Yesterday (January 18) was my daughter Bethany’s 19th “deathday” (following seven birthdays).

Nineteen years is a long time, and it doesn’t sting so much any more, so I didn’t spend the day being maudlin.

I spent much of it being amazed.

Amazed at how many people remember, even 19 years later, and who care enough to say so. Through phone calls, e-mails, Facebook messages, and texts, a dozen people or more took the time to say, in so many words, “I remember.”

Some were Bethany’s childhood friends, now all grown up. Some were her teachers. Some are closer to Jan or me. Some never knew Bethany at all, but they know her story.

And they remembered, and offered words of comfort, and thanked God for a sweet girl who brightened our world for as long as she lived.

I felt (and feel) so humbled by that, so pleased that others still cherish her memory, and are thoughtful enough to reach out, in various ways, to remember her parents, too.

That kind of care may not be responsible for making the world stay in orbit, but it certainly makes it a better place.


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