Tag Archives: bittersweet memories

I will turn their mourning into joy.

Then the virgin shall rejoice in the dance,
And the young men and the old, together;
For I will turn their mourning into joy,
And will comfort them, and give them joy for their sorrow.
Jeremiah 31:13
Mary in Lake Michigan
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
Because the LORD has anointed me–
To bring good news to the affliccted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives,
And freedom to prisoners;
To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To grant those who mourn in Zion,
Giving them a garland instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.
So they will be called oaks of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.
Isaiah 61:1-3
Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the lord;
Awake as in the days of old, the generations of long ago.
Was it not Thou who cut Rahab in pieces,
Who pierced the dragon?
Was it not Thou who dried up the sea,
The waters of the great deep;
Who made the depths of the sea a pathway
For the redeemed to cross over?
So the ransomed of the LORD will return,
And come with joyful shouting to Zion;
And everlasting joy will be on their heads.
They will obtain gladness and joy,
And sorrow and sighing will flee away.
Isaiah 51:9-11

Because in our great sorrow we also have great hope for the everlasting joy yet to come, so then we carry on with boldness and strength to tackle the great challenges which lay before us.

A Walk Through the Woods; A photo story from Mary’s camera. It is well with my soul.

Tonight, I needed to remind myself of the smiles and joyful attitude of Mary and AnnaLeah. The photos and music says it all.

A Walk Through the Woods; A photo story from Mary’s camera. It is well with my soul.

Photography by Mary Lydia Karth (with a few by her mom as well)


When the grief is too heavy too bear, the memories and music lift my soul.

Merry Memories of Christmas Past Bring Comfort & Joy

Mary happily sung and danced her heart out, while AnnaLeah was content to be helpful in the background. Both full of life and laughter in their own ways. Both knew who was the best present of all.


Mary (dressed in a white pinafore with a blue scarf wrapped around her head and her long, long hair) was one of the chorus youth in Midland Community Theatre’s 2009 production of A Christmas Carol:

Mary as an angel singing Away in a Manger:

Mary (as an angel again) singing and signing Away in a Manger in a Christmas program the year before:

Mary, quite a few years, earlier singing, Jesus is the Heart of Christmas:

Mary singing and dancing in I Saw Three Ships Go Sailing By:

Mary singing and dancing in God Rest, Ye Merry Gentlemen:

And more tidings of comfort & joy:

Treasured Christmas Memories of AnnaLeah & Mary

For myself, and anyone else who cares to get a glimpse of Christmas with Mary & AnnaLeah, here are links to memories which I posted at this time in 2014 (Thanksgiving through New Year’s):

Mary’s Life With Gertie; Her Best Friend to the End

Gertie was our family’s St. Bernard. She was part of the family when Mary was born and Mary loved her — despite actually being much smaller than Gertie! We lost Gertie when she ran out in the road and got hit by a car while Mary was still a toddler.

Later, Mary had her very own beloved stuffed toy Gertie. It was her sister AnnaLeah’s idea to get Mary a St. Bernard for her four year-old birthday. Mary was delighted and, from then on, Gertie was Mary’s cherished companion — with her to the end.

Gertie reaching for Mary ...Susanna's film
Gertie reaching for Mary. . . Photoshoot by Mary’s sister Susanna, circa 2010

Gertie is a reminder to us of Mary’s joy and laughter and loving spirit. And now she is a part of Mary’s nephew Romie‘s life — carefully tended to by his parents. And so the joy & belly laughs continue.

Enjoy this glimpse of Life with Gertie.

Gertie was our family’s St. Bernard. Later, our joyful Mary had her very own beloved stuffed toy Gertie, who now keeps her nephew Romie company. And so the joy & belly laughs continue.

Mary’s grandpa, James Oliver Waldron, sings The Teddy Bear Picnic

Do you know what Mary knew?

Mary and AnnaLeah loved preparing for Christmas. Though their absence at this time of year always brings a longing for their presence, it also is full of sweet memories.

One of those memories is how Mary, when she was small, loved to pick out the notes on the piano (she played by ear) for the song, Mary, Did You Know? She thought it was special to have a song with her name. One year, Mary and I sang it together as part of a creative arts presentation at a retirement home.


I will be forever grateful that AnnaLeah and Mary knew the promise which the Christmas story — and this song — held for them.

More memories of AnnaLeah and Mary

1i newborn Mary and Susanna (1)

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Will we be faithful to make choices that value human life and health?

Lately, I have been thinking about trust and faith and whether one more impact of our truck crash was the gripping awareness of not being able to count on protection from vehicle violence. He is faithful and able to give us the wisdom and know-how to do something about it. But I know full well that the responsibility for making roads safer falls on all of us.

Are we willing to do our part? Will we be faithful to make choices that value human life and health? Where will our feet take us?

After a busy week writing and talking about traffic safety and being encouraged by some things and discouraged by others, it got down to, as always, just plain missing our girls who will never come back–no matter what we do to help others. So, I took some time to search for some video footage and created a new Youtube video of AnnaLeah and Mary dancing from 2005.

Being thankful for the joyful lives they lived. . .

Published on Dec 1, 2016

As He is faithful to us, may we be found faithful in His strength to be vessels of love and peace to those around us — having feet that follow after Him. . . trusting in His steadfast love.

“You Have Been Good” Twila Paris & “Find Us Faithful” Steve Green interpreted by Dance for Jesus, a dance team including AnnaLeah & Mary

Never forgotten

1a85etIrreversible tragediesNext 4 yearsTragic deaths

Tired Trucker RoundtableNegotiated Rulemaking

Roads Safer

Forever grateful

I am thankful for the new glasses which were given to me while in the hospital by a local eye care center as mine did not survive the crash. But I am also thankful that those can now be retired since I just got a new pair of glasses. I have graduated from bifocal lens with a line to continuous. Wow! What a difference that makes!dscf0557

And I am forever grateful that AnnaLeah and Mary had the gift of life — though it was cut short — and that they will live forever in His presence and we will be together again some day.

25 AnnaLeah Jesus Loves Me 052

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion.

Upon the willows in the midst of it we hung our harps. . . Psalm 137:1-2

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I will give Thee thanks with all my heart; I will sing praises to Thee before the gods. I will bow down toward Thy holy temple, and give thanks to Thy name for Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth; for Thou hast magnified Thy word according to all Thy name. On the day I called Thou didst answer me; Thou didst make me bold with strength in my soul. . .

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt revive me; Thou wilt stretch forth Thy hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Thy right hand will save me. The LORD will accomplish what concerns me; Thy lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting; do not forsake the works of Thy hands. Psalm 138: 1-3, 7-8


What if we tackled life’s problems with the tenacity of my 2 year-old? Hopeful. Joyful. Determined. Bold.

Will I ever truly know how to let go and be at peace no matter the circumstances?

Mary and I were having some quiet time—hard for a two year-old who is having fun at the Lake. Savor precious moments…here today and gone tomorrow.

Be still and know that He is God…trust that He will be a present help in times of trouble…rest in His loving arms.

What would it be like to embrace life like a fun-loving fearless two year-old — who needed her mom to draw a boundary line in the sand?

AnnaLeah was 6 & Mary was 2, and they were both water bugs! Our family enjoyed a quiet vacation at a cottage overlooking Lake Michigan.

Can I tackle the challenges before me like an insistent two year-old, determined to solve life’s problems but able to enjoy unexpected delights along the way?

When Mary was very young, we used to call her www.mlk (wonderful wiggly worm mary lydia karth). She was full of energy and very expressive. It didn’t take much for her to make us laugh or smile.

This two-minute video, where we were packing up to go home after a summer vacation, was one of those times where she amused her older brother without even trying.

Can I learn to let go in the midst of serious life difficulties, to trust the Master of the Universe to be in control — while at the same time, grabbing hold of the tools which He has given to me to make a difference with boldness and determination?

Two-year old Mary gets help from her big brother Samuel when climbing the steps up the dune from the Lake Michigan beach. Then she has fun with the cottage door. Simple pleasures. . .

Trusting, hopeful, joyful, determined, bold, sassy. . .

3 at Muskegon

Mary wrote a letter to herself a few weeks before her life ended due to a truck crash on May 4, 2013. One of the things she said in the letter she meant to read in ten years,

“I hope that I am living every day as if it was my last.” Mary Lydia Karth, Age 13


Mary and AnnaLeah, we will remember your joy and laughter forever.

Mary’s Joy in Simple Things I haven’t had time to look at all of Mary’s 602 photos from October 2011. But when I saw a butterfly the other day on my clothesline, I remembered that I had seen some butterfly photos by Mary.


AnnaLeah’s Imaginative World Found 4 ceramic bear figurines from a set of 24 which the kids played with when they were little. AnnaLeah could spend hours in imaginative play.

(Stepstools made by my dad — one from my childhood and one for his grandkids.)