December 21, 2014

With Christmas rapidly approaching, I have been bracing myself for overwhelming sadness and the consuming ache of loss.

It hasn’t come.

Let me be clear.  I miss Simon like crazy.  The absence of my husband, his parents’ son, his siblings’ brother, and the kids’ father is real. It hurts everyday.  I cry often. At inopportune times.  I still haven’t figured out what all my triggers are.  I packed up his shoes the other day – it was rough.  His feet should be wearing those shoes. He should be wearing the snip-toe leather cowboy boots he bought himself for his 33rd birthday. He should be wearing the black Converse that he wore in our wedding and set beside our kids for a monthly picture during each of their first years.  He should be wearing his ugly crocs for gardening. Instead, those shoes were all vacuum sealed and stored for future discovering for our children.


But in what most will say is the hardest time of the year for the grieving, I am filled with gratitude.  This has been a gift from the Lord. Here’s what gratitude has looked like for our little family.

I have gratitude for a longtime friend who felt compelled to crochet “Golden Lone Stars” to sell at her church.  She donated proceeds to our family so we wouldn’t have to worry about extra expenses at Christmas time. She gave me a few and it was the perfect finishing touch for our tree. The money was absolutely helpful but the thought and effort simply blew my mind.  Having a tangible Golden Lone Star reminds me of how far we have come, how amazing our friends are, and how good God is.

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I have gratitude for another friend that I hadn’t spoken with in quite awhile besides casual contact online.  She called to thank me for the blog, our story, and the encouragement it has provided.  Her words came at just the right time.  I’ve been having more writer’s block and also find myself getting discouraged, that perhaps now that Simon is gone, the story becomes less compelling. God has so much more to add to this story and my friend’s phone call is what inspired this post and may resound in my head for future posts.

I have gratitude for two of the sassiest girls around.  Santa visited their school and my older daughter was clearly smitten while my youngest wasn’t amused.




I have gratitude for nightly surprises from Elves.  Someone (or lots of someones) have been leaving a gift every night on our porch.  The kids and I scramble to the front door every morning to see what the note will say and what the present is.  To know that we are thought of each day, months after our loss, touches me so deeply,






I have gratitude for girlfriends.  On the same day, a girlfriend asked me out to lunch while another offered to babysit.  Talk about timing!  The girlfriend I lunched with is conveniently a licensed counselor and is such a supportive friend to listen to my verbal processing and, at times, venting!  I also met again with a local widows group and so dearly enjoyed the community and conversation of these women journeying together.


I have gratitude for these three kids o’ mine.  I always wanted a minimum of three and the Lord granted the desire of my heart.  I told them Mom needed just one hour to herself this afternoon so I could write and they have interrupted me no less than 50 times.  Last week, I took them and a friend to Target to grab supplies for their class parties.  It was chaotic but they are mine and I love them all the time.


I have gratitude for our local California Highway Patrol.  They raised money for a variety of organizations and families last month and I just learned we were one of the recipients.  Once again, the money is so helpful but the thoughtfulness is what brings the true joy.

I have gratitude that we will be surrounded in love this Christmas. My whole immediate family will be together, a longtime mutual friend will be in town from Texas, and the projected weather will be 70 degrees all week. California, you are worth the sunshine taxes.

I have gratitude for every Christmas card, letter, call, email, and text.  Thank you for thinking of us, praying for us, and being supportive practically and emotionally.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

“For unto us a child has been 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


  1. Kathy O'Kelley on December 21, 2014 at 4:29 pm


    Please do not stop writing. I love reading your blog. I always pass it on to my 88 year old mother and she loves reading. You are an inspiration and so talented. We are praying for you and the children during this Christmas season. God bless you and Merry Christmas!
    Kathy O’Kelley

  2. Lola Johnson on December 21, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    Hi Kristy,
    I spent some time this afternoon catching up on your blog posts. I’ve tried to comment many times before, but just didn’t know what to say. But like many others, I am encouraged by your posts and watching God work in and through you. I cry and laugh. Thanks so much for sharing your journey.
    Love, Lola

  3. Jenna on December 21, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    So thankful that you are having so many moments of gratitude during an impossibly hard season. And I just had a conversation today with Jared’s mom and sister about how we all love your blog. Don’t stop writing. The million people in this world who love you love hearing your (digital) voice. Merry Christmas, friend. May you be surprised by joy.

  4. Susan Gaines on December 21, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    A friend who lost her father recently and her mom some years prior, recently told me that grief will hit you when you least expect it and told me a friend of hers said it is like standing in the ocean close to the shore facing the land. The waves lap at the back of your ankles, sometimes up to your calves and occasionally, one comes along that knocks the sand right out from under your feet.

  5. Jana Burton on December 21, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    I love you! You make my heart happy!

  6. Gretchen J. on December 21, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    Thank you for sharing your heart. This blog is a blessing in so many ways. To keep current with you, to remember Simon, to hear of the joys, sorrows and in betweens of your grief process. I’m so so glad that you and your munchkins are so well loved and cared for. Merry Christmas my friend!
    Love you!


  7. Julie on December 23, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    I have been reading your blog since I found out Simon was sick. After my grandfather died my Memaw and I became even closer, we talk about grieving, the different ways people grieve. I always love to talk with her about my grandpa. I guess what I’m trying to say is it helps keep their memory alive when you talk about them, and to me is therapeutic. Keep posting, Merry Christmas to you. I am so glad. Simon found you!

  8. Irene Hahn on December 23, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    It was a real blessing to crochet all 250 stars for you. Only you and your family got the truly golden ones. I still have several ones in mainly yellow left and some other colors if anyone is interested. $3 each or 2 for $5.right now Curt & I are on our way to Texas to see our grand babies in RoundRock, so it’s a later thing or get ahold of Kenny. Love Miss Irene.




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