Thursday, December 24, 2009


Sara always amazed me at her innate ability to remember people's birthdays. It would always catch me by surprise when she would wake up and the first words our of her mouth were, "Today is _______'s birthday."

She wanted people to feel extra special on their day. She loved to make a big deal out of birthdays, especially my dad's. Dad once said that "birthdays are like belly buttons...everybody has one and they are not that exciting." That drove Sara crazy. She LOVED birthdays and wanted people to enjoy their day!

As Christmas approaches, I am missing Sara terribly, but know that she is excited to be celebrating Jesus' birthday with Him this year.

"Christmas in Heaven"
by Wanda Bencke

I see the countless Christmas trees
Around the world below,
With tiny lights like Heaven's stars
Reflecting in the snow.

The sight is so spectacular
Please wipe away that tear,
For I am spending Christmas
With Jesus Christ this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs
That people hold so dear,
But the sound of music can't compare
with the Christmas Choir up here.

I have no words to tell you
Of the joy their voices bring,
For it is beyond description
To hear the angels sing.

I know how much you miss me,
I see the pain inside your heart,
But through our memories so dear
We are never far apart.

I can't tell you of the splendor
Of the peace here in this place,
Can you just imagine Christmas
With our Savior face to face?

I'll ask Him to light your spirit
As I tell Him of your love,
Then I'll pray for one another
As you lift your eyes above.

So, please let your heart be joyful
And let your spirit sing,
For I'm spending Christmas in Heaven
And I'm walking with the king.

To read the story behind this poem, click here.

Some updated Chloe pics (and videos)...

(background music added to cover up my embarrassing "baby talk" voice)

Last weekend, Chloe and I spent some time at the lake. My older brother is getting "artsy" with his photography skills and took this great picture. The dogs and I spent some time on the dock "thinking about life." Good times for me...and the dogs.


My family is coming to San Antonio for Christmas, then Chloe and I are headed to Houston the week after to spend time with my dad and Sara's family.

I will also be making a trip to Niles, Ohio (near Cleveland) for my Grandfather's funeral some time in the near future. He passed away in Florida on Monday, December 21. His health had been declining steadily for the past few years, but it was still tough to receive the news that he had passed away. I thought I was mentally prepared for it.

My dad and his sisters flew to Florida on Monday and got to spend a few final hours with their dad. I said a few words to him on the phone Monday evening. Needless to say, I'm sick and tired of attending funerals.

Though this year has been inundated with lots of sadness, it is through the tears that I see all that I have to be thankful for...and refuse to take for granted.

As Christmas draws near, my hope is that you would reflect upon the true reason we celebrate Christmas. Happy Birthday, Jesus, and Merry Christmas to you!

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. --Isaiah 9:6

...and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. -- Luke 1:7


Anna said...

Merry Christmas...thinking of you and lifting you up during this time!

shannon said...

merry christmas to you and little chloe. i say it everytime i comment, but thank you for continuing to share. i think we all have a huge place in our hearts for your family and it is nice to see how you are doing.

Brooke and David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brooke and David said...

Merry Christmas to you and Chole, Brady! I bet Sara is singing and dancing at the feet of our Lord as she sings Happy Birthday to HIM!!

Misty Rice said...

Merry Christmas to you and Chloe.

Leslie said...

That "baby voice" cover-up had me laughing. :) We will continue to keep you in our prayers, especially during the Christmas season. Merry Christmas!

Kelsey said...

Praying for you.

Tara. said...

Merry Christmas! Sara is having such a wonderful time in heaven with her Savior, dancing carefree, cancer free and as beautiful as ever.

Cale & Katie said...

merry christmas!! thinking about you guys and we look forward to hanging out again soon!
cale, katie, and lily

Donna said...

Merry Christmas! The pictures of Chloe made me smile this Christmas Eve, while a little tear set in my eye for her mother. I too, love birthdays and will rejoice with Sara on our Saviour's birthday tomorrow!

slotmachinemimi said...

Merry Christmas...your family remains in my prayers. I am so sorry for the loss of your grandfather. My grandmother passed away on Christmas day, 10 years ago. Even at 92, she loved music and dancing, so I think that she went to heaven, to dance with Jesus on his birthday! Chloe is getting so big and I she looks like she was dancing in the video with the music....I especially liked the little "kicks" she was doing with her left leg!!! I so enjoy the pictures of your little "doll". Take care...again, Merry Christmas.

Dawn said...

Merry Christmas to you and to Chloe! She is such a doll. I can't believe how much bigger she has gotten! The Christmas music coverup had me smiling!

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I am sorry to hear about your grandfather. It really is a small world....we live in Lordstown and we are are always in Niles. It always surprises me when someone mentions our little area!

Many Blessings to you,


Launa said...

Praying that you have a Merry Christmas! Beautiful pictures... she is so cute!

mommy2luke2008 said...

I hope that you and Chloe have a wonderful Christmas and please know that I am praying for you and your beautiful daughter. Thank you for sharing your story and warming my heart on Christmas Eve.

Alex and Jill said...

I just wanted to stop by and say Merry Christmas to you and Chloe...praying you find comfort and joy this holiday season.

Waters, Inc. said...

Hang in there! Wishing you a beautiful first Christmas with precious baby Chloe. God bless you!

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas Brad & Chloe! Our very special Christmas gift this year is being blessed with having the both of you as family...

We love & cherish you always!

Kelli said...

Chloe is getting so big!!! Please know you are being prayed for in SC!!! May God's great love continue to give you hope!!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post. Merry Christmas to you and your sweet Chloe. You don't know me, friend of a friend of a friend kind of deal, but I think about you guys often and always keep you guys in my prayers. You're such a great inspiration and do a fabulous job at keeping the memory of your wife alive. God bless!

Stephaney said...

Thank you for allowing us all to enjoy your precious Chloe. I love her and how God has blessed you with her. She is amazing. I have 5 children and my youngest is 5 mo. and so I love just seeing your baby and how wonderful she is. I wish I had the words to just express how much joy your little one brings...thank you! : )

Tori said...

We have never met, and may never this side of glory, but my heart goes out to you and your family. What a legacy Sara has left through her example as a wonderful wife, mother, daughter and friend. My prayers are with you and your family. As a single mother, I know the challenges that lie ahead, but God is greater and will walk before you guiding you and your daugher. God bless you and Chloe.

The Lugo's said...

Thinking and praying for you and Chloe.


Tiffany said...

Great pictures!!! Chloe is so cute. Keep up the good work daddy! And don't be embarassed by "baby talk". Every good mom and dad does it :)

Josh, Brooke, Peyton, Kendall, and Kayden said...

Chloe is so beautiful. She is blessed to have such a wonderful Daddy in her life who reminds her constantly of how wonderful her Mommy was. Hope you have and Chloe have a blessed New Year.