It's a normal thing. I was in a fog--had a 15 year old and 18 year old. GOD will make a way..........I've been praying for you and pray you will receive the GRACE needed for this journey. Blessings to you.

chloeadele said...

As always, I am praying for your sweet family. May 2010 bring you into a closer relationship with your Father and your daughter, and the friends He sends to you.

Happy New Year.

Amy said...

praying for you and your family! chloe is getting so big!

Bekah said...

I've been praying for you in these days of holidays and celebration - knowing it would be a clash of joy and struggle. Though this in no way compares to what you are experiencing, I remember the end of a relationship I experienced a few years ago, and I kept a journal marking my progress (and sometimes falling). For 200 days I wrote, and on the 200th day, someone told me I needed to stop counting and start living. It was very hard to hear, but I tried it. There are days when I still wish I knew the count...just to see how I'm doing. Will keep praying for you - love reading your testimony!

bass family said...

Happy New Year. No really, I am genuinely wishing for you and praying for you a HAPPY new year... full of life and love and adventure. Please keep sharing your journey. Remember that anyone offering advice is incredibly well-intentioned. "Nod and smile" - and then do what you need to do. :)

Jonathan Edwards said...

We are counting with you. We think of you and Sara often and pray for you and Chloe all the time. Although we have never met, we look forward to singing with the angels alongside you, Sara and Chloe when that day comes.
We have been so blessed by what God is doing in your heart and lives. Every post we read, the reality of the verse, "blessed are those that mourn for they shall be comforted" is so evident. We thank God that He has been a very present help in times of trouble and thank God that you have shared that with more people than you will ever know.
Blessings and peace to you in 2010 and for years to come. May you continue to draw near to the heart of God and bless others in doing so.
Blessings,
Jon and Tiffany Edwards

Victoria said...

Take care Brady! Happy New Year! Keep updating us, we love hearing from you and seeing beautiful Chloe!

Molly said...

I don't think a day goes by that I don't think of you, Sara or both of you. I am thinking of you all the time and sending you thoughts and prayers that you will know we are here for you. There is a letter coming to you and Chloe (one long past due) but I want you to know how important you are and how much you are on our minds. Though Sara may be gone from the earth she is with you forever. Love to you and Chloe and we hope to see you the next time we are in TX. Take care Brady. Molly

Anna said...

Blessings to you and Chloe! She looks so much like her mama in that second photo...I LOVE IT!

Donna said...

Happy New Year to you and Chloe! May God bless you in this coming year!

Trisha said...

God bless you and your beautiful family! Your story is incredible. Your faith is such a blessing to those around you.

I lost my sister Sept. 4th after a 13 on again off again battle with breast cancer. She was pregnant with her youngest when they found the lump.

My dear brother-in-law has been struggling so since the death of my sister. I hope reading your blog will help him find comfort.

My prayers are with you and your sweet Chloe. May the Lord continue to strengthen you and continue to use you as a way to share His message of love and hope!

Waters, Inc. said...

Happy New Year to you and baby Chloe! May God shine His face upon you in this coming year and restore you to a place of complete joy and contentment. Chloe is beautiful! God Bless You!!!

Jan @ Struck by Serendipity said...

I continue to pray for you and Chloe. Happy New Year to you both. She is adorable.

Tabatha said...

Continued prayers for you and Chloe. She is getting so big and more n more adorable each picture you post. Love the HUGE bow with the jewels she is a jewel ;-)
Happy New year and may this year bring you much happiness as your beautiful daughter continues to grow and mature into a lovely lil girl and hope she is much like her mamma to keep you smiling.
God Bless you Brady keep up the good work you are doing by sharing your story to inspire others.

C. said...

We're still walking with you and praying for your sweet family every step of the way. Blessings and peace to you and Chloe in 2010. Beautiful blessings are ahead...

wiff said...

hang in there, brady. we're rooting and praying for you and chloe!

Alex and Jill said...

Praying 2010 is full of many blessings for you and sweet Chloe.

Happy New Year, Brady!

Jen, Sadie and We Miss Chris said...

You don't know me, but I was given your blog link by someone who saw the poem "Christmas in Heaven" on my blog and your blog also. My husband passed away in April from cancer and our daughter was only 10 weeks old. I know how hard it is to deal with the loss of your spouse. I enjoy reading your testimony and about your hope that comes through Christ. You have a beautiful daughter who will always be a piece of Sara. Keep on keeping on.....

bethmuffin02 said...

Thanks for continuing to share - we think about you guys every day. Kisses to Chloe, she is beautiful.

Michelle said...

Her hairbow is precious! Little girls are so much fun, and sooooo cute! Chloe is beautiful, and I am quite sure her mommy is proud of the wonderful job you are doing with her. 100 days is a blink and an eternity. I can't imagine your life at this point, but I pray for you and your little one every day. I am praying for a much Happier New Year in 2010.

Jocelyn said...

I have blogstalked your blog for about a month and I find strength in your blog. I find strength in your willingness to leave it with God and go on being the best father a child could ask for. May you be blessed in your life. You are fortunate. You are humble enough to listen to the Lord and know that he is God. Many people never get to that point in their life. How blessed you are to have gotten there.

I love how Miss Chloe wears these big beautiful bows! She is beautiful.

Miss Lori Akin said...

May the Lord richly bless you and Chloe in every way in this new year. Your faith in the midst of fiery trials is an inspiration and example to many.

In Christ,
Lori

Andolicious said...

Your strength and faith amaze me! My 23 yo brother passed away on February 20 of 2008. It's almost been 2 years. When each 20th of the month come, I think about that day that he died. But you know what? Reading this blog and your words... maybe I need to stop counting days and months. 2009 went by so fast and it's like it was a blur. Maybe I was too busy counting days? I know Sara is so proud of how you are handling this. You are so inspiring! God Bless you and Chloe.

Lisa said...

May this year bring you Peace and Healing. You are still in our prayers. Chloe is so adorable and I am sure Sara is so proud of you and her.

Jennifer said...

I have been reading your blog for a while now, but never commented. I just wanted to tell you that Chloe is the most precious little girl. You and Chloe are in my thoughts often. I pray that you will find the strength to make it though the days. You are truly and inspiration.

Coach KBeans said...

Me and myhusband love your blog. I know it stemmed from such a rough time in life, but it gives hope to many, and I'm sure peace to you in some way.

We thank you. For sharing you and Chloe's life with us. I'm excited to watch Chloe grow up and you continue to grow spiritually. Through your trials, so many of us grow to appreciate life more and more.

Our thoughts and prayers are always with your family. Happy New Year.

Coach KBeans said...

P.S. That little girl of yours is way too incredibly cute! Too much for words!!

Beth said...

I have a counter on my computer that I began, I know the feeling...mine says 170 days. The good thing is is that I don't look at it as often as I used to.....

Mikie said...

I just felt a big lump in my throat. Sara is not here with that beautiful baby. That baby does not have beautiful Sara to be here with her as her mommy. Do you think Sara can see her or is she just so taken with heaven that that isn't something God allowed for? Brady...counting is ok...I can't even imagine how much you must miss her. Sara was a friend of mine because she was a freind of Jennifer's. It is not like I talked to her often and I hadn't seen her in several years but my heart aches that I won't get another Christmas letter from her and I won't see her again. Grief is a mysterious thing and I am very selfish to wish her back... but I do. I don't know you Brady except for 2 reception line type meetings...your wedding and Sara's funeral...but you are an amazing man and a great dad. I hope that I get to see you and Chloe again one day. Please don't give up on this blog. I look each day to see if you have updated it. Your thoughts are inspirational and they always draw me closer to God. Thank you. Mikie

Tara. said...

Happy New Year! Praying this year will be full of happy memories with your sweet daughter and gentle comfort for the loss of your precious wife.

Kel said...

Brady your strength and courage just amazes me. As I have shared before my daughter is a young army wife stationed with her high school sweetheart husband in Schweinfert Germany. She was having horrible homesickness and I had told her over and over to read your blog.She too had started one as they were starting a new journey. Anyway one day she finally did. Her next entry was God Speaks..even in a blog! The turning point for her.. to say man I am sorry yall back home but I am not homesick anymore and we are going to embrace each new adventure. We have each other. They have been married 3 yrs and on Christmas Eve they held up the ultrasound of their baby... due in Aug... what joy this brought us all.. and Keeley and Matt. I have thought of yall often through this holiday. But I had a feeling you were doing ok.. because like we Christians are taught.. she is where we want to be. I was just talking to our 8 yr old about enternity.. there was a song.. Temporary Home... and it brought up the moment to talk about life and death ... and he said yeah but we could live to be 100 ... and I told him that is nothing... compared to eternity!!! Anyway .. not sure why I am sharing this but my heart has it here to share so there ya go :-) I am watching Facing the Giants yet again. I went to rehab not too long after seeing this show.. my giant was Whiskey... anyway she just told him he was gonna be a daddy ...and I am smiling this time!!! Take care! HUGS from Houston Kelly

Bess said...

Happy new year to you, too! May God bless you and Chloe! Have a blessed year! You are in our prayers! "Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. Habakkuk 3:17-19 (NIV)

Rachel said...

Thank you for continuing to blog about your incredibly difficult experience. Your posts remind me to live each day with my family as a gift from God and to view our trials in light of God's sovereignty and goodness. Thank you for laying your heart out before so many and being a light to us. Praying for you and Chloe.

This Journey Called Life said...

God Bless you and Chloe. She is such a cutie i rememeber when my daughter ws that age and even though she ws bald bald bald i always had bows in her hair!!! I know that its rough but just remember Sara is watching over you and she is with you everyday she is living through your daughter.

April said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
April said...

God Bless! Chloe is so Beautiful! She has the same beautiful smile that Sara did! You are so lucky to Have a little piece of Sara still in your life!

Dawn said...

I just love the picture of Chloe smiling...so precious.

Many blessings to you in the coming year!

Dawn

Montgomery said...

Oh Brady...good truth, hard truth. At our church here in Italy, we had "family time" where we shared how God had blessed 2009. Jeff shared how, despite great sorrow, we rejoice in our friends' (Sara and Katie) death and that there IS a Savior and an eternal plan and that their legacy of love showed Christ to others even in death. We love you. JJ&G

LStrick said...

Brady,
Thank you! Thank you for showing all of us that even through unimaginalbe grief, you have not waivered one bit on Gods eternal plan. You remind us all that we worship God not for what He does but who He is!
Thank you for continuing this blog, its been a blessing to so many people and we all enjoy watching Cloe grow and change.
Blessings from Idaho!

Deena Rozeboom said...

I am the one who sent you two little outfits for Chloe in October in memory of our stillborn baby, Dallas Job. I am still praying for you. At this point, I don't think it is odd at all that you count the days/months. Every 8th and 22nd, I think of you with the birth and death. If I am still doing it, of course you are. :) I will continue to pray for you and that sweet baby Chloe.

Deena Rozeboom
Kyle, Texas

Jamie Bone said...

You're daughter is absolutely precious. Brady, there is a plan, and it's a perfect plan. I don't understand it, but it's not meant for me to understand. I've kept up with your blog for months, since I received a neighborhood email from Angie. My heart breaks for you and Chloe every time I open it, but thank God you have a piece of Sara in Chloe. I know I'm not telling you anything you don't already know, as evidenced in your posts. But just so you know....I pray for you, for Chloe, for Sara...for your families. God bless you.
Jamie

Jen said...

You have a beautiful little girl! My prayers are with you both!

Lisa said...

I can't imagine what you go through on a daily basis. I am sure you get lonely at times and you probably spend alot of time thinking about sweet moments and memories of your wife. We never know why things happen, but I am a firm believer that you daughter is here to brighten those darkest days for you. I pray for you and your family and I am so sorry that you have lost your wife and Chloe has lost her Momma. It is sad and very hard for me to comprehend.

I wish you both a blessed new year.

Blessings,
Lisa

AirmanMom said...

May God richly bless you and your daughter. My prayers continue for you both.
~AM

Stephaney said...

Just wanted to let you and Chloe know:
Our family still continues to pray for you both daily!
Love the Terry Roberson Family

(Terry and his family lived across from Sara in Deer Park. Terry's Parents, sister and her daughter still live there, and now live Terry and his family live around the corner from there)
Just thought you might want to know...

Tenza said...

The reality of Christ is clearly visible in your life and that is an encouragement to so many of us who have never even met you. I first visited your blog in early September 2009 and it has had a profound impact on my life, confirming and strengthening my belief that, regardless of the circumstance, God will be God and He will be more than enough. I am praying and expecting God's continued faithfulness in your life and Chloe's and beyond. Blessings to you and yours!

Julie said...

Hi Brad,
Happy New Year! Chloe is such a cutie!! You are doing a great job dad! I think and am praying for you and that sweet girl. Take Care of yourself!
julie

Khara827rn said...

Wanted to let you know I am still thinking of you and little Chloe. She seems to keep getting cuter and cuter. I hope 2010 brings the two of you much joy and blessings!

With Love,
Khara O'Neil (baby angel Ava's mommy)

Stephanie Anne said...

Brady,

I am glad to hear that you and your baby are doing well.

Chloe is getting big so very fast and more beautiful each time I see her...be sure to cherish every moment you have with her because time with the little ones really does disappear quickly.

Also, I'm praying that the Lord continue to touch your heart and guide you through this difficult time; and if counting is something you feel you need to do in order to proceed...then counting it shall be.

Much love and many prayers,
Stephanie Anne

Jessica Faith said...

Dear Brady,
happy new year! I found your blog thru a friend at onbentknees.blogspot.com who was posting about it. Your story is amazing and your strength in going through it is a wonderful example. i pray for you guys every night! God has a plan, and it's a good one, no matter what.
Chloe is such a beautiful baby and she is so cute in those hair bows!
I don't know if you know the song "Praise You in This Storm" by casting crowns, but it has helped me in a personal tragedy and i belive it would help you guys too.

"Praise You In This Storm"

I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to you
And you raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You

But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth.

Remember that! He gives, and He takes away. You had Sara for five beautiful years, and now she's in heaven with her Savior! Can you imagine the praise, the singing, that's going on up there? He's always with you.

Prayers,
Jessica Faith

Karen and Shane said...

Just a note to say our family is still praying for you and Chloe!

Kim said...

Chloe is gorgeous and so blessed to grow up in the glow of your faith and love! And I love the bow!!! Thinking of you both!!
Love, The Nudis

Sunny said...

she is so precious! cuter ever month!