A Quiet House

August 8.

The house is quiet.

And I need this quiet.


Last week we took the Spain kiddoes to the airport.

Four days ago our Canadian daughter left.

This morning our dear Japan family drove off – ending the long and busy-happy family reunion.

Those last hugs made me sad – of course! — and now the house is filled with ‘holes,’ missing persons and sweet memories.

Sweet memories!

Swinging. Swimming. Camping out. Pushing our two-year-olds in the pink stroller car. Square dancing at the Barn. Celebrating four birthdays. Much cooking, eating, dishwashing, talking, and hugging (!).  And the highlight: our first-ever “Cousin Camp.”

Daughter #1 dreamed it up and pulled it off, directing her ‘staff’ (yours truly and Grampa and Aunt Miah) and generously giving her time, money, and creativity.

What a camp!

Wake up fairies. Exercise. Cabin Clean-up. Singing time. Crafts. Picnics. Field trips (like behind-the-scenes tour of our post office). Rock-hopping.  Making puppets and a show. Reading aloud the Wemmick books. Giving affirmation badges. And more.

It was good, so joy-filled, so tiring (yes!), so satisfying to be together.

My dear family. I hope and pray I will see each one in heaven someday!


As it happened, during those noisy, lively days around our house, my dear life-friend M. was quietly, painfully lying in the hospice house two hours away.

Death is ugly.

I wished – oh, how I wished! – I could be in two places at once. (Not the first time I’ve wished that . . . )

What sorrow!

Morning and night, thoughts of my suffering friend and her family filled my prayers.


Our Cousin Camp finished on Sunday, July 28 — with a big-bang 40th birthday party for Daughter #1.

That same day dear M.’s heart stopped and her spirit left for heaven.


The house is quiet.

And my heart is tired.

Sadness. Joy. Longings. Disappointments. Love. Pain. Mercy. Anger. Forgiveness. Strength. Exhaustion. Gratitude. Grief . . .  it’s all confused in there and feels heavy.

But God is helping me.

God is telling me that life goes on.

Life goes on for me here in Montreat.

Life goes on for my children and grandchildren far away in their different places.

And life definitely goes on for my friend – with Jesus in heaven.

In the last days of her consciousness, she said things like “Do you hear the music?” and “Oh, the colors! It’s so beautiful.”


At her funeral service, the preacher talked about glory, how those who love and seek to follow Jesus will pass from this life and experience His glorious presence forever in heaven. “This life is full of grief but the next life will be full of glory. Our grief will be replaced by glory!”

There will be no tired, confused, heavy hearts like mine there.

What a family reunion that will be!

With Jesus!


And I will never need a quiet house again.
















9 thoughts on “A Quiet House

  1. Thank you for this beautiful story.. Life and death happening at the same time in a very personal way for you. I can see why your heart was/is heavy. Praise God that His presence sustains is in sunshine and shadow. This was a beautifully written story, Sarah. May His merciful live restore you in every way!


  2. Beautiful, Sarah! Our heavy hearts will be overflowing with joy—ALL the time with Jesus in heaven! What a glorious day that will be!

    How good of God to give you all that joy of family in the midst of the sadness of Martha Sue’s suffering and death! What a blessing!!

    Praying for you and for His healing power! The loss of MS leaves such huge holes, but who she is lives on, not only with the Lord, but in the hearts of all who love her!

    When I lost the dearest of friends in 2004, God gave me a dream…I was at her house in Virginia with her family, she walked into the house, gave me the biggest “I love you smile” and walked into another room…after that, I thought, “she’s just in another room.” That gave me comfort! Martha Sue is just in another room and we will see her again some day….in the mean time, it is so hard!

    I love you, Sarah!

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Wow! What a lot you and your whole family have experienced! Good for Johanna and her dream and recruiting others of you so it would become a reality! And good for you to share the reality of such a range of emotions…many that Jesus understands so well and feels with you. Yes, I pray with you for a whole family reunion of all of you and all of us in heaven…there with Martha Sue and others who we love and who have gone before us.

    The wonderful thing about a quiet home is being still and being able to hear God’s voice. Enjoy this quiet Sarah! And God bless each one of you! Love you tons! K


  4. Wow, Sarah. Thanks for sharing about your fun creative family. And also about the sadder side of your life. I lost a childhood friend to cancer last week (a believer) – the cancer crept in so suddenly and took her in only several weeks. Same is happening with a good Christian neighbor. Diagnosed with very advanced cancer of the liver three weeks ago. He had gone to work that day, was in the emergency room that night and a week later was told there was nothing they could do. They sent him home on Hospice. He is failing fast. There is a song that says “If only I could have one more day with you, one more time…” That’s the cry of a heart separated from their loved one by death. The “One More” planned for us is not a day or time – it’s eternity. You and I know that this is the truth that brings us comfort in our grief. Thank you Jesus. Have an amazing Lord’s day, Sarah.


  5. How awesome to have that creativity, unity, and harmony from so far away concentrated in one place for bonding and life sharing. Love reading this and knowing everyone gave their best to those who matter the most. If M’s end was death only, what useless pain, and meaningless purpose to these deep relationships and divine characteristic called “love.” Our church sign this week says, “Eternity is a long time to think about where you went wrong!” Glad for your family’s commitment to truth, reality, love, and eternity. Glad for M’s trust in the Truth, Way, and Life! What a “treat” heaven will be, with all present that were in “Montreat!”


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