Anika, our youngest child, will celebrate at home, as an “only child” while her sister wraps up Bible camp and her brother finishes cleaning out grain bins on the farm and plays in a baseball game. Last night she snuggled up to me and said, “So this is what it was like with only Hunter and you?” She was referring to my “single mom” days which we openly share about at home.
I said, “Yes I guess so. What do you think of it?”
She said, “Boring and way too quiet.”
She’s the live wire that keeps me going, no matter the circumstances. Above is a capture from my phone when we took off training wheels this week from her bike and she rode away, for 2.5 miles as I briskly followed.
I am going to share more about Anika after her family birthday supper tonight and an upcoming friends party that I haven’t planned yet. She brings us great joy alongside her brother and sister.
I haven’t planned her birthday party yet because on June 23 we had tragic news that struck us and many others. Brothers and our beloved friends Zachary and Connor Kvalvog died in a car accident. Zach and our son Hunter have played basketball together since kindergarten.
After we moved from Fargo, Zach wrote Hunter a letter, asking him to keep playing with him. They started a traveling team and together they still played together many weekends a month in the spring and summer for the past seven years. We have sat through hundreds of games watching them, ate countless meals together, stayed at scores of hotels with the team and families and both Zach and Hunter developed their friendship. They didn’t go a week without talking and visited in-person as often as they could. Zach was like a brother to Hunter, his best friend. Connor was the spunky little brother who always wanted to push them and play with them.
I have tried for days to sit down and write memories, emotions or even prayer requests into a blog post. None of the right words come out. I sat in bed last night until after midnight with my computer on my lap with a blank Word document in front of me. I will share more as the words come to me. For now, we are mourning and grieving. I am writing down Bible scripture that bring comfort and will share that in the future also. In the midst of many heartaches of the world, many mourn and I hope in the future I can share some of the comfort we have found in the midst of tragedy.
Please pray for our dear friends Ray and Kathie who have lost their only children, their sons. Their life is painful, broken and I believe only our prayers and God’s strength can help them each and every day. Pray for the many hurting. Families, forever friends, classmates, teammates, teachers, coaches, a community. Pray for a full recovery, physically and for emotional healing for the two teammates and friends, Mark and Jimmy that were seriously injured and survived the accident.
As a mother, I cannot fix any of this heartache. I feel helpless. I cannot take away the pain of my son or the many others hurting. Hunter is quiet. He is mourning. We are taking time to grieve. But he is trying to keep going. Tonight he will play baseball. Zach would want him to.
The most important thing I can share with you is that Zach and Connor loved Jesus and they are in heaven. Despite all the earthly pain, there is hope. A young girl sang at the funeral. Her bravery of sharing her gifts impacted me. Lord, I Need You has been in my heart now for two days. I sing it. I downloaded it. Here it is for you listen to.
I am crying out again as I try to wrap this up. But I have a bundle of joy that is still sleeping up in her bed that I am grateful to walk upstairs now to wake on her sixth birthday.