Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Beauty of a Rose

Our pastor gave an awesome message at Kate's funeral. I don't think I could have asked for more reassuring and comforting words. I am by no means going to be able to give it justice...but I did want to share a few things he said.

He began by talking about how even in the most beautiful garden...occasionally a rose bud never has the chance to fully open. There is no reason...but it happens....just as Kate's life never had the chance to fully bloom. He went on to assure us though...that in God's magnificent garden...those flowers bloom like nothing else...in God's garden...Kate is in full bloom! I just love that analogy.

We had plans for Pastor Chuck to come to Ann Arbor on Tuesday afternoon and dedicate Kate. Well...that didn't happen. Instead...Tuesday evening Pastor came to our house, read to us from scriptures, prayed a prayer of dedication and gave us a beautiful red rose bud....a dedication rose. I snipped the end and placed it in a vase. When I got home from the funeral on Saturday....that rose bud had turned into the MOST BEAUTIFUL, PERFECT rose I have ever seen! It's true...I can never remember seeing such a perfect rose. There was another rose in the vase that we received from the florist...and it by no means even began to compare in beauty to Kate's dedication rose. Isn't it amazing...God is so into the small stuff...those everyday reassurances we need in the midst of grief and despair. Just had to share that...cause I think it's really really cool!

Pastor Chuck went on to tell us 3 things he had learned from Kate...from a speechless 18 month old with a bad heart.

1. Enjoy the simple things! Kate loved that simple, white washcloth...and even covered in a bed of new Christmas toys...Kate found pure joy in that washcloth.
2. Smile..even through the bad stuff! Kate...even amidst pokes and prods...almost always had a smile on her face. She loved smiling...and wasn't afraid to show it.
3. God can use anybody! Lives have been touched and encouraged because of precious, tiny little Kate. If God can do so much through her...what can he do with me?

His words were much more perfect and elaborate...but I definitely wanted to share some of those things with you! It is amazing what an impact that little girl has had on so many people. I am forever grateful to those of you who have shared that impact with us...it gives us such joy to know her life....as short as it was...was so worthwhile and full of meaning.

Last night was a hard night for me...nights are the worst. As you can tell from the time of this posting...I am again not wanting to be alone with my thoughts in a quiet room. Amazingly though, like it is everyday ...the sun came up (and a 3 year old toddled in) and ushered in a new morning...and as the song goes...new mercies I see! The 3 of us went to a movie today (Veggietales...Pirates) and we realized that it was the 1st time that Andy and I were both able to take Seth to a movie theatre together. What joy that brought! We have been blessed by a parade of meals and food this week...and it has been awesome as I really don't feel as if I have it together enough to actually cook a meal....plus I think I may have forgotten how. I did tackle a room tonight...after Seth was in bed. Tonight it was the den...including filing 5 months of bills and paperwork...yuck! But in some ways....it felt good to toss all of her medical papers/contracts/bills/reports....it feels good to get rid of the stuff that reminds me that she was sick. The hard moment of the day...putting strollers, a high chair and an exer-saucer up in the attic....but again...hope...hope that someday we can get them down and use them again. What would we do without hope?

And the Seth story of the day: Tonight after he was in bed..he just kept yelling and yelling for me. I gave in and went up and he wanted me to listen to a song. It was "This Ole Man"...and he couldn't wait for it to get to #7. When the words came that "he played knick-knack up to heaven"...Seth just lit up with a smile! I guess heaven has a whole new meaning to him now!

I guess I'm a little long-winded tonight. Thanks for listening. I guess I'll head upstairs and pray for a peaceful night. And...I'm still trying to figure out how to post her memorial slideshow...I'll keep trying.


Anonymous said...

Our Princess will always be the most beautiful, perfect rose I will ever see.

Melissa said...

What awesome work our God does, Kate was definately the most perfect rose! I can understand how night time would be hard, please feel free to call if you need to chat. Still thinking of you and praying for you all. Glad Seth can put a smile on your face!

Anonymous said...


You have spent the last year and a half taking care of Kate, now it's time to take care of you. Take all of the time you need, and continue to allow others to take care of you. Do what you want, when you want, how you want. Allow yourself time to grieve and heal and find your new normal. Remember that normal will never be the same, but eventually it will feel good again!

While you needed the help of friends and family when Kate was in the hospital, you really need them now that Kate is in heaven!

Blessings and hugs to you!


Anonymous said...

Bless that little Seth's heart. He is there to comfort both of you. God made sure of that.
Have a good week Krista.
Linda S

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you're doing exactly what you need to do when you need to do it, even though it's so incredibly hard. So glad that Seth is a comfort for you. Please don't hesitate to make your needs known to all of us who are addicted to your blog! :) I am sure we would all jump at the chance to help in any way.
I'll definitely be praying for night time peace and rest.
LeAnn P.

The Portas said...

The rose analogy is BEAUTIFUL. Of course your Kate Rose Bud flourished...it was HER! What a peaceful thought that is..

Did Seth like the Veggie Tales movie? I want to take Elijah but don't want to annoy the other patrons with his constant jabbering...blah blahhh, lalalalal, hahhahhaaahhahhaa...

I wish we were closer so that we could help you out with food! So many people did this for us last year and it was hugely helpful. Thank God you have people there to love you and help you out.

I pray that you had a peaceful night of sleep, with dreams of perfect roses.

Anonymous said...


Kate will always be with you ... she will continue to be felt in your heart and in your thoughts. Let her memory envelop you like a warm blanket on a cold winter's day.

Thinking of you,
Mira :)

klingshirn said...

Krista: Although you think you are long winded or maybe just rambling on, I enjoy and love checking your site and just reading it and thinking. So don't ever think it is a waste of time. It means somethiing to someone.

Mina said...

Your post is beautiful, how I wish that I had known your precious Kate. I'm writing this with tears streaming down my face. My son will be 18 months in 2 days, and to think, if he didn't have timely open heart surgery, well, I can't think any further than that. Your writing is so inspiring, I'd love to link your blog to mine, so I can share your story and be able to come back and read more. I have thought about Kate every day since the first time I clicked on your link from Arianna's blog. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

Kathy said...

I love the rose analogy. What a cool thing indeed to come home too...that must have just made a sense of peace overwhelm you. I can only imagine! You're totally giving me goose bumps!

Well..how was that movie?? Our 5 year old is begging us to take him. I've already told Megan to be brave and take Eli.

We're all still here for you...so, you write to us every night when you can't sleep.

Karmen said...

((HUGS)) and prayers headed your way. We will continue to remember you and your family ... what a beautiful analogy between Baby Kate and the rose. How sweet.

Anonymous said...

Not only did Kate touch our lives, but you also were a part of that by so eloquently writing your blog and posting pictures of her and your family. I know that I truly felt blessed by it all and a little closer to God. Hang in there, and may peace be found so that eventually you will not fear the nights. Janie

jmckeel said...

Just BEAUTIFUL! As does Seth have a new meaning of HEAVEN; you have a new meaning of a ROSE! Enjoy the rest of your week together and know Kate is looking down smiling :)
Sincerely, Abby McKeel

Anne said...

Thanks for sharing from your heart. I'm sure it is hard each day, but what a beautiful remider that God is into the little things. Keep having HOPE, without it there's nothing to look forward to!

Anonymous said...


It's impressive that you were able to concentrate and remember Pastor Chuck's words in the midst of your overwhelming emotions. His message was a powerful recap of what you've been teaching us (through Kate) all along.

The fact that Kate touched so many lives and that we learned so much from her is a direct reflection on you and Andy. I believe that it was your calling to be Kate's parents...to share her with us and teach us these wonderful lessons. This really has been your ministry, and you've done an amazing job.

So, here I am being long-winded myself! We love reading your posts, so blog away!


Anonymous said...

You reminded me of a similar event in my own life with your story of Kate's perfect rose. When my Grandma died at 100 a few yrs. ago, I planted a white mum from her funeral. When it came up the next Spring, it was pink - her favorite color. It never bloomed again. However, I found it reassuring to see the pink mum. I knew that God was letting me know that Grandma was OK and thinking of me still. Yes, God is in the small details of life. So comforting! He is carrying you through the long nights and will for a long time to come.

Vanessa said...


I'm sure that was an amazing service, I only wish I could of been there. Kate has truely touched my life in so many ways. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of her. When I think about giving up on the support group, or not wanting to stand if front of people and do a speech, I remember Kate! I can see her sitting there with her washcloth and she touches my soul. This morning Arianna wanted to put the washcloth in her mouth when I was cleaning her up, I gave it to her and just sat there in tears thinking of Kate. Thank you so much for allowing us to be apart of your journey! We will always be here walking by your no matter what you go through.

Do your best to get through the rooms. Don't push yourself. That has to be one of the hardest things to do. You are an amazingly strong friend, wife, and mommy. You give me such strenth you probably don't realize how YOU have touched so many lives. I love you dearly.

God Bless!

Anonymous said...


How neat to hear about the rose. Especially when I tell you my story of a Rose for Kate.

I played the piano for West Walnut Church of Christ on Sunday. For offertory, I chose a song that reminded me of Baby Kate. (I didn't get a chance to tell Cathy that the song was picked out with Kate in mind.) The song was "To A Wild Rose" from Woodland Sketches by Edward MacDowell. It is a beautiful little piece that just made me think that it represented what both Kate and Larry must be experiencing now.

God bless,

Jamie Smeltzer