Hi, it's Reed again.
Here's another snapshot from Jack's Camp (for pediatric brain tumor families) in October. I am just so struck, more and more, by every picture of Carmen I see, by how beautiful she is, and how relatively unaffected by her illness she seems to be. I love her so much.
Last week was so beautiful. My insides were tied up in knots as we drove to the public viewing on Thursday, but as soon as I stepped into the viewing room, I had such a sweet peaceful feeling that just stayed with us for the rest of the week (even when we were a bit nervous). Each one of you that came to the public viewing, the family events, and the memorial service, and up to greet us after the memorial service, brought us so much joy amid our sorrow. We thank all of you for every effort you made to attend the services. Every effort made a difference to us.
Some of you have asked to get a copy of a song or remarks from the memorial service. We would like to post this material in its entirety but are not quite sure how to do that. We will talk to someone who knows how to do that stuff and see what we can come up with.
Today was a special day in its own right. We feel like God is gently nudging us to move forward. It's a new month, and the beautiful rainfall seemed to be a bittersweet combination of mourning and cleansing. We went to Palo Alto today to witness the blessing of our baby niece. She was born the same weekend we found out Carmen was terminal. Her parents chose to name her Abigail Carmen. I don't think we are imagining things, sensing God's hand in the timing. By the way, our Sunday School class today was taught by Steve Young (yes, that Steve Young), who is a marvelously articulate and thoughtful speaker. So that was a nice treat too.
We sense that many of you have been staying away out of respect for all we had to deal with last week. If any of you are inclined to visit at any time, please come. We would love to talk with you about Carmen and about the events of the past week. We will be healing from these wounds for a long time, and we know many of you will be as well. We know that for the most part we all need to return to our normal lives, but closure is a slow process, so please don't leave anything unsaid that needs to be said.
In that spirit, we are very much looking forward to the ice cream social this Thursday. We will enjoy associating with you and talking with you at greater length. We respect and appreciate all the gifts you have given us. You have helped us so much. We do want to emphasize that we feel the time has definitely come to shift our gift-giving focus to others in greater need. Please be thoughtful and prayerful in your giving, and we feel that you will be led to give in ways that will be most pleasing to God, and to Carmen.
I wanted to share one more thing. On Friday at the graveside service, we chose to stay and observe as they lowered Carmen's body into the ground. As the cemetery workers slowly and reverently moved the casket to its resting place, the little children in attendance came forward and quietly watched the descent. I thought of the parallels between this spontaneous scene, and Carmen's baptism less than 6 months earlier. It was a sacred moment.
Timothy (our 5-year-old) and I were talking tonight about how one day God will fix Carmen's body and she will be able to move back in. "Will He fix her hair too?" he asked me.
What a beautiful thing is the mind of a child.