First-Withouts – Birthday Without Makenzie

Makenzie on her last birthday (18 years old)

A handful of days ago, Kellie and I were privileged to share Makenzie’s story at the Woodbury Area Prayer Breakfast.  Among the 700 people were Bill and Zoe Hyland whose high school aged son, Braedon, was killed in a car accident in October of last year.  It was a painful yet beautiful conversation as they, like us, grapple with the new normal.

Bill said that they are going through the “first-withouts” date list.  The “first” Christmas “without” Braedon.  The “first” Spring “without” him.  The list goes on and on for the likes of us.

Today is Makenzie’s birthday.  She would have been 21 years old.  A milestone in the lives of other young adult but not for her.  This is not a “first-without” for us but rather another reminder of her birth and death and birth again.  Another date on the calendar that we cannot escape.  So we choose to lay low today.  We’ll laugh about her laugh – smile about her smile.  We’ll most likely cry as we ponder and remember.  But we’ll also thank Jesus for giving her a list of “first-withouts.”  “First” days in heaven “without” pain, sorrow or suffering.  “First” days in heaven “without” struggle, confusion of boredom.  And, if she were speaking it, “First” days in heaven “without” math!

Love you button nose.  And Happy 21st Birthday.


Links to check out:

2 thoughts on “First-Withouts – Birthday Without Makenzie

Add yours

  1. You wrote again so wonderfully! I can see my daughter Tammy dancing for your daughter on this her 21st birthday or perhaps they are dancing together:] Tammy danced until 18 and then murdered at 19. Her birthday fell on Friday the 13th of April this year and that was the exact day she was born:] She would have turned 39. I have noticed many date now including your daughters birthday have included the # 3:] Blessings to you and your family, Nancy in SD.

  2. Thank you for sharing about your beautiful daughter, know that your sharing of your expereinces and pain will bring healing and hope to many. God bless you and your family and keep you sheltered in His loving arms.

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