A truck crash ended the chance for AnnaLeah and Mary to make new memories. But it cannot take away our memories of them.


Remembering AnnaLeah and Mary Lydia Karth two years after their second funeral in Grand Rapids, Michigan–where they spent the first half of their lives–on June 8, 2013 (the first being in Midland, Texas on May 18, 2013). A truck crash ended the chance for AnnaLeah and Mary to make new memories. But it cannot take away our memories of them.

In this video, our pastor shares his perceptions of AnnaLeah and Mary as he had come to know them in the months before those memory-making opportunities came to an end–shared with our family and friends as we said a final farewell here on earth to Mary and AnnaLeah.

Photos and video clips of Mary & AnnaLeah accompany the sermon at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church by Pastor John Drosendahl from North Carolina, who would have been confirming Mary in late May or early June. It ends with a video clip of AnnaLeah at her confirmation on December 28, 2008, confessing her faith, “…and I believe that I, and all true believers, will one day join Him in heaven.”

Hardly a day goes by without everyday occurrences bringing AnnaLeah and Mary to mind. Take yesterday for example. . . We went rock hunting at an “emerald mine” in North Carolina. It was great fun and I might have even found a small emerald in the rough. I had the advantage of having done that sort of mining in a sluice before as a teenager when I found a ruby (now in my ring) in Cowee Valley, North Carolina.

Yesterday’s experience reminded me of the time our family (with only the youngest AnnaLeah, Caleb,  & Mary still living at home) went agate hunting in Minnesota in the Fall of 2012–not too long before we lost Mary and AnnaLeah in May 2013. They had humored me and spent Sunday afternoon doing rock hunting with me on Lake Pepin because it was something I had done as a child and hadn’t done in years. I am so glad I have those memories.

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Mary, for some reason, always had to take a photo when she found a dead animal on the ground. In fact, that is how she found the Beanie Baby bear on the shores of Lake Michigan–looking for a dead fish that had been washed up on the shore.  (http://annaleahmary.com/bears-adventure-with-mary/ )

Memories of times gone by, of experiences shared, of expressions and habits and unique characteristics of those we have come to know and love. . . those can never be taken away from us. Though thoughts of Mary and AnnaLeah may stir up bittersweet feelings, I am grateful for their place in my heart and for the opportunity they had to live–here on earth and forever.


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