In the past, I’ve allotted quite the amount of time to reflect, reminisce, and remember on this day. No longer the case with an amazing husband and energetic 5 year-old. However, I left Josiah on full daddy-duty this evening so I could be sure to get away to do some reflecting, remembering, and reminiscing.
Eight years. That boggles my mind. I think it goes without saying that 8 years leaves a lot of room for change. Some things that come to mind that have occurred within the past 8 years: finished my basketball career at UNT, studied abroad in Spain, student taught, graduated from UNT, moved to Los Angeles, barely survived my first year of teaching, met an amazing group of friends through FCA camps, lived with my sister, was in my Mom and Jim’s wedding, participated in several seasons of Water Buffalo, broke off a serious relationship, moved to San Diego, completed a discipleship program, lived at Casa Schneple, started teaching again, traveled, moved to Casa Camden, met Lynn at Marshall’s, met my would-be husband, fell in love with my step-son, moved to Texas, started yet another job, began coaching, watched my sister begin an active life of sobriety, etc. Whew. There’s been a lot of sadness in those eight years too: lost Kisha, had an interesting relationship in Spain marked by a lot of miscommunication, left my college friends and teammates in my move, endured my first year of teaching, encountered a reality check of life in Watts/South Central, watched students battle battles a teenager should never have to face, had some turmoil in those friendships, my sister and I left each other after over a year of living together, watched my sister actively battle addiction, feared for my sister’s life countless times, lost my Gramps, my best friend lost her Dad, etc.
What an adventure the Lord has us on. One marked with change, life, death, growth, disappointment, excitement. And one I pray to handle with joy, grace, gentleness, and seasoned with love, patience and peace. Some days turn out better than others. But the Truth remains. I am not alone.
I think the most alone I’ve ever felt were in those weeks and months after Kisha’s death. Cleaning out her room. Reading through memories. Glancing through photographs. Realizing that I no longer had a person there that I had shared countless hours with. We worked together. Ate breakfast together. Lunch. Dinner. Went to games together. Participated in intramurals together. Attended school together. Visited family together. There were a lot of things that once were mundane that became a source of sadness and emptiness.
So beautiful to me that losing her happened on Good Friday of 2004. A day marked with death. With grief. Loss. It was symbolic to me. I’ll always be thankful for the Harriman family for taking me in, loving me, comforting me. Just letting me be. I think of the people that loved and supported me during that time: my family, Kisha’s family, Lindsay, Kisha’s teammates, Andrea, Eagle Ambassador friendships, Ashley in LA, Trisha in Spain, too many to name really. And the Lord proved Himself amazingly faithful in my life. To comfort me when the pain left me in despair. To encourage me when I didn’t see an end. To speak to me in moments that I couldn’t feel anyone.
I’m not sure what else I can say that hasn’t already been said in years past. With technology these days, blogs are easily found and rediscovered. I’m just overcome with a sense of hope. How sweet that the Lord would allow us to celebrate her life with confidence of where she is celebrating. How sweet that the Lord let the regrets remain minimal. How sweet that the Lord is my Comforter. How interesting that the Lord knew that when Kisha entered this world that she would abruptly leave it exactly 21 years later. I’m eating a little lemon loaf at Starbucks in memory of the day that would have been Kisha’s 29th birthday – the day she would begin her 30th year here. Instead, she’s spent the last eight in the most incredible place one can imagine. I love reading through Revelation and books like, ‘In Light of Eternity’ and just think about the things she’s been able to experience in Heaven – about the One she’s been able to spend her days consumed by: worshiping, loving, dancing, singing.
One time a dear friend of mind (and an avid atheist) said to me, “I find it so interesting that so many Christians focus on the DEATH of Jesus on the CROSS. Isn’t the remarkable thing that Jesus supposedly raised from the DEAD to give LIFE? Isn’t that what Christians should be concentrating on?” It was so humbling to me because I feel like on Easter, Christians do a great job of that – but is that a thought that penetrates our soul daily when we realize the VICTORY we have in the LIFE that came after the death and resurrection. My mind is kind of spinning now, as I’m sure your eyes are if you’re trying to keep up with this…it’s just amazing to me that the Lord would choose to give life to Kisha on the same day he would choose to ETERNALLY give life to her 21 years later. That the day, April 9th, was marked with excitement due to her birth then became seemingly marred by her death. Let it not be so. Let us celebrate her life. Happy birthday, LaKisha Antinette Gentry. You are deeply missed.
2011’s Post on Kisha: https://karskorner.wordpress.com/2011/04/13/7-years/
2010’s Post on Kisha: https://karskorner.wordpress.com/2010/04/09/another-year-gone-by/
2009’s Post on Kisha: https://karskorner.wordpress.com/2009/04/10/in-loving-memory/
2008’s Post on Kisha: https://karskorner.wordpress.com/2008/04/09/in-his-hands/
On the way here, “The Hurt & The Healer” was on….
On the way home, “I Will Rise” played… (I can’t figure out how to post either in the blog as wordpress is not cooperating – yes, I realize this is more than likely user error…)