Remembering Anna Today

7 05 2014

IM_A0202Six years ago today Anna died.

I am wearing batik today. My students think I am getting ready for vacation. I just tell them no, it is something else. It is my silent reminder to myself.

I have written elsewhere on this blog about the confluence of dates every spring. Anna’s birthday comes at the end of March. The anniversary of her death comes today in early May. In between nearly every year comes Easter Sunday, the day we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. We remember his resurrection in the past and we look with hope to the day all believers, the living and the dead, will rise to be with him. As one of the many ways that God has been gracious to us in these events, I have considered the calendar to be one of them. Before we come to the day when we remember Anna’s death, we are given an annual fresh glimpse of our future resurrection. It removes the sting of the memory a bit when we know that Christ has conquered death; we now have hope instead.

Having said that, there is another confluence of dates on the calendar that is not quite so kind. I often forget that Timberley has to endure every year a set of dates that I do not experience the same way. When we come to May 7 each year, Timberley is faced with knowing that the next Sunday is Mothers’ Day. That opportunity to honor our mothers is always mixed with more than a regular share of sadness.

God has blessed Timberley this spring in a different way. When we moved to our house five years ago, one of the previous owners had left several rose bushes at various points around the yard. Timberley moved them all to the back of the house where they get good sun and we could enjoy them when we go into the yard. This spring, for some reason, the plants have exploded with flowers. She has been daily bringing more flowers into the house. Her fingers are getting scarred from the painful process of removing the thorns from the stems. But she cannot resist the beauty and aroma of these enormous roses.

The first spring after Anna’s death, I thought the arrival of leaves and flowers in the spring was some sort of cruel joke from God. I wanted a perpetual winter. I had become Lewis’s white witch. But God had other plans. He forced spring upon me that year in Louisville. I was forced to watch bulbs spring out of the earth in new life emerging from dormancy. I was forced to watch seemingly dead trees come to life again with the regreening of the branches. And I had to confess then that God had a better plan for us. He had already conquered death that first Easter morning 2000 years ago. Springtime was one of the annual events that he would give us to remind us that death is not the final word on our lives. He will one day restore all things. Anna’s body, like each of ours, will one day reemerge from the ground like a crocus in the spring. And it will be a beautiful flower indeed.




9 responses

7 05 2014
Dan Shoaf

Thank you for sharing Todd. The Gardener continues His work on us, His beloved rose bushes.

7 05 2014
Kevin Gilbert

Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God’s Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.

Love you brother! Shalom.

7 05 2014
Julie Rosing

Lifting your family up today and remembering Anna with you. So glad your sadness is mixed with the joy and hope only God can give us! Take. Care. Love, Julie Rosing and family

7 05 2014
Nathan A. Finn

This was very moving to read today, Todd. Thanks for sharing from your heart. I am thankful the Lord brought you to SEBTS, even as I mourn with you today and anticipate that coming day when Anna will be raised. Shalom.

Nathan Finn

7 05 2014
Maria Buckner

You ALL are never far from my thoughts. I keep sweet Anna’s picture on my mantel, and brag on her to everyone who enters my home. I talk of her gentleness, her sweet spirit, and her relationship with Christ. I was blessed to have her in my life for such a short but important time. She’s never forgotten. I know that is Timberley’s greatest fear, but Anna holds a special place in my heart for all time, and to know she’s in heaven holding a place for me makes me smile. God bless all of you. I miss you! Much love, Maria Buckner

7 05 2014


12 05 2014
Lucy sheriff

Thank you Todd. We think of you often…especially when we see a post on Facebook from Sam….but always at the beginning of May . I am once again touched and encouraged by the depth of your faith. I love the blessing of the roses! Lucy Sheriff

13 05 2014

It is good to hear from you. I think of you and Paul often as well. We eat a lot of ice cream here and I went in for a physical the other day. Of course, Paul came to mind as I was on my way to the doctor’s office.
We have so many fond memories of you two.

You came into Anna’s life at such an important time and in such a moving way. It is very good to hear from you here.

Thanks for the kind comment. I am glad we are at SEBTS, too.

Kevin and BabyGiggles,
Always a joy to hear from fellow ex-cons!

2 08 2014
Isti Wulandari

Anna… i miss you…

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