There are many things we have been doing lately to honor Lucy. After the medical companies came and picked up all her machines and supplies, I couldn’t get over how little of her was left at the house – she was such a very small person.

And it is my worst fear – maybe a fear of everybody who loses someone – that she will be lost and forgotten, flowering and fading without making any permanent mark in her world. So I am building my memories right now with plants and pictures and words, affixing her uniqueness as best I can to the walls of our home and the yard outside and the places where words live.

In honor of her, and her life here with us, we will end this blog and no longer write in this space. It will still be available at this internet address, but after this post we will not add anything else. James has saved the content and your words and comments on hardware so we will always be able to keep this family record.

But, starting today, James and I will continue writing at: redbuddrive.wordpress.com

Redbud Drive

And we would be so grateful if you choose to keep reading and participating over there. Thank you, dear friend.

God is always good, and we are in His hands. – Katie


Our God Father + Son and Holy Spirit in whose Name Lucy+ is baptized. And now, as always, into Christ’s everlasting care we commend her.

God is always good, and we are in his hands. +james

Funeral Service Today

The funeral service for Lucy  Katherine + Jarrett will be held at 10:30AM today at Zion Lutheran Church located at the corner of Lovers Lane and Skillman in Dallas, Texas.

In lieu of flowers or other gifts, memorial donations may be made to Children’s Medical Center of Dallas.

Please designate “Cardiology–in memory of Lucy Jarrett,” and mail your check to:

Development Office
c/o Cathy Friend
2777 N. Stemmons Fwy., Suite 700
Dallas, TX  75235

Thank you.

What do I know?

“I have a friend who just turned eighty-eight and she just shared with me that she’s afraid of dying. I sit here years from her experience and try to bring her comfort. I try to bring her comfort, . But what do I know? What do I know? . She grew up singing about the glory land, and she would testify how Jesus changed her life. It was easy to have faith when she was thirty-four, but now her friends are dying, and death is at her door. . Oh, and what do I know? Really, what do I know? . Chorus: I don’t know that there are harps in heaven, Or the process for earning your wings. I don’t know of bright lights at the ends of tunnels, Or any of those things. . She lost her husband after sixty years, and as he slipped away she still had things to say. Death can be so inconvenient. You try to live and love. It comes and interrupts. . And what do I know? What do I know? . Chorus . But I know to be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord, and from what I know of him, that must be pretty good. Oh, I know to be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord, and from what I know of him, that must be very good.” — Sara Groves

God is always good, and we are in his hands. +james

Traveling blind

Leonard Cohen says in the song “Suzanne”, speaking of Jesus:

“And you want to travel with him
And you want to travel blind
And you think maybe you’ll trust him…”

and I feel like I”m traveling blind. You want to trust Him, but it’s not a sure thing… You veer between coping well and being completely undone. I know He is reaching toward us, though, through the arms and words of many. You, our friend, being His comfort. So many people have given us kind words, many of them leaping off the page like a touch.

A woman named Becky commented: “One of my daughters (age 6) lamented through agonized sobs Wednesday that Lu’s passing “hurt so bad!” Today we rejoiced through more tears that Lucy could finally praise God unhindered.” I feel that way too, sweet girl. The moments of keenest loss seem bitterer than the faraway joy of her healing.

The joy of healing and the stabbing sorrow of loss are not easy to handle together.

This from another friend: “It is late Friday night and with a 14 hour night drive to Iowa ahead of us, we have alot of time to think and talk and pray. Your family and your loss have been on our minds. The sky is clear stars are bright. Constellations and planets are vivid and visible. It’s making us think of, and imagine the grandeur of Heaven….the gift that now belongs to Lucy.” Thank God for His handiwork –  as vast as grief and as beautiful as healing.

Over the last few weeks I have seen the poetry of Wendell Berry for the first time. Maybe the Lord saved it to give to me now. A kind friend from college, that I remember as a sublimely talented musician wrote: “I’ve been reading and rereading a book of Wendell Berry’s poetry for the last several months, and the following poem has been special to me:

Whatever happens,
those who have learned
to love one another
have made their way
to the lasting world
and will not leave,
whatever happens.

(from Sabbaths, 1998). Thank you, Heather. I am going to buy that book and read it myself. That lasting world.. I’ve got to keep hold of that. – Katie


James said to me today: “It’s kind of people that you hardly know to give of themselves so freely in tough times –  it gives you hope for the human race.”

Thanks so much for all your offers of help and kind cards and tender thoughts for us.  They are a blessing.

These waves of love are cushioning the pain of new-met days without her. The worst moment for me is just after waking , thinking to first get Helen and then check on Lu and then realizing Lu no longer needs my morning greeting. I slither with averted eyes from my bedroom into the kitchen, past the living room corner where her overnight crib used to be.  Oddly, the kitchen seems bare and dark and empty without the presence of a night nurse. There’s been a nurse spending the night in our kitchen corner for the past two years, waiting first thing in the morning to give a report and get a signature on the paperwork for Medicaid billing.

James and I have been getting much comfort from imagining Lu with others who have gone on before us. A precious saint named Nancy who died last year and gave grandmotherly love to every child she encountered – she was very fond of Lu and I know will give her a warm welcome.

My own mother who left for heaven many years ago was absent at our marriage and at the birth of each of my children, but is meeting one of her grandchildren for the first time.  They have the same curly brown hair and feisty sense of humor, and I think they will recognize each other instantly.

Lucy’s Great-Grandmother Smitham, and our beloved friend Lise from Denmark, and Lucy’s cousin Sally.  I have great uncertainties of what heaven is actually like, but in the face of uncertainty there is nothing wrong with hope.  – Katie

We’ve had a blanket of family lately. It helps. 

Yesterday I took the shovel and dug for a while in the backyard, turning soil to get ready for seeds and sprouts. It helps to DO things. Get out of the house where every room is filled with her things and her family but absolutely empty of her.

Robby came out to me and said: “This is a happy day with Granna and Grandpa and family here. But, well, you know…”

Me, smiling but teary: “There’s a word for this day, Rob. Do you know it? It’s the word bittersweet.”

Rob: “What does that mean?”

Me: “It means something feels happy, that’s the sweet, but there’s sadness mixed in too. That’s the bitter. Can you hear it? Bitter-sweet.”

He smiled and ran off. A moment of grace.

Abbey arrived at school this morning carrying a thick folder with her 5th Grade report on Maryland, backpack, lunch, and sweater. I followed her into the classroom, empty of her mates since we arrived late and they had all gone on to assembly, and she said with confusion: “They used my desk to store extra stuff?” And then we realized at the same moment: her desk was covered in tiny gifts!

A little bag of peanuts, a special cookie shaped like a star, a new eraser, a tiny bottle of orange Gatorade , some new pencils and stickers. Offerings from 5th graders who have enough love to meet any difficulty in life, even if they don’t have words to say how. A moment of grace.

And this email was waiting for me early in the morning, after James and I laid her body in the back of the funeral van, wrapped tenderly in a pink prayer quilt she received many months ago. “Psalm 91” written on the corner, straight neat letters against the log cabin blocks, little curly stick-figure girls cartwheeling on flannel amidst butterflies and breast cancer ribbons. The essence of female gender writ small on pink cloth.

This from Amos’ dear teacher, named Lisa:

How I wish I had a photo for you to capture the look on Amos’ face I saw yesterday.  I will do my best to describe it in words so you can tuck it away in your heart as you remember these days. 

We pray for Lucy every day during Jesus time.  I say something and the class repeats it after me.  There is something so powerful about the prayer of a child.  Yesterday we prayed these words.  Dear Jesus…please be with Lucy…hold her hand…and hold her close to you…so that she knows….you will be with her…forever and ever…Amen.

And then I looked up at Amos’ face.

He had the smile of the angels on his face.  A look of complete, beautific peace and joy.  It warmed my heart to the very core of my being.

Later while we were reading Dr. Seuss’s ABC’s we got to L.  Big L, Little L…what begins with L?  Sara shouted out, “Lucy begins with L!”  I looked at Amos.

He smiled that smile again and said, “That’s MY Lucy.”

I said, “Yes it is.  We love her very much.”

He didn’t talk about Lucy any more that day.  But when he came to hug me later that afternoon I got such a long, long hug.  I was not about to be the first one to let go, so I let him rest there for as long as he needed.  And I prayed for him over the top of his head the whole time.

Today my hearts aches for him and for all of you.  For the hole that has entered your lives as you spend your first moments without your Lucy.  We will pray for comfort, for peace, and for hope.

Love, Lisa

So I wrote back.

Dear Lisa,Thank you so much for giving me the gift of that moment. As hard as this day is, seeing the children easily show honest grief and love has softened the edges.I will give you a moment in return: Lucy answered Jesus’ call at around 3:00 am, and after the nurse came to get us James and I spent the remaining small hours of the night holding her and grieving together. We moved her to our own bed to get what rest we could but not miss our last few hours with her physical body.

One by one as the children woke up in the morning they came to our bed and we told them as gently as we could the she had died. Each one surprised me with their bravery and naturalness; stroking her hair, kissing her cold cheeks, and reaching to touch her as their tears began to flow.

Amos was the first one to come. (He is normally an early riser.) When we quietly told him that Lucy had died, that her spirit had gone to be with Jesus, he looked at her for a long moment, and then his sweet face crumpled, he dropped his bunny on the floor, covered his face with his hands and said through his tears: “I want to go to school!”

I think in that first instant of loss the most wonderful, safe place he could think of was to be in his classroom with you there to guide him.

When we explained that we would stay here he climbed up to touch and kiss her and cry while we held him. “At least we still have Helen.”, he said.

Thanks for being such a loving teacher. To have him yearn for his classroom at the point of anguish testifies to the powerful work God is doing there in spirit and growth. Using your words, your arms, your voice along with Mrs. Scrimshire’s to tell those children over and over that He loves them.

I love you, Lisa, and I’m thankful for you.


The bittersweet of yesterday will be more bitter than sweet for a long time. Moments of grace are strength for another step, another breath…Thanks for your kind words and songs and love. They are holding us up. – Katie