If you read my earlier post from today, you will remember that our friend Katrina went to be with the Lord last night. This is her, her husband Tony and their two daughters, Elisabeth and Olivia. The also have three boys, Timmy, Jeffery and Matthew.  I actually stole this picture off Michelle Monteforte’s fb page {sorry Michelle, I hope you don’t mind!}, so I don’t know the exact date, but judging by how healthy Katrina looks, I would say this was probably at Elisabeth’s high school graduation a little over two years ago and right before Katrina was diagnosed with cancer.
Last night, as I sat with Olivia and Liz in the waiting room, we chatted and laughed, ate yucky salad and old strawberry turnovers from the cafeteria and drank stale coffee. I asked Liz to telll me about her parents and how they met. She got a huge smile on her face and told me how Katrina, born and raised in Spain, moved to Germany to go to nursing school {Katrina was a nurse}. There she met Tony, who was in the service. She met him while he was doing an evangelistic street service and he introduced her to Christianity. They eventually dated and then married and then moved to the states so Tony could attend Bible College.
You could tell, by her huge grin, that Elisabeth thought it was the most romantic story ever, as it was just darling. I encouraged Liz to write a little book about it, since she has memorized a lot of her conversations with her mom over the last two years and tried to ask a lot of questions. She was telling me that she knows a lot of her moms secret recipes that were handed down from her grandparents…she said she had them all written down, except for one. Her mom’s creamed carrots, which were a family fave.
Sitting there in the waiting room with the kids, it just occured to me that this could happen to ANYONE. I mean, Brandon and I , simply through the nature of being pastors at a very large church, have seen a lot of death, a lot of sickness, a lot of saddness really. We see the stuff that nobody else sees, you know the junk you try to hide from everyone else.
We all suffer, in some form or another.
But sitting there with the family, it hit me again. Life is so short. Mine could end tomorrow. Katrina, who was such a beautiful woman with such a spirit of grace, lived a very short time on this earth. It seems unfair, unjust, and sometimes ungodly. It seems like it goes against God’s plan for a happy and peaceful life. But regardless, it will happen to all of us, eventually, in some form or another.
I guess my thoughts, as I listened to Liz, kept coming back to this blog. I kept thinking about how this is my way to leave a legacy for my family. I am gifted with words, but its not just the words. Its the stories, the recipes, the pictures. Its my life, and its being passed on.
I started to think about Katrina. How her life was BREATHED into those kids. Her stories will live on, her recipes will live on, her history will continue, because she took the time to tell it.
So Liz, if you are reading this, I want to encourage you again to write things down. I know you are hurting, grieving…it doesn’t seem fair right now. But I love you and your siblings. Pastor Brandon loves you guys. We believe in you. And last night, while we were all gathered around your mom after she left us, I realized, its your history now. Keep telling it. Your pain, your frustration, your anger…it will all come together some day. Whether it means something to your own kids or maybe just a passerby like me, it WILL mean something.
And to Amy…the one who writes this blog…don’t stop. If something happened to me, I want my kids to KNOW me. They may never really remember much about me, but they have my words. I may not be able to share ALL my feelings and frustrations on this blog, but I hope that they will learn to read between the lines. Hear my voice. See my words forming pictures that maybe aren’t really said on the screen but are helping you make a vision of me in your head. And when I am gone, I hope they take my words and share them with their families, and with others, who might need to know that we are human, we struggle, life stinks, but by God’s grace we are still standing.
That’s what they need to remember.
Jesus, heal the Klee’s broken hearts. Give them peace and comfort. Let them see some light at the end of the tunnel. And let them never forget Katrina, her life lived for You and for them.
“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Luke 12:7

7 thoughts on “Remembering

  1. 1
    SoShawna says:

    Good post. I have been thinking recently about how full our marriage has been in just 6 years; full of highs and lows and all the blessings of God. I want to start writing down the events of our life as a family and if I do it a little at a time, it won't be so overwhelming. This way the kids will know what our years have been like and how through it all God has brought us through. Even if it's just for MY family to read, that's all that matters. I encourage you to keep blogging and finding ways to pass down your heritage to your kids. Love you and thanks for sharing with the rest of us!

  2. 2
    Us Four & No More says:


  3. 3
    Emily says:

    Thanks for being there for this family Amy. You and Brandon are one of a kind.

  4. 4
    Mande says:

    Amy I am so sorry for your friends. What a tragic loss. This is a beautiful post. Thank you for blogging. Thank you for being you Amy. xo

  5. 5
    Sullivan's says:

    Amy, I am overwhelmed by your post. It brought tears to my eyes. Bless you for reminding all of us that life is fragile and what matters when God takes is home is NOT how much money we left our families, not the physical treasures and keepsakes – but what we have instilled in their hearts and minds.

    May God continue to give you wisdom and strength as you work with these hurting kids!

    Love you!

  6. 6
    Jenni says:

    this was beautiful.

  7. 7
    Timmy Klee says:

    wow, i just read this. thank you Amy! I miss my mother dearly and God has shown me like you said to leave a legacy behind. Keep writing your blog, its a great encouragement!

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