Dear Doug and Christina,
November 26th, 2013 would be your second anniversary. It was such a short time you had together. From your first date to the day Christina left to be with Jesus was two years and three months. You lived a masterpiece in that short time. You laughed, you loved, you cried, you prayed. I remember the night of the proposal. So full of hope and joy. Your wedding was everything you had hoped. It was intimate--tucked away in the Lake Quinault Lodge. The honeymoon of your dreams in Kauai was a great start to your days together.
Doug, you entered Christina's life at one of her weakest times. You wanted to be her encourager and much, much more. Not only did you encourage her, you led her into marriage and into the "no fear" decision of having a child. You did what few young men have to do. You learned to care for Isaiah in the NICU. You were the first to change his diaper. You learned how to speak softly in order to let him sleep and grow. You learned to touch him gently and firmly--to give security but not distress him. You were the "Isaiah" expert. And you cared for your beautiful wife through two surgeries, two weeks apart. You moved between Isaiah's hospital room and Christina's hospital room, caring for both.
It was a sweet move back to Port Angeles--bringing Isaiah home for the first time. Isaiah grew and you and Christina enjoyed your first months of parenting.
Too soon, you learned that your young wife would be leaving this earth. You talked about your shared dreams for Isaiah, you comforted her at night when she was confused. You prepared her food just like she liked it and you kept track of all her medications. And you did it selflessly. No one would have blamed you if you had said, "I can't do this." But you did it. All. Beautifully. You have moved into a place in my heart forever.
Christina, you let someone into your special world--a world that contained a radical walk of faith, cancer, and plenty of uncertainty. You let go of the idea that you could protect everyone from feeling pain as you left us. You loved Doug and Isaiah--to the very end. You prayed so often for those two that I can picture those prayers as incense still before the throne of God. Nothing wasted.
Christina, when you shared with me that you were so sorry you had never had time to make Doug a wedding album, I wondered if I should do it. I thought about it but it felt wrong. Small. So instead, I made Doug and Isaiah a little book about your life together. All two years and three months worth. It is the story of a first date, a proposal, a wedding, a birth, and a walk right into eternity.
I want to tell you both--well done. Thank you for trusting God. Thank you for loving each other. Thank you for the gift of Isaiah. Seldom does life come with such beautiful closure--but I feel it.
Christina, you live on with Jesus.
Doug, you live on here with joy and strength--forever changed because of your 2 years and 3 months with Christina.
Isaiah, your adventure continues--fueled by the prayers of your faithful birth Mom.
Mom (Grammie Jo)