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The Story: Why it's called "My Longest Year"


His Longest Year

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    A few pictures from J.'s Longest Year...

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Wow did this bring back many memories for me. I sit here crying over the years I spent watching my two infants who were terminally ill. I would wonder how I could get through another day but I did. Not on my strength but God's. Both of our children had cystic fibrosis and were so very sick. I was not a Christian, raised by an atheist, but strenght came. Through all this I met Jesus. He did not meet me He already knew me I just had to quit ignoring His beckoning. Soon at the age of two and three both of our children were healed. I cry frequently for other parents that the healing had to be performed in heaven. I am trying to type through tear filled eyes so please don't judge my IQ on spelling. I know w/o a doubt that Luke is playing in a beautiful meadow in the sunshine. Please parents grasp the miracle of life in on the bad days. My heart goes out to the family temporaily seperated from a precious soul.

Praying for them and for you.

prayers for Luke's family and friends, and for everyone who experiences the loss of a loved one.

Oh I am so sorry. I cannot even begin to fathom the pain Luke's family feels or the emotions this conjours up for you. I will indeed pray for peace for his family, the peace that Luke has already found.


I've been reading your blog for about 9 months. I really enjoy everything you post, and even though we've never met, I feel a bond with you. I'm not a military wife, or even a mother, but my brother did join Jesus in heaven after a 4+ year struggle with leukemia. He has been gone for 5½ years now, but each time you post about your sister, I feel validated about my experiences with grief and loss. Isn't it strange how so many of us deal with grief, but feel so alone?

Luke's family will be in my prayers. And as you've said so eloquently, to pray "For their strength and peace and "patience with the living."

Another thing that really rang true with me was this..."but you really need them - you really start grieving - weeks later. When the flowers die, and the cards stop coming. And people move on with their lives, while you're left with a gaping hole in yours." Sooooo true!

Thank you for your openness, and the truth that you speak to all of those that have not experienced grief...this teaching is a great tool. And thank you for speaking into the lives of those of us who have experienced grief.

With love,

So very sad.

It is certainly most true that the most helpful help is after the funeral. That is when it gets "normal" for the people not having to live with this day in and day out. The weeks and months that follow are the hardest. And each of the early "anniversaries" of the death.

(I had a younger sister who died in a car accident several years ago. And recently two young teenagers from our church --brother and sister -- who died in a car accident.)


Dear Crystal,
You exhibit the top of motherhood here in your blog. Teaching and creating wholesome growth with your children all the while you are photographing them in cherished photos.

I started reading when you were still an Army Family - and I'm still impressed at how you endured that experience so positively and successfully. It gave me a little bit of an understanding of what our military families experience and what their sacrifice really means.

It is true and amazing that as we ourselves experience and endure severe trials of health, accident, loss of loved ones, etc. that our priorities of what is really important, and what is not, are refined as by fire.

Experience is a teacher. And, as we experience loss, we are comforted by those who have experienced similar loss before now you are able to share the peace you have gleaned from dealing with the loss of your sister - with Luke's family.

We sometimes feel we cannot go on...but life does go on...and we smile again.

There is also peace in knowing that we will see them again in the hereafter.

I am grateful for people like you who are a rock, an anchor, a testimony of having endured a very hard experience and lived to smile again. Some people have a gift of expression. They are able to express and communicate very well. You have that gift.

Our Father in Heaven answers our prayers and sometimes He does so through other people. You are one of those people.

If we can pull ourselves up out of our grief after awhile, we can look for and find some tender mercies, blessings that we can be thankful for in the face of loss. Maybe it's the simple but extraordinary blessing that we were even blessed to know, love, and have these someones in our lives.

Thank you for sharing your heart and your blog. Your photos are great - - - They capture the personality of the moment. How precious - especially for you and your extended family to have this record.

Your Friend,

What was wrong with Luke? That's so sad. I'll be praying for his family...

Oh how sad...we will keep Luke's family in our prayers!! Please also pray for a friend of ours, Devin, who was diagnosed w/Leukemia a couple of weeks ago...He's almost 4. Thanks!

I will pray for Luke's family as they come to mind. Thank-God they have a friend like you!

Profound. So very true. All of it. My prayers continue for this precious family, not only for patience with the living, but patience with themselves & each other as well.

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