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I Still Miss You


I tried several times to write something that would make sense for this post.  I was actually looking forward to talking about my younger sister Lora today.  And then I sat down to write and was barely able to string a sentence together.  So bear with me.

Crystal_1Today, it’s been seven years.  There are a million ways my heart is broken – and every year I handle this anniversary differently.  Today I’m watching my toddler E. proudly drag her alphabet magnets around in a paper grocery sack and I’m just sad.  Most days I would  enjoy it but today it’s a reminder.  Lora loved children.  We used to think it was just a phase but as she got older her love just grew.  She babysat so she could earn enough money to buy or make clothes for a foster family in the church.  She went on missions with her youth group and always gravitated toward the kids.  As a college freshman she had decidedLora3 she wanted to be a teacher, and when she found out mid-year that her  grades needed to improve in order to pursue an education degree, she buckled down to pull her grades up (Lora was quite social; school was always a little harder for her).  Sadly, she was killed in a car wreck on her last night of freshman year. We found out a week after her death that she had managed straight A’s in her second semester. 

So I cried today.  Because E. will never know her Aunt Lora here on Earth.  We’ll show her pictures and videos, and we’ll tell her stories.  But she’ll never know her like I did.  And that breaks my heart.

BUT – for every moment that I ache a little, I also have a redeeming sense of relief and peace.  Because Lora was ready.  Like all teenagers, Lora had struggled with living a Christian life.  But she always came back to what she knew.  And at the time of her death she was totally and faithfully in love with Christ.  Shortly before she died she told my mom that she was driving and she felt His presence in her car – like He was just sitting next to her.  He really was her friend and comfort.    As gut-wrenchingly painful as her death was, I still remember going to sleep the night she died with the peace that she was finally Home. Her life – and death – is a testimony for me.

These lyrics are from a favorite song of mine as a kid – I Will Be Free by Cindy Morgan.  I never knew it would become an anthem.

Oh, and I’ll dance on silver moonlight
And I’ll walk through velvet fields
Oh, and I’ll run into the arms
The arms that set me free

I will be free
I will be free to run the mountains
I will be free
Free to drink from the living fountain
Oh, I’ll never turn back
‘Cause He waits….
I’ll never turn back
Don’t you ever turn back
Because someday, someday we’re gonna see
We will be free

Lora, someday I’ll run the mountains with you.  Until then, I miss you like crazy, Sis. 

For more, visit:

Erin - Dear C,
Thank you for sharing Lora’s anniversary with us. All my thoughts and prayers are with you today during this difficult time. I am so glad that James is there with you and for you. I miss you:(
All my love and support

Mom - Your little Sis is, I’m sure, proud of–and humbled by–your tribute, Crys… Thank you for all you have been, and will be again, in her life. She adored you.
love, mom & dad xoxo

Mom - For those who would like to experience the closeness of these two wonderful sisters, here are the links to (a) Crystal’s high school commencement speech she wrote & gave for Lora, May 22, 1998 at Lora’s graduation: and (b) Lora’s last “gift letter” to Crystal as her b-day gift to her, December 13, 1998… Trust me, if your children are blessed with such a wonderful gift of love for one another, you are blessed of the Lord beyond measure, as we are. — jan & tony h.
Crystal’s speech:
Lora’s letter:

jeanie - Wow. I was out googling, looking for craft ideas for Christmas. Easy ones, since I’m not well-acquainted with my sewing machine. I loved your crafts, loved the way you talked about them, always in the context of who would be using your gift, and I explored the rest of your blog.
I found the posts on grief and I am so…so grateful for what you wrote. My sisters are still very much with me, so it isn’t about my sisters. My mom is in a nursing home and a year ago, she went through a strange, painful and confusing period. She stopped being herself–I think something in her brain just stopped connecting. She was still here, but my mom was not available to me anymore. She didn’t recognize a phone’s ring anymore, so our phone chats were no more. It was a glimpse into what it would be like to miss her after she dies. It was wrenching. Several months later, she “came back.” Not back to her old self, but back to more of herself than she had been. I’m grateful for every moment with her.
Thank you for what you wrote about your sister. I am sad for the sister you miss and I’m happy for the sister you had. For you to be able to write about it so beautifully is a gift. Thanks for sharing.