Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Day After

   I woke up from a vivid dream @ 4am. A little precocious toddler, with a head full of light brown hair, smiling at me with that adorable twinkle in her eyes.  Then the realization socked me in my stomach and burned in my heart- she's gone!  Followed directly by thought: "God, you took her!" 

   I have spent so many nights for the last 3 weeks getting up many times a night to minister to Karagen.  I have spent the last 6 1/2 months researching, reading, applying, praying and desperately seeking for a way to help Karagen beat her cancer.  Jonathan and I spent hours trying to figure out ways we could help her body heal.

  She's gone.

  There's a whole in my heart that burns and aches.  Her flavor, her sparkle, her light is forever extinguished.  Every time I look at one of our other children I see her. When I look at Jonathan I see her.  When I look at her chair, the room she was in, her clothes, her blanket keeping me warm this morning, I see her.  When I look out at our back yard, I see her playing there.  All those glimpses of her, everything leads me to thoughts and memories of her.  All those millions of times I have gazed at her these last nine years and have been filled with love and joy.  She was so much a part of all of us.  There's a face missing at the table, a warmth missing from our home.  Our family will always be one too small.  Oh the joy when you add another child to a family,  the despair when one is taken away.

 For Karagen:
Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe on His gentle breast
There by His love o’ershaded, sweetly her soul shall rest.
For us:
Jesus, my heart’s dear Refuge, Jesus has died for me;
Firm on the Rock of Ages, ever my trust shall be.
Here let me wait with patience, wait till the night is over;
Wait till I see the morning break on the golden shore.

Karagen, heaven is not just a little sweeter, it's brighter and more beautiful.  I have no idea what it really looks like or feels like or smells like.  But you gave me-us a little heaven on earth.  Because  I know you, and what you brought to us, heaven is not just a place anymore, it's a home.  It's not just a destination, it's a hope, it's not just a goal, it's a reunion.  I will forever miss you, I will see you everywhere, always.  I love you all the number in the world plus one!  I love you the mostest with the hostest!

  I/we will find joy, we will find a way to cope, to function.  We will find a way to create a new family dynamic, new traditions, new beginnings.  God will be our ever present help, and has been! But for now, we survive.


  1. Oh Crystal my heart breaks for you guys. But, especially for you. I can't imagine how it must feel as a mother to lose your first child. I remember that little girl when you all came to visit us and how sweet she was even then. I pray that God enfolds you with his love. Please know that you are not alone. I love you!

  2. Oh Crystal...I know of no words to ease your pain. Just tears to share in your grief. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to know your precious little girl through your blog and FB page. Yes...she is safe in the arms of Jesus. The world's loss. Her gain. Love and hugs dear one.

  3. The father of Copper, from Flame On, interviewed by Haven Today several months ago, likens losing a child to an amputation...a part is gone and always missed and you live that way. You have been and continue to be in my prayers and thoughts.

  4. Praying for your family as you adjust to this new normal, without your precious daughter/sister by your side. My heart aches for all of your pain, but rejoices in her freedom from pain and in her glory in meeting God face to face. I have no words of wisdom to offer, just the prayer that I know you will feel. Blessings to you all...alizabeth from Iowa

  5. Crystal, my heart is aching for you, and your family. Most importantly - I'm praying for you all. Praying for comfort, for rest, to find joy. Little Karagen is now home with Jesus, no pain, no fear, no tears. And someday we'll see her soon!

    Sending hugs from miles and miles away. And continual prayers as well.

    "...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." -Psalm 30:5

    "Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved." -Psalm 55:22

    Your Sister In Jesus,

  6. I am so sorry to hear of your loss, I'm not sure if you realized but Fanny Crosby composed the hymn you quoted shortly after losing her own child. Praying for your family.

  7. I am so sorry. These words just do not seem enough to convey how my heart is breaking for you family. May the Lord surround with His strength and love. Our families prayers are with you today.

    Your sis in Christ,

  8. Crystal, I have no words- as tears stream down my face. I am so, so very sorry! We are praying for you.
    Love and hugs,

  9. So very, very sorry to hear of the loss of your precious daughter. Praying that the Lord will hold you close to His heart and embrace you in His strong and loving arms.

  10. Oh Crystal!!! I wish I could reach through this computer and give you a shoulder to cry on. The loss that you are experiencing just breaks my heart. Please know that I am praying for you, Jon, and your children.

    Keep writing girl, I think you will find it to be good therapy.

  11. Crystal,
    We have never met, but I have quietly followed Karagen's journey from the beginning. I am so saddened to hear that she has passed away. She reminded me of my sweet Courtney in so many ways. We have truly been blessed to be mothers to such precious girls. Karagen touched so many people and her light will continue to shine. I wish I could offer words that would comfort but I know from experience that only God can comfort your heart. You are in my prayers and will continue to be in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead.


  12. We are praying for your family. Kelly updated us continually and I prayed everyday. Not knowing your family ...but as a mom I couldnt imagine what you dealt with day to day seeing your little girl in pain. I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.(((HUGS))))

  13. This is Lori. What a beautiful post about Karagen and heaven. I wish I could print it out, but I don't have a printer. I would put it in my Bible. It's one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. Even though I am crying right now - I am happy - with that hope of a home and a reunion that you so beautifully shared. Blessings, Crystal. Somehow. I don't know how - but blessings to your family! Many, many blessings!!!

  14. This is Lori. This is one of the most beautiful posts ever written - about Karagen and heaven! I wish I had a printer, I would print this out, and save it in my Bible! Even though I am crying, I am happy. Happy for the hope of home and a reunion which you so beautifully shared here. Blessings to you Crystal - to you and your family. I don't know how - but somehow - great blessings from God to all of you!!! And thank you for sharing your heart from the deepest of your pain.

  15. Dear Crystal, This is Carla Elliott Storer. I don't even know if you remember me, we were friends at Penn View. I'd lost track of you and then saw your FB awhile back. I recognized you immediately from your beautiful smile and the light in your eyes. I didn't realize your precious lil girl was so sick. Kristin Paulus asked me to pray for you the day Karagen went to be with Jesus. I just want you to know you've been in my thoughts and on my heart since then. I truly can't fathom what you are feeling, but just know I'm sending you hugs and lots of prayers. ~Carla~

  16. God's strength amazes me. So thankful He is helping you all thru this dark time of sorrow. Trust God and He will bring you thru. Love and Prayers.

  17. Hi Crystal, I took care of Karagen during your brief visits to the Childrens Hospital in Tulsa. I want you to know that your sweet Karagen touched my heart in just the short amount of time we spent together. I thought about her tonight & ran across your blog. I am so sorry to hear that she has passed away. You and your sweet family are in my prayers.

  18. Oh, Crystal, I am so, so sorry. Thinking of you and praying for you and knowing that I can't begin to imagine your pain. May the Lord comfort your hearts as only He can.


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment, I love reading them and it is a special blessing to hear back from you!