August 17, Our Day that Lives in Infamy

December 6, 1941
 marks the lives
 of an entire generation.  
The day that lived in infamy 
as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared. 
 A day that changed lives forever.

For most of us
 there’s a day  
A day where
life changes 
For us, is was August 17, 2000.

It was the first day of school 
for my husband, third grader, and kindergartner.
I was busy canning apple and peach pie filling.
In a sticky, messy kitchen 
with a toddler at my feet 
and a baby in the high chair.

A call came,
 Mom’s having a hard time breathing, 
we’re taking her to the hospital.
We decided to go, 
My mom came to help
“Mommy, will grandma be okay?”

(Nothing’s probably wrong. 
 But what if ?
What if I say,

 “She’ll be fine” 

and she’s not?

What will that do
to her faith?)

“Kaylee, I can’t answer that.  
But God’s in control.”
I had no idea

For us, 
life changed in a hospital chapel
by a chaplain we didn’t know
“She’s expired” 
were the words 
that changed our life
 about the woman 
who defined our world

What about you?

What date defines your life,
When life changed
 and you’re left 
with a broken heart?


There were days 
I could literally feel my chest ache
Like there was a hole so big
that nothing could ever fill it
And over time, 
when I talked about her
the pain would come like waves
 all over again

Mommy, don’t cry. 
 Don’t go, huhu”

my toddler said 
more than two years later
when I was telling him
  about the grandma 
he never knew

I sobbed so much
 when I talked about her
And he didn’t like to see
 his mom cry 

And so I walked.

Through the journey of grief
Holding on to the memories,
And pondering the legacy
I wanted to pass on
so she would not be 

And I slowly realized that 
letting go of grief
did not mean 
letting go of her.

Today, August 17
was uneventful.

But every autumn, 

on a bright sunny day

when leaves in color
fall to the ground
I catch a glimpse of her face
and tears roll down my cheeks
and my heart is filled with pain

 some things
will never
 be the same.

Record my lament,
list my tears on your scroll
are they not in your record?
Psalm 56:8

Lord, for those whose days 
are filled with grieve, pain, and loss, 
comfort them in ways only you can.
Call them to you,
be their shelter, 
and surround them with your grace
that transcends every excruciating pain
they experience. 
Thank you for seeing every tear 
and honoring each one.



  1. Thank you, Stacey. I believe the truth you shared with all of my being. It's been in the deepest places of brokenness that I have experienced God in ways I wouldn't trade. May those broken places of yours be places of power and His grace even today.

  2. Hi Brenda~ I was once told during a life changing moment…." There is beauty in the breaking, For out of our brokeness, God's grace and mercy pours like a cloak of honey." This post truly ministered to my heart~Thank you for sharing~God bless you~Stacey

  3. Kim, I believe loss of marriage can be just as damaging in many ways. I can feel the brokenness of not just a marriage, but a life, a future, and the dream ripped away. Thank you much for sharing. That means so much.

  4. Hi Brenda – If I look back there are a few "days" or "events" that stand out for me. But God has used all of them to refine me and its in looking back I see the journey for what it is. In the moment, during this time it is not always easy to see God's love and grace. God bless my friend. Great words here.Tracy

  5. For me, it was the loss of my marriage. Note: not the loss of my then husband; we were ultimately not ready and/or good for each other. But the marriage, my family, my expected future … my LIFE … was suddenly ripped away. THE rug pulled out from beneath me. I fell into daily vomiting, sobbing, despair; I distinctly remember telling a minister that I didn't want anyone to ever feel like I felt.I learned to get up, out, and walk each day. Otherwise, it was worse. Frightening. That was right around this time of year in 2003. Those nine years feel both lightening fast yet a lifetime ago.

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