Today marks {21 years} since he left us...

The garage was cold, a barren tomb filled with discarded baby clothes and Christmas decorations. There was an urgency about my cleaning. 3 babies inside who were sleeping, could wake any moment.

My nostalgic self, that little girl who fawns over old letters and packages of flower seeds as if they were sacred gems, carries the large tub inside, filled to the brim with memories and pictures and life lived. Sifting through, fingers gentle, eyes searching for that one piece I haven't seen in ages. Then I saw it.

Old, intricately designed, sturdy, the photo album was once purchased in the mountains of Utah by my Mom. She sent it to her Mom, Mary Jane, a present for a holiday they couldn't spend together. Pictures, spanning the distance, sewing two yearning hearts together. Mother and daughter.

And there on my couch, as if I had just seen them for the first time, the words hit me with such force I could hardly breathe...

"Daniel, Beth and Baby..."

And Baby.

That's me

I could hardly breathe. The years were spooling backwards as if I pushed rewind on the great VHS player of life, and I felt, rather than saw, the threesome. Mommy cradling baby, cooing, awwing over a perfect baby girl. Daddy, eyes shining with love, his first daughter, smiling up into his hairy, manly face. Deep voice booming tenderness and affection. 

My fingers traced those words..."Daniel, Beth and Baby" over and over, knowing that as my Mother once wrote these very words, she was carrying me inside of her, I was kicking and breathing her in, listening to her heartbeat, her words, his words. It's almost too much, this knowing that those two people, who were once my entire world, and I was their entire world, they are gone, no longer sharing the air that circles this earth.

"...the 3 of us"...on the other side of the paper. I was part of a "3 of us." And I cried, big ugly sobs, sobs that leave you physically aching. Weeping as if they had died all over again. The baby weeping, the little girl weeping, the teenager weeping, the mama weeping. All of me, crying out to my Mommy, my Daddy, who can't hear me, but who could hear me once upon a glorious time of love and new life. 4 months of being their one and only. 4 months before she became pregnant again. Just the three of us. 

And that part of my heart, that part that cries, "Daddy...daddy?...why did you leave me? Why did you leave me all alone, didn't you know that I needed you so? Didn't you know I'd need you every single day of my entire life? Why wasn't I enough to stop you? Why wasn't I reason enough to stay?" That part of my heart still cries, still aches, because I don't understand. I won't understand until I get to Heaven and can finally see clearly. But I do understand my Heavenly Father's love. He is not man, He is not broken, He is nothing like any Father on earth, even the best of them. He is Love. He is Life. HE IS.

Today marks 21 years since my Daddy took his own life. Tomorrow would have been my Mommy's 48th birthday. So much life lost, so much heartache. So many lives changed by the choices of two people. And I wouldn't be here, I would not be typing these words of hope, had it not been for Jesus sweeping down and scooping up this lifeless form and breathing new life into it's very marrow, bones coming to life, filling out with the breath of redeeming love. 

And I can only say I forgive my Daddy, my step-dad, my Mom, my Grandma, and every other person who abused me, who hurt me in some way that doesn't show on the outside anymore, only the deep, dark places inside, because He first forgave me. We're all just broken brothers and sisters, as Misty Edwards says. We're all in need of a Savior. The forgiving, it doesn't erase what pain I still carry. It doesn't erase the memories. But it sets me free to love them, to see them through the eyes of Jesus. It's sets me free.

We love because He first loved us.
1 John 4:19

please watch!


  1. I am bawling.

    I am glad you found forgiveness.

    Love you.

    1. Awww Nicole! :) I'm glad as glad.

      Love you friend

  2. I found your story inspiring. YOU ARE SO STRONG!

    1. Thank you Milen! God is strong in my weakness

  3. This is beautifully written. I was captivated throughout. Thanks for sharing part of your story at MOPS and trusting God with the outcome of sharing your personal pain and growth. Gentleness and grace flow out of you.

    1. Karissa your words are a blessing. Thank you...

  4. Don't know why I haven't read this before now. I am so convinced that our writing is a form of worship to the Lord. And that He desires to fill and use our broken shards in and for His Kingdom purposes. There is a corner we turn as we heal that takes our pain and offers it to Him to redeem and offers it to others to encourage their journey's to wholeness. A time when we no longer "wear it" but are somehow strangely peaceful and confident in who we are in Christ despite it and perhaps because of it. So grateful that you wear so beautifully the cloak of redemption Jesus has draped over you. Marybeth the Princess robed in deep royal colors. He rode the heavens to rescue you. I am so very grateful to be a friend of yours.

    Rhonda xo♥

    1. "Marybeth the Princess robed in deep royal colors. He rode the heavens to rescue you."

      You have no idea how much I love this. your words have blessed me deeply Rhonda. Thank you, so much....xo

  5. Grieving for your losses. Know the pain peripherally, as my brother-in-law took his life three years ago and left behind a perplexed and wounded teenage daughter. Saying an extra prayer for you today after reading this.

  6. Aching for you and praying for you today. Your story points to Jesus, your heart seeps grace even though it's been wounded. Thanks for being real. Stopping by from Emily's.

  7. oh, friend. *tears.*
    may you continue to find yourself healed in your Father's arms.
    what a story.

  8. oh my friend. oh. no words. just prayers for those aching places within you...

  9. So excited to find you here at IP Marybeth! I am so sorry for your loss in such a tragic way, though it was long ago. When your parents are gone, imperfect though they were, I find that at random moments a wave will sweep over me..."I miss my mom", "I miss my dad".
    So excited to see Misty's song times ever sitting in the prayer room in K.C. and hearing her sing that.


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