Pictures

Photographs were a big deal to Stephanie. They were so important, in fact, that her “push present” for having Halle was family pictures, and that was all she wanted. Thanks to a friend of ours, we have some beautiful pictures from that time. I’m so glad for her always working for us to take and have lots of pictures because now I have so many memories to look back on during our life together.

I keep finding reason to revisit our collection of pictures. Usually, it’s to remember how Stephanie put the house together for things such as Christmas. Unfortunately, I find it absolutely gut-wrenching as I scan through the images of her. I always think that this will be the time that it won’t crush me, but I’m always wrong. I often end up finding something that I didn’t even remember. For instance, last night I found some images that she used for birthday/Christmas gift projects she made for me. It was great to see those things again and remember, but it also ripped out my heart as it always does, to be reminded that it’s all over.

But pictures were always important to her. When everything first happened, I had no intention of sending out Christmas cards this year because I couldn’t bear the thought of seeing just three of us in the picture. But, soon after, I realized how much I wanted to do those things we’ve always done even as painful as it would be. And, I don’t want to lack pictures from this year because of my grief; that would just cause me more grief years down the road. So, today I had that same friend I mentioned earlier come over to take pictures of me and the kids. Some of the pictures even included a framed photograph of Stephanie. Sending out Christmas cards this year is also kind of my way to praise God for His faithfulness through all of this. I would be giving in to defeat – even if in some small way – to not do something we’ve always done and something in which Stephanie always took great joy. And she always took great joy in our family and sending out that picture to show how good God has been to us. I don’t want this year to be any different.

10 thoughts on “Pictures”

  1. Dear Brad, This continues to be so heart wretching. May God continue to give you strength to put one foot in front of the other as the days go by. How wonderful that you have decided to carry on some of Stephanie’s traditions. Your children will love looking at all of the pictures as they get older. We all continue to pray for you. Love to all of your family

  2. Wow, you keep amazing me with things that you are doing for you and your family. I would not have thought to have pictures taken and cards sent this year, but definitely something Stephanie loved doing =) And what a way to praise God. That takes such strength–yet another testimony of God in you!

    I started crying at Target the other day because everywhere I turned someone looked liked her and after staring for a few moments just to make sure it wasn’t her, I just had to get out of there! And then I was making a dish last week and thought “oh, I’ll just call Stephanie for her help.” She just knew so much about baking, kids, parties, etc. I wish I could’ve known more from her =)

    1. Thanks, Anna. I’m so thankful and happy for the family God has given me. Stephanie always was, too. I’m sorry to hear about your trip to Target. I don’t think I’ve had that experience yet, where I see her face in everyone. I’m not sure if I will or not. And, as for calling Stephanie for her help, I know exactly what you mean. I feel that way every second of my days. There are so many things she did that I had no knowledge about and depended on her for doing. I wouldn’t have had it any other way, really, and I don’t think she would either, but it sure makes it difficult now. I very much wish I could have known more from her. And, in some ways, I find out that I know more from her than I even realized. I just never had to depend on knowing what she taught me until now. That’s one of the ways in which I feel like she is still living vicariously through me.

  3. Bless you, Brad, for being brave enough to carry out something that Stephanie loved so very much. Please know that you continue to receive many prayers from NJ. The holidays can be trying during the best of times. Praise you for making the best of it during the most trying of times!
    Love in Christ!
    ~Alexis~

  4. Having a photo of Stephanie in your Christmas card picture is a fitting way of still including her in your life and family. Cousins lost their 17-year-old daughter in the late 1990s but still have a pic of her on their mantle in all their family Christmas photos. We think it’s the sweetest way of honoring her memory.

    And when you pray do not hesitate to “pray” to Stephanie also. My Mom has been gone over 10 years but when I need her help I do call out to her…and I can certainly feel her help when I continue on with my project.

    A blessed Christmas to you and you and yours in spite of your trials this year.

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