Journey Through Grief

AnnaLeah and Mary

SEE BELOW for links to posts from the AnnaLeah & Mary Karth Memorial Facebook Page–starting in June 2013 through the present. . .

Our crash took place on May 4, 2013. We lost AnnaLeah that very day. We lost Mary on May 8, 2013.  In early June 2013, their older sister, Rebekah, set up a facebook page in memory of her sisters. I am so thankful for the opportunity which that has given me to express my grief and share wonderful memories of Mary and AnnaLeah.

Because so much has been posted there, it is difficult for me to navigate that facebook page in order to recall and reflect on that journey of grief. So I am about to embark on a project of finding and saving those posts in a format which can be linked on this page. I will try my best to title them appropriately and paste them here, by month, in a chronological fashion.

NOTE: Finished! Wow…that was a lot of words written over a relatively short period.  And it was very emotional for me to go through this process! I was reminded of an interesting thought in a post by Peter:

 Writing Can Be Healing (for some):

Now that I have caught up on saving all of these posts, I am reminded again that posting over the last year and a half has been immeasurably valuable to me in helping me get through this time and has, furthermore, provided me with easy access to many wonderful memories of AnnaLeah and Mary (and maybe this can be put in book form someday).

I think that I was motivated to post partly by a desire to preserve everything I could find and remember about them because they would not be here to remind me of things I might have forgotten about them. Also, for them, there would be no growing old with reminiscing about how it was when they were growing up–no children or grandchildren, new nieces & nephews to regale with tales of old. There will be no new stories to tell or joy to spread–making more priceless memories of what they had already lived out.

It has been immensely important to me to help preserve the imprint which they have left on this earth. (Marianne, November 7, 2014)

And here are posts related to grief:

Facebook Posts from June 2013

Changed the cover photo:

AnnaLeah wrote the script for a 72-minute Lego movie, The Saturday:

The Pink Flamingo Show demonstrates Mary’s joyful personality:

Mary filmed this short video that includes AnnaLeah in North Carolina, Spring 2013 (First post entered):

The seven layer cake Mary made and decorated in honor of Rebekah’s engagement:

Big sister AnnaLeah:

AnnaLeah was very creative:

AnnaLeah was always good with young children:

AnnaLeah also loved her niece & nephew:

AnnaLeah spending time with Vanessa:

Mary’s Backyard Adventures:

Family Photos From Time In Muskegon:

Grandpa Waldron Memorial:

Some photos & words from Naomi on the girls:

Mary & AnnaLeah in the Crown Vic, Fall 2012:

Mary with her big brother, Sam:

AnnaLeah & Mary with Vanessa & Peter…she loved medieval history:

Only Mary!:

Mary & Susanna; Sisters Clowning Around At The Park:

Mary on film (by Susanna):

Both girls were full of stories:

Grandpa Waldron Memorial + Lake Michigan:

No new memories:

AnnaLeah & Mary Memorial (photos by Susanna):

AnnaLeah stages a photoshoot:

Balloons released at Highland View Cemetery, June 8, 2013:

How The Gertie Diaries started:

Mary and Gertie’s Namesake:

Joy for their sorrow:

Super Gertie made an appearance this morning:

New Every Morning:

A short video starring Mary & Super Gertie:

Marcus with Mary’s Baby Boo (which survived the crash):

Vanessa with Mary’s Baby Boo (which survived the crash):

More on Baby Boo:

A Mother’s Memories:

To all the creative people:

The Life & Faith of AnnaLeah & Mary Karth:

Mary in Midland Community Theater’s “A Christmas Carol”:

Fought the good fight, finished the course, kept the faith:

In memory of our book lovers:

For Thou art with me:

Sisters Enjoying Nature:

Friends, We Will Remember You:

Mary Models A Wedding Dress:


AnnaLeah, lovely, wise & witty, we will miss you:

Come to Jesus; “Do not open until 2020”:

AnnaLeah , full of life:

AnnaLeah (12 photos added to the album):

Mistress Mary Quite Contrary:


Facebook Posts from July 2013

From our fridge, “Mary, I love you. Marcus”:

Moving Day…Rejoice Always:

Sweet Baby AnnaLeah:

Scrapbook Memories; Mary could have fun with anything:

If you go down to the woods today:

March on with strength, O my soul:

Marcus & Vanessa (nephew & niece):


The Pink Flamingo Show; Mr. Piggy:

Musings by AnnaLeah:

Belly Laughs:

With Brothers:

Off to London:


Isaac just texted: “In England!”

Quest for Silliness:

Making a fort in Michigan:

The Eagle & The Child Pub in England:

Writing Can Be Healing:

Isaac’s Presentation at Oxford:

First Year Baby Calendars:

‘Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus:

What a friend we have in Jesus:

“I love to laugh!”–That’s Mary!

Run, run to the Throne of Grace:

Quest for Silliness; Will the real Levi please stand up?

Added 3 photos to the above album:

As long as life endures…

Behold, I tell you a mystery:

Changed the Cover Photos:

Quest for Silliness…A Birthday Video Chat With Marcus:

Find us faithful:

To those who eagerly await…

Peanuts glasses…Mary had claimed them for her own:

Homeless Knick Knacks:


With Dad…Family Man:

Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Back:

My Portion & My Cup:

Isaac just escaped…a bookstore!

AnnaLeah…Highly Recommended:

Things they would have liked:

Mary & AnnaLeah; A Short Film:

Whimsical Creations By Mary:

Mary, I made some lemon bars last night…


With Their Sisters:

Photos added to the Mary Album:

AnnaLeah; Caring & Courageous (time with her Grandpa):

Methusalah (Blessed be the name of the Lord):

At a loss for words:

“You Have Been Good”:

Thanks for the laughter, Mary!

Behold, I see the heavens opened up:

Mistress Mary Quite Contrary:

AnnaLeah’s First Year of Life:


Facebook Posts from August 2013

August 1, 1995:

Bear’s Adventure With Mary:

Le Ballon Rouge:

Between Morning and Evening:

Caleb & Mommy–waiting for Mary to be born:

Mary’s First Year of Life:

Bear one another’s burdens. . .

AnnaLeah Shares Space With Her Sister (Susanna):

AnnaLeah Shares Space With Her Sister (Rebekah):

Update on Isaac:

Photos added to Mary’s First Year of Life:

Photos added to AnnaLeah’s First Year of Life:

Mary wasn’t too sure about this:

Another Pink Flamingo Show episode; Brenda the Baby:

The Giggling Mary:

Mary & Dad:

Mary & Mom:

Mary & Isaac:

Mary & Peter:

Mary & Samuel:

Mary & Rebekah:

Mary & Susanna:

Mary & Levi:

Mary & AnnaLeah:

Mary & Caleb:

Naomi’s Story About Mary (Sam & Naomi released a balloon on Mary’s birthday):

Naomi’s Story, 2:

Naomi’s Story, 3:

Naomi’s Story, 4:

Naomi’s Story, 5:

Naomi’s Story, 6:

Sam & Naomi’s Celebration of Mary’s Birthday:

Bedbugs, Lice, & Truck Underride Guards:

A virtual walk for truck safety advocacy:

Unrealized Potential:

Why are we writing about truck safety?:

“Rejoice always!” taken to a whole new level:

You can help us make a difference:

Update on meeting with Sen. Burr; Newscast–Families Push for Tractor-Trailer Regulations:

The Best Possible Protection:

Cleverly Creative Mary:

Mary’s photo of Vanessa:

Levi is Leaving:

Realized Potential:

The Battle Belongs to the Lord:

Goodnight Fuzzy. Goodnight Wuzzy.

Photo Collage of Rebekah & John’s Wedding–plus Mary & AnnaLeah:

Mary the Clown:

AnnaLeah had a little lamb. . .

Joie de Vivre:

Sam’s Gallery…A Study in Mary Circa 2006-07:

The Continuing Saga of Gertie:

Mary’s Peach/Pineapple Upside-Down Cake:

Marianne’s Peach/Pineapple Upside-Down Cake:

Mary on Film (by Susanna); photos added:

So Poignant:

AnnaLeah, Full of Grace:

AnnaLeah’s First Year of Life; photos added:

Mary’s First Year of Life; photos added:

Sam’s Gallery…A Study in Nature circa 2006-07:

Mary, the basil is growing:

Gertie was Mary’s “Pooh Bear”:

Family Jam Jars:

From one father to another (Joe Biden to Jerry):

Mary’s First Year of Life, photos added:

Snuggle Now, Baby, In Jesus’ Arms:

Best Friends Forever:

Sam the Cameraman:

AnnaLeah, Bibliophile:

Levi Firsts:

March on with strength, O my soul:

To Michigan We Go (Sam & Naomi photos of the girls’ Michigan funeral):

“AnnaLeah, you can do your chore now!”:   and then  (43 sequential photos)

“Where’s Gertie?” said Mary.

They don’t have to imagine anymore.

Last Year, This Time:


Facebook Posts from September 2013

A Story of a Story:

The Pink Flamingo Show; Salty the Bear:

Samuel & Naomi Arrive For A Visit:

If You Loved Me:

Smelling of Sunshine (Mary’s & AnnaLeah’s baby blankets):

Mary’s Buddy:

My Favorite Present; Catch a glimpse of AnnaLeah & Mary…

AnnaLeah, Bibliophile; photos added:

Things they would have liked (from the Columbia, SC, Zoo):

Taking a Break:

40 years…AnnaLeah was quite pleased…

The Dogs & Dad:

Things they would have liked…Shackleford Horses:

Things they would have liked…A Horse Island:

Things they would have liked…Having Friends Over:

Things they would have liked…A Horse Island (more photos):

Meeting with Secretary of Transportation Foxx on Thursday:

Things they would have liked… Making (& Eating) Elephant Ears:

Six Brothers Share Their Memories of Mary:

Only say the word…Please pray for the meeting today:

Five Smooth Stones:

Must’ve Hit An Angry Bump In The Grieving Road:

Where’s Mary When You Need Her?

Gremlins in the Basement; The Full Movie:

Here am I, send me!

Who is the silliest of them all?

Once Upon A Time:

Dragon Chat:

After The Last Tear Falls:

Rick the Brick:

A Promise: “I can promise you tangible progress within a short period of time.”

Help us pray & spread the word:

With Grandpas and Grandmas & lots of other family members:

“When sorrows like sea billows roll…it is well…”

Things AnnaLeah & Mary Would Have Liked; Heavenly Raspberry Razzle:

Things AnnaLeah & Mary Would Have Liked; Fresh Homemade Donuts:

Thank you for taking the time to pray & write:

Just can’t get away from the memories. . . (Oh, that I had wings like a dove!)

With Love, From Mary…6 years for Sam & Naomi:

With Love, From AnnaLeah:

Pure Delight!

September Memories…AnnaLeah’s First Year:

For Such A Time As This; Please Pray:

Here’s the Web Story from this morning’s interview:

September Memories…Mary’s First Year:


Facebook Posts from October 2013

Mary’s Baptism…Rejoicing With Great Joy:

Celebration of Mary’s Baptism, video from October 1, 1999:

Sightseeing in D.C….What They Would Have Liked:

As we wait upon the Lord. . .

Remembering Our Last Fall Together:

Susanna found this bookmark of AnnaLeah’s. . .

AnnaLeah on a Mission; We Shoulda Bought a Radio, Part 1:

Mary, Tour Guide:

Simple Gifts:

Hug a Brother, Hug a Sister:

Remembering the 20th Anniversary of Parents Against Tired Truckers:

Reading out loud. . . one more time. . . for Mary’s sake:

“Keep Tossing Those Pebbles”. . . Reflections on Truck Safety…thank you, Dawn King , for sharing our story:

Free SatisFries. . .Free Crown of Life:

Marcus Wept. . .

The Apple of His Eye…AnnaLeah dreamed in technicolor…

The gift of life…from Mary:

How could we go without you? (Andrew Peterson concert):

Love you to the moon & back. . .

Mary’s Eyes. . .

Tic-Tac-Toe; Loss & Regret

Locks of Love collage:

Locks of Love photo album:

We Weren’t Made To Say Goodbye:

Remembering Chuck Novak…October 24, 2010:

Mournful to Hopeful…it. just. hurts. so. much.

Taking Thyme for Mary:

AnnaLeah Builds Her Hobbit Orphanage:

Mary, Tour Guide:


Simple things. . .

AnnaLeah Trims the Blinds, While Mary Plays!

AnnaLeah Builds Her Hobbit Orphanage (Servant Event 2010)

Reformation Day…in times past

Remembering October…photo slideshow of Mary & AnnaLeah

Naomi shares some images. . . “pieces of my heart”

New Normal


Facebook Posts from November 2013

All Saints Day…bittersweet…surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses

Family Promise = Hope

After seeing the response on Facebook today (Nov. 2, 2013), as my cousin’s son was going through heart surgery, I looked back in Facebook to that awful time in May after our accident. At the time, I was unaware of so much. But now I see how love poured out to our family. And it has continued to this day. Thank you for loving AnnaLeah & Mary and our whole family.

Family Promise = Hope, Part II

All Saints Day in North Carolina, 2013

An Autumn Day View from “The Blockhouse” overlooking Lake Michigan

The Rock That Is Higher Than I; A Strong Tower

I Was Wondering. . . So what did you think (when you found out about our crash)?

From Sarah Eaton…Her memories of AnnaLeah & Mary

Sarah Eaton’s Photo Album of AnnaLeah & Mary

Mary…video of her Confirmation Questioning (one week before the crash)

AnnaLeah & Mary Would Have Liked This:

Veggie Tale Drawings (Mom’s on November 9, 2013):

Veggie Tale Sketches by Mary (Fall of 2012):

What AnnaLeah & Mary Missed This Time (raking pine needles)

AnnaLeah’s First Year of Life…October & November 1995

Mary’s First Year of Life…October & November 1999

Safety Measures Delayed…What will change these things?

Heal the Brokenhearted

Autumn & Winter Cross Paths:

Sierra Trauma (Mary was listed as Jane Doe in the hospital.)

Pandiculate. Do it! (What I learned in my physical healing from the crash…)

From Sam & Naomi’s Fridge  and in their blog …

Sam & Naomi’s Blog; How Do You Grieve?:

Why Photos Are So Important (Print Your Life):

A Keening Mother’s Cry

Backyard Adventures (youtube)…Mary…so full of life

Catch ‘Em While You Can

Sarah Eaton’s Photo Album of AnnaLeah & Mary (photos added)

“AnnaLeah’s Journey Home”; I had no chance to say goodbye to AnnaLeah.

Time to lighten up with “The New Sink”

Silly Bandz…You never know what is going to bring on the pain.

Mary in “A Christmas Carol”…4 years ago tonight (November 21, 2009)…excerpts from the musical

No Bottomless Pit

Dr. Who? AnnaLeah introduced Jerry to this program in the Fall of 2012.

Mary’s Clothes On The Line; Sh-h-h, it’s a secret!:

One Way/Dead End…Safe In His Arms

Happy Thanksgiving

Mary Cranberry

Mary would be watching the Thanksgiving Day parade.

Simultaneous Smiling & Sighing

David…my favorite king

One thing or another…


Facebook Posts from December 2013

Break forth into joy, O my soul

Tutus for the whole family

“Bear’s Adventure With Mary” now available in print!  and

All the best parts…

Buddies Forever

Joy in the Journey

Family Promise = Hope … AnnaLeah & Mary, puppeteers on behalf of homeless families (links to all scenes of this puppet program)

Going to Durham to Andrew Peterson concert, Behold, the Lamb of God

An Autograph for Mary & AnnaLeah

Seems like just yesterday…how can they be gone? and

Job’s Three Friends

Ordinary moments make good memories.

So glad they knew of their Father’s great love for them…

“Grace Girls” Appreciated AnnaLeah:

Standing Upon the Shore…slowly finding my way to healing the brokenness

Advent 2012…Sleepover and

Phone conversation with the Chief Safety Officer (of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration)

Broken Candy Canes

Mary Christmas Card…Karth Family Photo “Christmas Card” 2012 created by Mary

Isn’t she pretty?


Precious daughters…special treasures

Traveling to Georgia

Georgia On My Mind (Back to the Crash Scene):

Capturing Georgia Images:

Three Cities in Georgia:

Christmas Memories with AnnaLeah  & Mary

Mary Christmas Angel…The glory of the Lord shone round about…

Our Big Buddy Family

Buddy Photo Albums:

AnnaLeah’s Buddy wearing her ECP shirt from her year of TLC given to young children

Mary, did you know?

Mary Christmas Angel–One: Jesus is the Heart of Christmas

The Last Thing Which I Ever Did For Them

Mary Christmas Angel–Two: Are we done yet?

Mary Christmas Angel–Three: O Holy Child of Bethlehem

Mary Christmas Angel–Four (Finale):

On the Beach at Lake Michigan…Sun, Sand, & Waves, 2001:

Floral Delivery for AnnaLeah & Mary:

Be Still, My Soul:

Christmas Letters from AnnaLeah & Mary

Levi flying here with Marcus & Vanessa: first time at our home without their Aunt AnnaLeah & Aunt Mary

Christmas Letters From AnnaLeah & Mary, 1996:

Safe Arrival From Texas To North Carolina:

Waffles & Peanut Butter; Even The Hairs On Our Head:

Watching Over Us

Everything’s Different This Year

Christmas Letters From AnnaLeah & Mary, 1998:

This year & last year; Before & After:

Christmas Letters From AnnaLeah & Mary, 2001:

Mary, Smart Little Cookie (“Mary Takes On A Gate”)

Christmas Letters From AnnaLeah & Mary, 2002:

Christmas Letters From AnnaLeah & Mary, 2003:

Herod’s Slaughtered Innocents:

Christmas Letters From AnnaLeah & Mary, 2004:

Christmas Letters From AnnaLeah & Mary, 2005

Notice: The Last Thing On The 2013 Calendar (as written by Mary)

“Though the Fig Tree Should Not Blossom”


Facebook Posts From January 2014

Christmas Letters from AnnaLeah & Mary, 2005, cont.

Happy New Year! (Y2K) (AnnaLeah takes care of baby Mary)

The Power to Captivate & Comfort:

Christmas Letters from AnnaLeah & Mary, 2007

Christmas Letters from AnnaLeah & Mary, 2008

Getting Back At It:

Mary Gets A Clown Face From Danelle:

New Things

Christmas Letters from AnnaLeah & Mary, 2008, continued

Peter & Danelle:

Levi & Mary; Creative Geniuses At Work:

Hope Reins…A Lot To Think About:

Christmas Letters From AnnaLeah & Mary, 2009:

Christmas Letters From AnnaLeah & Mary, 2009, continued

Christmas Letters From AnnaLeah & Mary, 2010

Christmas Letters From AnnaLeah & Mary, 2012:

Photos by Mary; A Brief Look:

Professor Owl Eyes:

Unfinished Stories:

What can mere man do to me?

Mary’s Dolls:

A Day of Rejoicing; Wedding Video, Rebekah & John

Wedding Preparations; or, Get Me To The Church On Time!:

Rebekah & John’s Wedding Photo Album


The Doctor…AnnaLeah’s writings

Reminder from Mary…”My peace I give to you”

Mary & Django:

Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I…His song will be with me in the night

The Depth Of Our Loss:

More Photos for The Depth Of Our Loss:

MLK Holiday Observed:

Make it worthwhile

The joy of the LORD is my strength…Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid

Winter Wonderland

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!:

Reposting The Depth of Our Loss:

The Weather Outside Is Frightful:

Wishing there were some girls here to enjoy the snow…

The Meaning Of Life…He knew their names: AnnaLeah & Mary Lydia

If you were in my shoes…O Lord, It’s Beautiful

Aunt Karen’s poem for AnnaLeah’s birth day

Danelle’s Letter to the Judge

Mary & Naomi

Sharing Memories of AnnaLeah & Mary with Peter & Danelle, Marcus & Vanessa:

Filling in for Mary…Mary LOVED watching the Olympics!

My Favorite Present:

Filling in for AnnaLeah

Sharing memories of AnnaLeah & Mary with Peter & Danelle, Marcus & Vanessa…Mary Gets a Clown Face From Danelle:

Who are these in white robes? In this I hope. . .

Tax time…my emotions are churning

Marcus wrote a letter to Mary after we moved from Texas.

A reminder of the abundant love poured out to us…

When the weather outside is frightful…

AnnaLeah & French Bread:

Where’s Gertie? :

Moods & Memories:

This is hilarious! Mary & AnnaLeah would have enjoyed it, I’m sure!

Mary Makes Bread:

Sharing memories of AnnaLeah & Mary with Peter & Danelle, Marcus & Vanessa…
With Love, From AnnaLeah:

Keen-Sighted Words From AnnaLeah:

No word to describe a parent that loses a child…a loss like no other:

Sharing memories of AnnaLeah & Mary with Peter & Danelle, Marcus & Vanessa…
Backyard Adventures:

A snowman for Mary & AnnaLeah:


Facebook Posts from February 2014

Buttermilk Pie:

Serving with joy:

Missing ’em:

True Chicago Fans:

French Bread Recipe & video of Mary making le petit pain:

Fatal Crash Exposes Weakness In Federal Safety Rules:

Naomi’s TLC:

Driver Fatigue Monitoring:

Laundry, Love, & Laughter:

AnnaLeah Thoughtfully Shares a Few Words From Her Heart:

It is amazing to me to be able to sit and watch & hear AnnaLeah…

A Triple-Decker Couch:

Feed the Birds:

Mary would have been sad today…Shirley Temple…

Missing your silly antics, Mary…smile, sigh…

Guess who would be getting ready to watch the Olympics? (wish they were):

Father/Daughter Dances:

More Father/Daughter Dances:

Joy…down in my heart:

…saw that it was one of Mary’s.

…the promise of Spring:

Weeping Willow Memories:

“AnnaLeah & Mary; They are where they belong”; first funeral sermon, May 18, 2013:

Living in the Present:

Will it be any easier next year?

Memories of a lovely day in the woods & Pooh Sticks:

From the Shattered Bliss of Eden to the Joy of Paradise:

Mary & AnnaLeah beat me to the finish line.

“Lord, if You had been here; When suffering doesn’t stop (living with chronic pain)”:

The possibility of writing a book…

The last thing AnnaLeah baked in Texas (August 2012):


Facebook Posts from March 2014

My Father Knew; A Little Story:

“Your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.”

First year having Fat Tuesday paczkis with out AnnaLeah & Mary:

He knew what it was like to lose a beloved child… :

“I believe we leave pieces of our heart everywhere.” (Naomi):

Worth the Wait:

AnnaLeah & Mary enjoyed their Spring Break 2012:

Turning grief into”a road to health, wholeness & meaningful purpose”:

A Gift From Mary; 8 seconds of joy:

Mary asks, “Where did you first meet Dad?”:

Sign our AnnaLeah & Mary Stand Up for Truck Safety Petition; Ask DOT to protect our families:

Would  they have gone for a walk together on this beautiful spring day?

Jerry just got a heartbreaking email from a coworker:

Mary’s Last Selfie 1 hour before the crash:

“A Mom’s Story & Why We Are Asking For Change” (Youtube video to tell our story & raise awareness of truck safety issues):

Rocky Mount Telegram news article about our petition efforts:

The Count Climbs (380) As Our Story Spreads (TV newscast):

Reached 500!

” I will always be keeping them in my heart,” a friend of theirs…

Naomi captured our sorrows & joys with sensitivity & love:

Thanks for sharing this newscast, Rebekah…9,000+ signatures:

Joy in the Midst of Tragedy…Mother’s Day, May 12, 2013:

Amazing…what working together will do:

Planning a Petition Party!

Isaac set up a 6000-page document to mail merge signatures for printing petitions! (plus party photos)

Petition folding continues (thanks to Jerry):

Though tears still wet my face for a time. . .

Like watching a sunset on the lake…watching the goal being met of 10,000 signatures!

The Petition Folding Continues:

Thanks to the 10,000+ signers of the petition!

Facebook Posts from April 2014

Boxes & boxes of envelopes for stuffing the signed petitions have arrived! A stack of 10,000 envelopes.

Petition folding…making progress, slow but sure:

UT Arlington very supportive…article in the UTA Shorthorn:

“Dear Truck Driver,” begins Danelle’s post…

“Former Midlander Petitions for Truck Safety”

Mary & her friend had a sleepover; Mary took a photo of our pretzel baking.

AnnaLeah, Our BookLover:

6,000 petitions folded! 4,000 plus to go!

Mary enjoyed going to Confirmation Class.

National Transporation Safety Board recommends stronger underride guards:

Project Show & Tell: Featuring Naomi’s photos of Mary’s Gertie

Always on our minds. Missing you. Some things which Marcus & Vanessa recently said. . .

Coalition puts victims of traffic fatalities in spotlight in Midland, Texas

Mary Smells the Lilacs: “Did you get me smelling them?”

Petition Update: 10,796 (and counting). Running the race with endurance. . .

Our hearts & prayers go out to the victims & their families in this FedEx/bus crash:

Mary knew how to enjoy life’s simple pleasures (Mary Climbs the Dune Steps):

Remembering April 8, 2013…AnnaLeah sews a tiny bridal dress for Vanessa:

This time last year (April 14, 2013), I didn’t have a clue what we were about to face. . .

Newscast on Atlanta station on NTSB Recommendation Stronger Underride Guards:

“You will never be worthy…”,  AnnaLeah Karth

It will never be enough (no matter what we do)…

Instructions for printing & mailing the petition:

Glory be to Jesus who in bitter pain…

Spreading the word about the petition:

I wish that I didn’t have a reason to get excited about this (10,951 petitions):

Naomi, thank you for sharing with us:

AnnaLeah is not here to take up the gauntlet (Frozen dress):

Maundy Thursday: God & Man At Table Are Sat Down

Mary wrote in her Confirmation notebook in 2013:

Discovered that we will be able to stop at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in DC on May 5:

First time baking hot cross buns without AnnaLeah & Mary: 

I wasn’t prepared for the surge of emotions (Good Friday):

Mary would have been busy coloring eggs…

On April 1, 2013…In Christ Alone…

Happy Birthday, Naomi, Love, Mary:

Celebrating this first Easter without AnnaLeah & Mary:

When the loss of a loved one is the source of suffering…a more subdued celebration but still the blessed assurance of knowing that my Redeemer lives:

A Gift To AnnaLeah:

Stirring up uncomfortable memories:

Petition Update: 10,992 Signatures!

Thank you for helping us to make a difference:

Mary could always find someone to read to her!

11,000 Signatures on the Petition!!!

Finished Vanessa’s Elsa/Frozen dress–just in time:

The letter Mary wrote to herself in April 2013:

Deja vu…Mary…Vanessa…:

Our story in our hometown papter, The Grand Rapids Press:

Some glimpses of Mary’s Baptism & her Confirmation Questioning:

AnnaLeah & Mary; They were loved. They are missed. (Too much to bear.):

Plans for our trip to DC…pray:


Facebook Posts from May 2014

AnnaLeah & Mary on WRAL News:

Mary & AnnaLeah…missing them:

AnnaLeah…short-term mission trips/servant events:

One year ago. Very hard.:

Loading the Petitions Into the Van:

Loading the Petitions Into the Van–because they cannot be here with us:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released a statement about our advocacy (WRAL newscast):

Grace Girls Appreciated AnnaLeah:

Though the Fig Tree Should Not Blossom; AnnaLeah:

Before & After; Life Goes On…Mary’s photo before we left on the trip:

Sarah Eaton’s Photos of AnnaLeah & Mary:

Snuggle Now, AnnaLeah & Mary, In Jesus’ Arms:

Time…a poem by AnnaLeah:

Hug a Brother/Hug a Sister:

With Love, From AnnaLeah:

In memory of AnnaLeah–AnnaLeah’s Last Journey; The Best Is Yet To Come:

Remembering AnnaLeah–With Sisters:

Remembering AnnaLeah–Grace Girls moms, babies & toddlers loved AnnaLeah:

Remembering AnnaLeah–Bibliophile:

One year ago…we  lost AnnaLeah, Caring & Courageous:

Remembering AnnaLeah–With Dad:

Remembering AnnaLeah–Hiking in the Fort Davis Mountains:

Remembering AnnaLeah–With Brothers:

Remembering AnnaLeah–AnnaLeah Trims the Blinds While Mary Plays:

Remembering AnnaLeah–My Favorite Present:

Remembering AnnaLeah–“A Short Film”:

Remembering AnnaLeah–Camp Lone Star Servant Event:

A call from Highland Cemetery:

Here in DC–waiting to begin a busy day:

From Naomi, Some of Sam’s Family Delivering the Petitions Today:

Newscast on our trip to DC:

Remembering a post from Naomi on May 6, 2013, with hard news:

A photo of an underride guard on our trip to D.C.:

We are thankful for the help with the petition & the opportunity to deliver it in DC:

Mary’s Last Selfie:

Capturing Georgia Images:

Today, one year ago, Mary died:

Photo albums of Mary:

Mary was so much more…

Found a photo to treasure forever:

A Mother’s or Father’s Grief:

Email from a Grand Rapids reporter about underride guards:

Mary’s Gift to Others:

Live Action Mary; Videos of Mary from over the years:

“Mary’s Life,” A Photo Collage created by Mary herself when she was about 12:

New photos of the headstone  from their Aunt Kathryn:

Links to AnnaLeah videos & photo albums:

Some memorable things written by AnnaLeah & Mary:

Mary could turn everyday events into memorable adventures:

Jerry wants to say thank you:

Weeping in the Night. Joy in the Morning:

AnnaLeah & Mary “Go to Washington”:

Wedding Preparations; or, Get Me To The Church On Time:

Remembering the good times we had preparing for Rebekah & John’s wedding:

Discharged from the hospital, May 10, 2013:

Happy First Anniversary, Rebekah & John!:

So proud of our children:

Remembering May 11, 2013, Rebekah & John, A Day of Rejoicing:

Our family was gathered together on Mother’s Day, May 12, 2013:

Update on Petition Effort/Trip to DC :

Thank you for standing with us:

Jerry, my hero…made a rock garden with two little angels:

Faded Glory; Love you to the moon and back:

Please pray that we can get access to AnnaLeah’s writings in her email accounts:

Honored by the White House & DOT, Daphne Izer, Champion of Change:

Our Birthday Girl…AnnaLeah (Forever 17):

AnnaLeah shared her love & laughter her whole life long:

The best is yet to come:

AnnaLeah loved to give books as presents:

AnnaLeah’s birthday…I hope she knew how much she was loved (19 Forever 17):

“AnnaLeah & Mary are where they belong”…May 18, 2013:

Someday we, too, like Mary & AnnaLeah, will be where we belong:

AnnaLeah & Mary “Go To Washington” news article:

Rocky Mount news article about trip to DC:

It does not take much to remind me of the enormity of our loss:

More Opposition to DOT Safety Measures?!

Pray for glitch in Petition input into Comments on ELD:

Mary would have wanted to photograph the fireflies:

Mary enjoyed the moment; another Texas rainstorm:

In appreciation. . . :

Feels like a bottomless pit of grief:

Eagerly Awaiting!:

Letter from NHTSA administrator letting us know they will contact us when there is a rulemaking initiated on underride guards:

Our 11,391 petitions added to Public Comments online for Electronic Logging Devices:

See the names & comments here:

Precious reminders of AnnaLeah & Mary (fair are the meadows):

AnnaLeah & Mary faithfully followed the Spelling Bee:


Facebook Posts from June 2014

No easy answer for DUI concerns as Marijuana gains support:

Getting ready to cut squares of AnnaLeah’s clothes for a quilt:

One Year on Facebook; Thank you for your support:

Tired Truckers…Senate Appropriations Committee:

More on Political Activity:

More on Senate Appropriations Committee:

Debate on Hours of Service Rules/THUD Amendment:

His song will be with me in the night:

Remembering our farewell to AnnaLeah & Mary on June 8, 2013 (Sam & Naomi photos):

Remembering our farewell to AnnaLeah & Mary:

Video funeral, June 8, 2013:

Another truck crash (Tracy Morgan); Let’s call it what it is: DWF=Driving While Fatigued:

Petitions Recorded in Public Comments for Electronic Logging Devices:

Current News & Commentaries on Drowsy Driving:

Anti Truck Safety Move; Please help now:

National attention being drawn to the issue of drowsy truck drivers; Daphne Izer with Diane Sawyer:

Radio Talk Show on Drowsy Driving:

It’s a wonder anything ever gets done!

Rebekah shares our story on newscast:

Blog on truck safety by another family:

Foreign truckers to be fined for driving tired:

Daines’ Amendment attempts to block increase to minimum liability insurance for truckers:

Call to Action:

Action Alert on Booker Amendment (Truck Safety):

Another book donated to the library  in memory of AnnaLeah & Mary:

NTSB Report on Tracy Morgan Crash & Activity in Congress:

Never a Dull Moment; Day by Day:

Visit to Great Dane Research Facility; Underride Guards: Can We Sit Down At The Table Together:

Missing Them (AnnaLeah’s Time poem):

Weeping Willows:

Photo of AnnaLeah reminds me of my sister:


Facebook Posts from July 2014

Encouraging Communications; Well, I should hope so:

Recent Communications on Underride Guards…a team effort:

Simple Moving Memories From Mary’s Camera:

You can look at most any person and, if you could see under the surface of things, you would see all kinds of loss and pain and grief:

German Test Center: Truck underride protection in crash tests:

This is not a small problem. Safety while traveling on the roads touches us all in some way. This is huge.:

Email received re:  ‘Grant of petition for rulemaking’  on underride guards:

Bittersweet moment: Announcement about underride guard rulemaking process (sorrow & love flow mingled down):

Making Progress In Improving Underride Guards (Just in time for someone else):

Our Crash Was Not An Accident:

Truck Safety Needs Bipartisan Support (video: You always go ahead of me):

So easy to get caught up in the busyness & intensity of life:

Underride Guards in the News (RTV6 newscast):

Dangers of Drowsy Driving (newscast…safety advocate talks on Tracy Morgan crash):

Clarifying the ATA Position on Underride Guards:

And so the people believed…:

Cutting Quilt Squares From AnnaLeah’s & Mary’s Clothes:

News article…advocacy for new underride guard rulemaking & quilting project:

Remembering those who have gone before me:

Projected Date for Rulemaking Process on Minimum Liability Insurance:

Interview on our story & proposed underride guard rule:

Article on Mandatory Truck Side Guards:

More on Side Guards:

At all times…He is my Rock:

Trauma Muscle Memory:

Leader at FMCSA to leave the agency:

Graffa Park photo of AnnaLeah & Mary, Midland, Texas:

Beautiful calligraphy…Blessed is he who trusts in the Lord:


Facebook Posts from August 2014

Reporting on “Making of Gremlins in the Basement” (starring Mary) (video):

Camp Lone Star quilt squares (AL & M) (video):

Newscast on our crash (Atlanta): Families Seek to Reduce Fatal Tractor-Trailer Accidents:

Deep & abiding. . .:

Happy Birthday (15), Mary! (Forever 13) Mary of the Lake (video):

Hard to imagine that 2 whole birthdays have passed:

Another ending…enjoying the process of preserving memories:

Law Enforcement: with justice for all (balancing truth & love):

Safety: I do not think that word means what you think it means:

MOM (Mad Old Mother) has had it up to here! (Reckless driving & criminal injustice):

Does God’s protection usually bypass or override reckless or irresponsible actions?:

Simple things bring Mary to mind (Sunny Mary in the Rain youtube):

Serendipity…found AnnaLeah’s Book Reading List:

Here today and gone tomorrow:

I wonder if it will ever get any easier:

Wish  they were here to tell me what I have forgotten:

Simply AnnaLeah …so we will remember her (Youtube video):

Good news; We rescue…:


Facebook Posts from September 2014

Peek-a-Boo Balloons; It wasn’t what I planned (Youtube video) (#notincontrol):

Peek-A-Boo Balloons  (photo album):

Do not be anxious for tomorrow:

Justice, Up Close & Personal:

Senseless deaths, helpless rage:

The power of the smallest thing to bring them to mind:

Slow but sure…progress in three areas:

AnnaLeah used to have colorful dreams:

You know one thing I really miss about Mary?:

Sisters Enjoying Nature:

September Memories; Mary’s First Year, 1999:

Another Autumn Memory; AnnaLeah’s First Year, September 1995:

I am so thankful for those memories:

Justice for Seven People Killed By a Truck Driver:

Catharsis…Saudade “…a deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves.”:

Mary would have loved to be right there with them:

Help me, Lord, to say goodbye, day by day:

Happy Times in September 2010:

Photographic Memories. Thanks to the Inventor.:

Morning Glories Quickly Fading…The Lord it is who gives…:

I had a dream & Mary Moments:

Cinnamon & Ants; Making sense out of tragedy:

“Death on the Highway Leaves Dozing Trucker Angry”:


Facebook Posts from October 2014

A few moments of Mary at her Baptism, October 1, 1999:

Mary’s Baptismal Birthday (longer version):

Bloomberg article:

Taking baby steps to move forward with life:

IIHS new Status Report on Underride Guards:

AnnaLeah, Creative, Resourceful & Caring; Missin’ you bunches:

Got a new photo of the headstone from my sister:

Marcus & Vanessa; How they loved them!:

The Proof is in the Bubbles:

Entry Level Truck Driver Training:

In the Twinkling of an Eye:

Response to comments from the trucking industry:

Feeling fragile in so many ways:

Sweet Song of Comfort:

Getting my mind off of hard things & onto wonderful memories:

AnnaLeah’s First Year of Life, October & November 1995:

Mary’s First Year of Life; October & November 1999:

How do you prepare yourself to go see the man who killed your daughters?:

Court Hearing Monday; Pray:

Our Trip to Georgia; October 2014:


Remembering Our Last Fall Together (2012):

Quite a week; Talked with witness & another bus/truck crash:

Remembering October Days Enjoyed by AnnaLeah & Mary:

Just finished trimming quilt squares:

Organized quilt squares (#pretendyouknowwhatyouaredoing):

Bittersweet…went to a game night without them:

Two quilt patterns ready to sew:

“Uncle Mike gets to meet AnnaLeah & Mary”:

Truck Driver Wage Theft:

Missing them:

Help Me To Love As You Love:

Here are the lyrics & music for the song in that video: I want to love and obey .

World’s Largest Truck Convoy:

Mary enjoyed her last October (2012):

The Headless Creatures & costume fun over the years:

I wonder what…will never be:

Reformation Day…photos Mary took in October 2012:

Got the first quilt squares sewed together:


Facebook Posts from November 2014

All Saints Day in North Carolina…2012 & 2013:

Locket of Love:

All Saints Sunday; #notincontrol #childrenoftheheavenlyFather:

Oatmeal Raisin cookies & Apple Pie…2 pieces leftover:

Aslan or the Lion of Judah:

The Joy of the LORD is my Strength:

Journey through grief now chronicled here on our website:

Making cookies without Mary:

Time: Past–Present–Future. . .

AnnaLeah & Mary liked to play in a clothesline tent:

Tissue Donation Discovery (Mary’s gift of life):

Mary’s labor of love; countless people touch our lives:

“Mary’s dog” & The Mockingjay; life’s many reminders:

Mary, Did You Know?

Tissue donation helps turn tragedy into healing(a news report from Georgia):


Facebook Posts from December 2014

“Lord, where there is sadness let me sow joy.” :

“Rocket scientist’s idea could put an end to texting while driving”:

FMCSA issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the Minimum Liability Insurance for Truckers:

Christmas Hallelujah (I can trust):

Request to express opposition to push for longer trucker hours:

Sing for joy and be glad:

Letter by mother of truck crash victim questions senator’s actions:

TSC Media Advisory re: Congress activity on truck driver Hours of Service/fatigue issue:

Secretary Foxx speaks out; Why We Care About Truck Driver Fatigue?:

Interesting article for grieving persons:

Tug of War Over Truck Driver Hours:

Rocky Mount Telegram reports on reactions to battle in Congress over trucker hours:

“Maine Senator Is Again Friend To Trucking As Rule Eased” (Bloomberg News):

Bloomberg News completes an in-depth report on underride guards and our story:

Trucking world seems to be taking note of the Bloomberg report on underride guards:

The AnnaLeah & Mary Stand Up For Truck Safety Petition has been posted to the Public Comments in the Federal Register for the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Minimum Insurance for Truckers:

AnnaLeah & Mary Memorial Bricks in the “Court of Honor” at Midland College:

Rocky Mount Telegram reports on seesaw of truck safety progress:

A Truck Crash Ended Their Christmases Here but didn’t take away our Christmas memories of AnnaLeah & Mary:

What is the most important truth AnnaLeah & Mary believed in their short lives?

Mary, Merry Christmas!:

Duke’s Healing Garden; O Lord, it’s beautiful!


Facebook Posts from January 2015

Mary made the most of every moment; Mary bakes an engagement cake for Rebekah:

Friends are Friends Forever:

Mary’s “Clue” game sheet:

“Mary Karth Shared A Post With You”:

One Month To Live. Google Sends An Exciting Email:

Pray for new NHTSA director & favor for a specific truck safety request:

AnnaLeah’s Gmail Contents Arrived!!!

Remembering Mary Lydia Karth on MLK Day:

Heard back from DOT on matter of requested truck safety action; promised a phone call in February to explore it further:

The joy of the Lord is my strength:

An Afternoon At The Duck Pond:

Success Story With Truck Side Guards:

Quilt-making Progress:


Facebook Posts from February 2015

My Response To MakeSafeHappen Nationwide Super Bowl Commercial:

AnnaLeah’s Third Email Account Contents Arrived!

Precious Notes From Mary:

Mary’s Valentine Creation (2013):

AnnaLeah Visits Historical Durham:

Paczkis on Fat Tuesday with leftovers. . .

Snow angels in our memorial rock garden:

Crash Avoidance Technology for Large Trucks:

Speak up for Increased Minimum Liability Insurance:

Making progress on the first of two quilts:

Buddy Girls and AnnaLeah’s dog…rest from their labors:

Reform in Auto Safety Recalls:

Comment Now on Proposed Rule on Minimum Insurance:

A Treasury of Karth Family Recipes. . .

Remembering AnnaLeah & Mary in A Treasury of Karth Family Recipes:


Facebook Posts from March 2015

Serendipitous finds. . . Receipt from Mary’s Confirmation Dress:

Serendipitous finds…they remember their grandpa:

Found their winter gear… Such good times they had together:

AnnaLeah’s glasses:

Reminders of the intense time last year when we launched The AnnaLeah & Mary Stand Up For Truck Safety Petition:

What came after the Petition:

We are looking forward. . .

Soon after arriving in North Carolina, Vanessa. . .

Mary’s St. Patrick’s Day Entertainment:

Marcus said today that he wanted to show Mary. . .

Too Often, Too Little, Too Late

Vanessa Makes Bread (video):

Mary wrote about her Michigan memories

I enjoyed reading Levi’s Blog post

AnnaLeah also wrote in the scrapbook for her Grandpa’s birthday:

Vanessa started her first sewing project today:

Marcus has missed his mom & dad:

Marcus’ and Vanessa’s memories of AnnaLeah & Mary

When Marcus saw this photo of AnnaLeah yesterday. . .

Real Pain, Real Peace:

The cat which AnnaLeah made for Vanessa:


Facebook Posts from April 2015

April is Distracted Driving Month:

Here are some apps to help stop & reward driving without cell phone use:

Many things can hamper your ability to be a safe driver:

Danelle asked me to mend these stuffed toys which Mary had made:

You always go ahead of me:

AnnaLeah Visited Historical Sites in Durham:

A crash in Georgia this week; sounds way too familiar:

Sunflower & Morning Glory House:

“Aunt Mary swallowed one of her teeth.”  & Two Years Ago at This Time:


Facebook Posts from May 2015


Facebook Posts from March 2016

Bright yellow forsythia & deep pink azalea filling my backyard, remind me that another springtime has come which they will never fill with their joy and laughter. Never theirs to enjoy.

Yesterday, Danelle recalled her most horrible St. Patrick’s Day in 3rd grade when she forgot to wear green and suffered 100s of pinches at school. Being taught at home, Mary did not have that worry. She simply loved any holiday (“Every day’s a holiday with Mary”) and gladly wore green.


AnnaLeah writing

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