Stop the Mail


Another one came in the mail recently.  It had her name on it; printed in collegiate lettering.  The opening line … “Makenzie!  You’ve been invited to apply to (insert college name).  You can pursue your dreams at (college name) and all it takes is simply to fill out the enclosed application.”  Arg.

Another reminder.  Another disappointment.  Another mnemonic telling me that I won’t be helping her fill out the application as other moms and dads have been doing the past few months.  There will be a college that will not experience Makenzie’s joy; her laugh; her excitement for the Lord, dance and life!  And I feel badly for them.

Normally I look forward to getting the mail.  Now, not so much.  Next year, they will stop.  Her name will drop from their lists and I will be relieved not to get those pieces of postage.   Funny.  It’s the simple daily things that make me realize the complexity of loss.

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2 thoughts on “Stop the Mail

  1. Kelsey's mom says:

    We know the bittersweet pain of letters arriving at home, addressed to our child. We received a letter addressed to our daughter Kelsey from P.F. Chang where she worked while she went to college, advising that her identity might have been compromised because of a breach in the security of their employment records. We have no fear that Kelsey’s identity was compromised. We rest assured that she is His. Her identity is safe as His child, and no one can steal that from her or from us.

    Kelsey was struck by a truck on March 5th, 2008, while stargazing on the Foresthill Bridge in Auburn, CA. She was 20 years old. We are approaching the 2 year anniversary of her death. Mail addressed to her is bittersweet. Bitter, of course, because she isn’t here to open it. Sweet because Kelsey still exists in some company’s computer files as a living, breathing employee whose identity is dependent upon them for protection. We, of course, know better.

    Last month, there was a message on our answering machine for Kelsey from the Sacramento Blood Bank reminding Kelsey that they hadn’t seen there in awhile and they would love to have an additional donation of her blood. The voice of the caller was so peppy. She almost sounded like she knew Kelsey, which, naturally she didn’t, or she wouldn’t have made the call. But I played the message a few times. The Sacramento Blood Bank remembers Kelsey as a donor and she exists in their computer files as someone they can call on for help. I don’t think I’ll call them and tell them to take her off their list. As time passes, her name will naturally fall off when she doesn’t show up to donate, but for now, she still exists for them.

    We parents of dead children take comfort in strange places. Our lives are full of the bittersweet. As the song says, “He gives and takes away, but my heart will choose to say, ‘Blessed is the name of the Lord.’” We have a choice. We can succumb to the grief that threatens to consume us, and surrender our lives to bitterness, or we can commit to letting Him rebuild our shattered lives however He sees fit. We have chosen the latter. And so we open the letters and feel a small measure of comfort that Kelsey left her mark.

  2. Ellen Kistner says:

    MAYBE next year the invitations for Makenzie to apply to colleges will stop.

    FOR SURE – The Lord WILL grow you through this – and will take you with Him as He overcomes this obstacle.

    He has overcome THE WHOLE WORLD.

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