tiny purple flowers


With my baby boy curled under my ribs, we drive through the gates and up the road to make “arrangements”. We pass by rolling hills of green. The Veterans Terrace where he will be buried is on our left.

I choke on my thoughts. Coffins. Burial plots. Payment plans. My Dad has cancer.

Even the sun and all it’s golden beauty looks grey.

Onward and upward, kiddo. That’s what he says to me.

We’re greeted by a woman – I hardly notice her face. I faintly recall the nodding of her head and the chatter between the two of them.

The reality is frightening.

I simply can’t get involved in this business of dying. So, I leave the building and walk into the streets of denial – where I stay for quite a while.

She’s only twenty, I still hear him…


Seven years later, on the edge of morning, he passed away. I think I heard him say good-bye.

Onward and upward, kiddo.

Life brings change. Some changes we barely notice and others stare us down – like the loss of a parent.

Don’t hesitate to say I love you.


The wind blows ever so slightly. The sun shines over the green. I imagine I can move with the breeze – away from here. Down a winding road.

Free spirit.

But I sit with the names among the blades.

Final resting.

And in my mind I ask, over and over, where are you? I want to know what you’re doing today. What are your plans? It’s impossible silence.

Final. Finally. Resting. Why.

Who am I to question what God gives. And takes away.

Why the grass withers. The flowers fade.

Why we are deeply hurt sometimes.

And still, I dare to ask…

Do you hear me – do you hear the hurting world? When the whispers of the heart scream, do

you hear…

Underneath the sun. Below the earth. Beyond. Loved ones. At peace.

Wrap my mind around this. Final. Resting.

When the clouds open up and the sky falls on us – do you separate our tears from the rain?

And I wonder – is an illness really an illness? An accident really an accident, why do some stay? And others go…

As I run my fingers across the letters of his name – I ponder. God’s timing. Our days. Numbered.

I want to remember this as I sometimes struggle through days. None are promised. All of life is a mystery to me. We’re here and are gone. In the blink of an eye.

Sturdy, yet fragile. In the powerful hand of The Creator.

What else is there. Who remembers what they see. What they hear.

And the silence breaks.

As though he can mix my thoughts with the wind and answer in a gentle breeze.

A sunburst.

Yes, I hear you.


Isaiah 40:7-8 β€œThe grass withers and the flowers fade beneath the breath of the Lord. And so it is with people. The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.”


Dear friends, Please join me in thanking Leah for sharing her beautiful heart with us. You can also read her last post HERE or visit her website at leahcrook.com


15 replies on “ONWARD AND UPWARD by Leah Crook”

  1. Hi Pat Baer & Leah – I saw your post on Stumble and really enjoyed it. It brought back memories of losing my dad five years ago. Burying him was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. He’s on my mind most days and questions still linger for me too….

  2. Leah, thanks for sharing your deep pain. Deep pain. Have been praying for you and with you these past years since Watsonville and Green Valley Christian.
    Keep it up.

  3. This post put a lump in my throat. I can only imagine how you felt pregnant as a twenty year old trying to make arrangements for your dad’s burial. Way too much. It sounds like your dad lived another seven years which hopefully gave your son a chance to know him. That was a gift.

    Really moving post. It makes me want to hug my boy and call my dad to say I love him. Thanks Pat and Leah!

    1. Hugging your boy and calling your dad sounds like a good plan to me, Sarah. I’m glad you were here today – thanks!

  4. Leah – Each time I read this my eyes fill and a throat lump forms. Many of us have been there, done that, but your perfect description of the emotions and the wonderings are point on. You have a beautiful gift – thank you for sharing it.

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