Her Name is Makenzie


Photo_092108_002In the corner of a coffee shop, I frantically type out my blurry thoughts, trying to meet imposed deadlines for publication.  When writing, I usually enter another world and am able to block out the bustling sounds of the grinding coffee machine, chatter from patrons and the light jazzy style music that drips from the JBL speaker mounted in the corner over my head.  But not today.

A mom walks in with her friend, both being followed by two little 5-year-old-ish girls.  They take off toward the knee-high chalkboard in the “family-friendly” corner.  I notice them because the mom calls out the name of her daughter which simultaneously calls out my emotions and memories.

“Makenzie” she says.

I look up expecting to see my oldest daughter scampering across the tan tiles of the shop.  For a split second, I hope it to be true.  I hope it is her.  I hope the last years without her could be redone.  But God doesn’t work that way.  The reality of my Makenzie’s death sinks in again as a different little face turns and looks up at her mom.  You never really get over those “hits” of reality.  Some of you reading, know … you know.

So I pray for that young mom and her “Makenzie.”  I pray that the joy my daughter brought me would also be hers.  I pray that God’s plan for their lives doesn’t intersect with the same tragedy as did ours.  All in all, I succumb to the numb that I haven’t felt in quite some time and I sink back into my coffee shop corner.  Deadlines persist and I thank God for allowing me to hear her name again – “Makenzie.”

Peace!

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6 thoughts on “Her Name is Makenzie

  1. nancy haas says:

    All of the comments you received are so wonderful! There is nothing like hearing our child’s name that has gone to Heaven. Thankyou for sharing Makenzie with all of us, and I just know Makenzie and my Tammy are dancing everyday:] Nancy in SD

  2. Shelia Kanniainen says:

    Pastor Todd, You don’t know me but I was there to hear your sermon last Sunday. How nice to hear you mention your son. I remember when you were at WLC with your wife and family. Long before your tragic loss. How well you worked together. I also remember your wife’s touching presentation about your daughter. What a gift. What a loss. Sometimes one word,like a name, throws us back to a time long past. I know God will reunite you one day. No more sadness no more tears. Joy everlasting.

  3. tami prangle says:

    loved hearing your wife talk at gateway a year or so ago about precious makenzie! i experience the same catch in your breath when i hear someone calling “ian” in a store, both of our angels way of saying “hi mom & dad…..i’m right here with you”

  4. Chad Starfeldt says:

    Thanks so much for sharing Todd. I can’t imagine the difficulty of moments like this. Thanks for being vulnerable with the journey of your loss. I loved seeing the recent pictures you found of Makenzie.

  5. Jeannine Furukawa says:

    Thanks, Todd, for sharing once again the grief you still experience. Your comments
    tell others that the grieving process is acute & lingers for years! It is comforting to others, who have suffered the loss of a beloved child! It assures others that these reality tilts are not just something they , alone, experience. Your faith-filled comments point others to the One, who lives & is our only strength, hope, comfort & joy restored as the years go by!

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