Tag Archives: joy

Every Day’s A Holiday With Mary; Joyful Memories of Mary

It would be hard to think of anything but joy when I remember Mary.

AnnaLeah stages a photoshoot: What a pair! AnnaLeah directed a photoshoot of Mary “reading” a book.

Gremlins in the Basement: A short film about a little girl who has lost something and the gremlins that don’t want to give it back. Ever wonder what happens to those things that you just can’t find? Maybe the gremlins know. Starring Mary Lydia Karth

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, full of joy, wrote to herself, “I hope that I will be living every day as if it were my last.”

AnnaLeah and Mary loved their niece and nephew to the moon and back (except when they were fussy!). They would have loved their brand-new precious nephew as well.

Jerome with Gertie
Photo by The Karths, Naomi & Sam

I have to admit when I saw this photo of him today–one month old–I couldn’t help but think how cheated we all were. They will never know him here. He will never know them. But I am very grateful for this new bundle of joy brought into our family.

Photo Album of Mary & Gertie’s Namesake: Our For-Real St. Bernard

I will never forget what Mary wrote to herself, “I hope that I will be living every day as if it were my last.” And she and her sister did–full of laughter and joy. Loving. . .


Mary is still spreading joy.

Just tonight, someone heard the ringtone on my phone and smiled. It was one that Mary recorded not all that long before she died. I’ve left it on my phone.

How about that? Mary is still spreading joy.

(Well, now that makes me smile and cry at the same time.)

Hear her here:


Thank you, Mary.

Children of the Heavenly Father

I always find this hard to sing in church — today was no exception. We sang it at my dad’s funeral and at AnnaLeah’s and Mary’s.

Father Daughter Dance 2.18.09 009

Two sisters sing Children of the Heavenly Father together. They have sung it many times and could do it in their sleep. This has special meaning as the duet is sung with a background of photos featuring their two younger sisters who are now, truly, with their Heavenly Father.

Children of the Heavenly Father
Safely in His bosom gather
Nestling bird nor star in heaven
Such a refuge e’er was given

God His own doth tend and nourish
In His holy courts they flourish
From all evil things He spares them
In His mighty arms He bears them

Neither life nor death shall ever
From the Lord His children sever
Unto them His grace He showeth
And their sorrows all He knoweth

Though He giveth or He taketh
God His children ne’er forsaketh
His the loving purpose solely
To preserve them pure and holy

Lo their very hairs He numbers
And no daily care encumbers
Them that share His ev’ry blessing
And His help in woes distressing

Praise the Lord in joyful numbers
Your Protector never slumbers
At the will of your Defender
Ev’ry foe man must surrender.

Carolina Sandell-Berg


“And with your final heartbeat, kiss the world goodbye. Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory’s side.”

When Mary and AnnaLeah were about 5 and 9, we danced together to the song Come to Jesus (Chris Rice). We didn’t get it on video (at least, I can’t find it), but we do have some photos. And quite a few years later (around 2010 or so), their older sister choreographed a dance to that same song for a group of little girls; we have a practice session for that on video.

Yesterday, I created a Youtube video of those little girls for their moms to see. And today, I added the photos of Mary and AnnaLeah dancing before the Lord–missing them dreadfully but thankful that they could “fly to Jesus, and live!”

Come to Jesus

Weak and wounded sinner
Lost and left to die
O, raise your head, for love is passing by
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus and live!

Now your burden’s lifted
And carried far away
And precious blood has washed away the stain, so
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus and live!

And like a newborn baby
Don’t be afraid to crawl
And remember when you walk
Sometimes we fall…so
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus and live!

Sometimes the way is lonely
And steep and filled with pain
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain, then
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus and live!

O, and when the love spills over
And music fills the night
And when you can’t contain your joy inside, then
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus and live!

And with your final heartbeat
Kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory’s side, and
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live!

by Chris Rice, http://tinyurl.com/ozqgpx4

Minolta DSC

Purple balloons leavinggetting farther away patch of blue

Almost birthday girl, you would have been sweet sixteen: “The ships have come to carry you home”

Sixteen years ago just now, my water broke and Mary got ready to join her family in this realm. Well, in a few hours.

Tonight, we just finished a mini-movie-marathon (without them) — re-watching The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

So many funny moments and so many poignant lines. Like this. . .

Frodo: “How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on… when in your heart you begin to understand… there is no going back? There are some things that time cannot mend… some hurts that go too deep… that have taken hold. Bilbo once told me his part in this tale would end… that each of us must come and go in the telling. Bilbo’s story was now over. There would be no more journeys for him… save one. My dear Sam. You cannot always be torn in two. You will have to be one and whole for many years. You have so much to enjoy and to be and to do. Your part in the story will go on.”  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0167260/quotes

From life’s first cry to final breath, Mary, Jesus commanded your destiny. . .

1i newborn Mary and Susanna (1)Gertie reaching for Mary ...Susanna's film

(Photo: Susanna Karth)

No power of hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck you from His hand. (In Christ Alone)  http://www.stuarttownend.co.uk/song/in-christ-alone/

As you run Into the West. . .

“What can you see,
on the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?
Across the sea,
a pale moon rises.

Bear's Adventure with Mary photos

Bear Photo Story 1 001


(Photos: The Karths, Naomi & Sam)

“The ships have come
to carry you home.
And all will turn
to silver glass.
A light on the water,
All souls pass.

Hope fades,
Into the world of night.
Through shadows falling,
Out of memory and time.

Don’t say,
We have come now to the end.
White shores are calling.
You and I will meet again.



getting farther away patch of blue

(Photos: The Karths, Naomi & Sam)

You were our wonderfulwigglyworm.marylydiakarth  (www.mlk), and we can hardly wait to see you and your sister again.